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Understanding FedEx WooCommerce Shipping Plugin Packing Methods

This particular article will help you understand how the WooCommerce FedEx Shipping Plugin’s box packing algorithm. You can make use of this guide to save a lot of shipping costs. This way you can manage your orders in a more efficient way.

The process of packing a single item into a box and then shipping it by using FedEx is an easy task. Unfortunately, when you need to ship multiple items, this process may become quite complex and sometimes confusing. Problems usually come up when the WooCommerce owners lack the understanding of how their items would be packed into the boxes. As a result, many of them fail to minimize the shipping cost and end up with packages that are not optimized. Store owners need to find a solution to this issue in order to run a successful business. Luckily, one of the easiest solutions to this issue is to use the WooCommerce FedEx Shipping plugin.

This plugin allows users to optimally pack their products with just a few clicks. You don’t have to manually set up each package or determine the cost for each one of them. You just have to choose the suitable parcel packing method and define the packing rules. Doing this will ensure a more smooth and easy box packing process.

FedEx WooCommerce Shipping plugin

You may sell products with similar physical attributes or products of different shapes. Nevertheless, when it comes to optimizing the packages it is always better to have the desired boxes ready. Doing this will help you plan the packing process beforehand. If you carefully look at the image given below, you would notice that the FedEx WooCommerce Shipping plugin offers quite a lot of FedEx boxes. These boxes have pre-defined dimension and a weight limit to them.

fedex boxes

You can refer this article to know more about the various FedEx boxes. If you have a product that cannot fit into the FedEx boxes then you can create your own custom box. However, you would be able to select the custom box only if you have chosen the “Pack into boxes with weights and dimensions”.

There are three parcel packing methods in the FedEx WooCommerce Shipping plugin:

  1. Pack into boxes with weights and dimensions
  2. Pack items individually
  3. Recommended: Weight based, calculate shipping based on weight

Pack into boxes with weights and dimensions

In the image given above, you can see that we have selected “Pack into boxes with weights and dimensions”. Now let us take an example to understand how the items are packed when we select this packing method.

You have defined a custom box that has a dimension of 5x5x3 (length, breadth, and height). Now you have to ship 5 products where each product has a dimension of 5x5x1. In this case, the plugin will pack the first three items into the first box and will pack the other two items in another box. If the all the five products have different dimensions then they will be packed in the similar way but keeping the dimension in check. Please note that the weight limit would also play an important role while packing the items into the boxes. So, the plugin would pack the items without crossing the weight limit.

Pack items individually

This is the most simple way of packing items or products into the boxes. Let us assume that you have five products and each one of them has different weights and dimensions. If you choose to pack items individually then the plugin will consider each item separately and will pack them into separate boxes. However, the plugin would choose each box based on the weight and dimension of individual products.

packing method

The plugin will add all the shipping cost of each box and will show the total shipping cost on the Cart/Checkout page. For example, if you have a product that costs $22 and the customer orders two quantity then the total cost would show up as $44 ($22+$22).

Weight-based packing method

packing method

In the image given above, you can see that there is an option to define the maximum weight of the individual package. Here we have defined the maximum weight as 40lbs. As soon as the weight of the entire package crosses this value, the plugin will automatically select another box. You can further notice that you can choose the packing process as well. Under this option you have three self-explanatory sub options – ‘Pack heavier items first’, ‘Pack lighter items first’ and ‘Pack purely divided by weight’. However, you need to be careful while choosing any one of the given options as it might affect the shipping rates as well.

The weight-based packing is the recommended shipping method because of certain valid reasons. One of the strongest reasons is that this packing method gives cheaper rates in most cases. You can check out the following video that compares the Weight-based and Pack items individually packing methods.

In this video, if you have only one item in the cart, the rates are the same. However, when you increase the quantity of the product, the rates differ by a larger value. Another reason why this particular parcel packing method is better than the other packing method is that it automatically chooses the box irrespective of the dimension. For instance, if you are selling a cotton-stuffed toy then the ‘weight-based’ is a better choice as it will calculate the rates based solely on the weight of the entire shipment.

Packing multiple items separately

Let us take an example and try to create two separate shipments for two separate products.

cart page

In the Edit Order page, you would be able to see the following section. Here you can define the weight and dimensions and even choose the shipping service.

create shipment

If your customer requests to send one of the items by some other FedEx service, you can change the service here. And after you have specified the FedEx services, you can further create the shipment by clicking on the Create Shipment button as pointed by the red arrow. Doing this will generate the shipments and you would be able to print separate shipping labels as well. The screen to print the shipping labels would look something like shown in the screenshot below.

print label

If you click on the Print Label options, the labels would be downloaded as shown in the following two images.

shipping label


fedex shipping label

As you can see that the labels are separated by the 1 of 2 and 2 of 2.

Concluding thoughts…

The FedEx WooCommerce Shipping plugin is an excellent shipping plugin that makes the box packing process seamless. You can even try to configure the entire packing method in order to implement your own business scenario.

We hope we were able to provide you with enough information in this article. If you have any queries, you can comment down below as we would love to hear from you. You can also contact the support for further assistance.

Last Updated On September 16, 2018