With the rise in integrating shipping APIs, eCommerce and the logistic support industries are both rapidly evolving. For eCommerce business owners, technological innovation opens up previously unimaginable options, simplifies tedious manual tasks, and boosts employee productivity.
Customers may now update delivery information from their cell phones and follow the progress of their orders in real-time, among other functionalities. This process is feasible because courier businesses employ cutting-edge software and technologies like Shipping APIs.
All types of businesses that want to include shipping functionality in online or mobile applications are increasingly turning to shipping and logistics APIs as the most common tech trend.
Through the use of services like quoting, bulk editing and printing of shipping documents, tracking and confirmation alerts, etc., they can assist businesses in organizing and streamlining their outbound shipments to better serve their customers. Thus, integrating shipping APIs into your logistics workflow is necessary if you want to create and maintain a significant competitive edge.
Keeping track of a large number of orders manually on several carriers’ websites is a difficult task. You may automate every step and effectively handle your workload by integrating with the shipping APIs of leading shipping carriers.
With the help of this article, you will improve your understanding of shipping APIs, their numerous advantages, and the best techniques for integrating shipping APIs for major shipping carriers into your eCommerce store.
What are Shipping APIs?
Application Programming Interface is referred to as API. Different apps communicate with one another through a software-to-software interface without user intervention or involvement.
APIs serve two primary purposes: presenting data to customers and transmitting data across various applications or platforms. For constant communication, it creates links across various digital technologies.
Therefore, shipping APIs enable brands to easily connect the delivery capabilities of UPS, DHL, FedEx, USPS, and other leading shipping carriers into their eCommerce website, without manually integrating a shipping or order tracking system with carriers one at a time.
These APIs operate in the background and serve as a link between users and shipping carriers. They develop a seamless, automated checkout and shipping process, which is vital for improving the customer experience while shopping.
How Do Shipping APIs Work?
APIs enable data exchange between two distinct programs so that the information can be presented to the user in a single platform. In general, APIs make it simpler for developers to benefit from and utilize certain technologies in their projects and services.
For multicarrier capability and support, shipping APIs interface with numerous domestic and international carriers such as USPS, UPS, FedEx, DHL, etc. A shipping API can access the whole carrier network by integrating just once, as opposed to multiple times with different carriers.
The majority of the time, eCommerce companies use shipping APIs to deliver orders to customers, providing a wide range of solutions that can satisfy the requirements of numerous different businesses. The interface between businesses, carriers, and end users is created through shipping APIs.
The Importance of Integrating Shipping APIs for eCommerce
Nowadays, with the emergence of one-day deliveries as the norm, speed is everything. Shipping APIs transfer as much information in a few minutes as it would normally take other manual systems hours to do so.
Shipping label generation, shipping rate comparisons via multi-carrier support, delivery tracking, address verification, integrating carriers, shipping documentation creation and processing, and managing returns are the seven major functionalities of shipping APIs.
We will look at the key features of shipping APIs that brands may employ to streamline their delivery process below:
From multiple carrier systems, shipping APIs retrieve information about shipment costs and location operability. The shipping APIs compare the delivery costs for each item in real-time as soon as customers proceed to the checkout page or sometimes even on the product page. As a result, shipping prices may be kept low and delivery times can be increased because you can choose the carrier you want depending on the costs and level of service.
Make Your Logistics Chain More Efficient
Any eCommerce shipping API’s primary goal is to automate and gather data in order to collect orders more efficiently and streamline the delivery process. Multiple shipping APIs start operating as soon as a customer submits an order. The end-to-end shipping network of your business can be significantly streamlined with the help of eCommerce shipping and order fulfillment integrations; order generation, shipping pickups, and packing are a few of them. Order management and tracking, shipping communication, and even feedback gathering are also included.
Generating shipping labels is the main purpose of a shipping API. Shipment information is sent to a ‘generate label API endpoint’ once the carriers and a company’s website have merged with a shipping API. As soon as the carrier returns the label data, the shipping API transmits the data to the website into which the API is integrated. A link to download the generated label may be found in the label data, where it can then be printed right away or saved for future use.
Real-time Shipment Tracking
With the use of shipping APIs, a store is able to include the most recent e-commerce order tracking data in a website, email, or SMS. The API will communicate this data to the appropriate program whenever a package’s status changes with real-time tracking, such as from in-transit to out for delivery to delivered. Using this alert, a business can send an alert to customers via their chosen communication channel.
Validating and Verifying Addresses
The importance of this option lies in its capacity to enable speedy verification of the customer’s entered address and the detection of potential delivery issues. You can then notify the user of any errors and verify if the shipping data is accurate and thorough. Address validation allows you to avoid issues such as surcharges for incorrect addresses, failed deliveries, changing shipping documentation, product delivery delays, and so on.
The Top Shipping API Integrations
Shipping APIs might be very different from one another. A few are specifically developed for shipping businesses, while others are optimized for eCommerce businesses.
The large variety of options accessible when looking for the best shipping API might easily confuse you.
We’ve collected a list of the most popular shipping APIs below to help businesses get started with their selection process. These tools enable businesses to offer the best end-user service while fully streamlining the delivery process:
You may compare and analyze shipping charges offered by a range of carriers, including DHL, UPS, USPS, FedEx, and Australia Post MyPost Business, using the ReachShip Shipping API. It uses a variety of technologies to make the shipping process simpler. From validating that the entered shipping addresses are accurate to ensuring that shipments are delivered to customers’ locations on time; it keeps a tab on everything.
It provides the most straightforward but efficient shipping API integration for generating and managing deliveries. The only expenses that pertain are those that are specific to direct shipping providers, making this among the most effective systems for optimizing your entire shipping procedure.
The ReachShip API is user-friendly for developers because it is made available via a REST API. Users are authenticated using OAuth 2.0, and it responds to requests and administers them using JSON.
Small and medium-sized enterprises in e-commerce can use the services provided by UPS, also known as Universal Parcel Service, an American courier firm that operates internationally. It provides worldwide reach.
The UPS API, another significant international carrier, uses both the SOAP and XML formats; so technical know-how is still needed for integration. Integration is still rather straightforward thanks to the documentation’s progressive simplification.
There are address validation services available for cities, streets, states, and zones. It provides access to a UPS locator that directs users to the closest UPS Access Point or UPS store, before selecting a certain carrier, evaluating and comparing shipping costs, delivery timeframes, and delivery options. Furthermore, you can also get automated tracking updates by using UPS Tracking services.
One of the most trusted carriers in the world, FedEx, provides a highly user-friendly shipping API at very reasonable costs for all e-commerce organizations, worldwide.
It provides a number of online shipping services, including FedEx Freight, FedEx Express, FedEx Ground, and a lot more. All shipments are tracked in real-time and both overnight and expedited shipping options are available.
Because it’s offered via a REST API, the FedEx API is developer-friendly, it handles requests and responds using JSON and authenticates users using OAuth 2.0. This is a fantastic option for people who have experience with other APIs because the rest of the APIs are among the most widely used and user-friendly.
The only drawback is that it does not support multi-carrier shipping.
DHL is a multinational carrier that specializes in express delivery. The benefit of this Global Shipping API is that its API documentation is incredibly clear, making it simple to integrate.
It enables the generation of shipping labels automatically, updates tracking stages by using shipping tracking APIs, and ensures smooth delivery by validating addresses before sending out packages.
Similar to the FedEx API, the DHL API is offered as a REST API, and supports OAuth 2.0, JSON, and XML, making it a robust alternative for anyone looking for powerful shipping API integration.
The only drawback is that it does not support multi-carrier shipping, similar to FedEx.
USPS sometimes referred to as the United States Postal Service is a government-owned business that focuses more on the US courier industry. This free shipping API is well recognized for having a broad reach throughout the nation and has been in operation for more than five decades.
In addition to supporting XML/JSON output formats and URI Query String/CRUD for requests, the USPS Shipping API integration employs the very same parameters as the preceding APIs such as FedEx and DHL.
You have access to functions like shipping calculators, shipment tracking, shipment details, labeling, address verification, etc. with a business account.
To Wrap Up
Shipping APIs significantly streamline operations for e-commerce businesses. A tool of this kind is essential for developing business procedures, providing customers with convenient and quick delivery, and enhancing client satisfaction.
For eCommerce business owners to concentrate on expanding their business, they must build an automated, streamlined system to handle order processing and shipping. Furthermore, using shipping APIs makes it possible to have all the knowledge and resources necessary to provide the greatest delivery and logistics service.
By leveraging shipping APIs, you can streamline and expedite the entire process and make sure you stay one step ahead of your competitors by efficiently delivering to all your local and international customers.