Like most countries around the world Australia has seen a boom in the number of parcels being delivered over the past 2 years, driven by a surge in online shopping during the lockdowns. Last October Australia Post was delivering more than 10 million parcels across Australia every week and was struggling to keep up with demand, having seen a 76 per cent increase in online shopping purchases in the previous 12 months.
Things were so bad Australia Post suspended parcel collections from online retailers in NSW, Victoria and the ACT for three days in September in a bid to catch up on the backlog.
If you’re an Australian retailer using the Claris FileMaker Platform to run your business you can leverage the Australia Post API to automate many of the mundane tasks associated with creating and lodging shipments with Australia Post. Australia Post have a number of APIs to help automate many of the tasks associated with shipping and tracking, including:
- creating shipments
- validate postcodes and suburbs
- printing labels
- lodging orders
- printing order summaries
- tracking parcels
You can also use other techniques to help streamline the data entry process, such as scanning barcodes and using online address lookup tools to improve the accuracy of a shipping address. You’re probably familiar with having to enter your address and select the matching address from a filtered list that reduces the number of matches as you type. You might not be aware that you can also incorporate this into your FileMaker solution – here’s a screenshot showing a card window that allows the user to enter an address and select the matching result which will then be used to populate the address, suburb, state, postcode and country fields:
If you’re currently manually lodging shipments and downloading and printing labels and copying/pasting tracking codes integrating with the Australia Post API can save you and your business time and money. With the Australia Post API it’s simple to download a list of the Australia Post products for your account and associate these with line items on your order/invoice:
You can then create a shipment from your order/invoice, request the label (either as a PDF or ZPL format) and then create an order from one or more shipments and retrieve the order summary as a PDF.
Here’s a short video demonstrating how you can use a FileMaker solution to create shipments, print labels and lodge orders all from FileMaker (you can also view it directly on YouTube). If you would like to discuss integrating your FileMaker solution with the Australia Post API to further automate your business workflows please get in touch for a free initial consultation to discuss your requirements.