Shipment Creation and Manifesting

The Sapient API has been designed to accommodate different methods of processing shipments, to fit in with the varied way many businesses operate their despatching function. Below is some guidance on the different methods available to manage when to print labels and how to manifest accurately at the end of each working day – for more detailed guidance, please contact the Intersoft Customer Operations team to arrange a consultation.

Using Shipment “Actions” in Create Shipment API

The available “Actions” are either “Process”, “Create” or “Allocate

Process” is the default setting if this field is not populated in the Create Shipment request/ By using “Process”, a label is returned in the Create Shipment response and the shipment is ready for Manifesting immediately.

Create” and “Allocate” do not return a label immediately and rely on the customer calling the Print Shipment API. Using “Allocate”, the carrier tracking number is returned in the Create Shipment response for your reference. Using “Create”, the tracking number is not generated until the Print Shipment request is made.

Any of these actions can be used in conjunction with the other options outlined below.

Using Shipment “Status” in Update Shipment API

The shipment “Status” function can be used as a simple way to manage when shipments are ready to be dispatched.

The available Status options are “Picked”, “Release”, “Cancel” and “Hold”.

"Picked” is a suitable option to use if you produce labels in advance. Simply create your shipments with an action of “Process” – then, when picked and ready to despatch, update the status on the shipment to “Picked”. You can then manifest all “Picked” shipments only, to ensure that shipments yet to be processed are not manifested.
The “Hold” and “Release” status options are available if a shipment needs to be delayed (“Hold”) and only included in manifest production once it has been released (“Release”).

Using Containers

Whereas using the shipment “Status” can be adopted for an operation to manage a fluid picking and packing set up, Containerisation allows users to manage shipments based on any number of variables.

Carrier Sortation – for high volume users, your carrier may ask you to provide shipments pre-sorted based on service, destination or other factors. Containerisation allows you to allocate shipments to a specific container and then manifest by container ID, the container ID could be a postcode sector or country code – or a specific carrier service.

Managing Despatch Dates – likewise, if you process pre-orders that need to be despatched on a specific date, a container ID could be set up for each date and shipments allocated based on requirements with the manifesting done by date, at container level.


A container can be created with any Container ID that suits the needs of the organisation.

Pre-Allocate Tracking Number API

The PreAllocate Tracking Number API offers you the opportunity to request a pre-allocated Royal Mail tracking number for a destination and service. If your warehouse or eCommerce site operates in a way that you require a tracking number to be linked with your order, but you don't yet have the final details of your order, then consider using the Pre Allocate Tracking Number service. When requesting a pre-allocated tracking number, only a small amount of information is passed in the request body and a small amount of validation is done in the back-end to return a Royal Mail tracking number. The Tracking Number is issued without creating either the shipment or the label. When you're ready to ship your order, simply call the Royal Mail Create Shipment API passing the pre-allocated tracking number that was returned in the Pre Allocate Tracking Number response in the “PreAllocatedBarcode” object of the Create Shipment request. The platform will then create the shipment and label with the tracking number you provided. This service is currently only available for Royal Mail services that have a 1D Tracking Number generated – this includes shipments using untracked services with the Royal Mail Recorded Signed For enhancement.