Shopping Cart Programming
Common Carrier API
Shipping API Programming
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Introducing the new Platinum API! Never before seen on the internet – a freight API to provide real-time freight quotes for small package and common carrier freight, with so many features to allow factories and distributors with multiple sites, or even resellers, the ability to sell online!
CONTROL YOUR SHIPPING WITH EASE!Using our new PLATINUM API, you can add accurate shipping costs for all your products, shipping from any location! All obstacles are gone! Now you too can sell online! Let us help you integrate accurate, real-time shipping rates and give your customers cheap rates, or even let them decide how it ships! Easy to integrate, easy to use! It works! Use with your chosen shopping cart!
|The Problem||The Solution Using our PLATINUM API|
|How many ways are there to charge freight on a web site, whether it be a small item or large?||Some web sites currently charge a percentage of the sale for freight or one price for each product, no matter where it ships to in the country, both of which might be counterproductive to sales, as most people feel both charges unfair. Most people are familiar with distance having a large part to play in accurate freight rates. We recommend you obtain real-time freight rates to add to the sale. To accomplish this, one needs a real-time freight API to be integrated into the shopping cart used for the web site.|
|Makes sense, but how do I get real time rates? I have all types and sizes of products to ship.||That's what we ran into also. Since an API was not available to incorporate both small package and common carrier (LTL) freight, we had to build it. We call it the PLATINUM API. The API can deal with both types of freight, even in the same sale.|
|I see that any programming available on the internet today only allows shipping from one site, yours too?||The PLATINUM API we have created allows you to ship from an unlimited number of shipping points. The origin zip code is read by the API for each line item in the sale, and returns rates for each item separately, or one rate when all items ship from the same point, which is then added to the sale in mere seconds. This capability makes it ideal for resellers to set up an online store, and works great for companies with many warehouses or factory locations which they may choose to ship from! It deals with smalland large items, and combines them also when shipping from the same location. Our API also allows your purchaser to complete the sale without call-backs for separate freight charges.|
|OK, what about when I sell two items in the same sale, and each one ships from a different location?||The PLATINUM API sends a freight query for each line item in your cart, using the individual "ship from" zip code assigned to that product. You can also program your products to have multiple ship points, easily managable from your cart's admin section. The rates for each item are returned, totaled and usually placed directly into the shipping cost cell on your checkout page.|
|What if I have some items that are small, and some very large or heavy?||The PLATINUM API has the ability to discern by line item in the cart whether that item qualifies for small package freight or common carrier (LTL) freight based on weight and dimensions, and then obtains the appropriate real-time rate.|
|What if I have multiple items in the cart, a few coming from the same place, one not?||The PLATINUM API is designed to couple like origination zip code products together as a single shipment, prior to going out for that query. A query is obtained for every other item in the cart separately. Then, you can offer the cheapest rate returned for each line item, or give your purchaser choices for each line item, and let them decide.|
|What happens if I have a few items in the sale, but different classes of freight?||Each line item is treated individually, so the freight class for each would be used for the accurate rates you expect. In the case that all items shipped from one point, the highest freight class among the items in the sale is used for the query.|
|Sounds great. Isn't the functionality of such a programming integrated into the cart also?||It is, so once you choose your programmer who is familiar with your chosen cart, we send them directions of how to prepare your product page, checkout page and other options available, they will connect your cart to our API on our server, and you're good to go!|
|Regarding the classes of freight, can I assign each product the freight class it will ship by, for common carrier items?||Yes you can, and it is actually required for accurate rates (see left border for freight class and NMFC code info).|
|Let's say I sell used items...they are sometimes cheaper to ship when identified as such. Can your PLATINUM API allow me to assign whether my items are used, instead of new?||Yes, the common carrier freight rate results are based on you identifying on your product page which products are new and which are used.|
|How about the various types of packaging which applies to freight company prices, can you allow me to identify if my products are a pallet, in a box, bale or drum?||Yes, and there are many options to choose from in setting up your products and their respective ways of being shipped. You will need to identify for each product how it is shipped, such as on a pallet.|
|OK, here's a good one. I have an item that is 3" x 6" x 108". If a customer orders 30 of them, the bundle dimensions will be much different than if your PLATINUM API considers all thirty as separate shipment sizes. Now what do I do?||You don't worry. Our PLATINUM API has shown to date no difference in returned rates, whether you enter 30 eaches of that item and dimension, or one each for the bundle size those 30 items would create, unless there is needed additional packaging materials that would put the bundle at a higher cost due to shipping dimensions. If it does present an issue, your programmer can enter "landmarks" for shipping dimensions and weights so the rates are more accurate. The way this works is, lets say you have the item which is 3" x 6" x 108" long. You can enter the shipping dimensions and weights for landmarks of 1-10, 11-29 and 30-49 for example. Then if someone orders 7 quantity, the shipping dimensions and weight for a bundle of 10 is used for the freight cost. While it is not exact, we truly believe you will not lose a sale for the difference represented for the bundle of 7 vs the bundle of 10 freight cost. Of course you can use tighter landmarks for more accurate rates. This line of code would be entered by your programmer after your product page information and before it goes to the sale for checkout. Simple lines of code can help to refine your rates further with unique types of merchandise you might have. Lets talk about them!|
|OK, I'm sold, tell me how to get started.||Have your programmer read the full web site and download the demo information at the link on our home page under the words "First time of the internet". Both should answer most questions. Then have them call for information as needed to begin the preparation. Sign up for the API after the prep work has been completed for the product page, checkout page and optional confirmation of order email listed information, referred to in this site. Once you sign up, the programmer then makes the connection and you're all set!|
|OK, so tell me how to find a good programmer||The best way to find a reputable programmer is through a recommendation from someone with a good past experience with that programmer. You should find someone familiar with the cart you have decided on, so start with the shopping cart company for recommendations for certified programmers or developers. Interview at least five to ten programmers, not only for references and experience, but someone you will be able to easily communicate with. Explain your needs in written form, and make sure the programmer returns an outline of work to be done in phases, breaking the work down into reviewable steps you can confirm. That outline should be one with thoughtful recommendations, one in which they did not just copy your email requests, but put it into a better format that reflects the work to be done and in what order. Make sure you have a contract, refundable clause if not done on time, and try at all costs to pay at least 75% of the costs once completed and tested. We recommend phased payments rather than half deposit up front.|
|How long do you estimate this programming work to take to connect to your API?||Probably a week, but many programmers may choose to go with an extra week to test the site once connection has been made. Make sure to have them copy you on those tests to qualify their time used, days, etc. Keep in mind, if you choose a complex shopping cart, and there are a few out there, it can take longer. The agreement you have, and understanding you have with your chosen programmer, is paramount. Have everything agreed upon in writing, and have them review our web site home page and FAQ page for all the information they will need to complete to estimate you require. Have them call us should they have any other questions. Keep in mind programmers have other projects too, so be very specific on the amount of time they will spend per week on your project, and add it to your contract. We would also suggest speaking to references in detail about how your potential programmer performed in many phases of the project, such as payment schedule, timeline, clarity of contract, clarity of work to be done in layperson's speak, and how far out of their way they went to make you feel comfortable. If you run into someone who does not plan to communicate by phone, just email, we recommend you should shy away.|
|What languages does your api cover?||The api is written using http request, sending and receiving XML, so you're covered for java, .net, php, ruby, perl, coldfusion, etc.||
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Making it easy to add shipping costs to your web site shopping cart, for common carrier and small package items!. Use FreightAPI to gain the most from your online store and minimize the shipping issues that plague many businesses.
All About FreightAPI
What is a freight API? It is the programming module needed by the shopping cart company processing your online web sales, to tie to a freight carrier’s computer for real-time quotes, based on to/from zip codes, weight, size of shipment and class of freight.
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