Top 5 APIs to Boost Shipping Services

Posted June 12th, 2024 in e-Commerce. Tagged: .

The advent of digital technologies requires industries, including shipping services, to meet the demands of global e-commerce. Accurate tracking, efficient inventory management, and seamless deliveries are now essential components that define successful shipping providers.

Shipping providers turn to advanced tools to navigate the complexities of contemporary logistics. These solutions help automate workflows, minimize delays, and optimize customer service.

Among these technologies are application programming interfaces (APIs).


APIs enable software applications to exchange data, features, and functionalities. These integrations can significantly scale up your shipping services.

However, with various options available, it can be challenging to identify the appropriate APIs for your business.

This guide will provide the top APIs you can integrate into your shipping services. We will also discuss their benefits and how to implement them correctly.

Understanding APIs for Shipping Services

APIs for shipping services let you integrate your e-commerce platform, warehouse management system, order management system, or other software into a carrier’s system to manage shipments.

Let’s say someone places an order on your app. Rather than using a separate application to compare shipping charges and print labels, these functions directly work on your app because the shipping API gathers and communicates the data in one platform.

Shipping APIs also allow customers to track orders and deliveries in real-time. These tools help ensure that the connections and interactions between your platforms and shipping servers are automatic, enhancing operational efficiency.

APIs for Shipping Services

1. Radar


Radar is a scalable, secure, and reliable location infrastructure offering geocoding, geofencing, maps, and an address verification API in a single, cost-efficient platform.

Companies like Panera, Zillow, Sleeper, T-Mobile, and DICK’s Sporting Goods use this platform to create localized experiences and provide efficient shipping services for hundreds of millions of devices worldwide.

Radar also boasts the following features:

  • Place visit detection
  • Trip tracking with live ETAs
  • Advanced location analytics
  • Fraud detection
  • Geo-compliance
  • Flexible tracking options

Radar has been touted for its accuracy, developer experience, simple integration, and privacy. The platform also offers a free plan and cost-effective paid plans.

2. FedEx


The FedEx shipping API lets you integrate FedEx’s shipping services into your tech stack. The software provides rate calculation, label creation, and real-time package tracking for e-commerce, logistics, and supply chain management.

Other features include:

  • Customization of shipping options
  • Compatibility with transportation management software
  • Automated customs documentation

3. Shippo


Shippo is a multi-carrier shipping API for e-commerce businesses. This software provides label generation, access to shipping rates, and package tracking.

Additional Shippo features include:

  • Automatic reporting and statistics on customer behavior and order data
  • Returns management functions
  • Shipment price calculation
  • Customizable label generation
  • Real-time tracking for customers
  • Multi-carrier integration with shipping services like FedEx, DHL, UPS, and USPS

4. EasyPost


EasyPost helps automate the technical aspects of logistics, enabling you to focus on core operations. This shipping API provides seamless integration and multi-carrier functions.

EasyPost’s notable functions include:

  • Multi-carrier integration with shipping services like FedEx, DHL, UPS, and USPS
  • Compatibility with third-party logistics systems and tools
  • Auditing functionalities
  • Data-based carrier invoice
  • Automatic shipping fee comparison and tracking

5. FlexPort


FlexPort is an air and ocean freight forwarding company with end-to-end services. This shipping API features structured data and tailored communication for each shipment.

FlexPort’s key features include:

  • Data structuring for complex carrier requirements
  • Real-time tracking and reporting
  • Customization of shipping specifications based on dimensions, size, and type

Why are APIs essential in shipping services?

Integrating shipping APIs into your services can provide the following benefits:

To track the orders

E-commerce businesses can get overwhelmed by the influx of orders, particularly during holidays and sales. With manual processes, you may mistakenly pay for multiple labels for the same order or lose track of the orders as they move through the fulfillment stage.

However, a shipping API syncs the orders from your site to the fulfillment center and label generator, letting you track the orders without bouncing between various applications. This not only helps manage inventory but also helps your customer support team efficiently answer questions regarding customers’ orders.

To establish an efficient shipping process

Shipping APIs help establish a more efficient shipping process.

Let’s say you use a third-party logistics company to handle your shipping fulfillment. With a shipping API, the fulfillment process can be efficient through the following steps:

  • The orders are automatically sent to the third-party logistics company, and they can begin the packaging immediately.
  • The API assists in selecting the most appropriate carrier based on destination, delivery speed, and shipping cost.
  • The API sends the required shipping details to the carrier.
  • After shipping, the tracking information becomes available to you and your customers.
  • The API will loop the feedback, such as delays or confirmations, by updating the system.

This efficiency helps reduce confusion and time wasted going back and forth on orders.

To secure your shipping data

Even in a perfect workplace, no company is devoid of cybersecurity issues.

However, implementing shipping APIs helps secure your supply chain so no one can compromise your tech stack.

APIs have secure communication protocols like HTTPS to protect data in transit and prevent SQL injection, cross-site request forgery (CSRF), cross-site scripting (XSS), and other frequent API attacks. This way, you can ensure that data transfers to your fulfillment platforms or partners are smooth and secure.

To reduce checkout abandonment

Customers can withdraw from the transaction due to discontentment with the workflow or objection to delivery conditions.

Shipping APIs help reduce these withdrawals through the following ways:

  • Provide diverse delivery options and pricing models
  • Offer competitive and cost-effective prices
  • Recommend personalized delivery options based on customers’ previous preferences and buying behavior
  • Make the checkout process faster and more user-friendly
  • Real-time updates on the availability of couriers during high-demand periods or logistics constraints

How To Integrate APIs Into Shipping Services

Shipping API integrations require a team of developers who possess logistics expertise. They also require you to choose APIs that align with your needs.

Once you have a shipping API, here’s how to integrate it into your tech stack efficiently:

Ensure an intuitive interface design

The first step in shipping API integration involves ensuring an intuitive interface design. This design could include the following elements:

  • Quick-select icons – Use icons to represent shipping locations, such as business, residential, or warehouse.
  • Favorites and history tabs – Let users archive their frequently used addresses in the “Favorites” tab, while the “History” tab shows recent searches and past shipping details.
  • Predictive location suggestions – Provide predictive location suggestions through address autocomplete and verification as users enter shipping information to minimize manual entry.

Obtain the API key

To generate the API key, follow these steps:

  1. Sign up for an account in your provider’s platform
  2. Locate your provider’s API credentials section
  3. Generate or find your API key (locate your existing key or obtain a new one)

Remember to review the documentation to get the most accurate instructions. It would also be best to cross-check the pricing tiers to understand the API’s limitations and keep your API key confidential.

Construct and submit an API request

At this stage, refer to the documentation for creation and instructions for sending an API request.

Depending on the required information, you’ll specify the following details in your request:

  • Origin and destination addresses
  • Parcel details
  • Shipping courier
  • Customer information
  • Tracking and updates
  • Payment information

Then, you’ll submit the API request based on your provider’s programming language.

When the request is successful, you’ll see the 2xx response code. If there are errors, you’ll see 4xx. Your access token may be invalid, or the request might not be formatted correctly.

Parse the API response for relevant information and show the results

Afterward, you’ll receive a formatted response, usually in JSON. Parse this response using your provider’s programming language to extract relevant information.

Implementing error-handling mechanisms will help you address the following issues:

  • Rate limits – Employ a retry logic to attempt the request again after brief delays
  • Unstable network – Implement mechanisms that detect unstable internet connections to inform customers

You can display the results on your app or site through the following ways:

  • Visual indicators, e.g., progress bars that represent shipping status (packing, shipped, delivered)
  • Shipping option comparisons – Display shipping options side-by-side or in rows so users can choose between standard, expedited, or same-day delivery based on cost and time

Optimize Your Shipping Services With APIs

Shipping APIs offer profound benefits to your shipping services. These technologies help enhance operational efficiency, delivery precision, and inventory management.

With strategic adoption, you can make your business agile to meet the rapidly changing demands of global e-commerce. At the same time, you can navigate the complexities of contemporary logistics to exceed consumer expectations in delivery and service.

About the Author

Ivan Serrano

Ivan Serrano is a versatile and insightful writer specializing in business, technology, and finance since 2015. His compelling articles and analyses have graced the pages of publications like Bitcoin Magazine, SmallBizClub, StartupNation, Namecheap, and Time Doctor. With a knack for translating complex topics into engaging content, Ivan continues to be a sought-after voice in the intersection of modern technology and business trends.

Leave a response:

  • Follow us

  • Browse Categories

  • Super Monitoring

    Superhero-powered monitoring
    of website or web application
    availability & performance

    Try it out for free

    or learn more about website monitoring
  • Superhero-powered monitoring
    of website or web application
    availability & performance
    Super Monitoring
    or learn more about
    website monitoring