How can I set up my store to use Australia Post shipping methods?
For our merchants located in Australia, 3dcart is compatible with real-time shipping calculation provided through Australia Post. This article will detail how to set up your store for Australia Post shipping calculations as well as special considerations that need to be made when using this particular carrier.
Available Australia Post Shipping Methods
Your 3dcart store will have the following Australia Post Shipping Methods available:
Australia Post Restrictions
Please be aware of restrictions which Australia Post has in place for sending packages. More information on these restrictions can be found here.
3dcart Product Weights and Dimensions
As mentioned in a previous article, 3dcart's software uses neither metric or standard measurement units. Instead, the numbers listed in your product weights and dimensions are simply numbers. Ultimately it is up to the real-time shipping carrier to determine what the denomination will be for the order (i.e. U.S. based carriers will calculate "2" as 2lbs whereas European carriers may calculate "2" as 2g, or 2kg). This is something you'll want to keep in mind when setting up your store for Australia Post.
3dcart's integration for Australia Post is made possible via API. When your store is set up with Australia Post, a call is made to the API with the order's point of origin (your store's or drop shipper's AU postal code), the order's destination (the postal code it's being sent to), the order's total weight, and the package's estimated dimensions (when applicable). All of this information is then used to return a shipping rate calculation directly from Australia Post.
It is important to note that - although Australia Post returns most rates based on centimeter measurements and kilogram weights - the API which is used for calculation expects these measurements to be sent in millimeter and gram units by default.
When you set up Australia Post on your 3dcart store (see next section) you are given the option of specifying whether the sent weight and dimensions are millimeter and grams (default), or whether you'd like to use centimeters and kilograms. This is important to consider as it will affect how your products should be set up in the store.
When configuring your products on the 3dcart Online Store Manager, please be sure to enter your product weights and dimensions in accordance with the dimensions settings you choose on the AU Post module. For example, if you elect to go with the default grams/millimeter increments on the Australia Post shipping setting, then your products should reflect this (i.e. a 1kg item should be listed with 1000 in its weight field). On the other hand, if you go with the alternate kilograms/centimeter setting, you can configure your products accordingly (i.e. a 1kg item is listed with 1 in its weight field).
Weight will be the total combined weight of all items on the order.
Australia Post Settings
In the following steps, we'll outline how to add Australia Post to your store:
*As mentioned previously, the API which is used to return rates for AU Post expects grams and millimeter dimensions to be sent form the store, by default. However, in this setting you can select whether to use this default action or if you'd prefer to use kilograms and centimeters for your store. Just remember to make sure your products reflect whatever choice you make here.
Your Australia Post shipping module is now configured for use, but there are still a few more settings to change before you move onto adding the individual shipping methods.
Additional Shipping Settings
First, let's go over setting the maxmimum box weight setting. While still in the Shipping Settings page, look for the "Package Settings" section and click on it's Hide/Show + icon.
This setting will control how many boxes are used for the order when the total weight of the order exceeds the amount entered in the field. In other words, if the order's weight is within this amount; shipping will be calculated as one box. However, if the order's weight goes over the number entered here, shipping will be calculated for a second or third box as needed.
Now, even though the field says "(Lbs)" it still follows the same "neither standard nor metric" rule for 3dcart measurements. So your Max Box Weight should reflect grams (or kilograms) if you are using Australia Post.
As an alternative, you can set up and use predefined box measurements instead using the steps outlined here. However, as with Max. Box Weight, the same rule applies; set all measurements to reflect your AU Post settings of grams or kilograms.
Also, if you are using drop shippers, please review the Drop Shipper article, located here.
Once these step are complete, you can proceed to the next section where you will set up the actual Australia Post shipping methods.
Adding Australia Post Shipping Methods
After you add the methods, you may click on their "Settings" and "Advanced Settings" links to set your preferences/restrictions like weight ranges, customer groups, etc.
Remember, the store sends dimension information to the API based on whatever settings you specify in the AU Post module described above.
For more complete information on setting up your shipping methods, please see our tutorial located here.
Congratulations! Your store is now set up to use Australia Post's Real Time Shipping Calculations.