Setting Up Shipping Zones

Overview

Shipping Zones are used in Shipping Rules to define geographic areas that you want to treat differently. For example, if you want to offer free shipping only in the US lower 48 states. Shipping Zones do not inherently have any actions associated with them but rather are used when setting up Origins, Carriers, and Shipping Rules to take certain actions for Orders shipping to certain Shipping Zones.

Using Shipping Zones

You can define a shipping zone as a group of countries, regions or states within a single country, one or many cities within a certain region or state, or certain ZIP or postal codes, or ranges.

If a customer enters a shipping address that falls within the Shipping Zone you’ve defined, it will be matched against that Shipping Zone and Shipping Rules in place to take certain actions for these customers.

Steps

  1. In ShipperHQ dashboard, go to Shipping Zones
  2. Click the +New button
  3. Give the shipping zone a name (i.e. Alaska and Hawaii)
  4. Select the Country of your shipping zone (in relation to the Alaska/Hawaii example, we would select USA)
  5. If your shipping zone is meant to be a whole country or countries, then you can save at this point.
  6. If you are creating a shipping zone that is made of specific states or regions within a country, change the States/Regions dropdown from ‘All’ to ‘Including’, then you can clarify which States/Regions belong in the shipping zone. See below for more info on including/excluding.
  7. You can do the same for Cities, and then Postcodes if your shipping zone is at this level.
  8. Save the Shipping Zone
dashboard view of new zone
Adding a shipping zone in ShipperHQ dashboard

Adding Shipping Zones via CSV Import

You can also add Shipping Zones by importing a CSV file. This is useful if you have multiple Shipping Zones or already have a CSV file with this information in it.

You can import the file under the shipping zones section of ShipperHQ. Click on CSV and then import.

To ensure you have the correct fields in your file, it may be useful to create one Shipping Zone in ShipperHQ, then export the file by selecting CSV then export. You can either use that document, change one you currently have to fit the same fields, or create a new one.

You can find an example of a Shipping Zones CSV below.

Screen Shot 2016-05-12 at 17.22.34
Asterisks in the CSV indicate the field includes ‘all’
Note: There is a maximum import of 100 shipping zones at a time.

Including vs. Excluding

On each of the Shipping Zone options other than Countries, you can choose whether the selected values are included or excluded from the Zone.

If you use Included then the chosen options will constitute the Shipping Zone. If you choose Excluding then the zone will consist of everything that does not match those values.

For example, if you set up a Shipping Zone for the United States and choose to Exclude Alaska and Hawaii, the zone will be all States/Regions in the US except for Alaska and Hawaii.

Countries

Shipping Zones can include one or more countries. If one country is selected you can use the other options discussed below to define a more granular zone. Note that if more than one country is selected the options below will not be presented.

States/Regions

For countries that have easily defined lists of states or regions (for example, USA) you can select the applicable regions/states here.

For other countries, states or regions will need to be entered manually. This will be matched against the value entered by your customer when requesting a shipping rate in the shopping cart or checkout.

Cities

As with states/regions, cities will be matched against the value entered by your customer when requesting a shipping rate. Note that, by default, some platforms might not display the city field at the cart estimator so using the postal/ZIP code fields may be preferable.

We support multiple cities being entered on 1 line e.g. “Columbus, Dublin”

Side Note: If you are specifying cities in your shipping zones, you must have the city field enabled in cart and checkout in order to properly match. You could end up with rates in the cart and none in checkout, or vice versa.

ZIP/Postal Codes

ZIP or postal codes can be entered as comma separated lists, ranges (e.g. US ZIP codes 82001-82070), or partial postal codes (e.g. UK Postal Code SS0).

When using zones with UK postcodes only the prefix needs to be specified. For example, “BT” will match on all Northern Ireland postcodes. Similarly, “SS1” will match on all postcodes starting with “SS1” but not “SS2”, etc.

Numerical ranges can also be used with UK postcodes but they must be defined using the prefix. For example “SS1-SS9” will match on “SS1”, “SS2”, etc to “SS9”. Defining a range of “SS1-9”, however, will not match correctly.

For London postcodes where the prefix ends in a letter the full prefix must be specified for those postcodes to match. For example, E1W will not match on E1 so the full prefix of E1W will need to be entered.

Special Note on Setting Shipping Zones in ShipperHQ

Shipping Zones in ShipperHQ can be applied to Origins, Carriers, Shipping Rules, and more to define which shipping options and rates you offer to which regions. While Shipping Zones in ShipperHQ allow you to control shipping based on the addresses used by your customers, the countries and states or regions your customers can select in your cart and checkout are still controlled by your eCommerce platform.

Next Steps

Now that you have created your Shipping Zones, you can move on to:

  • Create Shipping Rules – set, surcharge, or hide methods and rates based on the Shipping Zone customers are in
  • Define Custom Rates – offer your own shipping rates? use Table Rate Carriers to define Flat Rates by Shipping Zone
  • Enable Address Validation – enable Address Validation to calculate rates or set rules for Residential vs Commercial destinations

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