Achieve Weight Based Packing with ELEX Stamps.com Shipping Plugin with USPS Postage for WooCommerce

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Weight-based packing is an efficient way of packing parcels when you ship raw materials in bulk. Different shipping services offer shipping rates based on the weight of the parcel. Stamps.com is the largest online vendor of USPS postage and uses USPS logistics unit for shipping let its user get shipping rates based on the total weight of the package. ELEX Stamps.com Shipping plugin with USPS Postage helps you achieve this form of packing form within your WooCommerce store.

Packing products in the right boxes are really important as you might end up paying from your side for the shipping charges. So packing based on weight can be a useful packing option, if you correctly figure out how much weight one box is going to accommodate. Let’s explore more about this packing process.

What is Weight Based Packing?

Weight-based packing is a packing process where the weight of the package is used to fetch the shipping rate. It is quite a simple way of packing items in boxes. This gives you the liberty to use boxes of any dimension and pack items based on weight and show shipping rates based on the total weight of the shipment. Let’s take a simple example, where there are 20 pounds of some product you want to get USPS shipping rates based on the weight only.

You can achieve this from within WooCommerce by using Stamps.com Shipping Plugin with USPS postage. For this, you need to select the option of the pack based on the weight in the Stamps.com packing settings. The illustration below shows how 20 Pounds of dog food can be packed in boxes of a maximum capacity of 10. To fetch the shipping rates, the plugin divides the total weight of the package equally based on a maximum weight you assign for one box. USPS machinable boxes have a limit of 25 pounds, which means the maximum weight you can assign to one box is 25 pounds. 

The Stamps.com shipping plugin gives you three packing options. Let’s take the above scenario in all three packing options available with the Stamps.com Sipping Plugin with USPS Postage.

  • Pack Item Individually
  • Pack in boxes with weights and dimensions
  • Calculate shipping based on the weight

Packing Item Individually

This packing process packs each item in separate boxes and thus calculating shipping rates based on the number of boxes used. This is a basic packing process and comes with the basic version of the plugin. The premium plugin has this feature too, as this proves to be handy when the store owner actually wants to charge the shipping rate for each item in the cart. The shipping rates with this option follow the weight or the dimension of the product. Of course, the products are packed in the most efficient package offered by USPS.

In the above example, where there are 4 packs of one item, this packing process shows the shipping rate separately for each of the boxes.  For instance, if shipping charges of one pack are $7.50, the total shipping charge calculated will be $7.50×4= $30. So this is helpful for stores where the sender wants to charge for each box.

Pack in Boxes with Weight and Dimensions

This packing process makes packing convenient for someone who uses custom boxes for sending the products. As a matter of fact, Stamps.com ships a maximum of 70 pounds per package, you can use a custom package that accommodates up to 70 pounds of the product you are sending. To make it more flexible you can assign n number of custom boxes to suit your packing standards.

For the above example, you need to assign a box that can accommodate all of the product and does not cross the weight limit of 70 pounds. You can consider the weight and the dimension of the product to assign boxes. The shipping rates follow the custom boxes you and USPS returns a shipping rate for all the packages used to pack all items. In case there is a product that does fit in any of the boxes you assign, the plugin chooses the most suitable form the available boxes by USPS.

Calculate Shipping Based on Weight

This packing process includes packing based on the weight of the product. This does not require you to assign boxes of your own. It requires you to assign a weight that you want to put in each box. Since USPS offers shipping rates based on the weight of the package, you can use any box to pack the specified product. The rates are completely based on the weight of the product.

This is one of the most economical ways of packing parcels when you ship products in bulk. Also if the product you are selling can easily be divided into parts by weight, this packing process proves out to be a convenient and real packing solution for you. For instance, you sell cotton or textile where you can put them in a box based on weight.

Setting Up Weight Based Packing in ELEX Stamps.com Shipping Plugin with Print Label

To set up weight based packing and calculating shipping rates through Stamps.com Shipping plugin you need have the premium version of the plugin. The basic version has only individual packing option. This option fetches USPS shipping rates based on the total weight of the package. This option allows you to pack the product in boxes with the desired dimension and get shipping rates based on the weight only.

To select this parcel packing option as ‘Calculate shipping based on weight’, navigate to your WordPress Dashboard > WooCommerce> Settings> Shipping> Stamps.com> Packing. In the packing tab select the weight-based shipping from the drop-down. Once you select this option, you get a separate set of settings. You need to set the options that appear with the most appropriate value and options. You need to set:

Box Maximum Weight- Maximum Box weight is the weight limit of one box. The value you enter here is the weight one box is going to have. For instance, a value of 10 means the plugin fills each box up to 10 pounds and move to the next box. So if the total weight of the products is 25 pounds, the plugin packs it in 3 different packages with 10 pounds in the first two and 5 in the third one. Further, it fetches the USPS shipping rate for these three boxes and the weight they have.

Packing Process- There are three packing options available in the drop-down that appears in this option. You can choose to pack the heavier item first, the lighter item first or purely divided by weight. Each of these options can be based on the weights of products to be shipped.

For instance, consider weights of 1, 1.5, 3,2.5,1.2,1.3,0.5 pounds to be packed in boxes which carry a maximum weight of 3 pounds. If you choose to pack heavier item first, the product having a weight of 3 pounds will be packed in the first box, followed by 2.5 pounds and 0.5 pounds in the second box. The third box will have 1.5 pounds and 1.3 pounds leaving space for 0.2 pounds. Finally, the left out the weight of 1 pound moves to the fourth box.

Similarly, if you choose to pack lighter items first, the first box is filled with the products with weights 0.5, 1, and 1.5-pound products. The second box will take products with 1.2 and 1.3 pounds and the third box takes the left out product of 3 pounds. As you saw that in this case packing the boxes with lighter items first takes only three boxes while packing the heavier item first takes four such boxes. So it’s necessary to figure out the best packing process based on the products you have in your inventory and the shopping pattern of your customers.

Box Measurement Unit- If you want to have the measurement units as per WooCommerce settings, tick the box there. If you leave it unchecked the default measurements will be taken into account. The default is LBS/IN.

weight based packing

Select weight based parcel packing option

Breaking down the option available

Box Maximum Weight- Here you enter the maximum weight each box is going to have. For instance, a value of 10 in the box given, means each box will have a maximum weight of 10 pounds and USPS shipping rates follow for 10 pounds only. So in the above example where the total weight is 20 pounds and if you have a packing box that can have a maximum of 10 pounds, the plugin returns shipping rates for two boxes with 10 pounds in each of them. This packing process becomes more effective when you ship raw materials or ship in large quantities. In the case of commercial parcels, you can get shipping rates for boxes of any dimension and a maximum weight of 70 pounds.

Commercial Parcel: Any mail piece to be sent via USPS, may not measure more than 108 inches in length and the girth combined. This is necessary for all services except for USPS Retail Ground and Parcel Select. Length is the measurement of the longest dimension and girth is the circumference of the thickest part perpendicular to the length. Maximum allowed weight for commercial parcels is 70 pounds.

In the case of machinable parcels, the parcels which can be processed by USPS Service equipment, the maximum weight per parcel cannot exceed 25 pounds per parcel. As the machinable box is less expensive, you can go for a machinable box. These boxes must not be larger than 27 inches in length x 17 inches in width x 17 inches in height.

Packing Process

With shipping rates based on weight, you get to use boxes of your choosing. USPS charges for the minimum weight assigned in the settings. Now comes the most interesting part of using this packing method, which is related to the sequence of filling the box. As discussed before, the plugin provides you three ways of filling boxes up to the assigned maximum weight per box. You have to select one of the options available. the three options available are:

Pack heavier item first- Choosing this packs the heavier item first in the box. For instance, consider 5 products with respective weights of 2, 5,4,3, and 1 pound and you have to fill a box with a maximum weight of 15 pounds. So the process of packing heavier item first will pack will start filling the box with 5 pounds item at the bottom followed by the lighter items.

Pack lighter item first- This option is the opposite of the previous one. Considering the above example, the packing will take place with the 1 pound item at the bottom of the package. Followed by the heavier ones.

Purely divided by weight- This option pack the box with a uniform distribution of weight throughout the box starting from the bottom of the box. This may not follow any specific pattern o filling the box while filling it the specified maximum weight.

So once the boxes are filled, the plugin fetches live shipping rates from USPS for the total weight of the packages. A wise and informed packing process can save you a lot of money. Before choosing any of these options you should do a complete research of the products and their weights. Come up with a strategy after you study the shopping habits of your customers.

About The Plugin

Closing Comments

Stamps.com is a leading online USPS postage vendor. With a Stamps.com account, you get access to the discounted postage charges. Usually, these discounted postage rates are available to high volume postage users through USPS. So this moving to Stamps.com can be a profitable choice because no matter how many shipments you ship, you’ll always get the USPS postage at discounted rates.

Weight-based packing with the plugin is one of the most attractive features. A proper choice of box size and proper study of product weight will save a lot of shipping cost. And a reduced amount of shipping rates will attract more customers to your store. Most importantly a lesser shipping rate reduces cart abandonment to a great extent. I hope you now know all if and buts of weight-based packing and are ready to set a weight based packing through the Stamps.com Integration by ELEX.

For more information and features of the plugin visit the product page or check out the documentation. Or contact our Online Support for pre-sales and technical inquiries. Happy Selling!

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