Configuring Shipping Groups

You can think of shipping groups as sets of products. So some good examples of shipping groups are:

  1. BIKES
  2. BOOKS
  3. GUNS

We recommend you use upper case and underscores when defining groups, just so you then don’t run into issues around spelling typos.

ProductMatrix has an attribute called package_id which you can see in the Shipping tab within a Product Listing.  If you can’t see this then please refer to our Troubleshooting Guide.

Product Matrix, Shipping Override and Handling Fees Matrix create a magento attribute called Shipping Group (attribute id = package_id, special_shipping_group and handling_id respectively).
Shipping groups are used to group together products that have the same shipping price rules.


To add a Shipping Group you navigate the following path: Catalog->Attributes->Manage Attributes.  Click package_id.  When the extension is installed there should be a Shipping tab in your product listing, and the Shipping Group should be available. If it is not then please ensure that the SQL has run correctly.

For example, if you have mainly standard items and a few bulky items you would create a shipping group called BULKY, and then assign these to all your bulky products. With the standard shipping group you have the option to either create a shipping group called standard, or because this is used for most of your products you can choose to not assign items to the standard group, but use the * value in the shipping group column in the csv configuration to say ‘*’ = all items that are not in the bulky group.
Shipping Groups need to be added to the drop down values for the group attribute, as you do for other drop-down attributes in Magento. The Assigning Shipping Group section contains further info on how to assign these values.
Shipping Groups are case sensitive, and must match exactly with the vales in the shipping group column in the csv file.



You will need to add the shipping group as a value of the package_id attribute within Magento Admin. We purposely keep this creation separate from the rule setup as it saves issues if you accidentally upload an incorrect rule configuration.

What is the ‘*’ Shipping Group?

The use of a * in shipping group within the table can provide different results, depending on how you want to use it.

The two options for the meaning of “*” are:

  • Include all items that do not have a shipping group assigned
  • Include all items in the cart

You can change how shipping group ‘*’ is handled in the extension configuration in admin. There is a switch ‘* includes all items in the cart’, which can be set to yes or no.

As a general rule, if most of your products use the same shipping rules, with just a few that are using special pricing then the advice is to say that the * shipping group applies to all items that are not defined by a shipping group. This means you don’t need to worry about assigned most of your products to a shipping group.

If on the other hand you have a shipping rate such as pickup only which applies to all products regardless of shipping group then it’s advisable to say the * shipping group applies to all products in the cart.


Setting Default Shipping Group on all new Products

I would like to pre-set all new products with the shipping group of ‘HAZARDOUS’. How can I achieve this through Product Matrix?

When creating the Shipping Group under the Package_ID attribute there will be an option to the right hand side of the shipping group name called ‘Is Default’. This will then set the shipping group called ‘HAZARDOUS’ as the default shipping group when creating a new product. The screenshot below shows this option within the attribute configuration:


 Coping with Shipping Groups within Groups

Lets say you have some items which can be in HAZARDOUS, and then some items that can be OVERSIZE. Well you might have items that can be both. How do you deal with this? The simple way is to have a shared group HAZARDOUS_OVERSIZE. In most circumstances this gives you what you need.

If this doesnt work then contact us to discuss, its quite likely we can resolve this using the Shipping Override extension on top to give you that extra layer of functionality.


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