FedEx Web Services update

A number of things slowed us down over the past two months, but we are now really (really!) close to releasing ProductCart v4.5.

Among other new features, ProductCart v4.5 will include an updated integration with FedEx, which was necessary as FedEx has been phasing out the “old” FedEx API, will complete the phase out in May of 2012, and has already stopped onboarding new customers on that API.

Here are some clarifications on how your store might be affected by the new integration with the FedEx Web Services.

Activating FedEx
If you are a new ProductCart user, or an existing store that did not have FedEx active and wishes to activate it, you can no longer do so with the original integration.

  • In ProductCart v4.5, you will be able to activate FedEx using the new integration with the FedEx Web Services.
  • If you are using v4.1, we strongly recommend that you update the store to v4.5. If that is not an option, please open a support ticket and we can send a compatible version of the files for v4.1.

Shipping Rates
ProductCart now obtains shipping rates from FedEx using the new FedEx Web Services. Although a lot has changed under the hood, the features available to ProductCart-powered stores remain largely the same.

One thing that has been added is support for FedEx Ground Multiweight rates. These special rates are available by contract only. Contact your FedEx account executive for more information. Here is an overview.

Shipping Wizard & Label Printing
The ability to finalize a shipment and print a FedEx label from within ProductCart is not yet available as part of the new integration with FedEx. Unfortunately, the related certification process requires a tremendous amount of manual work (hundreds of labels that need to be individually created, printed, and sent to FedEx), and we simply did not have the time to complete this as part of ProductCart v4.5.

We understand that being able to process a FedEx shipment from within ProductCart is very convenient. However, it is not clear to us how many ProductCart merchants are really using this feature. Please contact us if you are using this feature or were planning to use this feature. We want to hear from all of you to form a better idea of how urgent this project is.

In the meantime, you have 2 options for FedEx label printing:

  1. Export to Ship Manager: We have created a new feature that allows you to export order information and import it in the FedEx Ship Manager. You can then process the shipment and print the label there (including thermal label printing). There is one limitation: this feature does not export package information (if any), so if the shipment requires multiple packages, you will need to address this manually within the FedEx Ship Manager.
  2. QuickBooks: If you use the handy ProductCart Synchronizer for QuickBooks, then you can take advantage of the integration between QuickBooks and the FedEx Ship Manager. NOTE that starting in QuickBooks 2007, the QuickBooks Shipping Manager supports multi-package shipments.

Existing FedEx users and ProductCart v4.5
Note that if you are an existing FedEx user in your ProductCart-powered store (e.g. you are happily printing FedEx labels in ProductCart v4.1):

  • You can continue using the “old” FedEx API until May of 2012
  • Untill then, you will be able to obtain rates, process shipments, and print labels
  • You will be able to continue doing so in ProductCart v4.5: just make sure that you do not remove FedEx, as you will not be able to re-activate FedEx under the original API.

We hope this helps… and we look forward to releasing ProductCart v4.5 very soon!

The Early Impact Team