Tracking history of shipping locations?


#1

Hi,

I am new to Airtable and I am trying to migrate my studio’s crate inventory (crates contain artworks that we ship to museums and then back to us). We used an excel sheet unto which we had a ‘‘history’’ box. That is where we’d manually list all the previous locations with the years of where a specific crate had been shipped before returning to us. Is there a clever/simple way to keep track of such info in Airtable? Like a tab that keeps track of each crate’s previous locations when we update its current location?

I hope this makes sense, thanks y’all!


Grouping By Criteria Across Multiple Columns
#2

You’d want to track this in a separate table, perhaps called “Shipping Records”.

In your “Crates” table, where all of your crates are listed, you’ll create a Field(column) that is a “Link to Another Record” from the “Shipping Records” table, and allow multiple records:
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Every time a crate is shipped to a new location, you’ll create a new “Shipping Record” by clicking the + button in that linked record Field from inside your “Crates” table, and clicking + Add New Record at the bottom of the menu that pops up. That field will display every shipping record associated with that crate, and those shipping records can contain any information you need them to - “To Location”, “From Location”, “Date Shipped”, “Date Arrived”, “Cost”, etc…

Let me know if you need any further help setting that up.


#3

That sounds exactly like what I need! I’ll give that a try today and let you know if there’s anything else but in the meantime, thank you so much! :heart_eyes: :metal:


#4

It can be a bit of a struggle coming from spreadsheets into Airtable and figuring out how to leverage it’s strengths and work around its shortcomings, since Airtable is much more a database than it is a spreadsheet.

A general best practice tip is to think of each “thing” you need to track as it’s own entity which will benefit from having it’s own table (this isn’t always true, but a general rule). If that thing can be both pluralized and singularized in the way you speak about it as part of your operations, then it’s often a good candidate for its own table.

The obvious example, in your case, is “Crates” - maybe you have a table called “Crates”, and each Record(row) in that table represents one “Crate”.

The less obvious example is the history of each crate. But you spoke of tracking the “Locations” a crate has been at, and a crate is only ever in one “Location” – thus, I was able to identify that as a “thing” you need to track that could use its own table – it’s related to shipping, so a “Shipping Records” table where each Record(row) represents one “Shipping Record”.

Because Airtable is a database, you’re inevitably going to run into things that your spreadsheet was able to handle quite easily, but Airtable has no clear way to handle. There is usually a way to work around it, just ask the community. But sometimes you have to just rethink the way you record your data.


#5

Yeah, I can feel it’s going to take some time and thinking to generate this database but I do feel it’s a much better format than a spreadsheet when it comes to scroll down menu options, picture attachment and all…but yeah, making a table within a table within a table. Haha that’s gonna require some rewiring in my used-to-excel brain :joy: