Shipping zones are the geographical areas that your store will ship to. With Zones configured, you can create shipping rules and tax rates for specific places.
Zones might only have one member (such as a zone that only consists of the United States) or many members (a zone that includes all of the non-contiguous United States: Hawaii and Alaska).
They also allow you to group States or Countries in a non-geographic way: for example, if you ship to all of the United States but use different carriers when shipping to Alaska and Hawaii.
Zones are beneficial for helping you comply with the tax variations in various regions and the different shipping methods that might be required to ship to other areas.
Setting your zones
Navigate to Settings --> Zones. To create a new zone, click New Zone.
Name: Suppose you want to only ship in the Contiguous States; name it "48 Contiguous States."
Description is not required, but it is good practice to provide it to understand the Zone. The description displays on the Shipping Method page.
Select your Type, whether the Zone you want to create is based on Countries or States.
Require manual approval for shipments in this Zone? You must manually approve all orders your customers will place for that Zone if selected.
These orders will not be marked as complete and will ship once you do. They will be marked as Balance Due -- Pending
When you click Approve the order will be marked as Complete
It is beneficial to require manual approval when you want to ensure that your customers are selecting the correct shipping method at checkout.
When selecting Country-based, only countries will display in the Countries dropdown, making it easier to set.
When selecting States-based, only States will display in the States dropdown; typing the first few letters of the States makes it easier to set.
Click Create and repeat as often as you need to for your store.