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New Shipping Rate API Functionality

November 18, 2009

Shipwire has added new features to our shipping rate fulfillment web services calls to give merchants greater visibility into their shipping cost breakdowns.

In December of 2008 Shipwire released a shipping rate web service API that lets any e-commerce application provider connect their application to Shipwire and instantly retrieve our global shipping rates.  This feature has been incredibly well received by the Shipwire compatible e-commerce application community. The Shipwire shipping rate API is a fulfillment web service that ensures that a price displayed to the buyer during checkout will match the shipping rate from the Shipwire warehouse.

Leading e-commerce applications like Shopify and Ubercart by Drupal have already integrated to the Shipwire shipping rate API to get shipping rates directly integrated into their shopping carts. The general feedback on the integration level of difficulty from developers has been "not difficult at all". Most developers have in fact expressed delight at how simple we made the API.

Shipwire has left the bulk of the complexity behind the scenes. Image a merchant that has stored inventory in 6 Shipwire warehouses across 3 countries. When a shipping rate look-up request comes in through the API, behind the scenes Shipwire quickly checks where inventory is held in relation to the buyer "ship to" address. We also check merchant carrier shipping preferences and any additional shipping and insurance preferences. In a matter of milliseconds we send back to the shopping cart up to 5 shipping rates (1 Day, 2 Day, Ground, International and Freight) from the carrier that matches the merchant shipping preferences and inventory location. This ensures that the merchant's shopping cart is quoting rates from the warehouse location holding inventory closest to the buyer shipping address. It also ensures that Shipwire is quoting the right carrier for the country where the product will ship from. For example, shipping Canada Post in Canada or Royal Mail in the U.K.   All of that complexity happens behind the scenes so that merchants can change shipping preferences, shipping carrier options (Shipwire is integrated with over 10 carriers globally), reallocate inventory, and upgrade or downgrade shipping options without having to constantly change their shopping cart shipping preferences.

Shipwire is now launching an enhancement to the Shipping rate API that will break out the details of the total shipping charge.  The enhanced shipping rate API will breakout shipping, packaging, insurance and any additional charges such as tax.  The shipping rate API will also return a total of all charges to ensure backward compatibility with previous integrations.   We hope you will consider partnering with Shipwire to leverage our technology. Compare shipping rates.

Nate Gilmore

Nate is the Vice President of Marketing & Business Development at Shipwire. He oversees channel development and the developer network, as well as our marketing and public relations. Previously, Nate spent six years at Concentric (acquired by XO Communications), where he ran product management, sales, and marketing. Nate has also held various legal positions in intellectual property and business law. He holds a B.A. in History and a J.D. from Santa Clara University.