Any plans for addressing this tough problem for us who ship large items common carrier (read furniture). Not everyone who sells on the web sell little items that can be shipped UPS/FEDEX/DHL. The complexity of freight shipping is a barrier to entry to large item ecommerce. If you can simplify this process some you would earn a whole lot more users who are deperately looking for this type of solution. It is a glaring blind spot in the ecommerce world.
Proof of Delivery
Bill of Lading
Because I am so nice I will even give a good place to start to find a partner for this...They are definitely the most far along in their web integration.
The Yellow frieght web API calculator. Maybe there are better solutions that include good other carriers. However this is a good place to start as they are a national shipper and most common carrier shipping prices and quotes will be close to theirs.
I sell Automotive parts (hoods, bumper covers, ground effects). These have to ship via freight. Dimensions are important (e.g., 79 inches x 62 inches x 8 inches) as is weight (40 pounds) as is number of items (a la combined shipping). Top Load Only and No Forks are two frequently used phrases as well.
The UPS freight website would be an excellent example of how NOT to implement a shipping module.
My shipments often go to Canada from the US, which requires 1) Bill of Lading, 2) invoice, 3) 3 copies of the Customs form.
Yes, you reminded me of info I forgot in my 1st post. Even if you didn’t integrate freight shipping, if you could reserve some spots in the database on the product set up screen it would ease integration in the future.
As just pointed out the fields/tables needed that are most important right now are:
Vendor zip code (for drop shippers)
Ability to tell system that 1-3 products go UPS/FedEx/DHL (so do that calculation) and 4+ items go freight (so do that calculation).
# of items per pallet (have a global pallet weight parameter but also be able to override that per product because some items use larger/smaller than standard pallets)
Some items we will need for the future (as the freight industry follows UPS lead of dimensional weight)
L, W, H of carton or product
I’m in the same boat - we’re a small furniture / wood crafts manufacturer and I’ve just created a website based on Magento that will allow us to sell to small retailers. We have a minimum order of $500 and for most of our items that would require delivery by freight. Right now the only solution I’ve found is to use Magento just to generate the PO, and then we call the customer back with a quote for freight charges. It’s really inelegant and seems to have turned away a bunch of potential customers.
The other solution I’m thinking of doing would involve using table rates. We already have each of our items’ pallet size, so I would just put that in the space for weight and then use that to calculate freight rates. This would require constant updating though as freight rates change frequently. Not a very elegant solution either, but it makes things easier for the customer (at the cost of more work for us).
Here’s hoping that someone is able to work up a solution for those of us who can’t ship items via UPS/FedEx. Until then, Magento is really nothing more than a way to organize and online catalog and generate the occaisional PO - not really the complete ecommerce solution many of us are looking for.