Companies that import stock from overseas frequently import cartons of cartons - a larger outer carton made up of inner cartons containing a number of products. Defining carton/item volume, number of units per inner carton, and number of inner cartons per outer carton is important for:

  • Apportioning freight and duty based on the volume of the products rather than the value. This is particularly important when the products varies greatly in size.
  • Configuring the order quantity so as to make full container shipment rather than costly LCL shipments.
  • Meeting the minimum order requirements for wholesale orders (usually the inner carton quantity). 

DEAR allows both the product and import dimensions to be entered in a product's information. During the purchase process, DEAR uses this information to estimate how many outer cartons will be required and their volume, as well as how the freight cost will be divided per order line and per unit. 


Table of Contents:

Define import dimensions

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The Dimensions tab (Inventory  → Products → [select product] → Dimensions) allows you to set the dimensions, weight, unit of measures for a product, carton volume, and pack quantity. This option is only available for items of the Stock and Non-Inventory type. 

Enter the product dimensions and make sure the unit of measure is correct. Default dimension units of measure are defined in Settings → General Settings → Product & Measurements Settings but can be overridden for a product from this screen. 

Enter the import carton quantities and dimensions. The unit of measurement is used for both product and import dimensions.  

  • Enter the quantity of units in the inner carton (in this example, 4).
  • Enter the quantity of inner cartons in the outer carton (in this example, 8).
  • The total number of units in the outer carton = 4 x 8 = 32. 
  • The volume of the carton refers to the volume of the outer carton

NOTE: If cubic volume is displayed as a negative value, the calculation has gone wrong, please re-enter the dimensions and calculate again. 

Verify the number of cartons in a purchase order

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Verifying an order will also show how ordered quantities compare with available and on order quantities and how many cartons are required for the quantity of the item, which is useful for importers who require full container shipments. You will need to fill in the import dimensions of the product for this information to be calculated accurately. This information is for review purposes only.

  1. When at the Order stage of a purchase order, click Verify Order. This is the same for simple or advanced purchases.
  2. Review the items and take note of any quantities that you may want to change. 
    • Inner/Outer Carton Quantity is a read-only field and shows the pack sizes. In this example, there are 4 units in the inner carton, and 8 inner cartons in the outer carton. 
    • Number of Outer Cartons is a read-only field which displays how many outer cartons are required for the order quantity. It will be rounded up to the nearest whole number.
    • Line volume is a read-only field which displays the volume (in cubic metres or cubic feet depending on the unit of measure selected on the product screen) of the total number of outer cartons. 
    • If the units of measurement for line volume are not the same across all order lines, then the base measure will be taken first from the Settings → General Settings → Products and measurement settings - Dimension units, or if this figure is blank, the dimensions of the product of the first order line.
  3. Click Back to Order to go back to the PO screen. You can then change the quantities of items or remove items from your PO. Alternatively, click Authorise to authorise the purchase order and continue. 

Verify freight costs per line and per unit

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Verifying an invoice allows importers to check the freight cost and see an estimate of freight cost per order line before authorising the purchase invoice. Click Verify an Invoice to open the verify screen. This is the same for simple or advanced purchases. 

This verification is for informational purposes early and does not make any changes to accounting transactions or create manual journals for the purchase order. It can be used to verify inner carton quantities, outer carton quantities, line volume, line freight, and unit freight costs.

Currency exchange rates are calculated automatically but can be overridden manually.

Adding pack quantities and carton volume to purchase documents

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Pack quantities and carton volume for each purchase order line and purchase order total are not automatically displayed on purchase document templates however they can be added to custom purchase order templates. Please see Manage document and email templates and Purchase Process MailMerge Fields for DEAR Templates for more information about customising purchase order document templates. 

DEAR has a dedicated template support team on hand to answer any questions about custom document templates, do not hesitate to get in touch with questions. 

NOTE: If the units of measurement for line volume are not the same across all order lines, then the base measure will be taken first from the Settings → General Settings → Products and measurement settings - Dimension units, or if this field is empty, the volume dimensions of the product will be taken from the dimensions of the first order line.

The following mailmerge fields can be added to the purchase order template:

Field CodeDescriptionParent MailMerge table
InnerCartonQuantityQuantity of units per inner carton for SKU
OuterCartonQuantityQuantity of inner carton per outer carton for SKU
NoOfOuterCartonsNo of outer cartons required for PO line POLines
Volume of outer carton for SKUPOLines
LineVolumeVolume of outer cartons required for PO linePOLines
NumberOfOuterCartonsTotal number of outer cartons required for POPurchase
TotalVolumeTotal volume of outer cartons required for POPurchase

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