Blog Atom Feed

Travis Edwards

SmartRate API: Use Our Data To Ship Smarter

by Travis Edwards
Tweet
May 24, 2021

What if you could predict every late shipment before it happened?

We asked ourselves this same question here at EasyPost and it turns out we can tell you the answer! Using our time-in-transit dataset, which is backed by data on over 1 billion shipments, we can predict with pinpoint accuracy, the number of transit days for any given carrier service, for any given shipment. We've bundled this functionality into a new, industry-first product called SmartRate and are proud to announce that it is now available to all EasyPost customers!

OK, so how does SmartRate work?

SmartRate is a new, standalone API endpoint. Pass in a shipment object and it'll return transit days across a multitude of on-time delivery percentiles for every carrier service that was rated for that shipment. The patent-pending SmartRate algorithm is powered by EasyPost's entire shipment dataset.

What makes the model so accurate for your shipment? We use the most granular lane data possible that mirrors the information in your shipment passed through the API. If we have a statistically significant amount of shipment volume using the zip5 data from the addresses in your shipment, we will draw transit data from within just that zip5 address pairing. Because we have such a large volume of data, we can provide customers with transit time predictions for more than 98% of the shipments in our system.

Lane granularity & shipment volume relationship

Chart showing relationship between shipment volume and lane granularity The model will continually improve as we acquire more customers and carrier partners to provide you the best transit time estimates for all of your shipments.

How can you use SmartRate to optimize your shipping program?

Knock out low-hanging fruit savings opportunities:

When looking at our customer data, we saw that 1 in 3 shipments sent with expedited services could have arrived on time with a less expensive service.

SmartRate unlocks these savings opportunities by giving you data-backed shipping estimates with on-time delivery percentiles. Customers save up to 70% on shipments optimized using SmartRate.

For example, let's pretend your internal targets for on-time delivery are 90% and you have a customer that purchased an item with your 2-day shipping option. You pass through the customer's shipment information to the SmartRate API and return the following information:

serviceratep_90 transit daysp_75 transit days
Ground$8.7622
2-day$14.5921
Next-day$17.1511

The SmartRate API shows that your Ground service level arrives at the customer's location in 2 days 90% on time. You have built-in logic with the SmartRate API to select the cheapest rate under the 90% on-time percentile, so in this case, you select the Ground service level.

Where you would previously default to selecting your 2-day service level, SmartRate unlocks the ability to save money on shipments using cheaper service levels that will still arrive on time.

Get your packages there on time:

44% of consumers used a same-day delivery service in the past year but... 85% felt delivery speed missed their expectations.

Every merchant in today's world can tell you their own horror story about having a bad week with delayed shipments. It can be timely and costly to constantly adjust your carrier service selection based on the performance you are seeing. SmartRate allows you to automate your carrier service selection and adapt to performance in real time using our data-backed transit time predictions.

For example, let's pretend your internal targets for on-time delivery are 90% and you have a customer that purchased an item with your 2-day shipping option. You pass through the customer's shipment information to the SmartRate API and return the following information:

serviceratep_90 transit daysp_75 transit days
Ground$8.7654
2-day$14.5932
Next-day$17.1521

The SmartRate API shows that your 2-day service level arrives at the customer's location in 2 days only 75% on time, and arrives in 3 days 90% on time. You have built-in logic with the SmartRate API to select the cheapest rate under the 90% on-time percentile, so in this case, you select the Next-day service level.

Where you would previously default to selecting your 2-day service level and risk your shipment arriving late, SmartRate empowers you to better hit your on-time delivery targets by providing on-time delivery percentiles for every rate on a given shipment.

Add more flexible shipping options for your customers:

54% of consumers will give repeat business to retailers that can predict when a package will arrive but... 53% won't purchase a package without a delivery estimate.

We are well aware of how Amazon changed the shipping landscape. Nowadays, shoppers expect shipping to be fast and free with no hassle. Don't let your business get left behind in the wake of evolving demands from consumers in the eCommerce space, modernize with SmartRate instead.

For example, let's pretend your internal targets for on-time delivery are 90% and you offer a 1-day, 2-day, and Ground service level to your customers as shipping options at checkout. You pass through the customer's shipment information acquired on the checkout page to the SmartRate API and return the following information:

servicerateCarrier est. transit daysSmartRate p_90 transit days
Ground$8.7632
2-day$14.5921
Next-day$17.1511

The SmartRate API shows that your Ground service level arrives at the customer's location in 2 days 90% on time. You have built-in logic with the SmartRate API to pass through the estimated transit days for all of your rates under the 90% on-time percentile as transit time estimates for your shipping options.

SmartRate shows your customer can elect to choose the Ground service level for a 2-day shipment or the 2-day service level for a next-day shipment. Your customer benefits from selecting the cheapest option for their delivery preferences without overspending unnecessarily.

Start saving today!

Implementing SmartRate is fast and easy and our dedicated team will be here to help you every step of the way. Get started today!

Sources: