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Premium MatrixRate is controlled by a combination of the shipping method configuration panel under 'configurationshipping methods' and a CSV file (table).

In order to set up the table it is necessary to understand the various options you have control over. Many of these may be irrelevant to you, if so use the defaults suggested.

Firstly you need to decide what condition you need to base your shipping on. This is set within the shipping method configuration. For 95% of extension users this will be "Standard". You only need to set to "Volume" if you need to filter based on volume weight in some way.

The use of Volume Weight & Destination allows you to use a custom decimal attribute attached to the product, and filter based on the total for all items in the cart. The configuration for this is explained in a separate section below.

The shipping extension works on a "Best Match" basis. This means it will look for the closest match first, then work backwards if none can be found, until one is found or all options have been searched. 

For example if you have 2 rows in the table, one with a country code of "US" and one with "*" (see below for definition), then a customer from the US will match on the US row, and a customer from UK will match on the "*" row.


  • Generic extension installation instructions can be found here

  • Within 'Configuration > Shipping Methods' you should have a shipping method available called "Premium Matrix Rates"

This extension does not overwrite any core files directly. It does change the functionality of Callback.php inside Google Checkout, so if you do upgrade and Magento make changes in this area you may not pick these up. Please contact me when upgrading if experiencing difficulties with Google Checkout.


Under Catalog > Manage Attributes you will see a new attribute called volume_weight which has been created during the installation process


  1. Open Magento Admin

  2. Within ' Configuration > Shipping Methods ' you should have a shipping method available called " Premium Rates "

  3. Enable Premium Rates

  4. Set values as appropriate – ensure you have "Filtering Rule" set correctly. Unless you require volume related checks then use “Standard”

  5. Save Config

  6. Change ‘Current Configuration Scope’ to be the Main Website 


    7.    You should now see an import button box appear with a browse box in Premium Matrix Rates. 
    8.    Browse to a CSV file. Details of CSV file configuration can be found below 

    9.    Save the config to upload the CSV. Any errors in the CSV will be reported here 

    10.   If using zip code numeric ranges then set the postcode filtering to "Numerical Ranges US/AUS/FR etc"(see below for more info on this) 

    11.    Ensure your products are setup correctly according to rules in CSV file 

    12.    You should then see the appropriate shipping rates appear on the front end upon checkout 


Shipping Method Configuration Options

Under the Shipping Methods there are various configurations you can play with. Our recommendation is that if you are unsure then leave as the default – for most people this is fine.

Here is a summary of each field and it's usage:





Use to enable/disable

Good for testing extension is working

Serial Key Preconfigured with your key  No need to change this 
Title The shipping method title shown on the frontend   
Filtering Rule
Should the extension work using weight or volume weight   
Postcode Matching
Multiple options for filtering on UK postcodes or Numerical ranges
I.e UK filtering support entering BT,PA,PH,PH21,PH22 rather than pattern matching (%)
 Zip Code Max Length    
 Strip long zip codes down to a certain length

Calculate using tax inclusive prices

In Magento shipping is calculated based on excl tax price. There are a very few scenarios where the incl tax price is needed.

Only set this if absolutely necessary as it's better to use the standard excl tax rules as less custom code to run

Calculate using discounted prices Use the price after a coupon has been applied   
Include virtual products in price calculation Should virtual products be included in the calculation? By default they're excluded.  
Free Method When using Magento Shopping Cart Price Rules promotions, which method should be free  This is only supported in and later due to Magento bugs

Free shipping display text

If promotion rules determine that free shipping applies you can change the output text here

This only applies to and lower

Apply free shipping to lowest price method

If you have multiple methods available, always set the lowest priced one to free


 Use higher of volume/weight If you're using Volume Weight vs Destination as the condition, do you want to use the higher of the volume and weight as the weight 
User defined codes Allows you to override the code that is stored in the database. Useful for exporting to your bespoke order management system. 

Use this in conjunction with the algorithm here:

Store a different shipping code in the database

Always Use Actual Weight for These Methods

Rather than using the volume if it is greater than the weight, methods you select here will always use the weight.

This is only used when you have"Use higher of volume/weight" set to yes

Show method if not applicable

If you create rules which prevent all shipping methods from showing you may want to inform customer in that scenario (e.g. don't ship a product if it's to Alaska). Setting this field allows you to display a message or not

Leave as default if unsure

Displayed error message

Shown if “Show method if not applicable” is set to YES and shipping is restricted to return no rates by the extension

Leave as default if unsure


Table Configuration

Table columns at your disposal :

Field Name



ISO3 Country code this rate applies to. Use ‘*’ for all. Multiple countries can be present on a single row (e.g. “GBR,FRA”)


Destination State – use * for all. E.g. CA


Destination City (generally not used) – use * for all

Zip/Postal code from

Destination zip code. If using numeric ranges then set this to the number you wish the search to start from. If using pattern matching then set this to the pattern you require. See the section on Zipcodes/Postcodes for detailed information on options.

Zip/Postal code to

Only relevant if you are searching for purely numeric postcode ranges. Please ensure that “Use Zip code to/from range” is set to yes and UK Postcode filtering is set to no, otherwise this column is ignored.

This is NOT supported when using UK Postcodes

 See the section on Zipcodes/Postcodes for detailed information on options.

Weight from

(Less than or equal to)

Starting weight at which this shipping rate applies. Default is '*' for all

Weight to

(Greater than or equal to)

Ending weight at which this shipping rate applies. Default is '*' for all

Price from .

(Less than or equal to)

Starting price at which this shipping rate applies. Default is '*' for all

Price to

(Greater than or equal to)

Ending price at which this shipping rate applies. Default is '*' for all

Item from

(Less than or equal to)

Starting #items at which this shipping rate applies. Default is '*' for all

Item to

(Greater than or equal to)

Ending #items at which this shipping rate applies. Default is '*' for all

Shipping Price

The price that the customer will be charged assuming all

criteria in row is met


Used to perform special function.

Delivery Type

This is the label that will tell the end user the shipping

option. When totalling the cost the delivery type is used (e.g. all 1st class delivery types for all packages are summed)

Sort order

Defines order of rate output , from lowest to highest

  • Unlike ProductMatrix, the From/To fields are working on basis of >= From and =< To e.g. from 0 to 5 would mean anything greater or equal to 0 and less than or equal to 5. This is to ensure compatibility with MatrixRate.
  • When used with sort order field you can change ordering of output from default of Lowest->Highest price to whatever you want. 

Algorithm Field

  • Weight based price increase: achieved using syntax

    W=Weight Threshold @ Price

    For example, to add $1.50 per pound use: W=1@1.5

  • Weight based price increase without rounding: achieved using syntax

    WNC=Weight Threshold @ Price

    For example, to add $1.50 per pound use:

  • Item based price increase: achieved using syntax

    I=Price Increase

    For example, to add $5 for every item added use: I=5

  • Check if an item is in stock: achieved using syntax

    instock=true or instock=false

    For example, you could only offer express when a product is instock

          Instock Example


  • Volume based price increase: achieved using syntax

    V=Volume @ Price

    For example, to add $5 for every 500 units of volume use: V=500@5.


  • Store a different shipping code in database: achieved using syntax


           This could be used for a order/delivery management system to store a unique shipping code for each of your shipping methods.

           The code is stored in sales_flat_order/sales_order depending on your version of Magento in the attribute shipping_method.

           The text the customer sees is stored in shipping_description in the same table.

           Custom Code Example 


Additional Configuration Options

The following additional configuration is possible with Premium Matrix Rate:

  • Ability to calculate shipping based on tax inclusive cart price

  • Ability to calculate shipping based on the discounted price. I.e after a coupon code

  • Ability to allow custom sorting on shipping rate (default is lowest to highest price)

  • Global Free Shipping Minimum order amount (also able to configure this on a per country/state/etc basis using a long format csv file)

  • Option to change error message output when no rates found (or not display any at all)

  • Option to add a handling fee

  • Ability to filter based on higher of volume or weight

  • Remove virtual/downloadable products from the cart subtotal used on calculation

  • Exclude certain regions/conditions by setting shipping price to -1 – This is particularly useful if you want to include most rates but exclude just a few

  • Ability to set the lowest valid priced shipping method to free

This is all managed within the shipping method configuration.

Volume Weight Configuration

Note: Google Checkout will not support the use of Volume Weight vs Destination Condition.

Some clients have a requirement to use a volumetric weight for calculating the shipping price, or to use the greater of volumetric and standard weight. This extension supports this capability.

  • You can determine if the attribute "volume_weight" exists after you install the extension. Add this as required to your attribute sets. If you're unsure how, take a look at the attribute configuration guide from the left menu of this wiki.

  • Before you can use the "Volume Weight" attribute you need to add it to your attribute sets. "volume_weight".

  • In the product listing you will then see the "Volume Weight" attribute is present. You need to set this as required.

To compare the total volume weight with standard weight and use the greater of the two, set "Use Higher of Volume/Weight" to Yes in the shipping method configuration. Set up your weight/volume based rules as normal in your CSV file, as demonstrated in the example below.

If you would rather use both volume and weight as factors of the shipping price you need to set "Use Higher of Volume/Weight" to no and use a CSV file like the below. The volume from and volume to replace the item from and item to columns.

Unknown user,
Apr 5, 2011, 3:55 AM
Unknown user,
Apr 21, 2011, 2:36 AM