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How to configure the package sizes and pricing calculation?

Saturday, 21 March 2015 | Views: 663

LiveParcels calculate pricing based on two primary factors, weight and postcode/distance.

Package sizes/weight

Courier companies typically determine the cost to deliver an item based on its dead weight or dimensional weight. LiveParcels will automatically calculate the dimensional weight of a parcel based on the dimension of the parcel entered. When determining price, LiveParcels will use the larger of the two weights for pricing calculations.

Courier administrator need to enter the different package sizes that they uses to determine/calculate delivery fee. Package sizes and their weight/length limits can be configured by clicking LiveParcels at the administration menu -> Package size under Settings.

The administrator can also change the dimensional factor used for dimensional weight calculations. The default dimensional factor used is the most common dimensional factor that different courier companies uses.

For each package size, the administrator also need to enter the base rate for each package size.

Postcode based pricing

Courier companies also determine the cost to deliver an item based on the distance traveled by looking at the pickup address and the delivery address. LiveParcels can do this using one of the two methods implemented, namely postcode pricing or distance pricing. Postcode pricing group a number of postcodes into a zone and allow the administrator to provide a price multiplier factor for delivery between different zones.

This price multiplier is used against the base price in the package size to determine the delivery price.

As an example, someone input information on the quotation page and the system determined that the input corresponds to the delivery of package size 1 from Zone A to Zone B. The base cost for package size 1 is $5 and the price multiplier for Zone A to Zone B is 2. This will mean the cost to delivery this package will cost $10.

Postcode pricing can be configured by clicking LiveParcels at the administration menu -> Postcode and pricing under Settings.

To change the country configured for the geolocation services used for the postcode based pricing and Liveparcels services, click Configuration at the administration menu -> Location under CONTENT AUTHORING -> Change the "Default country" on the Main settings page -> Geocoding options -> Enable the country you intend to use Liveparcels for and disable the rest.

Note: Postcode pricing is automatically disabled when distance pricing is enabled.

Advantages

  • Administrator can manually add/remove postcodes in the database as required.

  • Administrator can increase/decrease the price multiplier for delivery from/to specific zones.

Disadvantages

  • Administrator need to obtain and upload their own postcode database. Official postcode database often requires paid subscription.

  • Courier administrator is responsible to maintain and keep the postcode database up to date.

  • The postcode zone price multiplier csv contains thousands or more entries that need to be manually configured and tested before the LiveParcels can be used for production.

  • When user open the quotation page, the entire postcode database needs to be download to allow searching, increasing the time required for the page to be fully loaded before user can enter information. For some countries, such as United Kingdom having very large postcode database, this approach will not work, e.g. it will cause problems to download the 200MB United Kingdom postcode database every time the quotation page is opened.

Distance based pricing

Distance pricing uses the distance between the pickup and delivery address to calculate the cost to deliver an item.

On the distance pricing setting page, the administrator can configure the distance pricing table used to calculate pricing. This price multiplier in the table is used against the base price in the package size to determine the delivery price.

As an example, someone input information on the quotation page and the system determined that the input corresponds to the delivery of package size 1 from A to B which is 8 km apart. The base cost for package size 1 is $5 and the price multiplier for up to 10 km is 2. This will mean the cost to delivery this package will cost $10.

Two distance calculation methods are implemented, namely Straight line distance and Google maps driving distance. Straight line distance calculates the straight line distance between the pickup and delivery address. Google maps driving distance uses the Google Maps Distance Matrix API to obtain the road distance between the pickup and delivery address.

Distance pricing can be configured by clicking LiveParcels at the administration menu -> Distance pricing under Settings.

To change the country configured for the autocomplete address field, click LiveParcels at the administration menu -> Address book country settings under Settings. You are also advised to change the country configured for the geolocation services used by Liveparcels, click Configuration at the administration menu -> Location under CONTENT AUTHORING -> Change the "Default country" on the Main settings page -> Geocoding options -> Enable the country you intend to use Liveparcels for and disable the rest.

Note: Distance pricing is the default recommended pricing calculation method.

Advantages

  • Address and postcode are verified using Google Place Autocomplete API.

  • Address and postcode are always up to date as it is provided in real time from Google Maps API.

  • Works well for most countries in the world, except countries like China where Google services is blocked.

  • The distance price table is relatively short, making it easier and simpler to configure than the postcode zone price multiplier csv.

Disadvantages

  • If Google Place Autocomplete API reports incorrect address or postcode, there is no way to fix it except by contacting Google.

  • Google only provides a limited amount of free traffic using Google API. There will be a fee for excess traffic.

  • We/you have no control over Google API availability and up time. Google can decide to shut down or change the service terms/pricing at any time.

  • Fine tuning and control over the price multiplier for shipping between specific location is not possible, e.g. it is not possible to impose a levy for rural addresses.

For the courier administrator, it is important for you to enter these price multiplier into the system and test it to make sure the price output is as expected before you start using this LiveParcels. We have designed LiveParcels such that it is not necessary to provide a price multiplier to all situations available. By default, if the price multiplier is 0, it is considered undefined. This means if the user happens to enter a pickup/delivery address that is undefined, the administrator will need to manually enter the price for this specific order and the customer will also need to confirm if they would like to go ahead with the price quoted.

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