If you are a developer, then you know that integrating shipping into an e-commerce site can be a huge pain in the neck. Many of the major carriers like FedEx and UPS use complex APIs like SOAP and XML that many developers say are difficult to work with. The current antiquated system has made this area ripe for disruption. San Francisco-based EasyPost has come up with a simple API to allow developers to integrate shipping into applications quickly and easily.
EasyPost, which received $850,000 in seed funding in June, has raised a few million dollars more since then (although they wouldn’t get specific) from Google board member Raj Sriram, Google Ventures, Charlie Cheever, Capricorn, YC Partners, Founders Fund, Fritz Lanman and other angel investors. With the influx of capital, the company is moving full steam ahead honing its API that makes it possible to integrate USPS, UPS, DHL and FedEx shipping into any application in minutes.
“It’s a lot like software- not all software is created equal,” said EasyPost co-founder Jarrett Streebin. “It’s the same thing with API’s- most of the carriers are using a dated protocol called SOAP, which are XML APIs, it’s an old protocol and the support isn’t very good for these.“
The dated protocols can make it difficult to do things like adjust for shipping costs. As a result, many e-commerce sites just pick a flat rate, which is not always the most accurate price. This is not only a problem for the shipper, as occassionally shipping charges are higher than that flat rate, but it can also be a problem for the consumer who misses out on savings when rates should be lower.
Plus, with the current API’s that major carriers use today, it can take a week or more to be up and running (and support is not that great). With EasyPost, developers can be up and running as soon as they sign up.
“The current shipping market is a lot like where we were with PayPal,” Streebin said. “PayPal came in and it was revolutionary. Where we’re headed is where Stripe’s at now, people don’t want a bulky API, they want one that they can get up and running within minutes accepting payments, it’s the same with shipping that we can do now.”
EasyPost emerged from beta about a little over a year ago and so far has thousands of customers shipping hundreds of thousands of packages each month. The service is also easy to use. Developers come to the site, enter in their account information for UPS, FedEx, or USPS, and then get an API key they can use to access all the functions provided. Currently, EasyPost charges 5 cents per shipment, but offers discounted rates for larger shippers.