When adding shipments and retrieving via the Shiptheory Shipping API, you will notice a field within the shipment_detail element named ship_date. There are a number of caveats around this field, as per below.
The date is returned with a timestamp, but the time is always ignored. Only the date part of the field is ever used by Shiptheory. You can safely ignore the time and you do not need to pass a time when making Book Shipment requests.
There are only a limited number of areas of Shiptheory that use this ship_date field. Just because a shipment has a ship_date, does not mean the shipment was or will be, shipped on that date. See below for the current functionality available via the ship_date:
- Integrated Labels: It is possible to display the date part of the ship_date field on an integrated label.
- Pall-Ex, Hermes & FedEx used the contents of the ship_date field to record when the shipment was shipped.
- Shiptheory API Search: It is possible to search for shipments using the ship_date field.
- Royal Mail: If the ship_date is in the future, the ship_date will be sent to Royal Mail in the daily manifest, so that Royal Mail labels can be printed before being manifested.