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What is Royal Mail Despatch Express?


Despatch Express is a system introduced by Royal Mail which allows you to develop interfaces to and from your own systems in order to help you improve your despatch processes. It has 4 key features to improve your logistics.

Address Import

This allows you to import a file of contact addresses into despatch express database from your own systems, so that when you use despatch express, the delivery addresses can be easily (and quickly) found, speeding up the ordering process.

Contacts must be in a text file and must contain the name, address and postcode of each recipient, in addition to a unique code for each address. Once addresses have been added, then can easily be edited or deleted individually.

There are 3 common instances when this feature is used:

  1. If the user wants to upload a complete list of customer addresses to the database, usually before Royal Mail Despatch Express is used.
  2. For automatic maintenance of the address database, so be in tune with the user’s own system.
  3. When orders need to be processed, usually on a daily basis.

It’s important to remember that addresses or customers in the database must have a unique reference code (a customer ID) so that they can be found easily with no confusion.

Batch Import

This feature allows the user to print multiple labels at the same time. Similarly to the address import function, the user must upload a text file containing the name, address and postcode of each recipient, along with other details of the despatch, including the following:

  • Service
  • Any necessary service enhancements, such as recorded delivery
  • The sender’s reference
  • The item’s weight

The main use of this feature is when the user wants batch print their labels.

Direct Feed

The purpose of this feature is to aid the client in “driving” despatch express from their own system. Whenever the user’s own system is ready to print a label, it will produce a simple file containing the delivery address and service.

Royal Mail Despatch Express will automatically detect the presence of this file, and will then print a label. It will then return another file containing the tracking number for the client’s system to collect.

One of the main reasons clients want to integrate their system with Royal Mail’s Despatch Express is so they can use it as a label-printing extension to their own system. Often, they won’t want to create their own label printing system, but they also don’t want to operate seller despatch separately.

Data Export

This feature allows the client to export details of customers currently held in the address database, or to export the details of items that have been despatched. Users might want to export addresses from their customer database to transfer it to another system.

One of the benefits of this is that clients can load this information into their own systems so there is a record of the tracking numbers. Users might want to record tracking numbers so that enquiries can be resolved easily. Some clients take advantage of this feature by exporting the despatch information at the end of every working day once the collection manifest is printed. This information can be loaded back into their own system so they can record the service, despatch date and tracking number against the original order.

Printing Labels

To print labels in Royal Mail Despatch Express, the user must follow these steps:

  • Save addresses into address book
  • If required Royal Mail service isn’t shown in the “service box”, the user must click onto the dropdown menu and select whatever service it is they require from a list of services available in this country
  • The system will select the first account for this service, but this can be changed by clicking on the dropdown menu on the “account number” box
  • Select the format required (e.g large letter, packet) and class (1st, 2nd etc.)
  • Click the Despatch Weight dropdown menu and select the desired weight/size from the list.
  • You can search for items by department if you click on the Department Name dropdown menu to show Departments that have been set up (you can also set up new departments by typing them into the Department Name field – it will appear in the dropdown list)
  • You can record numerous “Sender References” on the despatch and arrange for them to be printed on the label
  • Service Enhancement may be chosen from a dropdown list, if desired.
  • Clicking the “Print/Confirm Despatch (F12)” will save the despatch details and print the appropriate labels.
What Veeqo Does…

With Veeqo’s Royal Mail integration, you can batch print your shipping labels without any importing or exporting, Veeqo already has your webstore, eBay and Amazon orders, so you can easily print them without the need to use the Royal Mail Despatch Express.

You can also create shipping rules for orders to assign the correct courier and service, based on minimum and maximum order prices, minimum and maximum weights, domestic and international, and webstore and marketplace.  Rather than selecting it one by one, this feature  can save you many minutes per order.

You can also use the template editor to create your own invoice, packing slip and delivery label designs, and then batch print in a few clicks. You can have an unlimited number of invoice designs, so you can have one for Amazon and one for eBay for example.

Click here to learn more about Veeqo’s shipping software features

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Written by Jodie Pride

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