My magento site uses table rates to determine the shipping price. My current version of Magento (CE 126.96.36.199) only shows the shipping price to the customer at the later stages of checkout. How can I have the shipping displayed earlier in the shopping cart calculations (per item and then added to the total)?
The only way to display a default shipping rate is to set the rate by default when the quote is created.
There used to be a module that did this on Magento Connect that did this but was unmaintained by its creator and was only certified up to Magento 1.1 CE. I have verified that this works up to 1.11 EE / 1.6 CE.
How it works
When a product is added to the cart (presumably on the first cart add) it checks its own module defaults for a sample destination shipping address. This can be configured via System > Config > Autoquote.
It uses this default address along with the specified default shipping method (defined in the
config.xml) to specify and add the shipping method to the quote.
If you do not wish to use the module, the above description should be enough for you to bootstrap your own development.
Module is available here:
just found this article: http://www.danneh.org/2010/08/adding-shipping-costs-to-the-cart-automatically-in-magento/
it works perfectly!!