Commerce Layer API, explained — Explore our Data Model.

Shipments and Shipping Categories

An order will be fulfilled once a shipping method is selected during checkout. In this section, you will learn about how an order will be shipped in one or more shipments using selected shipping method(s).
Shipments, Shipment Line Items, and Shipping Categories relationships in shipping management


A shipment is the combination of one or more parcels ready to be shipped to a customer's shipping address. Every order is associated with two addresses:

  • The origin address (FROM) – this is the location of the stock location or warehouse.
  • The shipping address (TO) – this is the customer's location or shipment destination.

The combination of stock locations and shipping categories in an order will determine how it'll be split. To fulfill an order, a customer will have to select a shipping method for each shipment. The shipment(s) will eventually be fulfilled separately. An order would be split into multiple shipments if:

  • The order contains items from more than one stock location.
  • The order contains items in more than one shipping category.

Users can integrate any fulfillment service and provide real-time tracking updates to customers from the associated carrier account.

Shipment line items

Shipment line items are SKUs in a customers' order split for shipment. If an order is not split, the shipment line items are all the SKUs in the order. If the order is split, then the line items will be split into more than one shipment. A single line item can also be split into more than one shipment line item.

Shipping categories

Shipping categories are one of the reasons why an order can be split into multiple shipments. If an order contains line items from two or more shipping categories, the order is split into two or more shipments, one for each shipping category.

A shipping category allows users to define specific available shipping methods for the associated SKUs. Available delivery options are displayed to customers before shipment commences. The shipping category and shipping zone an item belongs to determines the available delivery options.

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