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Reference Guide

Pack by Weight

You will only see this tab if you selected the Pack by Weight option in: Menu> Shipping > Settings Tab > Packaging Rules Section > Box Packing field.

Pack by Weight

If you selected this option in the Box Packing field, you create boxes that will hold a certain max weight. When your customer places an order, the system will select the least number of boxes and the smallest size boxes automatically.

If you select Pack by Weight, it's still a good idea to enter values in the Fallback Package Dimensions field. If you forget to create boxes, or if you set the max weight in your boxes to zero, having Fallback Package Dimensions guarantees that the system will always have a backup box size.

Exclude Boxes Smaller than Product Dimensions The packaging rules allow the software to make its best guess about the box size(s) needed for an order. This checkbox is a final test to make sure that the estimated box is always larger than the largest product that will ship in that box.
Include Box Weight in Maximum Weight Calculation You may want to use this feature if you are using Box Weight. If you check this box the system essentially subtracts the weight of the box from the amount of weight the box can hold.

For example:

  • We have a box that weighs 10 pounds.
  • This box can hold a max of 100 pounds.
  • If you check this box, the system will consider this box at its max capacity when it contains 90 pounds of product(s).

Pack by Quantity

You will only see this tab if you selected the Pack by Quantity option in: Menu> Shipping > Settings Tab > Packaging Rules Section > Box Packing field.

Pack by Quantity

Pack by Quantity is most commonly used by companies that sell a lot of products that are the same size. For example, if you sell mostly DVDs, you could create a set of boxes that will hold 5 DVDs, 10 DVDs, etc. When your customer places an order, the system will select the least number of boxes and the smallest size boxes automatically.

If you select "Pack by Quantity", when you create boxes, you will set the max number of items that can fit in each box. However, it's still a good idea to enter values in the Fallback Package Dimensions field. If you forget to create boxes, or if you set the max items in your boxes to zero, having Fallback Package Dimensions guarantees that the system will always have a backup box size.

Exclude Boxes Smaller than Product Dimensions The packaging rules allow the software to make its best guess about the box size(s) needed for an order. This checkbox is a final test to make sure that the estimated box is always larger than the largest product that will ship in that box.

Pack by Cubic Volume

You will only see this tab if you selected the Pack by Cubic Volume option in:

Menu> Shipping > Settings Tab > Packaging Rules Section > Box Packing field.

Pack by Cubic Volume

Please see Dimensional Weight and Pack by Cubic Volume.

To use the Pack by Cubic Volume method, you must: set dimensions for your products (ideally all of them):

Menu > Catalog > Products tab > edit product > Product tab > Shipping Rules section > Shipping Dimensions field.

Note that Fallback Package Dimensions are only used with Pack by Weight and Pack by Quantity.

The shipping estimate can be affected if you use Pack by Cubic Volume and don't set the dimensions of a product. In this case, Miva Merchant assumes that the product has zero dimensions (takes up no space). The person who is picking the order will realize that extra boxes are needed, and the shipping charge would have to be changed after the customer completes checkout.

Default Product Dimensions:

If you are using Pack by Cubic Volume and you forget to set the dimensions on a product:

Menu> Catalog > Products tab > edit product > Product tab > Shipping Rules section > Shipping Dimensions field the values you enter in this field will be used by default.

Maximum Package Volume:
Maximum Package Dimension:

Dimensional Weight and Pack by Cubic Volume

Before 2005, most carriers charged by package weight. If you shipped a large but light weight package, your shipping cost was low, but the package size reduced the number of packages the vehicle could transport. This was great for shippers, but not so great for the carrier. Carriers wanted to charge more for large, light weight packages, and the method they came up with is called "Dimensional Weight". USPS sometimes calls this "Shape Based Postage Pricing".

Dimensional weight lets the carrier charge a minimum rate based on the size of the box. The carrier looks at the volume of a box and says: for a package this size, we want to charge you for 18 pounds of weight. If the box weighs less than 18 pounds, you still pay for an 18 pound box. If the box weighs more than 18 pounds, you pay a standard weight calculation rate. The carrier does all this with a magic number called the "dimensional factor". This number can vary depending on:

  • The carrier
  • Whether the shipment is domestic or international
  • The type of shipping service

The carrier takes the dimensions of the box and divides it by their "dimensional factor". For example, FedEx domestic shipping uses a dimensional factor of 166 cubic inches/pound.

If you use FedEx to domestic ship a box that is 10" x 10" x 10", the dimensional weight is: (10 x 10 x 10) / 166 = 6.02 pounds

The 6.02 pounds is rounded up to 7 pounds. FedEx charges you for a 7 pound box or the actual weight of the box, whichever is greater.

Pack by Cubic Volume

To use Pack by Cubic Volume, you must set dimensions on your products. Pack by Cubic Volume ignores boxes that you've created in your on-line store. Instead, it adds up the volume of products in the order and sends the total volume to the carrier as one imaginary box.

Technically, what Pack by Cubic Volume does is:

  1. Add up the volume of products in the order.
  2. Take the cube root of the total volume.
  3. Send the carrier an imaginary box with equal sides.
  4. The carrier calculates the dimensional weight of the imaginary box and that's your shipping rate.

If your carrier is using dimensional weight, you can use any of the Box Packing options:

  • Always Use the Fallback Package Dimensions
  • Pack by Weight
  • Pack by Quantity
  • Pack by Cubic Volume

Pack by Cubic Volume just gives you another option to experiment with so you can get the best shipping rates for your products.

warning Because Pack by Cubic Volume creates an "imaginary" box, you cannot use it with Box Weight.

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