ERP Shipping with ShipHawk APIs
  • Michael Stivers
July 31, 2023
Posted by Michael Stivers
Michael Stivers

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) implementations can take many forms, with each one designed, developed, and deployed for an enterprise’s unique business requirements. Whether you have your own in-house ERP solution or have one of the many standard ERP solutions, you will need to extend it to include a best-in-class ERP shipping and fulfillment integration. In today’s environment, shipping is a complex challenge, one that requires a multi-carrier shipping solution that centralizes both parcel and less-than-truckload (LTL) carriers into one system while offering smart packing, rules, rate optimization, and reporting and analytics. With ShipHawk, you can integrate complete warehousing and shipping capabilities into your ERP with the ShipHawk API.

ShipHawk API for ERP Shipping

An Application Programming Interface (API) provides an interface between two applications, enabling them to communicate and exchange information programmatically. In general, an API is a set of routines, protocols, and tools for building and connecting software applications. 

APIs can be based on a variety of styles and standards. For example, web service APIs use the HTTP protocol for data requests and responses between a client and a server. ShipHawk’s APIs are web service APIs based on the popular REpresentational State Transfer (REST) style, in which data is exchanged in the JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) format. This format is lightweight and easy to parse, which increases overall performance. ShipHawk also supports webhooks for sending data based on defined events.

The ShipHawk API provides a way to integrate ShipHawk’s shipping solution into your ERP to ensure a seamless transfer of critical data.

With the ShipHawk API, you get ShipHawk’s best-in-class technology in just the way you need it for your ERP shipping requirements: ShipHawk supports all kinds of standalone use cases such as parcel label printing, as well as more powerful functions that enable shipping process automation from rating to delivery, and much more. You can access endpoints that enable rating, booking, dispatch, tracking, and reconciliation to automate eCommerce workflows, as well as more traditional offline sales channels.

ERP Shipping Integration

With ShipHawk’s API, your development team or consultant has the building blocks necessary to access ShipHawk’s unique packing and shipping data. It works like a set of instructions on how to make requests to ShipHawk for data and the kinds of responses that are returned; letting your system know what to send to ShipHawk and it gets back from ShipHawk. 

ShipHawk’s API gives you control over a process that has long been risky and uncertain. The  API is the gateway to the entire ShipHawk platform, which includes fully landed rates, booking, automatic dispatch, status tracking, and shipping document generation. 

The API supports standalone use cases such as parcel label printing, as well as more powerful functions to enable shipping process automation from rating to delivery, and beyond. Access endpoints that enable rating, booking, dispatch, tracking, and reconciliation to automate both eCommerce workflows as well as more traditional offline sales channels.

With the ShipHawk Shipping API, you can take the extensive capabilities of ShipHawk and integrate them within your existing system, enabling enhanced workflows and creating new efficiencies. To see how this can benefit your business, see this short video below about how POLYWOOD integrated ShipHawk into all of its existing systems to have a streamlined workflow. 

Integration Development Process

A typical end-to-end development process for integrating the ShipHawk API with your ERP can include the following steps:

  1. Item Mapping — mapping your items to ShipHawk, so ShipHawk knows how to package them.
  2. Getting Rates — identify  where you want  rates implemented in your system. 
  3. Booking Shipments — when you are ready to send shipments to ShipHawk,  we help you with getting labels and BOLs.
  4. Tracking —  subscribe  to our tracking webhooks to seamlessly receive updates from ShipHawk.
  5. Writing Back to Source System — writing data back to the source system (ERP) can be done using API responses, additional API calls, or by receiving webhooks.

Typically, an experienced development team can set up an integration in a few days (under one week). More complicated systems may require up to two weeks or more.

Development Resources

While an API integration can provide you with the ability to integrate ShipHawk with your ERP, if you don’t have an internal team or consultant available, you might feel stuck. However, rest assured, ShipHawk has relationships with partners that can help you get access to development resources that can help you with the technical integration of the two systems.

ERP Shipping Rates Integration

Multi-carrier rating lets you find the right carrier and service level, whether you need to optimize for cost, time, service level, carrier type, or even limit rates to a specific carrier. By integrating ShipHawk with your ERP system, you can make these decisions in real-time.

By developing an ERP Shipping solution with the ShipHawk API,  you can make sure you have the right information. The shipping rates are most accurate when complete product details are provided. Whether your products can be shipped parcel or freight, domestic or international, you'll want to make sure that you have the right information available to rate (and ultimately book) your shipments.

While you can often access rates from carriers with weight or dimensions, we highly recommend that you store as much information as possible with your products, including: length, width, height, weight, freight class and harmonization codes (HTC) and country of origin (manufacture) for international shipments.

Continuous Innovation and Improvement

ShipHawk stands out for its focus on continuous innovation and improvement. For example, ShipHawk recently implemented a new API endpoint for a Packed Orders API. This API is for merchants who prefer to use packing features embedded within their own WMS or ERP platforms before sending the order information to ShipHawk.  In such cases, the external system selects the packing containers, determines which items are packed into each container, and posts packages to ShipHawk for rate shopping, carrier and service selection, and booking.

Dedicated Support

ShipHawk provides guidance on how to properly set up your account, validate your implementation, and prepare your operation for a successful launch. We know that developers want to control their own timelines, but we also know that implementations can require quality support. We are here to help. We have a team of implementation engineers available to answer questions, help with rule configurations, automations, or general product clarification and/or strategy.

Comprehensive API Documentation

ShipHawk makes available comprehensive API documentation for developer use. Examples are shown on the right side of the page. We show examples using cURL, a universal tool for getting and sending data using the URL syntax. We also show examples in Ruby, Python, and Java.

Get Started

ShipHawk is ready to discuss your questions and needs for developing an ERP shipping solution.  To learn more about how ShipHawk API can help you, contact us today

Subscribe to the ShipHawk Blog

Recent Posts