Is there a free or paid method for the below:
We ship items based on the actual product vs their destination and want this to apply to our trade group only (as our website will be trade and public). We need:
Customer group > SKU vs destination > Price
Public will just have free shipping as it will be built into the product price.
There is one extension for that
If it will help you then give kudos or mark as solution.
Below the extension link which you are looking for like shipping method based on distance.
AKAIK its full fill all your requirements ,
You could check Shipping Matrix Rates by Mageside.
With this extension, you can set special shipping rates for a certain group of products, customer group, etc. So basically you can create and customize as many groups as you wanted.
Hope that will help!
You may check Magento 2 Shipping Table Rates extension for your requirements.