Split Shipments in Magento

Recently, while working on a project, we came across a scenario that isn’t covered by a default Magento install: Split Shipment Fees.

Sometimes you may wish offer products for sale on your site even though the inventory may not be on hand, which is built in Magento functionality. However, for your customer’s convenience you might wish to provide the option to receive their in stock item’s first or wait for all items to be available and ship them together. Obviously having two separate shipments would come at a cost, thus the concept of a ‘split shipment fee’.

How Split Shipments Work

The way we have decided to handle this situation is to inform the customer about the option to split the shipment during the checkout process. For each shipping option we adjust the price by the calculated cost of shipping one item to the customer’s location, giving a realistic price adjustment for the extra shipping overhead. When applicable in the shipping method selection of the checkout the customer will be presented with the ability to choose how they would like there items shipped, as well as the additional costs associated with choosing to split up there shipment.

By taking this approach and handling the price adjustment behind the scenes (instead of creating and displaying duplicate shipping methods for each option), the customer is presented with a clearer choice while still having it show on their records that they have chosen a split shipment method for delivery.