[ic] Multi box shipping

Mike Heins mike at perusion.com
Tue Nov 25 18:34:40 EST 2003

Quoting Ron Phipps (rphipps at reliant-solutions.com):
> Hello,
> Has anyone built shipping tags that work in a multi box situation?
> Here's the deal.  A client ships parts each weighing an ounce to 100lbs.
> I have identified the following scenarios:
> 1. Total weight is less than max weight for shipmode
> 2. Total weight is more than max weight for shipmode, but each item
> alone does not weight more than the max weight
> 3. Total weight is more than max weight for shipmode, but 1 or more
> items along in the order weight more then max weight
> Scenario 1 is easy, you price it like IC does now based on total weight
> of the order
> Scenario 2 is more difficult because you need to figure out how many
> boxes (not taking into account dimensions) and the weight of each box.
> You want to fill the first box to as close as max weight as possible,
> then the second box would be the left overs (or there could be 3 boxes,
> 2 being as close to full as possible and the 3rd being the leftovers).
> In this situation it's almost as though you need to arrange the parts
> being ordered into containers and then price each container separately
> then the total shipping price is made up from that.  I'm not sure how to
> write the algorithms to determine which parts go in which container.
> Scenario 3 is simple, loop over the cart and find out if any parts are
> over the max weight.  If they are you cannot ship the order and special
> arrangements need to be made.
> I guess I'm looking for some input on how others have handled this
> situation.  In the meantime I'm going to be doing some studying on
> algorithms to determine best fit.

I did a Vend::OptimalPack box-packer once for a beverage company. It had
to fit 12-oz and liter bottles in different boxes, etc. You have to have
a database of what each box-type is, what items fit in, etc.

I handled it by making each box an SKU and doing a transparent order
into the shopping cart. (That is where the mv_transparent_item part
of IC came from.) That takes care of adding the weight to the order.

I don't think we have the old archives searchable anymore -- I think
that module might be lost now. But it wouldn't be too hard to
recreate if you put your mind to it.

Mike Heins
Perusion -- Expert Interchange Consulting    http://www.perusion.com/
phone +1.765.647.1295      <mike at perusion.com>

I am a great believer in luck, and I find that the harder I work
the more luck I have. -- Thomas Jefferson

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