Shippo Updates
Nov 21, 2023

How Shippo can Help Supercharge Your Peak Season Shipping

Peak season is when e-commerce retailers experience the highest sales volume of the year, amounting to up to 30% of annual sales. For most e-commerce businesses, this season typically starts in late October and lasts through the end of December, and even into early January (for returns and exchanges). This busy shopping season includes events like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Christmas.

At Shippo, we understand the importance of peak for your business. We’ve spent the last several months improving the speed and stability of our API to make it better than ever at serving you and your customers.

This post covers just a few of the ways we’re helping you be prepared for peak season this year.

Enhancing the Shippo API to support your business

Infrastructure and security

We embarked on a journey several months ago to modernize our infrastructure, including upgrades to our Python and Django versions. These changes have empowered us to develop more features more quickly moving forward. They also had a significant positive impact on our performance.

In fact, we’ve yielded a 20% increase in performance across all Shippo services, helping your shipping operations be smoother and faster. We've also addressed several potential security vulnerabilities, ensuring that your data and operations remain safe. You can learn about these improvements and more in our recent engineering blog.

Monitoring and resolution

In pursuit of improving observability, we’ve adopted New Relic for real-time monitoring of all Shippo services. We’ve also integrated traces and metrics as a foundation to observe their operation. This proactive approach helps us identify and resolve issues before they impact you. And should the unexpected happen, New Relic equips us with tools to diagnose and address problems more quickly than ever.

Rating performance and scalability

One of the advantages of Shippo is that our engineers build and maintain integrations with multiple carriers so you don’t have to. This allows rate shopping across several carriers with a single request. Our Rating API is one of our most trafficked, and over the past year, we’ve been working in the background to make it better.

When it comes to shipping, time is of the essence. We know you expect us to be dependable, especially during busier times like peak. With our new Rating service, you can expect a 50% improvement in response time. This performance increase will boost your shipping efficiency and lead to an improved customer experience. We've also upgraded our Rating service to provide more than 5x the throughput of our previous service.

Local rating and availability

In addition to improvements to core Rating, which involves external calls to carrier APIs, we’re refining how we handle situations when a carrier API is not available. Typically, a carrier-side issue would result in an incomplete rating response, which means you might not see all available service options, or the ones you really need.

To counteract this and increase both performance and flexibility, we’ve invested in a local Rating service, which maintains accurate rating details on our end. So when you request a rate from Shippo, we don't always have to reach out to a carrier for a response—we already have the details on hand. As we continue to improve this local Rating service, you can expect improved availability and quicker responses.

Stay informed and connected

You can stay up-to-date on any potential outages or scheduled maintenance using our API status page. There you can access relevant details on our current API status, web dashboard status, and even the status of all supported carriers. Additionally, you can review historical performance metrics and a log of past incidents. From this page, you can also subscribe to receive notifications for any changes.

Just getting started

We're excited about the progress we've made so far, but we aren’t finished yet. We’re continuing to invest and improve. For example, we plan to scale our Rating service to achieve an additional 10x performance vs. our legacy service in the coming year. All of this work has laid a firm foundation, enabling us to introduce new features and enhance performance more quickly moving forward.

The good news? All Shippo customers on our current API are benefiting from these updates to our Rating API and services without any changes required.

Are you ready to supercharge your holiday shipping operations? Learn more about the Shippo API and elevate your peak season performance today!

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Adrian Collins
is the Senior Technical Writer at Shippo

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