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Tips for Integrating ShipStation API Service

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ShipStation is a comprehensive web-based solution for managing orders and deliveries. Leveraging the ShipStation API, users can seamlessly retrieve shipping costs across various carriers based on specific parameters and generate parcel labels — all within a unified interface.


Essentially functioning as a bridge between carriers and businesses requiring logistical support, ShipStation streamlines the process of dispatching numerous orders through a singular tool. If you seek a convenient method to facilitate order processing and optimize delivery logistics, ShipStation emerges as the ideal solution.


Integration with ShipStation API

To start connecting to ShipStation API, follow these steps:

  • Before starting work with the API, you need to create an account;
  • In your account dashboard, add the shipping services you plan to work with;
  • For API access, API keys are required, which are provided by the service;
  • Review the ShipStation API documentation, where you will find complete information about available endpoints, request parameters, and response formats;
  • Determine which endpoints you need for your business logic, such as creating orders, tracking shipments, etc.;
  • Use your API keys to connect to ShipStation API using HTTP requests (e.g., GET, POST, PUT) to the corresponding endpoints;
  • Verify the connection to the API is working correctly by sending test requests and checking the received responses;
  • Process the received data from the API to perform the necessary actions in your system.

Key functions and capabilities overview

ShipStation, like Payoneer, utilizes JSON API with the popular method of signing requests using the ‘Authorization’ header with the value 'Basic'. In this process, the identifier ($id) and key ($key) are provided to the developer by ShipStation.


The service works with two dimensions of size — centimeters and inches, as well as three dimensions of weight — grams, ounces, and pounds. You can pass shipment parameters and receive shipping costs for various delivery methods from all available carriers, allowing you to choose the most suitable option. Additionally, different packaging methods are taken into account, making the selection of carriers and delivery methods more flexible.


All API entities, such as users, orders, and shipments, are separated, allowing you to compose requests conveniently, which not all APIs can boast of. Each delivery service has its peculiarities, which are somewhat reflected in the ShipStation API. This can be observed, for example, in working with packaging types when selecting FedEx, but these specific features are revealed only during the API integration process. Therefore, additional configuration may be required to handle data for some delivery services. However, on the other hand, ShipStation is a high-quality universal service, whose integration often relieves you from the need to connect and integrate APIs from different carriers, saving development time.


A convenient error handling system, which takes into account HTTP status codes, helps developers properly handle unexpected errors. The ShipStation API has a limitation of 40 requests per minute for one API account. More frequent usage may require individual arrangements with ShipStation, and this particular aspect can be a hindrance for your future high-traffic service that relies on ShipStation.


Request parameters for label creation

A significant advantage is the ability to receive online PDF labels for printing and attaching to postal shipments. This saves you from unnecessary waiting at shipping points and significantly saves time. Various data necessary for order processing can be passed to the label created through the ShipStation API. Here are some of them:

  • Sender and recipient's name and address
  • Shipping date
  • Weight and dimensions of the package
  • Name, quantity, and cost of items in the package
  • Insurance information
  • Special instructions for processing or delivering the package (Saturday delivery, presence of alcohol, or other)

It is important to note that the exact set of data may depend on specific carrier requirements and shipment parameters.


Conclusion

Overall, ShipStation is a convenient tool for remote shipment creation and other functions. It is essential to ensure that the permissible request limit and label generation speed suit your needs.


In another article, which you can find via the link, our specialists explained how to connect the API of another service - Easypost, which competes with ShipStation. The Asabix team has experience connecting both aggregators, so we can provide consultations and assistance in connecting either of them. We look forward to collaborating with you.

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