Royal Mail buys NetDespatch to strengthen technological capability

Royal Mail has announced that it has acquired NetDespatch, a shipping and parcel data management and labelling platform for postal and parcel carriers.

The acquisition is expected to add to Royal Mail’s in-house IT capability in parcel data management and labelling and supports Royal Mail’s stated aim of providing its customers with integrated e-commerce solutions to manage the shipping and tracking of parcels.

NetDespatch is already a supplier of shipping label solutions to a number of Royal Mail’s medium-sized retail customers. The newly-acquired company is expected to complement Royal Mail’s acquisition of Storefeeder earlier this year, 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 is also expected to complement Royal Mail’s recent investment in Market Engine, which builds new marketplaces and enables businesses to manage online shop fronts in major global marketplaces.

NetDespatch works with a number of e-commerce partners including other UK parcel companies and overseas postal services. It provides web-based applications and services to more than 130,000 of their business customers with 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. According to the announcement, the platform can also be used to make tracking available for the client from the point of despatch to final delivery.

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 is planned to be operated as a standalone external-facing subsidiary which is expected to enable it to continue to securely provide services to all of its existing customers.

The financial terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.