Freight API
Shopping Cart Programming
Common Carrier API
Shipping API Programming
What’s a freight API?

FREIGHT API FAQ's

The Problem The Solution Using PLATINUM API
What exactly is an API? An API is the programming needed to integrate into your shopping cart, so accurate freight rates are calculated and added to your web site's online sales.
How exactly does it work? Your shopping cart company integrates our API so you get the rates you need. The API allows direct connection to a freight carrier's computers to obtain those rates. When a purchaser on your web site hits the button "checkout", electronic queries are sent for the items in your cart (weight, dimensions, from/to zip codes and other criteria) to get an accurate rate, and is automatically entered into the shipping cost cell, within seconds. The purchaser can then complete the sale by entering their credit card information.
So what is different about this API, versus each API available from the carriers themselves? All of the API's available only query freight rates from the total of what is in the cart, meaning if you have five items to be purchased in the cart, the total of the weights and dimensions are used for the query, shipping from one location. We needed the ability to query by line item, as all our drop-shipped items come from a different shipping point. We also needed to first combine any items which may be in the cart when the origination zip code is identical or coming from the same shipping point. Lastly, we also needed our API to determine if each line item is small package freight or common carrier freight, so the appropriate carrier is queried.
Your API does all of that?Yes!
What carriers are currently integrated in this API? UPS Domestic and International, Fedex Domestic and International, DHL International, and freightquote.com for common carrier items pitting up to 100 carriers against each other for your business. UPS and Fedex do participate with freightquote.com, so their results for common carrier freight will be included in the freightquote.com rate results you receive, with multiple rates for each one based on timeframe of delivery.
Can you integrate other carriers I may wish to add? Yes, and it may not cost you a thing. If, for instance, your chosen carrier participates with freightquote.com, you can easily assure your account pricing by simply faxing your tarriff pricing from each carrier you work with, to your Freightquote.com Sales Rep. If your chosen carrier does not currently participate with freightquote.com, we would integrate the carrier's api for an extra fee. The only thing we would need to see to give you a quote for this would be the API from your chosen carrier. Once you have received it from them, simply email it to us using our email link, along with your request for quote. Our email address is available on our "Contact Us" page. We will respond with a quote shortly. The API's are free for the asking from any carrier, if they have one available. Once we review the code they supply, we will be able to quote you a fee to add your carrier(s). In the event they do not have XML or an API (programming) available, they will not be able to be added.
I need accounts with the carriers involved? Yes, and in that way the web site company will be billed for the freight costs. In our API, you will need accounts for UPS, Fedex, DHL and Freightquote.com to utilize all of them. You will not need a separate account for each of the carriers participating with freightquote.com. Your account with Freightquote.com itself will be sufficient. Your application and information provided to each determine your discounts with each one respectively, and as your business grows, so should your discounts.
How many results are returned for each of these carriers? Many. For each of the small package carriers, you will get results for ground track, 2 day air and overnight, just to mention a few, and thats per line item in the sale, and if you had both UPS and Fedex turned on, thats six results for that line item in the sale. Regarding the common carrier solution with Freightquote.com, it depends on the route and the product information, but you may get from 2 to 25 rates returned, per line item. You will see many carriers represented, including Fedex and UPS who are participating with freightquote.com for LTL freight. In some cases you will see multiple results from one carrier, which refers to various timeframes for delivery. So, you can get from 1-8 or so solutions from Fedex and the same from UPS for every line item in the sale small enough for small package freight. For every line item in the sale which ships via common carrier, you will get up to 25 carrier/timeframe solutions for each line item in the sale. You then program how many rates the purchaser will see on the checkout page to choose from. Remember also, you will have the ability to add a markup to those results. A markup might be needed for the web site owner in some cases. The markup would allow the web site owner to use the next higher priced carrier, should you realize the cheapest carrier in that sale had a bad "damaged freight" reputation with you in the past.
What additional programming might be needed to use this API? Your products need to be assigned the following parameters for your freight (see freightquote.com for a complete listing when you sign up with them): Shipping weight, shipping dimensions, class of freight, new/used, hazardous material or not, size of pallet, bale, drum, etc, commercial or residential pickup point, whether a dock/forklift is available there, and more.
Do I need to alter my checkout page as well? Yes, for two additions. First, your checkout page must allow the customer to answer a few questions with each purchase on your site such as: "is the destination address a commercial or residential site?, "is there a dock/forklift available at the destination?", and "is a lift gate needed?". Without these questions, the delivery truck might have to re-deliver as a result of not having a lift gate. That means the total freight cost is higher than the sold freight price within the sale. Also, you must decide what to do with all the freight query results. You can, for instance, choose to give your customer the best rate available (with or without a markup for you), you might choose to allow them to choose from three options per carrier (with or without a markup for you), or you might allow the purchaser to choose from all of the results returned (with or without a markup, and that might result in a vast array of options per line item). The programming to do this would be extra. The API is simply designed to return accurate rates. What you choose to do with them might be based on industry norms and/or your preference.
Tell me more about the programmer needed? Your chosen programmer will adjust the product page and checkout page as necessary and affect the emails generated from each sale to list freight information such as carrier, timeframe (when available) and cost as you wish. We anticipate just a couple weeks at most for this to be done prior to signing up for the API. Once you do sign up, there will be a period of time for the programmer to make the connection and complete testing, and allow you to test, prior to going live.
In signing up, how long until I am in business?The connection should take no more than a day.
What unforeseen aspects of preparing for the API might I run into?You will need to obtain accurate shipping dimensions and shipping weights** for each of your products, as well as the way the supplier would ship it (pallet, what size, bundle , etc.) along with the accurate freight class for each product. The web site owner might need a little time to prepare a spreadsheet with this information on all their products. Also, if your customer answers incorrectly the checkout page questions, such as; "Is destination commercial or residential?", and "Is there a dock/forklift available at the destination point?", you can end up with rates that are higher than quoted. A disclaimer to that effect on the checkout page is a great idea. Also, program into your confirmation of order (sale) to the web site owner the information the purchaser entered (or options chosen), for the web site owners records. One other item: The rates that are offered by freightquote.com are dependent upon your shippers using the freightquote.com bill of lading which will be emailed to them when you set up the shipment manually. In setting up shipments manually, you begin a dialogue with the shipping personnel of all your suppliers, not only to generate more goodwill, but as well to ensure with email confirmation for your records that they do agree to only use the freightquote.com bill of lading to ensure your pricing, as confirmed by the API results.

**Or you may need to use dimensional weights for weight only queries. Please see this link with UPS for an explanation of dimensional weights, keeping in mind that Fedex uses similar criteria; http://www.ups.com/content/us/en/resources/ship/packaging/dim_weight.html?srch_pos=1&srch_phr=dimensional+weight
Can I turn on or off some of the carriers integrated into the API?Yes, when you sign up, you will go to "Shipping Preferences" within the Freightapi.com web site and determine which are "turned on" or not, and then enter your account information for each of the carriers involved.
Tell me more about shopping carts. You will need to pick a shopping cart which is easy for the customer to use, and easy for you to use. Have them demo the admin portion of their past projects so you can see how easy it is to enter a new product, all the details and text pertaining to each product and compare it against our home page of this site in determining the questions which must be added. Look at an array of their check out page solutions for variety and choices. Review the functionality of the site for download quickness and ease of buying something quickly. Refrain from web sites that take nine pages to buy something and endless navigating of the site. Our rule of thumb is "three pages to buy"...the home page, detail page of product wanted, cart. For those needing a custom cart, programmers specializing in such projects are discovered through recommendations by those who have used them in the past. That's your best ticket to spending the least amount of time to get your cart turned on.
When I sign up, how do I receive the API?We send you instructions, with a username and password, to show you how to connect to the API. Our API is stored on our server and, with the programming needed to complete your options, is accessed using simple XML passed back and forth. We even allow you some time after you sign up and after the setup fee, to complete your programming prior to your first charge being initiated.
What are the costs involved?When you sign up, Freightapi.com charges you a non-refundable $250 set up fee for all plans. You are then charged $59 per month for the use of the API. Please see details on fees on your quotation before signing. Aside from the setup fee, the other charges begin on the first of the month after 30 days following your signed order, to allow time for your programming to be completed. That's up to two months free use of the API!
How do I sign up?Simply go to our sign up page on this web site and submit the completed form. We will follow up with a phone call very soon, and send your quotation to handle all your needs. We thank you in advance for your order, and know you will love the API! Your web site has now eliminated all the obstacles, both logistically and psychologically, that has plagued web sites for years. You too will have a "complete" online web site function that incorporates the best rates..automatically! We're excited to help you soon and thank you in advance for your business!

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.