I would like to see if Magento can be extended to handle a complex shipping system. I have a product mix that best be described as “ping pong balls and bowling balls”. Some products are very light, others are not. If an order is placed for a case of ping pong balls, the actual weight might be 3 or 4 lbs, but the dimensions of the box move the shipment into dimensional weight. UPS has a dimensional rate of 1 lb per 194 cubic inches of space. So, for UPS, a 12x12x12 inch box will be billed for 9 lbs in ship weight even if it weighs 6 lbs.
My current system assigns a physical or ship weight as well as a space required in cubic inches. During the shipping calculation, totals are computed for actual weights and dimensional weights. Which ever weight is higher is used to obtain a shipping quote from the carriers.
Could Magento be extended to include space requirements or dimensions so that dimensional weight could be calculated? Is there going to be a way to perform this boxing calculation and hand off the rate lookup to existing modules?
I would appreciate any thoughts on how to approach this.