UPS Freight LTL Shipping Integration

We added support for UPS Freight shipping to an existing e-commerce system.

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Who?

The project was for our colleagues at Artisan Digital Media and their client, Steel Supply.

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What?

We built a UPS Freight LTL integration into Steel Supply's ExpressionEngine CartThrob website.

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Why?

Freight shipping was required for some of Steel Supply's more heavy and bulky products.

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How Long?

This integration project took less than 4 weeks.

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How Weird?

We love it when a client needs something unusual. This one was like no problem we had solved before.

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Guess What!

If you need to ship a pipe as big as your car you probably need UPS Freight LTL.

Overview

We completed a project for our colleagues at Artisan Digital Media where we extended the capabilities of the existing e-commerce platform for their client Steel Supply. The Steel Supply website was capable of selling pipe fittings and industrial level pipeline products. Some of these products were exceptionally bulky and heavy. To ship them required using freight services.

Steel Supply needed its e-commerce site to integrate with the Freight LTL API provided by UPS in order to provide customers with shipping estimates. We worked with Artisan Digital Media to complete this additional integration with their current ExpressionEngine / CartThrob website.

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Second Chair Support

Solspace frequently partners with other development teams, freelancers, and agencies. We call this Second Chair Support. Sometimes we get called in to help solve weird, unusual, or complex web development problems. And sometimes our development partners bring us in just to offload some of the more crunchy development bits so that they can focus on the main aspects of a new build for a client.

Often when we serve as a development partner we help with API integrations. You may be surprised at how many millions of combinations are possible these days with the different connections and configurations that can be made across various web services and web systems. When things get sticky and unusual, we can help.

When Things Get Weird

These days there are already a lot of plugins to add capabilities on to CMS platforms like Craft. There are also a lot of native capabilities in this type of CMS. But there are still gaps in functionality. There are places where customization, extra functionality, or deeper integrations are needed by clients. We help fill in these gaps, especially when things get weird.

Sometimes two web systems are not prepared to connect to one another. Sometimes native CMS functionality or that available through third-party plugins does not directly meet a client's need. Outlier cases like these are weird. They don't fit cleanly into known paradigms. This is where we come in.

At Solspace we practice what we call Creative Development. We try and achieve a healthy blend of coding chops with creative problem-solving abilities. We love when a web development problem gets complex, confusing, and difficult to parse. When coding meets creativity is when we are at our best.

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Reduce Friction By Staying Out Of The Way

Part of the definition of sitting in the Second Chair Support role is staying out of the way. Our job is to extract the information we need about the development problem, write a reliable estimate, set clear goals and deadlines, and keep them. If we make a promise and keep it, our development partner and their client get to continue on with solving other problems. They don't have to worry about us. We're low friction and reliable. We stay out of the way.