Hello ShipStation team and fellow ShipStation users,
When it comes to ShipStation and LTL it is apparent that there is currently a major barrier to most of us potential ShipStation users when trying to use ShipStation to improve how we fulfill our orders using ShipStation. Following a discussion with one of the Auctane reps for ShipStation I was able to ask a few questions about how ShipStation+ShipEngine currently plans on fixing this issue for all of us. With some answers, I think I have identified why a feature like this being requested since 2017 has yet to be rolled out. It is my understanding, ShipStation is reliant on the ShipEngine team to build out Intergrations like the Seko Freight intergration. Youll notice over on ShipEngine they have several more major carriers(those that have API's to interact with the ShipEngine API) intergrated, and it sounds like the team at ShipStation is tasked with bringing those intergrations up from ShipEngine into ShipStation.
Intergrations are nice, especially for Parcel carriers and its definetly powerful if available for LTL carriers, but if you do mostly LTL freight orders, you probably saw the Seko intergration and was pretty confused as to what the planned approach is for LTL at ShipStation. First off, I imagine most of us are approaching LTL Freight in a handful of standard ways. In our case, we multi-quote with serveral Freight Carriers, have establish standard rates with several vendors when they are shipping for us, and we quote independatly with specific Freight Carriers as well as quote through multi-quote systems like Kuebix, BlueGrace, UniShippers, and LFS Logistics. Multi-quoting is extremely common for Freight based fulfillment companies like ours and thats because all the carriers offer wildly different pricing, some are available nationally only because they work through partner carriers, others are only in operation on one side of the country, etc.
It seems to me, the idea behind intergrations here on ShipStation is to make it so we can easily quote with each carrier that have an intergration in ShipStation. This could eventually setup ShipStation as a powerful onestop shop for Multi-Quoting for both Parcels and Freight. I dont however believe this is the best approach. At the bare minimum, the best version of LTL Freight Carrier Support on ShipStation starts with manual entry by ShipStation customers of Freight Carriers. This should entirely replace the "Other" option currently the default for any carrier not completely intergrated into ShipStation. Allow us to create identities for these carriers with the following basic information to autofill into the tracking emails:
Allow quoting to occur outside ShipStation, and confirmed within. This doesnt necesarily require building out a feature where we get to pre-create carriers that would populate the list. You could have these fields be prompted when "Other" is selected as the carrier method.