The Shipment Server API is a hosted webservice that can build a shipment and deliver a label ready for print. It is aimed at customers who want a standard delivery management platform, but also want full control over their integration. You can integrate Shipment Server in your own business systems, and have full control of your customized production view.
This article will explain, without any technical details, what you need to know before you begin using the Shipment Server API:
If you are looking for information about the technical implementation, see these articles:
- Getting started with Shipment Server integration
- Overview of methods
- Implementation and request examples
The basic flow - how does it work?
You send a request to the Shipment Server web service with your shipment data and get back a label.
To get a succesful response from the web service, your request must contain all the information necessary to create a shipment. This can vary from carrier to carrier, but basic information is receiver name and address, carrier product and services, parcel weight and content.
A succesful request will usually result in a response from the web service with a label. Shipment Server does not handle the printing of the labels. It is up to you to develop a solution for this that fits your environment.
Some carriers need to receive electronic data (EDI) about the shipments. Consignor automatically generates the correct data format, but you must tell the web service when you want to transmit the EDI or set up automatic transmit. Some carriers consider a booking to be final as soon as the label is printed and do not need any EDI. Once a booking is final, it can usually not be updated.
See API workflows for a visual overview.
Getting the right carriers
Consignor has the largest carrier library in the world, and we maintain all our carrier integrations to meet the carriers' label and data requirements. With Consignor Shipment Server, you only need to use one API to have access to hundreds of carriers.
To make the right setup for you, you must tell Consignor which carriers and what products and services you will be using. If in doubt about the products and services, ask your carrier contact. You will need an agreement with the carriers we activate on your setup.
When a new customer is set up, Consignor will need to pass a test procedure between Consignor and the carriers. This test procedure helps ensure high quality when the solution is put into production.
Customized setup and Actor ID
To get started, you need a Shipment Server license and a unique Actor ID. The Actor ID identifies you, when you make requests to the web service. The Actor ID is created by Consignor, and contains all the information set up by us. Information like customer number at carrier, product codes and number ranges are examples of information hosted by Consignor and stored under your Actor ID. We make a customized set-up for you with your customer specific data.
Contact us to get your setup and Actor ID for Shipment Server.