Shippo’s September Product Round-up: New Shipping Insurance, Carrier Improvements, Elements Upgrade
At Shippo, we strive to improve every day so we can build products that will empower e-commerce businesses and logistics companies large and small with the tools they need to ship more effectively. This previous month was no different.
With one major launch and a handful of enhancements across the board, our customers and partners can see improvements in their day-to-day workflows when using Shippo. Those changes include a more comprehensive shipping insurance solution, more accurate time-in-transit estimates, and international shipping capabilities for our API partners to name a few.
All New: Shipping Insurance Through XCover
September marked one of the biggest launches of the year for Shippo. Through a new shipping insurance partnership with XCover, Shippo users can now access extended coverage, lower prices, and faster claims processing. Some of the features that Shippo users have now that weren’t offered before include:
Porch Piracy: Package theft is now covered when you select shipping insurance! With 67% of Americans having fallen victim to porch piracy in the past, it is a legitimate concern that almost all customers face. The need to protect your customers’ packages is only elevated during the holiday season since the products they are ordering are often intended for someone else. Having this feature now can give all involved peace of mind.
No Minimum Fees: In the past, there was a minimum $1 charge for adding shipping insurance to any packages valued under $100. That is no longer the case with Shippo’s all-new shipping insurance offering. Now, shipping insurance rates are just 1.25% for all domestic shipments and 1.50% for all international shipments. This means you can ensure a $50 package for just 63 cents rather than $1.63. This means you can protect more packages for significantly less, saving you money in the long run.
Greater Global Coverage: Previously, shipping insurance for international deliveries would only cover outbound shipments that originated from the United States. Now, e-commerce businesses that fulfill orders in other countries can also protect their shipments crossing borders. Origin countries that are now eligible to add shipping insurance include Canada, the U.K., France, Germany, Spain, Italy, and the Netherlands. Since international shipments spend longer in transit, the likelihood of parcels getting damaged increases. Shippo users can now protect more of their shipments and better serve international customers as a result.
Faster Claims and More Packages Covered: Previously, insurance claims would average 3-5 business days in order to be completed. Now, XCover’s dedicated claims team aims to complete 95% of claims within three days of filing a claim.* This means you can get your customers paid instantly and get your finances in order faster. You can also cover more items as well. Products like TVs and computer monitors are now eligible for coverage.** The icing on the cake is that now, branded packages can now be covered as well. You can add your logo and brand colors to your box without missing out on protection.
Check out our help center article to learn more about the new features included in our latest shipping insurance offering as well as how to insure packages within Shippo.
*Processing times may vary
**some restrictions apply
Shippo Enhancements: UI, AI, and Carrier Functions
One of our largest commitments since the start of this year has been to perfect our foundations as a multi-carrier shipping software. A large part of that is to ensure our shippers get the most accurate data from our partnered carriers and to have access to the carrier service levels crucial to their business.
USPS Time-in-Transit: Time in transit is an important factor for customers purchasing from your site which means it's critical for you to know how long a shipment will take to reach them. Previously, USPS transit times were hard-coded, which meant transit times were calculated based on origin zone to destination zone. Now, time-in-transit is calculated based on origin zip code and destination zip code. More importantly, we are now integrated to USPS's new Service Standards API, so as they make improvements to their delivery speeds (e.g., Ground Advantage), Shippo will always show the most accurate expected transit times from USPS. This means more accurate shipping expectations for your business and ultimately your customers.
USPS HAZMAT Returns: Though launched shortly before September, it's still worth mentioning. We now support return labels for shipping HAZMAT items with USPS. With Shippo HAZMAT support and USPS Ground Advantage, our users can include scan-based return labels with packages containing hazardous materials. Shipping HAZMAT items can be a confusing process for businesses and customers alike, so with this launch, your business can ensure a seamless process for all involved.
Order Tracking Enhancements: In addition to these carrier improvements, we also improved our tracking accuracy & reliability for shipments using USPS, DHL e-Commerce, & Deutsche Post. With file based tracking, we’re now able to decrease latency times between an event happening to it becoming visible in your tracking pages from 6 hours to just 15 minutes depending on the carrier! This means you and your customers are getting the most up to date information on your packages throughout their journey.
It hasn’t all just been improvements on the carrier side. We’ve also done some cleaning up when it comes to regularly used features of Shippo.
Nicknames for stores: Also launching shortly before this month, it's worth mentioning here as well. For merchants selling on multiple platforms or with multiple online stores, it can be tricky to manage orders. To make this easier, we’ve added the capability to add nicknames for stores through the same e-commerce platform. For example, if you have two Shopify stores, you can give them different names so orders don’t just appear as “Shopify”. This can help keep you and your team organized and avoid any fulfillment errors.
Instant Shipping Help*: We pride ourselves on innovation and using the latest technology to power our platform, including AI. That’s why we’re thrilled to introduce our new AI assistant (in Beta) that allows you to get instant shipping help. You can ask questions regarding how to use Shippo or ask for general shipping advice.
Cleaner UI: The people have spoken and we’ve heard. That’s why we worked to combat two pesky bugs our users were dealing with. Clunky rate refreshes have now been resolved and mouse cursor action on your orders page now performs better.
Bulk Shipments: Previously, when web-app users had selected a large number of orders to purchase labels for, editing the shipping specifications on an individual order meant all other orders were deselected. Now, when users select a large number of orders, a bulk action bar will be displayed at the top of the orders page, allowing you to edit individual orders without losing all the other selections you’ve made prior. You can also purchase all labels selected with just one click located in that bulk action bar rather than having to click through three different screens. Web-app users now have a better way to navigate, group, and select orders for editing label specifications and purchasing.
*Note: Our new AI assistant is still in Beta, is only available to a subset of users, and is actively being improved. The more questions it takes in, the better its answers will become in the future.
Our Web-app was not the only product that saw crucial updates launched last month. Shipping Elements, our API product that allows e-commerce platforms like Wix to offer Shippo’s shipping functionality directly on their platforms, also saw improvements.
Elements cross-border delivery: Shipping Elements users worldwide now have the ability to declare customs information and deliver packages internationally. While initially rolled out to US users in August, the capability is now accessible for Elements users across the globe.
Sender Addresses: Elements users can now permanently save more than one sender address. They can also set defaults for sender address and return address. Because of this update, merchants with multiple distribution centers can better manage their businesses and streamline fulfillment flows.
Lastly, we announced in September our full transition from Python 2.7 to 3.9 and Django 1.6 to 3.x. By doing so we were able to correct 600 security vulnerabilities and are now seeing a 20% increase across the board in terms of performance gains. By modernizing our tech stack we can better protect our customers' information and deliver a faster and more reliable shipping solution at the same time.
Log in to your Shippo account to see these enhancements in action today!