Shippo is an API that allows you to connect to multiple shipping carriers from one place to compare shipping rates, buy labels, and track packages. We power shipping for businesses.
Shipping is really hard. There are thousands of carriers around the world, each offering a variety of service levels. Shipping costs are also based on 5–6 different factors. Especially with companies like Amazon priming shoppers to expect fast and free shipping, businesses struggle to get products to their customers.
Our goal is to be Stripe for shipping. We provide the lego pieces for any developer to build their shipping backend.
Shippo started off as an API but it was hard to acquire customers to start with, so we built our own app and dashboard on platforms like Shopify and Magento for smaller merchants. We built up the API as we expanded our app and started gaining traction with developers again. So now we’re very focused on providing the right developer experience.
What are some use cases for the API?
If you have an e-commerce store or a marketplace that sells physical goods, you don’t want to go through connecting with USPS or FedEx individually. It’s time consuming to integrate into each carrier individually and each one requires going through a certification process. Instead, you can use Shippo and integrate our API. We have simple endpoints for address validation, managing orders, or tracking packages. You can piece together these endpoints depending on what you need.
The focus for Shippo is for any developer to be able to ship things without really getting into the nitty gritty of shipping. They don’t need to know about different carriers, their service levels, their tracking number formats, how to get rates, what “zones” are, etc. We abstract all the shipping stuff into just a few basic API calls.
Source: My Subscription Addiction For instance, VNYL uses us for shipping. They are a subscription service that sends a surprise set of records every month. After VNYL gets shipping labels from Shippo, they hook up each order with our webhooks to receive tracking notifications. When they see that the records have been delivered, they add those albums to the customer’s Spotify playlist.
We also power a lot of order management platforms. These services help merchants organize their business online. They keep track of orders and inventory, but shipping is not one of their core competencies. They leverage our API to offer shipping as part of dealing with orders and become a lot more feature complete.
Another category is website builders. We power GoDaddy and Weebly’s shipping. A huge percentage of their websites are e-commerce stores. Those sellers can log into their account and print off shipping labels for their orders.
How do you make money?
This model is very easy — we charge 5 cents per label. Depending on the carrier, we either provide a master account with negotiated rates or you can plug in your account information. Either option is 5 cents per label.