3dcart has several different options for controlling how shipping rates will apply to your customers. Shipping is configured in two separate sections that work closely together - Carrier Settings & Shipping Methods.
In this article we will discuss Carrier Settings and the various configuration options available therein.
To access Carrier Settings from your 3dcart Online Store Manager, go to Settings =>Shipping.
You will see an area labeled with a large number 1 and "Carrier Settings" Below this, you will see a button labeled "Enter Settings" Click on this button to review your available settings for Shipping Carriers
These settings are:
- Real Time Shipping Location
Clicking on the + symbol for Real Time Shipping Location will allow you to enter the location from which your packages will be sent. This location will be factored in as the Origin point for the calls the store will make to the shipping carrier for Real-Time Shipping calculation.
If you're shipping from drop-shipping services instead of from your own warehouse location, we also give you the option of setting up Drop Shippers. Click here for more information on this process.
Clicking on the + symbol for "Shipping Settings" will expand this series of options:
- Auto Select Shipping
This setting applies when you have only one shipping method enabled for your entire store. Rather than having the cart take your customer to the "Select Shipping" page of the checkout process to redundantly select the only available option; this setting will automatically select the available shipping option and skip that portion of the checkout process altogether.
- Allow "Shipping will be calculated later"
In some cases, your configured shipping methods may not be applicable to the customer's circumstances, whether it is due to their particular area of delivery or purchased items in general. For example, you may have shipping methods that only apply to a maximum weight range of 150lbs while your customer is ordering 200lbs. In a case like this, no shipping method would apply to the purchase and the cart would generate an error stating that no shipping method could be found, halting the order process. This setting would allow for a simple fail-over message stating that shipping will be calculated later in order to allow the checkout process to continue. Then, after the order is placed, you can contact and charge the customer separately for shipping as needed.
- Free Shipping - Domestic Only:
You may have a promotion that offers free shipping to the customer or perhaps an individual item that is specifically configured for free shipping. However, for economical reasons, you may not want to absorb the cost of shipping internationally when free shipping applies. Enabling this setting will limit the cart to only apply free shipping when the "ship to" country entered by the customer is domestic to whichever country you're shipping from
(as entered in the "Real Time Shipping Location" setting mentioned above.)
- Free Shipping - Exclude Add. Options
By default, in a case where free shipping is applicable to the order, the cart will also display all of the available (paid for) shipping methods that apply to the order. Some merchants use this functionality as a way of showing their customers what they're saving in shipping costs by allowing the customer to compare "Free Shipping" with the alternate rates. However, other merchants may want to minimize the potential for confusion and not display the alternate rates. By checking this option's box the cart will ONLY show free shipping and none of the other options.
- Exclude free shipping items from real time calculation
When enabled, items that are marked for Free Shipping will not have their rates calculated for real-time shipping calculation.
- Min. order amount for free shipping: Use this field to specify a conditional order amount that woul honor individual free shipping on items. if the order contains an item that is marked for free shipping, but the order total does not meet this number, free shipping will not apply to the order.
- Use Residential Rates (UPS / FEDEX)
FedEx and UPS have different rates when shipping to residential and commercial addresses. In many cases, the commercial rates are less expensive than residential rates. However, you may find in some cases you won't be able to ship to your customer's addresses using the commercial rate (which they've already paid for) and you as the merchant have to absorb the difference. Enabling this setting will force the cart to err on the side of caution, and display ONLY residential rates for UPS and FedEx shipping methods.
- Allow Address Type Selection
As mentioned above, FedEx and UPS (as well as other carriers) have different shipping rates for residential and commercial addresses. In the previous example, the setting would force the cart to always display and use residential shipping rates for UPS and FedEx. This setting will enable your customer the choice of selecting which type of address the order is being shipped to. When toggled, the cart will display an additional drop down menu at the bottom of the Shipping Information screen where the customer can select their address type.
- Max Box Weight (lbs)
When calculating shipping, carriers will charge for the total weight of the order as well as the total number of containers used to send the order. This setting allows you to specify the maximum amount (in lbs) that a shipping container can potentially hold before the cart splits the order into two or more containers. As an example, let's say you specify 75lbs as the maximum weight per box. If an order comes in and the total weight is 100lbs, the shipping calculation will calculate for two containers. In this example, the order will be shipped in one large box to its capacity and the remaining 25lbs will be shipped in a separate - albeit smaller - container.
Even though the label says "(lbs)" in its title, be aware that the actual denomination of maximum box weight is dicated by your shipping carrier. Click here for more informaiton.
- Use Predefined boxes - Configure Boxes
As opposed to using the maximum box weight setting mentioned above, this setting allows you to specify a series of boxes with their own pre-defined dimensions. The store will then select the applicable box(es) based on the volume of the items being ordered. Click here for more information on using this method.
- Hide Shipping Preview
When a customer places an item in their cart, they are taken to a view cart page where they may review the contents of their cart, apply any applicable coupons or simply continue shopping your store. One of the options also available in the view cart page is a shipping preview where your customers can input their zip code to get a quick view of the shipping methods. While this feature only works for US based zip codes, it allows your customers a chance to preview shipping costs. Uncheck this box in the Shipping Settings to hide this option if you so choose.
- Preview all shipping methods
If you choose to use the shipping preview function mentioned above, this setting will enable the cart to show ALL of the available shipping methods rather than your first available one.
- Enable International Shipping Preview
If checked, this setting will expand the Shipping Preview function to also allow the preview of international addresses by adding a selectable country and state field to the shipping preview section.
- Calculate Shipping By Value After Discounts
If you are using the Custom Shipping by Value Option - which allows you to set flat rates based on the order's overall total - enabling this checkbox will calculate the flat rate shipping based on the order's value after discounts have been applied.
The second half of the Shipping Settings page is for your shipping carrier credentials. Your 3dcart store can also be integrated with the five major shipping carriers in order to allow your customers to receive their shipping calculations in real-time. When these are set up correctly, the shipping rates will be taken directly from the carrier's individual API interface and return an up-to-date cost for the shipping on the order.
In order to successfully and correctly use the real-time shipping calculation functionality and print labels from the 3dcart Online Store Manager, you MUST have your own specific credentials listed for each carrier you plan to offer on your store.