At any point in time, we are always estimating the weight of a package or a pallet. To make this process accurate, you need to populate the weights for items and boxes. It’s critical for you to capture the weight correctly to avoid additional fees from the carriers after the fact.
Note: You can set a default for your installation but you can also override this per user. For more information about how to set up these weight capture modes, click here.
Weight measurements may vary depending on where you are. For the purposes of this article, we will be using pounds.
Four ways of capturing weight
Use Calculated Weight
We take the weight from the item(s) and estimate what the package weighs.
For example: One item weighs 1 pound. If you put 3 in the box, it’s 3 pounds. (Yay math!)
But you also need to add in the weight of package itself.
In package setup, you say how much this box weighs empty. If the box weighs 1 pound, the total from our example above is 4 pounds.
If you have the system set to Use Calculated Weight and the calculated weight comes out to 0, if you’re using a parcel carrier, we’ll reject the shipment because there’s no weight. If you’re using a non-rated carrier, we let it pass.
Let's look at this in the application. We'll start in the Shipping > Package screen.
I'm set up to use calculated weight. The system will show Package 1 (1.00/1.00 Pounds). The values in parentheses represent actual weight and calculated weight.
The box itself weighs 1 pound.
As I pack, the amount goes up because my items have a weight entered.
At any point in time, I can always override the actual weight.
Some customers may have a wide variety of content/boxes so they may not want to use calculated weight. If there is no calculated weight, it’s up to you to input the weight.
For the next three options, Pack & Ship waits for an event to occur before it sets the actual weight. These are often referred to as "Packing Events".
1. Change from one box to another
2. Add a new package
3. Move from Package screen to Carrier screen
There is no prompt. The scale will calculate the weight. You will only get a prompt if it comes back with zero or an error. For help configuring a scale, click here.
Prompt for Weight
No matter what, it will always ask you the weight. Even if you have a scale hooked up, it might display the scale weight but it will still give you a dialog box to confirm the weight.
The system will show Package 1 (1.00/1.00 Pounds) Remember that those values represent actual/calculated weight. In this scenario, the box itself weighs 1 pound before you even put anything in it.
As you pack, the actual amount won't go up because it’s not capturing actual weight.
The scale is set to not put the actual weight until you prompt it.
Once a weight-capturing event occurs, you'll get a prompt to enter the weight.
Type in what you think the package weighs. This would include the weight of the box, the items in the box and any packing material (promotional materials, catalog). This is the final shipping weight of the box. If you have a scale hooked up, it will populate automatically from the scale.
While you aren't able to change the calculated weight, at any point in the process you can click the scale button and change the actual weight. Actual weight is what is submitted to a carrier and this can be changed. The same guideline applies if you are packing pallets.
Prompt for Weight – Exclude Child Packages
In this case, you might not care what the packages on a pallet weigh, you only want to be prompted for the weight for the handling unit so in this case the handling unit is the pallet with packages on it.
Once you advance to the Carriers screen you will see the weight total of all packages.
For our recommendations on scales, click here.