ShipStation’s USPS Label Provider

by
April 10, 2015

In March of 2010, I founded Auctane, which you now know as ShipStation. Like many of you fellow entrepreneurs, I had to figure out a lot of things on my own as I went along. One of my first realizations was that it was (and remains) difficult for software providers to directly generate labels on behalf of the US Postal Service. As a result, my first Auctane partnership was with Stamps.com, a USPS label provider. Stamps.com already had a relationship in place with the US Postal Service and had technology we adopted to generate pre-paid USPS shipping labels. Over the years, Stamps.com has been a key technology partner to ShipStation. In fact, they ended up acquiring us several years later in 2014!

We added Endicia as a second USPS label engine about two years later. There were several reasons for this, but the primary one was that Stamps.com suffered growth-related server issues in the Christmas season of 2011. This was a painful time for some of our customers, so we decided to add a new provider to our system. Stamps.com and Endicia provided essentially the same product: the ability for us to easily generate a USPS label. This label generation happens behind the scenes and doesn’t affect our interface design or ease of use in any way, so customers trusted our choice of label engine.

For a period of time Endicia was the primary USPS label generator in ShipStation. After we saw Stamps.com revamp and “scale up” their server infrastructure, we made them available again to our users. Unfortunately, forcing customers who simply wanted USPS labels to choose between label engines caused a great deal of confusion. How could they choose between two engines that provide the same thing: the same USPS services, the same USPS labels, and the same USPS rates? We removed this confusing friction point almost a year ago by standardizing on Stamps.com. Since then all USPS labels for new customer accounts (and all Express 1 labels for all accounts) have been generated exclusively by Stamps.com. This simplification resulted in new customers getting up and running more quickly and the vast majority of accounts in ShipStation now generate USPS labels using the Stamps.com engine. As an extra benefit, Stamps.com’s reliability was so significantly improved since 2011 that they ended up being our most reliable label partner in the very busy 2014 Christmas season.

Last week, we announced that Stamps.com would become our exclusive PC Postage provider and that support for Endicia would be ending. Despite the scary “sky is falling” emails that many of you have received from outside sources, this doesn’t negatively affect the ShipStation interface or your workflow in any way. The label generation happens “under the hood” and is invisible to our users. All USPS services (including NSA and CPP agreements) will work the same way they always have.

You’ll still work directly with the ShipStation team, still have the features you had before (and more), and still get the same pricing on your labels. Additionally, your Express 1 USPS accounts won’t be impacted by this change at all. Express 1 USPS labels in ShipStation are already generated exclusively by the Stamps.com label engine.

As I hope you all know, ShipStation has worked obsessively over the years to build the best shipping platform in the business. We have always erred on the side of inclusion with our partnerships in an effort to bring you the most connected solution possible. We partner with nearly 20 carriers and nearly 70 marketplaces and have many more in the works. We also have the most feature-rich product set available and have an incredible 2015 roadmap of enhancements and new features that we have already started to roll out.

Unlike what you may have been told, this change in our USPS label engine provider will not stop the earth from spinning on its axis. Nor will it slow down your business or cost you money. This is simply a change in supplier technology that will take you a few seconds to update in your account and I am confident this change will make your business even more efficient in the long run. I apologize for the inconvenience, but once you have finished this easy switch, your account will continue to work as it always has.

I appreciate your trust in ShipStation and look forward to a great future shipping together.

Jason Hodges
Founder
ShipStation