13 Popular Shipping APIs

Shipping is the circulatory system of our global economy. And lately, it seems the doorstep is the new mall. Everybody is getting almost everything shipped, and retailers, restaurants, wholesalers, and eCommerce stores need to make sure they are using the best tools to get the job done.

Developers wishing to implement shipping services into applications need to check out ProgrammableWeb for the best shipping Application Programming Interfaces, or APIs. There, they can find APIs for specific delivery & courier services, aggregated shipping, on-demand delivery, tracking, logistics, postage, local food and goods delivery, freight, rail, marine, trucking, and air services, International services, and more.

This article details the top 13 Shipping APIs based on website traffic on ProgrammableWeb.

1. FedEx API

FedEx web services allow businesses to integrate FedEx shipping functionality into their existing warehouse management systems without hosting on-site. The FedEx API uses SOAP protocol to provide XML responses for creating, managing and deleting shipment details, also processing replies, and verification.

2. UPS Locator API

The UPS Locator APITrack this API provides developers a way to include a search for UPS shipping locations into applications. The search API returns e UPS Store locations, Mail Boxes Etc. locations, UPS Customer Centers, UPS Drop Boxes, UPS Express, Staples, and Office Depot, Authorized Shipping Outlets (ASO), and UPS Authorized Service Providers. The API is offered in XML format. Results can be displayed in two ways: as a list of locations, or combined with mapping vendor freeware to include directions.

3. Fastway API

Fastway provides local, short-haul, and national courier services in key regional and metropolitan locations in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Northern Ireland, and South Africa. The Fastway RESTful APITrack this API allows third-party developers to integrate with its systems. The public API methods allow users to determine the cost to ship goods between two locations and to track goods in transit.

4. USPS Package Pickup Availability API

The USPS Package Pickup Availability APITrack this API allows developers to check the availability of package pickup at a specific address. It also returns the first available date for pickup. The package pickup service is not available for all addresses. This API is part of the USPS Web Tools API Library which provides access to USPS data free of charge.

5. UPS Tracking API

The UPS Tracking APITrack this API provides businesses with the ability to give customers package tracking information on their own websites. Customers can track their shipments and check the status of their orders directly on e-commerce sites using a reference or order number. The API also lets users query for specific details about their shipment status.


DHL XML Services provides developers the ability to integrate DHL's service availability, transit times, rates, shipment tracking and more from more than 140 countries. The DHL APITrack this API allows developers to utilize their existing shipping management systems and integrate with DHL via a standard XML based secured Platform. Available services include shipment processing, tracking, rate quote, capability, label generation and pickup booking.

7. ShipStation API

ShipStation is a web-based shipping solution that streamlines the order fulfillment process for online retailers. ShipStation integrates with USPS, UPS, and FedEx for retrieving rates, creating shipping labels, and much more. The ShipStation APITrack this API allows you to Feed orders, customers, and products into ShipStation in addition to querying on a wide variety of data.

8. Vesseltracker API

The VesselTracker APITrack this API gives registered developers online access to location and status information for registered ships and boats worldwide. Vessel traffic is logged by satellite and terrestrial tracking technologies and reported on the site and via API. API methods support retrieval of data about ships' movements and status (docked, underway, etc.), vessel characteristics, and port activity. Additional data is available include schedules, expected arrivals, and vessel master data.

9. Canada Post API

The Canada Post APITrack this API enables developers to integrate postal services with e-commerce and retail applications. The API allows online stores to incorporate rate discovery and package tracking. API methods support specification of shipping location and delivery address, determination of shipping charges, available shipping options, completion of Documentation to send a package, package tracking while en route.

10. Stamps.com

Stamps.com is an online postage vendor that also provides a SOAP-based APITrack this API for generating USPS shipping labels. Users can make and print labels themselves or e-mail labels to customers for printing. The API also supports address cleansing, calculating USPS rates, package tracking, and more. These services are recommended for Integration with web-based e-commerce systems or other web-hosted applications.

11. AfterShip API

The AfterShip APITrack this API supports shipment tracking and notifications for over 670 couriers worldwide. Developers can use it to get the latest delivery results and notify customers of delivery updates. V4 of the Aftership API provides methods for managing couriers, trackings, last checkpoint, and notifications.

12. Postmates

Postmates is a courier service that allows users to request deliveries form any restaurant or store. Using the Postmates Delivery APITrack this API, developers can integrate the on-demand delivery service into 3rd party applications. The API allows developers to book a delivery, check delivery prices, request a quote, and track the status of a delivery until its arrival.

13. Searoutes API

The Searoutes.com API is a route optimization system that delivers GeoJSON data for routing vessels on the water. The API supports street/ocean routing for inter-modal supply chains, fuel consumption, voyage weather, and piracy zones which can be avoided and displayed during mapping. Canals and inland rivers can also be used.

Users can plan routes for marine vessels with this API

Users can plan routes for marine vessels with this API. Image: Searoutes

Head on over to the Shipping category for more developer resources, including news articles, how-tos, 319 APIs, 205 SDKs, and 135 Source Code Samples.

Be sure to read the next Shipping article: Touchpoint Group Holdings Partners with UPS via API