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Want advice on shipping and dimensional weights

KeriMorgretKeriMorgret Member
in Help edited July 2009
I saw in a thread a few days ago dimensional weights are not supported. I'm wondering the best way to approach my situation. I am a new FoxyCart user, have browsed the forums, and apologize if I've missed this particular issue. I'm using WordPress with the Thesis, and have reviewed the wiki integration page for Wordpress.

We sell fiberglass hulls for model ships, as well as small, compact accessories for these ships. The ship hulls are light weight (7-8 pounds shipped), but long (most are 4-6 feet long). We have three sizes of boxes for shipping. The smallest size box will ship USPS parcel post fine, but the two bigger sizes hit their balloon/dimensional limits, and get charged at the 20 pound rate. The three boxes don't count as dimensional weight for UPS and Fed Ex ground, but they do count as dimensional weight for air freight (3 day air was $45, 4 day ground was $15, as an example). The accessories we sell are compact and can fit into flat-rate shipping containers, but if they're ordered with a hull, we'd put those items in the long box with the hull.

One idea I had to get around the dimensional weight issue is to see if I could use two different weights for a product, depending on shipping method and carrier. If someone wants the hull shipped by air, I'd code the weight as 20 pounds. If they wanted it shipped by ground, I'd code it at the actual weight (say 7 pounds). Is this possible? If not, I'll likely put a note saying that shipping by air is much more expensive, and the customer can contact us directly for a quote (I'm new, but am assuming there is some way to do custom shipping or invoicing charges). I'd also need to disable the USPS option for our two larger sizes of boxes.

Can I write a condition that says if a hull is ordered and items that would normally ship flat-rate are ordered, to not charge shipping for the small items, or to just charge a couple of dollars handling fee?

I'm thinking I'll need categories here, but am not sure best practices on those. I have only just started installing today. If some of these questions have been answered elsewhere and I just didn't understand that it was an answer, I apologize and ask that you throw the appropriate link my way. I'm looking forward to SuperShip being released!
  • lukeluke FoxyCart Team
    Hello KariMorgret.

    Thank you for your post. I wish I had better news for you or good path to a solution, but unfortunately I do not. We've had a lot of discussions about what exactly SuperShip will include and part of that is the whole "china dolls" idea of figuring out how products can fit into boxes in a way that makes sense and will work for every vendor out there. What you'd detailed here is just one of thousands of unique challenges that we have to find a single solution for. Unfortunately, that solution won't come any time soon.

    You've probably already done this, but if you search for the forum for the overload and override methods (described here: you might be able to hijack the shipping rate calculator and determine your own flat rates via JavaScript after you inspect the JSON cart object.

    That's not ideal and will take some custom hacking, but that combined with various categories for the products you have, should hopefully get you close to what you want. One thing you may also want to try is using jQuery's onAjaxComplete (search the forums for that) and inspecting the values the live rates return and then hide and/or add to/remove dollar amounts to the returned values based on the products in the cart.

    I wish I had a better answer for you. These are the types of case studies we'll be looking into with greater detail when we get closer to tackling Super Ship.
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