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Email DatentunnelThe UK’s Royal Mail has bought cloud-based parcel management system NetDespatch in a bid to expand its range of services and global reach.

NetDespatch will operate as an independent standalone subsidiary so it can continue to service existing clients and is free to offer services to Royal Mail competitors in future. NetDespatch directors Matthew Robertson and Matthew Clark will remain in charge of operations and all existing client terms and conditions will remain unchanged.

The service provider helps carriers (such as its new parent company Royal Mail) to manage the transport of parcels for 130,000 business customers in 100 countries across the world. The NetDespatch parcel management system is a software as a service (SaaS) cloud system that carriers use to track the movements of parcels. It has grown in popularity as it can make it easier to integrate ecommerce websites, sales order processing and warehouse systems at the point of despatch. It makes it easier for users to print shipping labels, customs documents and manifests and automatically pre-advises their carrier of incoming parcels.

The aim is to make a relatively complex process simple, make logistics more efficient and save money for everyone in the supply chain from retailer to carrier to consumer, said Matthew Robertson, NetDespatch’s Commercial Director. “E-commerce is exploding in the run up to Christmas and we expect to continue to steam ahead in 2016 and beyond,” he said.

NetDespatch’s cloud software has made the integration of the Royal Mail’s systems with its customers’ complex IT estates a lot quicker, according to Nick Landon, Managing Director of Royal Mail Parcels. “This acquisition will support our parcels business with new and innovative software solutions,” he said. The fee for the transaction was not disclosed.

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