1) What is the USPS Shipping API, and what does it do?
An API (Application Processing Interface) is an intermediary system that facilitates the movement of data back and forth between different software systems. The USPS Shipping API is part of a web tools system created by the United States Postal Service used by e-commerce businesses to streamline their shipping process.
USPS Shipping APIs offer a wide range of functionality, from retrieving rates to printing shipping labels and tracking packages. In this post, we'll provide an overview of how the USPS Shipping API works and its market counterparts like ClickPost API, EasyPost API, etc., Let us also look at how USPS Shipping API can be used to improve the shipping process for ecommerce brands.
2) How can you use the USPS Shipping API to streamline your shipping process to save time and money?
Streamlining your shipping process is paramount in saving time and money in your supply chain. Wonder how you can use the USPS Shipping API to do that? Here, we'll discuss how the USPS Shipping API provides efficient features that your e-commerce business can take advantage of and deliver consistent order fulfillment.
2.1) Compare Carrier Rates
Finding the best carrier rates for your services is an essential aspect of shipping. USPS offers Shipping APIs that can be used to access and compare different types of costs for carriers' services. They also offer an International Rate API, which provides quick calculations for overseas destinations!
2.2) Tracking system
USPS provides an array of tracking APIs to meet the high demands of the e-commerce market by tracking products accurately and in real time. The four services provided by the USPS Shipping APIs are:
- Track and confirm by email
- Proof of delivery
- Tracking proof of delivery
- Return electronic receipt
The services provided by USPS Shipping API will help your e-commerce business function more proactively, especially when you consider delivery exceptions in the shipping process, which can arise at any time. They can be solved comprehensively by utilizing these USPS tracking APIs.
2.3) Label Generation
Label generation is a critical part of the shipping process that carries all the relevant information for products to reach their destinations. Generating labels for different shipping operations like international transport, product returns, and express mail can be a hassle-free process with USPS Label API.
Moreover, the complete label generation process can be automated to fit the workflow of your shipping process. That helps you save time and keep the shipping operations accurate. USPS Label API can have bar codes added to them, providing tracking information for both the carriers and the e-commerce companies. Moreover, bar codes with accurate information for shipping operations are essential in keeping track of commodities efficiently.
2.4) Address verification
Another vital aspect of any shipping process is the validation of the delivery addresses. Without confirming the right addresses, your supply chain will suffer from delays and failed deliveries, damaging your online business's reputation.
The USPS API has access to a vast repository of public addresses that contains data on over 160 million delivery service points. That makes USPS address verification system important for verifying addresses globally. To top that, USPS Shipping API lets you verify addresses and rectify wrong addresses in real time.
2.5) Shipping Optimization
Shipping operations consist of forward and reverse logistics, which can have various issues plaguing the supply chain. When there are multiple variables, like stuck shipments, failed deliveries, failed pickups, etc., arising in the supply chain, it is necessary to optimize shipping for higher order fulfillment rates. With USPS Shipping API, you can micro-manage all the major and minor aspects of shipping with consistent data analysis.
A high level of monitoring and improvement of shipping operations is possible with regular data collection. That helps you optimize relevant innovations and automated solutions. So, you can use USPS Shipping API to overcome everyday shipping challenges with effectiveness and efficiency.
USPS Shipping API also provides optimization possibilities for delivery and returns to enhance the customer experience exponentially. Shipping optimization can save your company a lot of money and time with the support of USPS Shipping API.
2.6) SLA Maintenance
SLAs can be difficult to audit because of time delays and the potential unavailability of real-time data processing. When they happen on numerous levels in the supply chain, SLA breaches can go unnoticed till there is verifiable data. This is where USPS Shipping API with real-time data processing can make the supply chain system very stringent when identifying/monitoring SLA breaches.
USPS APIs move large amounts of data in real time and aggregate them, making it easy to identify and monitor anomalies during audits. Spotting issues in the supply chain promptly means you can hold your respective logistics partners accountable and better hold over your supply chain.
3) USPS Shipping API Resources
USPS has created a web tools library system for e-commerce website shipping and shipping cart APIs free of cost. These web tool applications deliver an array of services through USPS’s free APIs that can be utilized by any company in the market, whether big or small! Moreover, USPS is constantly updating its web tools to suit the market's changing requirements. Some of the web tools are:
3.1) International and domestic postage rate API
The International and Domestic Postage Rate API helps online stores calculate domestic and overseas postage rates with a simple and quick process. It can calculate postage and shipping costs for all mail classes.
3.2) Address Validation API
This web tool from USPS helps you verify your destination addresses by correcting street names, abbreviations, missing information, and zip codes. The Address Verification API reduces the chances of mistakes when typing out addresses.
3.3) Tracking Service API
You can manage proof of delivery, and returns, track and confirm emails, and return electronic receipts. Package tracking API, also a part of this web tool, allows you to track 35 packages per transaction. Customers are provided with a tracking link or ID once their order is shipped, which they can use to know the exact status of their orders.
3.4) Service standard and commitment API
USPS offers this web tool to look up estimated and guaranteed delivery dates for your shipments. This shipping carrier is known worldwide for providing time-definite deliveries. The Service Standard and Commitment notifies businesses if there have been any SLA breaches during delivery.
4) How does the USPS Shipping API compare to other shipping APIs today?
Shipping APIs are a necessary piece of ecommerce infrastructure, but there are a lot of them to choose from. In this blog post, we'll compare the USPS shipping API with some of the features provided by the top shipping APIs in the market.
The shipping APIs mentioned in the listicle has various features similar to and different from USPS shipping APIs. For example, ClickPost offers premium NDR management services for managing delivery exceptions and failed deliveries with real-time solutions. It is also one of the Shipping APIs on par with USPS Shipping APIs.
Therefore, you should understand the requirements and the solutions needed for your supply chain before zeroing in on a Shipping API. Consider all the features offered by the top shipping APIs mentioned above. However, according to industry reports and expert opinions, USPS Shipping API is a strong contender in the market, along with others like ClickPost Shipping API and FedEx Shipping API. So, use this article to kick-start your understanding of USPS Shipping API and its services.
A SaaS platform, ClickPost offers a multitude of premium shipping APIs for supply chain services. ClickPost API helps you gain more control over your supply chain with its enterprise-grade logistics intelligence software platform. Some of the Clickpost API features are:
- Multi-Carrier Management
- Carrier Recommendation Engine
- Real-Time Tracking and Notifications
- NDR (Non-Delivery Report) Management.
- Reverse Logistics Optimization
- EDD (Estimated Delivery Date) Prediction
- WhatsApp Integration
- Cancellation API
Small businesses have successfully optimized their supply chain by adopting EasyPost APIs. Flexibility being the main factor, EasyPost APIs provide end-to-end solutions for your e-commerce business through:
- Address Verification by Country
- Managing Carrier Rates
- Product Refund and Exchange
- Shipping Insurance
This Shipping API has a slew of features that can shape your supply chain for better productivity. Your business can integrate with major e-commerce platforms like Shopify, Squarespace, etc., through the ShipEngine API. Here are some of the other features:
- Shipment Tracking
- International shipping
- Address verification
- Postage and Label Printing
This globally well-known carrier offers Shipping APIs for integrating shipping processes into your e-commerce business app. Some of the features that FedEx Shipping API can provide you are:
- Creating and Validating Shipments
- Creating and Canceling Tags
- International Shipping
- Returns Management
Another well-known shipping solution, Shippo, comes equipped with various APIs and a simplified shipping platform to manage your supply chain. Shippo API is capable of integrating with e-commerce platforms like Magneto, Shopify, etc. Now, let us look at some of the features:
- Multi-Carrier Support
- Effective Rate Management
- Label Printing
- Shipping Insurance
5) Is the USPS Shipping API essential For My Ecommerce Business?
The USPS Shipping API is indispensable if you want to ship with USPS. The numerous USPS Shipping APIs discussed above make the workflow of every e-commerce store a lot simpler and more efficient. Shipping APIs are an absolute godsend from information transfer to staying up to date on where your orders are and managing order fulfillment durations.
However, your online store does not need the USPS Shipping API if you don't plan on using their services. USPS may not fit your business requirements at the moment, but it remains one of the biggest carriers in the United States and the cheapest one for international deliveries.
6) Final Takeaways
That's a quick look at USPS shipping API and what it can do for your e-commerce business. The USPS Shipping API is worth investigating if you want to save time and money on your shipping process. We've also seen that it compares favorably to other shipping APIs in the market.
Address verification, Real-time tracking, NDR Management, Carrier Recommendation Engines, label generation, and SLA maintenance are some features that make a shipping API stand out from the competition. If you are looking for an efficient and cost-effective shipping solution, USPS Shipping API is worth considering for many of the features listed above.
7) Here are some FAQs on USPS Shipping API
7.1) Is there a cost associated with using the USPS Shipping API, and if so, how much does it cost?
If the customers register for the WebTools account under USPS’ terms and conditions, they will be eligible to use the USPS Shipping API for free.
7.2) How do I start using the USPS Shipping API for my business?
When you register with the USPS Web Tool account, you will be sent a mail with your assigned Web Tools User ID. With the USPS user ID, you can access shipping rate calculators, address information systems, pickup optimization, and service standards.