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  1. #1
    Don't eat yellow snow spaceman's Avatar
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    Australia Post shipping cost calculator?

    I'm an experienced PHP/MySQL Australian web developer working on a shopping basket application for an Australian web site.

    Question: does anyone have any experience or recommendations to give me in regard to 'on the fly' calculations of postal rates inside and outside Australia based on the total weight of the goods to be shipped?

    A few issues/ideas:
    - Australia Post is the national postal service of Australia. They have a web site with postage calculator at: http://www.australiapost.com.au/pac/
    - I could use the PHP 'Snoopy' class at SourceForge to submit and extract info. Or perhaps someone knows of another service (via Australia Post or anyone else) where I can lookup postal weights in real time (ie. on the fly).
    - I want to keep my calculations as simple as possible, so perhaps I should just decide on some 'average' rates for shipping to within Australia and internationally, chuck them in a database, and then refer to this table when needed.

    Just kicking some ideas around...
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  2. #2
    epsilon transition cupid's Avatar
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    I've had quite a few clients that were looking into these on-the-fly calculations as well... but like you said, the options are slim.

    They usually end up just wanting a direct estimation of the shipping cost by weight, quantity, or total cost because the work seemed to have been more than it's worth.

    One very patient customer actually referred to a weight->price guide from UPS and manually input the amount in a field in the database (eek!). But we programmers usually think that as an impractical option.

  3. #3
    Don't eat yellow snow spaceman's Avatar
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    I _think_ that the concept of 'on the fly' postage rates could be solved by 'Web Services'.

    The problem of trying to maintain my own list of rates (approximate or otherwise) is one of
    a) staying informed if any changes are made to the official rates
    b) being able to update my own information quickly and easily.

    Much better would be for (in my case) the Australia-based postal service(s) to allow me to perform a live query on their systems to find one or many rates based on the weight/size/source/destination info I supply.

    Better for me, better for them.
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  4. #4
    Don't eat yellow snow spaceman's Avatar
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    Hey, good news! It appears that Australia Post do have a real-time postage rate calculation service. I made an e-mail enquiry on this subject to them, and here is their full reply:

    "In answer to your query, the following is an extract from (an obscure part
    of !!) the Australia Post Internet site:
    Rate Calculation
    Developed for online Merchants, the delivery rate calculator (DRC) can be
    integrated into a Merchant web site allowing the applicable delivery charge
    to be automatically estimated. Calculations are based on standard card rates
    (for the following Parcels services : Regular and Express Post parcels
    within Australia and international Air, Economy and Sea parcels) and
    incorporate merchants' product catalogue information such as product package
    dimensions, weight, and the destination and source postcode. An indication
    of delivery time within the delivery network is also available. The
    calculator will maintain a permanent link to Australia Post's delivery rate
    database, ensuring delivery rate estimates are always up-to-date.
    (from
    http://www.edeliver.com.au/Templates...te_Calculation)

    To use the service, you will need to agree to the conditions of use (at
    http://www.edeliver.com.au/Templates..._DRC_Terms.htm), and then
    register on the subsequent page. The instructions for the DRC will then be
    emailed to you.

    You will be pleased to note that there is no charge to use this service. The
    Australia Post website is undergoing changes, and it is hoped that the links
    to the service will be more visible in the near future."
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  5. #5
    SitePoint Guru prequel's Avatar
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    cool .. i was just using the AustPost calculator last night trying to work out internation parcel shipping rates


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