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Is it possible to do this? (using USPS or UPS).
Or can UPS/USPS provide an excel sheet of matching Order#'s and their tracking numbers?
USPS - If you are using the preprinted delivery confirmation stickers (or something you are getting from the post office website), the number is just encoded in the barcode. If you get enough volume, USPS will assign you a block of numbers and have you electronically file them (you also get a file containing the status of the packages) - this is what I do, so I'm not familiar with other possible methods.
Depending on the popularity of your ecommerce app, their may be a UPS/USPS api plug in available.
As I mentined in another thread, the Ups worldship software (to be installed under your main local server) offers the autoimport function: a daemon listening to a certain directory. If you write an xml file with a specific syntax into this directory, the barcode and some other sheets of paper are automatically being spit out (by any printer installed in your local network), and an .out file containing the tracking numbers is written into the same directory, which you can reiport into your database.
I wrote a little php interface for both these (write and read) tasks and added it to my self-written order software. If your internal software allows to attach such code snippets, I might send you the code if you sticky me. If you are already running one of those standard card systems, you might be better off with what agile described, but if you enjoy to write such applications yourself:
The xml syntax is not more complicated than a routine to generate a google sitemap (as long as you don't need it for exports; that would complicate things a bit), and I found the ups support hotline very friendly and helpful. I received a couple of sample files via mail-support and with these it was quite easy to write that code.
You can code whatever you want or pay for software that does what you want. You have to decide if you want to spend your time coding or running a business.
An easy <100$ eLance/Rent a code job.
We ship close to 1000 packages a month and this system has been working flawlessly for 3+ years now. Everyone seems to e happy as we NEVER get emails looking for shipping/tracking information.