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Changing Shipping Provider

Thread began 1/18/2010 1:50 pm by jebrandon343719 | Last modified 4/08/2010 12:36 pm by Eric Mittman | 2857 views | 20 replies |

jebrandon343719

Changing Shipping Provider

I know there must be a thread out there for this - just cannot find it!

With Powerstore, I want to change the shipping provider to an Australian Company. They can provide real-time quotes, so I image this will be easy enough to integrate.

I jus cannot find any documentation on "How to change a Shipping Provider". The support for e-cart does show you how to change 'gateway' but not shipping.

Can you help??

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Eric Mittman

There is no guide for applying your own shipping to the PowerStore but the idea is similar to changing out the payment gateway if you are using one of the supported providers.

Are you planning on using eCart to add in support for Australia Post? If so then you can just add the shipping quote server behavior to the confirm page and configure it to meet your needs. So long as you do this and have the other shipping options disabled then you should be able to use Australia Post instead of the others.

If you are not using eCart to add Australia Post then you will need to implement the shipping quote code for your provider in a custom fashion. This would require you to come up with the code and add it to the confirm page to get the shipping amount. You would then need to craft the shipping charge rule to work with the value you are getting back from your shipping quote.

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jebrandon343719

Using Australia post as alias

Thanks, I was wondering if I could use the Australia Post server behaviour.
The shipping is actually with another company.
I am hoping to use aust Post and then update the XML server name to other company.
I will need to add length, width and height from somewhere.
E-cart calculates TotalWeight, but how can I include these other dimensions for each product in the order?

Attached is the instructions I have from the Courier service.

Any direction with this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

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Eric Mittman

It looks like your instructions did not get uploaded. I'm not sure that I will be able to offer much assistance but I will definitely take a look and see if I can make any suggestions.

Adding in the length, width, and height will be a little more involved. You would need to start with modifying your products table to include the columns for these values. Once you have done that you will need to make use of DataAssist to update the admin pages for inserting and updating products. You will need to add in form fields to collect this info and update it.

Once you have done all of that you will then need to modify your cart object to have these columns. Finally you will need to update the product details page to edit the add to cart on this page and associate the new columns with values from the rs.

This is a bit of work but it is something that can be done, it will just take a little bit of effort to get it in place. Once you have the values in the cart you could then make use of them in your shipping quote code.

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jebrandon343719

Mostly done

I have added items to database and modified all admin pages. So I just need to add to the cart - I should be able to work that out. thanks.
I am unable to upload the file- exceeds the limits. If you are interested I put it on my server ship.pdf

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Eric Mittman

Glad to hear that you have come so far. I have looked over the document that you have for the shipping and it seems very straight forward. The idea is that you pass along the values for the package to ship as URL parameters when contacting the service. The service will then respond with the rate or an error message.

I think the biggest thing for you to work out will be how you determine the package size to ship. If you make a request for each item then you could potentially have many quotes for the same order. If you make the request once for all items to ship you will need to calculate the dimensions of the package on the fly and use these in shipping quote request.

I think you should do this all with a single package. To make this easier after you add in your columns to the cart for the dimensions you should add in some calculated columns to hold the accumulated dimensions for that line item. This would multiply the particular dimension by the quantity so that you can calculate the entire dimensions for that line item.

Once you have done that you can just accumulate the dimensions based on the total of these calculated columns. You would then pass in the accumulated dimensions for all the items in the cart.

When it comes to sending the info to the server you should make use of cURL to do this, then you can capture the response to get the value for the quote. You can see an example of what cURL calls to servers look like in some of the eCart source files.

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jebrandon343719

Large items pose a problem

Hi,
I think I'll have to get a quote per item because some the items for sale are very large and I need to add additional delivery charges when an item exceeds a particular weight.
Do I request a delivery quote from the cart page in this instance?

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Eric Mittman

This seems a little more complex to return a quote for each item but it should be doable. I think it would be a good idea to do this on the cart page. You could work it in so that you can see a shipping quote price for each line item in the cart, then a total shipping at the end.

One thing to think about is that you will need to gather some basic details from the user about their location to have an accurate shipping quote.

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jebrandon343719

Your suggestions

It has been a while, I decided to go back to your original suggestion and put in confirm page.
I cannot get a response from my script. I put it all in the confirm page so I could manage it better.
I dont know if I am getting a reponse, nor, do I know where to put the returned quote.
My code starts at line 358

I'd appreciate, if you could tell me if i'm on the right track here and how I get the shipping quote to display.
Thanks

Attached Files
confirm.zip
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Eric Mittman

It looks like you are working with a custom shipping implementation. You should create a testing script with your code to see if you are getting a good response from your provider. I'm not familiar with the provider you using so I'm not sure how you ensure that you are sending the information successfully and getting a valid response. You should refer to your shipping providers development documentation to get this info.

Once you have tested you script and can confirm that you are getting back a valid value you can then store that amount in a session variable and setup a new shipping charge rule to work with this new session variable.

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