The beta application and API of Shippo focuses on one thing that can be a pain to deal with – courier costs. Finding the best rates for your small parcel shipments can lead you to the usual big name brands, but Shippo helps you compare companies and help you find the cheapest, fastest or best options with sources you may not generally be able to find.
Shippo doesn’t actually fulfill the shipping aspect, but acts as the middleman between you and the couriers to ensure the easiest and affordable selection process. You can however purchase the labels that need to be applied on your packaging in most cases directly on the Shippo site, with a small fee at only the time of printing but never the price comparison searching. Beyond just the useful search feature, the application also has an API, co-founder Laura Behrens told us about it:
“We’ve built an API that makes shipping easy and affordable for small businesses that are not eligible for bulk discounts. Prices without bulk discounts are usually 80% higher. We give these customers access to better rates offered by smaller courier companies that are difficult to find and compare. We are a B2B business providing value through our shipping API. To scale distribution, we sign up marketplaces that give us pooled access to thousands of sellers.”
Many startups and small businesses are likely to incorporate plugins and third-party solutions that enable shipping costs into the framework, such as WooCommerce or Shopify, but for entrepreneurs that want even better pricing the Shippo API can be worth a look. There aren’t much details on the site that share if simple integration plugins will be available with the Shippo API, but we’re hoping it will be. In the mean time, startups utilizing crowdfunding should take notice of the search feature on the Shippo website to find creative ways to shave costs on shipping goods purchased from backers.