Royal Mail has acquired NetDespatch, the shipping and parcel data management and labelling platform for postal and parcel carriers.
NetDespatch works with a wide range of e-commerce partners including other UK parcel companies and overseas postal services. It enables carriers to provide web-based applications and services to more than 130,000 of their business customers, allowing them to use delivery data directly transferred from order management and warehouse systems to automate the production of shipping labels, customs documentation and manifests as well as generate any required data files. The platform can also be used to make tracking available for the client from the point of despatch to final delivery.
NetDespatch is currently used by a number of Royal Mail’s medium-sized retail customers.
Royal Mail reckons the move will complement its acquisition of Storefeeder earlier this year. Storefeeder is the developer behind Royal Mail Click&Drop which, in addition to stock control and order management capabilities, provides similar labelling services for small online marketplace sellers. It also complements Royal Mail’s recent investment in Market Engine, which builds new marketplaces and enables businesses to manage online shop fronts in major global marketplaces.
Nick Landon, managing director of Royal Mail Parcels, said: “The acquisition of NetDespatch supports our strategy of providing our customers with leading edge e-commerce software. It allows customers with complex IT estates to integrate with us quickly and with the minimum of effort, allowing them to improve the service they offer to shoppers. We are confident that this acquisition will support the continued growth of our parcels business with new and innovative software solutions as the needs of our customers evolve.”
NetDespatch will be operated at arms-length, as a standalone external-facing subsidiary, enabling it to continue to securely provide services to all of its existing customers. The financial terms of the transaction are not material in the context of the Royal Mail Group as a whole.