Knowledgebase: Cart32: Version 7.0
Basic Shipping Information
Posted by Kyle on 17 December 2008 01:59 PM
Cart32 is designed to give flexible shipping options for your business needs. This article will discuss briefly the different shipping types available as well as some common issues and configurations which might be useful to you. Use the quick links below to jump to a particular section.

Quick Links:
Creating A Basic Shipping Type
Available Shipping Types
Showing Shipping Costs Before Checkout
Configuring The Shipping Address Fields
Tracking Numbers
UPS Shipping Calculations Integration Change
Maximum Number Of Shipping Types

Creating A Basic Shipping Type
No matter which method of shipping you choose to employ, you must create a shipping type as a sort of container to hold all the configuration information. After creating a shipping type you can edit it and modify calculation method, markups, area settings, conditions, and many other settings. The following steps explain how to create a blank shipping type for you to modify later:
  1. Log into your Cart32 Administration

  2. Navigate to the Shopping Cart >> Shipping >> Shipping Types Tab 

  3. In the field labeled Name enter the name you'd like your shipping type to have. It can be anything. In my example we'll call it Example Shipping Type

  4. Click the button labeled Add Shipping Type

That's it! The shipping type is ready to be edited and configured. Please read the other shipping articles in the knowledge base for information about a specific type of calculation. The specific types we have are real time shippers (USPS, FedEx, et cetera), by number of items, by weight, and by total cost.

Available Shipping Types
Cart32 is able to calculate shipping in the following ways: real time, grid based (weight, total, item count), and built into item cost. The following sections will outline each one in a little more detail. For more information about a specific type and its configuration please refer to the articles in the same category as this one.

Real Time
Real time shipping is the most commonly used shipping type. Real time shipping gets rate calculations from companies like UPS, USPS, and FedEx. Accurate calculations require the following:
  • Originating Address: The originating address is the address listed on your File --> Company Info tab.
  • Destination Address: The destination address is the address your customer enters during checkout.
  • Product Weights: Product weights are built into your product form code. They tell the real time shippers how much weight you will be shipping. For more information on product weights in your form code please see the article Product Options - Standard

Grid Based (by weight/total/item count)
Sometimes the destination isn't as important for shipping calculations as things like weight, total, or item count. Cart32 allows you to create custom shipping grids based on weight, order total, or item count. Here is a small description of how each one works:
  • By Weight: When you choose to ship by weight you fill out the grid based on the weight of the order in any unit you like as long as you are consistent (decimals are ok). Make sure all your products have weights in their form code on your product pages.
  • By Total: Shipping by total allows you to charge a shipping amount based upon the dollar amount the customer has ordered.
  • By Item Count: When you ship by a number of items you can do it two ways:
    • By Number of Items: This method allows you to charge a flat shipping amount for the entire order based upon how many items were ordered.
    • By Number of Items (Price Per Item): This allows you to charge a shipping amount per item ordered based on how many items they ordered.

Built Into Item Cost
It is also possible to charge a flat shipping amount on an individual product basis. To do this we simply create a shipping type using the Built Into Item Cost method. This method will rely on your product form code for shipping costs. Instead of using a weight attribute on your product form code, you'd simply specify a shipping attribute and the associated shipping cost for each product.

Showing Shipping Costs Before Checkout
Cart32 is able to show the shipping costs to a customer before the customer begins checking out. This happens by asking the customer to enter some piece of information when they first add an item to your cart (such as zip code, country, etc). This setting is found on the Cart Settings --> Shipping Types tab. After the customer has entered the requested information Cart32 will attempt to get shipping calculations for all of your shipping types.

Configuring The Shipping Address Fields
Configuring your Cart to offer the proper fields for shipping addresses is pretty simple. You can go to the Cart Settings --> Shipping Information tab inside your Cart32 Administration to set up which fields will show up, the order they will be in, and even what values are possible (state dropdowns, country dropdowns, etc). By setting up your shipping fields properly you can control the way shipping addresses are entered which will help with getting real time quotes from the major shippers. More information on setting up specific shipping scenarios (such as international shipping) can be found in the same category as this article.

Tracking Numbers
Tracking numbers are given by most major shippers so an order can be tracked by the customer. Currently, tracking numbers must be entered manually after shipping the package. The following steps show how to enter a tracking number:
  1. Log into your Cart32 Administration

  2. Navigate to the Sales >> Orders tab 

  3. Find the order you wish to set a tracking number for, and click the Edit link next to it

  4. Enter the tracking number into the field labeled Tracking Number

  5. Click the Save button and then close the window

Once you've saved a tracking number on an order you can use it in things like order status emails. This also allows the customer to check their order status and see the tracking number there.

UPS Shipping Calculations Integration Change
UPS contacted Cart32 on 5/15/2006 and said we needed to make some major changes in our software in order to be compliant with their terms and continue to use the real time shipping rates. UPS does not allow what they call "rate shopping" between carriers when using their real time tools. Anyone using UPS rates next to FedEx, USPS or DHL rates were in violation of their agreement. Since Cart32 allowed this sort of comparison to occur we were told we were in violation and had to stop using the online rates tool.

We had the option of making big changes to Cart32 to become compliant, or we could stop using the UPS real time rates. We decided to stop using the UPS real time rates in order to keep the flexibility that Cart32 users have come to expect.

Here is what this means for those using UPS shipping rates:
  • UPS will be shutting off the key which Cart32 v6.1 and prior use to get UPS rates. Please upgrade to 6.2 or later to avoid interruptions.

  • UPS rates will only work for shipping to and from the continental US at this time (no Alaska or Hawaii)

  • You will no longer be required to register with UPS or have the UPS shield and disclaimer on their ordering pages

  • You will still be able to set up your shipping rates in the same way you are used to including mixing UPS/FedEx/USPS

  • Due to shipping variables outside of our control some shipping quotes might be off slightly; typically less than $0.25. Most of the quotes we've seen are within pennies of accuracy

Maximum Number Of Shipping Types
Cart32 can use an unlimited number of shipping types. Most clients only use a few, but you can use as many as you want. Keep in mind each shipping type will require some calculation. Real time shippers take a second or two to create a quote. If you have thirty shipping types and they each take a couple seconds, your customer will be waiting a minute when adding an item to your cart.
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