AuctionInc Launches Significant Enhancement for Accurately Determining Package Count

November 16, 2012

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AuctionInc is proud of our capabilities for estimating accurate shipping rates, especially for orders which contain multiple items and may or may not require multiple boxes.  We are confident that our products have for many years been “best of breed” in this area, ever since we developed our original calculator for eBay.
We are now pleased to announce a significant enhancement for accurately determining package count across all our products which support item dimensions (i.e., all but our Mals cart plug-in): 
Sellers may now configure (or send, in our XS API) their maximum box dimensions, complementing our existing support for maximum box weight. Together, these two settings fully describe the largest box you use for shipping.
As with maximum weight, this setting can be differentially configured for each shipping service you offer.
The effect of this is that AuctionInc’s packaging engine now has significantly more accuracy in determining when to “split” to the next package and thus determining the appropriate number of boxes necessary for you to pack the items in your order.
Previously, our packaging engine would split when either the seller’s maximum box weight or the carrier service’s maximum weight or volume was reached.  This is still the case if you choose not to utilize our new configuration option.  But if the largest box you have available for shipping contains less volume than the carrier service supports (which is likely), this setting allows you to take that into account. It also allows you to take into account your particular box shape.  This new setting will be particularly helpful if you sell larger, lighter items, where the volume of your box is likely to be reached before your weight limit is.
As we determine a shipping rate for each shipping service you offer, our packaging engine will use your configured maximum box dimensions to determine if and when an additional box is necessary in a variety of ways:
  • if the total volume of your items exceeds the available volume of your largest box;
  • if any single item dimension exceeds any single dimension of your largest box;
  • if the total of the smallest dimensions of your items exceeds the smallest dimension of your largest box.
With this additional setting, our engine will move to an additional box when any of the conditions above are met, or your maximum box weight is reached, or the maximum weight or volume supported by the carrier service is reached. 
Together with our support for multiple ship origins in the same order, ability to flag each item as packed separately or together, accounting for pack material weight, “on-demand” services, and a host of other configuration options, this enhancement adds another major notch in our capabilities for providing sellers and customers accurate shipping estimates in the ecommerce shopping experience.
Our ShopCart, ShipCalc, and SS (Single Seller) API customers will find this new configuration setting on their Carrier Settings page. Our XS (integrator) API customers may utilize our new schema additions to include these values. We have also released a new version of our PHP Toolkit which supports these additions.
Please let us know of any questions or comments you may have.

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