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Delivery estimates: lookups

Experiment #8427th March, 2021by Joshua Nussbaum

In this experiment I look at what the API could look like.


These are the inputs the backend would need:

  • The API key of the account
  • One or more products (it can work on product page, cart page or checkout page)
  • A postal code or IP address


The output would contain

  • a estimated range in date format (min date & max date)
  • the cutoff time (earliest if there are multiple warehouses involved)
  • information about the destination. Since we may be guessing the destination from the IP address, it would be helpful to show the country, state, and city in the UI.


These are the steps the backed should take:

  • Verify the API key
  • Find all warehouses that have the product(s)
  • For each warehouse, find the operating schedule, carrier list, and ingestion speed (for each carrier).
  • Find the operating schedule for each carrier.
  • Find the delivery speed on destination zip code.
  • Pad results based on preferences (optional).
  • Sort results to find minimum and maximum.


Example curl call:

curl domain.tld/estimates -H "authorization: Bearer pk_prod_1234" --date '{"postalCode": "12345", "product": "t-shirt"}'

Example backend implementation:

// verify api key, sets req.account

// handle estimation request
app.post('/estimate', (req, res) => {
  // postal code is provided or computed from ip address
  const postalCode = req.params.postalCode || postalCodeFromIP(req.headers['x-forwarded-for'] || req.connection.remoteAddress)

  // error when destination postal code cannot be determined
  if (!postalCode) res.status(400).json({message: "invalid postal code"})

  // find speed info for destination postal code
  const postalCodeInfo = findPostalCodeInfo(postalCode)

  // find warehouses based on product(s)
  const origins = findWarehouses(req.account, req.params.products || [req.params.product])

  // error when no warehouse found
  if (origins.length == 0) res.status(400).json({message: "no origin found"})

  // prepare results and sort
  const results = origins.map(origin => {
    const businessDays = postalCode.deliveryTime + origin.ingestionTime + carrier.routingTime + origin.padding
    const date = nextDate(0, origin.weeklySchedule, origin.holidays)
    const cuttoff = date + origin.cuttoffTime
    const days = nextDate(
      sum(origin.weeklySchedule, carrier.weeklySchedule),
      sum(origin.holidays, carrier.holidays)
    const date = now() + days

    return {

  // sort the results
  const sorted = origin.sort(record => record.days)
  // find min
  const minimum = sorted[0]
  // find max
  const maximum = sorted[sorted.length-1]
  // return the cuttoff time, destination info and min/max range
    cutoff: minimum.cutoff,
    destination: {
      country: postalCodeInfo.country.iso2,
      subdivision: postalCodeInfo.subdivision.code,
      municipality: postalCodeInfo.municipality,
    minimum: {
      businessDays: minimum.businessDays,
      days: minimum.days,
      date: minimum.date 
    maximum: {
      businessDays: maximum.businessDays,
      days: maximum.days,
      date: maximum.date 
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