Royal Mail launch Shipping & Tracking API

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Royal Mail featRoyal Mail have launched a new parcels shipping and tracking platform to enable e-retailers to improve integration between their IT systems and Royal Mail’s software.

The new Shipping and Tracking application programming interface (API) is available to all Royal Mail business account customers. It is the next step in the programme to introduce new online tools across consumer, small business and medium business customer bases.

The new API will enable e-retailers and other parcels customers to benefit from fast, easy and flexible integration of systems, the ability to monitor usage and customise reports. It will also receive full IT support from Royal Mail.

Customers using the system will have access to all of Royal Mail’s parcel services both for UK and international destinations. Customers will also be able to track the progress of their consignments, check the track status of an item and retrieve the tracking history of their shipment.

The system also means new customers can connect their systems to Royal Mail much faster than previously. The Royal Mail Shipping API, available to customers at no additional cost, uses up to the minute technology and a common technical language to connect Royal Mail’s systems and a retailer’s order processing systems to easily and seamlessly enable shipping and tracking services.

There are three groups of people who will be most interested in the new Royal Mail API:

1) Large customers who want to integrate directly with Royal Mail services. This could include companies like Amazon and large high street retailers who can benefit from connecting Royal Mail’s API directly to their own inhouse IT infrastructure.

2) Smaller businesses who are more tech savvy and want to link Royal Mail directly to their website orders (and possibly marketplace orders). If you’re building a system for instance based around Magento or a similar platform the new Royal Mail API will enable you to do this. You may also wish to use services such as Metapack for shipping but still wish to integrate the tracking API into your back end CRM software.

3) Third party companies (e.g. multichannel management companies or shipping consolidation services) may wish to use the new Royal Mail API functions as an easier more flexible way to connect for their customers.

The new API is free to use and you can find out more information on the Royal Mail website.

4 Responses

  1. Wonder if this is similar to the RM ‘direct integration’ option Linnworks launched many months ago and then charged their customers for the privilege of what should have been a standard API integration.
    Interested to know if this different or better than the current Linnworks RM channel integration many are currently using?
    Certainly an opportunity for some of the smaller players to provide a professional shipping option.

  2. @Cambridge_Blue I’ll find out soon enough. I’ve been in contact with our RM account manager and filled in the pre-communication form and now waiting to hear the next step.

    We’re using Linnworks and I’m personally interested in using the Tracking API and the Linnworks API to update our order notes with Royal Mail tracking information.

    For me, its too early to say if the integration will be any better than Linnworks current RM offering via OBA. I may find out soon enough once I have an API key and a copy of the documentation.

  3. How will online buyers and sellers be affected if Scotland votes for independence on 18th September 2014?

    An independent Scotland would be a foreign country with postage to and from England requiring customs slips and associated higher rates.

    I’d like to know how my online business will be affected in this case.

    Will the extra costs be exorbitant because as a small business I couldn’t afford to absorb them and would have to look at increasing prices which can only lead to me becoming less competitive and then having to pay off staff?

    I am seriously considering moving lock stock and barrel if I couldn’t remain competitive here. And I’m not alone with that intention. Worrying times indeed for myself and my employees.

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