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Shipping Rate Algorithm - Calculates in a really BAD with oversized packages

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  • Shipping Rate Algorithm - Calculates in a really BAD with oversized packages

    Thought we had found a MAJOR shipping calculation bug, but this morning received a response from tech support that it is simply a limitation with 3d's shipping rate calculations.

    Information - Our products have weight and dimension data input for each product.

    Problem: Customer has a large product in their cart. Weight 70 Lbs, big dimensions 43"x43"x10". By itself, the shipping calculation is correct. When the customer adds in an additional item to the cart weighing .25 lbs, and 1"x1"x1" - The cart re-calculates the entire shipment as 70.25 lbs, but the new dimensions default to 1x1x1. In our case the customer shipping was decreasing by $30-40 for the shipment, when they were adding a "key" to the order!

    According to 3d, if there are multiple items in the cart, the algorithm adds the weights, but defaults the dimension to 1x1x1, regardless of what the actual dimensions are. At a minimum it would seem that the algorithm should calculate based upon the largest dimension in the cart, not default all dimensions down to 1x1x1.

    We will start adjustments today. "ships by itself" on large items, as well as tech support is telling us a workaround is to use the "predefined box" settings. Just a heads up. We have been with 3d for a number of years and had not realized this limitation. It is definitely a major issue for people that ship oversize 1 or oversize 2 packages.

    Cheers

  • #2
    Elimax , you had it right the first time. This is a major bug in their software. It is not a "limitation", it is a huge design flaw, which classifies it as a bug. I've been in software development over 36 years, and this has always been how something like this is classified. Whoever designed this obviously knows nothing about online selling or shipping. This is made far worse by the fact that this year all major shippers went to dimensional shipping calculations. 3dcart needs to address this as an immediate emergency fix.

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    • #3
      Elimax You're correct that Predefined boxes would be the way to go with this. The reasoning behind handling our dimensional shipping with the predefined boxes is that when we merely send the sum total dimensions there can be issues for extremely large orders. Predefined boxes allow us to specify the size of the boxes used so that the cart can accurately determine how many boxes are needed. A simple example would be an order with two items. Without predefined boxes, the cart would not know if the order was going to ship in one box or multiple boxes.

      Our KnowledgeBase article goes into this a bit as well explaining why we use Predefined boxes https://support.3dcart.com/Knowledge...order-shipment

      Feel free to let me know if you have any more questions!

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      • #4
        It also doesn't allow for fractional dimensions and doesn't take into account each of the flat rate options. I constantly eat shipping costs because of this. As far as not knowing if it ships by itself, there's a spot to check if an item ships by itself and if that isn't checked on an item why wouldn't the software pick up on the fact that the box that says "ships by itself" is not checked and "assume" that all items can fit into one box. I thought I could skirt around the issue of only one flat rate option by filling in the shipping dimensions of the boxes and hoping that USPS would pick it up in the calcuation but alas, you can't use fractions when entering box sizes. This has been an ongoing issue since I came onto 3dc and has never been addressed, although it has been mentioned on user voice and voted on....over two years ago. Shipping is a necessity for an ecommerce store. Accurate shipping calculations should also be a necessity for customers as well as your merchants.

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        • #5
          We have run into the same problem today. The second box gave the customer a shipping discount of $20.00 instead of charging more.
          http://www.pack-secure.com

          Packaging and Shipping Supply Specialists

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          • #6
            I will resurrect my own thread her as we finally have a way to audit our transactions accurately. As our volumes have increased the shipping algorithm is becoming more of an issue with approximately 15% of our orders calculating at least 20% off of the actual rates. Are others still experiencing this or are we an outlier?

            So here is a question for 3d: UPS charges me either the actual weight, or dimensional weight, whichever is greater. Why would the 3d cart algorithm not do the same? It seams rather straight forward. Example below:

            Actual 2lbs - 3x2x3 Dimensional = 1.55 - So Calculate = 2lbs
            Actual .5lb - 1x1x1 = Dimensional = .007 - So Calculate .5lbs
            Actual 2lbs - 16x18x16 = Dimensional = 33lbs - So Calculate 33 lbs.


            Weight sent to UPS should be 35.5 lbs. Currently, weight sent and rated is 4.5 lbs. I am not a programmer, but this doesn't seem like a calculation that should be that difficult to master for a cart......and yes compared to some of the most common carts, this does not appear to be the norm.



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            • #7
              @Elimax Are you specifying box sizes on the products and or, using the predefined boxes https://support.3dcart.com/Knowledge...order-shipment ? If so, we pass that information to UPS so they would be aware of the dimensions/weight and should price accordingly. If we dont have dimensions, 1x1x1 would be passed along with the weight, and so you could definitely get inaccurate rates.
              ----------------------------
              Gonzalo Gil
              3dCart Support
              800-828-6650 x111

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              • #8
                Better check that information as this is the bug we have been fighting for years, and your tech support says it is HOW THE SYSTEM is supposed to operate. Let me give you an exact example so you can understand the issue here: Please go to www.expedition-imports.com

                Add this sku to cart: https://expedition-imports.com/S515388 (This item is Bulky and oversize with dimensions and weights in system.)
                Use the shipping calculator and select CA, and use 94508 = Ground Rate will come out as $138.07

                Now go back and add this sku along with the other sku: https://expedition-imports.com/WAPD
                You should know have 2 items in your cart. The fender, and a little tiny piece with minimal weight and dimensions.
                Use the shipping calculator and select CA, and use 94508 = Ground Rate will come out as $31.72

                In reality, the rate should be $138.07, but my customer just checked out at $31.72, we have to contact the customer, explain our website can't calculate large packages and we need an additional $106.35

                As per your company this is normal and expected as the instant a second item goes into the cart, all dimensions stop getting transferred and only the actual weight is transferred. This is the same functionality as it was in 2016 when we first posted......and quite honestly is know why we are looking at other cart options as we simply don't have the manpower to be making these phone calls.

                Respectfully, Scott

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                • #9
                  You have 2 options:
                  1) Use "Item ships by itself" in which case, each item will pass the dimensions.
                  2) Use the predefined boxes.

                  Without using either, 3dcart would have no idea what dimensions to pass to UPS when you have multiple items in a cart.
                  ----------------------------
                  Gonzalo Gil
                  3dCart Support
                  800-828-6650 x111

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                  • #10
                    It doesn't NEED to pass the dimensions. It simply needs to pass the greater of DIMENSIONAL WEIGHT, or Actual Weight. That seems to be how most carts handle this....... We don't use pre-defined boxes as we cut them down and size them as needed in order to kill the dead space and save the customer $$. So you are saying if I upload every dimension possible in 1" increments up to max UPS sizing this will go away? Seems like a workaround that doesn't need to be if the algorithm simply calculates and passes dimensional weight?

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                    • #11
                      Item ships by itself will then overcharge the customer in our example, considering most orders average 10-20 line items, so 10-20 separate shipping calcs added together doesn't make sense.

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                      • #12
                        I see, the current setup doesn't work if you have unlimited size of boxes as you are making them on the spot, we'll investigate the calculation and see if its something that can be deployed, to be honest, this is the first time i hear that the 2 options given don't work for the merchant.
                        ----------------------------
                        Gonzalo Gil
                        3dCart Support
                        800-828-6650 x111

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                        • #13
                          I've simply updated all the weights for our products to be dimensional LxWxH/139. Export products into excel, make the calculations (If dimensional is less that actual etc.) and import.

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                          • #14
                            Yes that is what apparently needs to be done and IS done automatically in a vast majority of the carts. It's like I am back in the 1990's!

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