Changes to CarrierService API rate request timeouts - 10s -> 5s

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Tourist
11 0 2

This is a disgrace. I ship low volumes of high value heavy items and rely entirely on the USPS rater to generate shipping quotes for destinations around the world. Getting it wrong could mean I'm out a hundred dollars. What is going to happen is the rate is going to go over the 5 seconds and simply fail. 

Additionally, my rater is programmed in a synchronous language and moving to the async language that this kind of limitation imposes will take many months work.

Springing this on us with 4 days notice is absurd. 

Nobody is going to rework their whole shipping rating infrastructure at short notice to comply with this new imposition - things are going to just start failing, I am going to lose money. I still have no way to report a failure and am sending back $1,000,000 shipping quotes with error messages in the shipping method as my only method to communicate an impossible product combination/destination. 

Revert this change and for goodness sake update the API and allow us to provide meaningful error messages when rating is impossible.

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Shopify Partner
2 0 1

Is there any way to actually know Shopify recorded response times? Our rates server is currently in the UK, so we have to account for latency in some way. 

Perhaps I'd be best moving our rates server, but I am unsure on best location. We currently use DigitalOcean, so we have options for US and Canada, but I don't know where the requests are coming from to choose. Any suggestion on which of NYC / Toronto / San Francisco is the best option?

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Shopify Partner
8 0 12

@bligneri  thank you for your response.

You stated that you have no visibility on apps but you are making a massive change that will impact some of Shopify's largest merchants. I don't think that anyone here expects your team to know our space as deeply as we do, but we are specialists in what we do so please take our feedback seriously. Joel and I have been working in this space for a decade. @Parcel_Intellig gets the niche of our niche - we send users his way that even Intuitive Shipping can't handle. Scaling our infrastructure won't make a difference here because we are at the mercy of third-parties. Our infrastructure is streamlined and efficient. Adjusting our alerts upwards to ping us at 4.5 seconds is a step in the wrong direction since our alerts are already set up for much lower, and 4.5 seconds would be too little too late.

I don't have much more to add here since Joel Reeds has done a fantastic job advocating for our users. I am, however, curious why a forum post and Partner-facing email were the only announcements regarding this store-altering change.

Why have Plus MSMs not been informed about this massive change? Why has there not been a blog post about this or a notification inside merchant shops? Merchants now have less than 48 hours to change their entire shipping strategy. Please publicize the news to give them a shot.

-Sharon 

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New Member
2 0 3

I tweeted about it here https://twitter.com/coopervz/status/1310583725353246720?s=20, in case anybody wants to amplify / thinks that that could positively affect things.

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Shopify Expert
4208 31 421

Nice try thinking a retweet by managment will help. If only...

Custom Shopify Apps built just for you! hunkybill@gmail.com http://www.resistorsoftware.com
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Excursionist
16 0 6

How about XPO Logistics, one of the largest LTL carriers having api slowdowns today which would lead to no rates if that was your only carrier and this 5 second gets pushed through. Higher timeouts are required for carriers. Fallback rates are good but ideally you’d give the carrier reasonable time to respond even when they are being slow.

FreightChick - Automate your Logistics
CartJumper - Sync with NetSuite
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Shopify Staff
Shopify Staff
56 4 28

This is an accepted solution.

Hey everyone! 

TL;DR - We will not ship this change. The timeout will remain at 10 seconds.

We reviewed our analytics report showing rate request response times and found an error. This led us to believe that the impact of this change was much smaller than it was. This is unacceptable, and we will be reviewing our internal processes to ensure a better developer experience for our partners.

To that end, we are reconsidering our approach and will NOT be rolling this out. 

The timeout will remain at 10s. 

We understand that most carrier service integrations are using these 10 seconds to process important tasks for the merchants, and provide the richest experience. We are returning to the drawing board to identify better ways to improve the performance of the platform while still enabling apps to build the key features that the merchants need. 

I want to thank everyone who provided extremely detailed feedback on this change. The breakdown of use cases that were posted in this thread showcased very valid concerns, and we’ve read through every reply to ensure a better understanding of the usage of this endpoint.

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New Member
2 0 2

Thanks for your understanding and listening:)

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Shopify Partner
8 0 12

Hey @Alex_B,

Thank you!! 

We are returning to the drawing board to identify better ways to improve the performance of the platform while still enabling apps to build the key features that the merchants need.

Please don't hesitate to reach out if we can be of any assistance. As Benoit noted, we're all part of the same ecosystem and we all want it to thrive. 

 

Have a stellar week!
-Sharon 

 

 

 

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Shopify Partner
158 9 50

@Alex_B 

Thanks, Alex!

I'm sure I speak for most people here when I say that the offer is still on the table to work with Shopify to find improvements for carrier services going forward.  There is a lot of potential opportunities with an improved carrier services, and I'm sure we can bring great ideas to the table to further improve the carrier service performance not just for our users, but all of Shopify's users.

 

 

Regards,

Joel.

Co-Founder / CTO @ Intuitive Shipping Inc.
Intuitive Shipping | Smart Boxing | Automate Shipping Profiles
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