Shipmate Launches with Delivery Management Software
12th July 2017
SHIPMATE is a Delivery Management platform, aimed at growing online retailers who wish to incorporate multiple carriers and delivery services easily into their fulfilment process. Working initially with nine national carriers including Yodel, DPD, TNT, Parcelforce and Hermes, the platform uses intelligent routing rules to ensure each parcel is sent using the most suitable and cost-effective service, then prints the delivery barcode labels on almost any type of printer automatically. Retailers can then keep track of their deliveries in one centralised system and be notified of any delays or failed deliveries proactively. More carriers and delivery services are set to launch on the platform later in the year.
With UK online retail spending hitting over £1bn per week earlier this year, growth in online sales continues at an unprecedented rate, with almost 16% of all retail sales now taking place online, according to the Office of National Statistics. Many entrants to the world of eCommerce quickly outgrow their despatch processes, which typically rely on manual workflows. Often the necessary improvements in online retail IT systems are prohibitively expensive and can take weeks to implement or simply cannot be achieved in time to cope with demand, causing backlogs and delays to customer deliveries. In a highly competitive marketplace this results in risking losing business to competitors and reduced consumer confidence. Shipmate aims to streamline the link between online retailers and carriers by providing a highly interoperable platform that links with almost any eCommerce platform, order processing software and label printers, meaning a Shipmate installation can be achieved in a matter of days rather than weeks, as the integrations with carriers have been pre-approved and tested strenuously.
Stephen Brown, Technology Director, said: “Shipmate has been developed using the very latest technology and best practices in the industry. The platform has been deployed on high availability infrastructure with security firmly at the forefront, meaning our customers will experience high performance while having the peace of mind their data is secure. With our approach to user-centric design, the easy-to-use software means our customers can focus on processing their orders and growing their businesses”. Antony Stevenson, Managing Director, added “Shipmate has been developed on the foundation of our experience producing over 3 million parcel labels with Hermes over a period of years. From this we have learned a lot about online retail and logistics and have applied this knowledge in our new multi-carrier product. We are confident Shipmate will be a welcome addition to the Delivery Management marketplace.”
The platform has also been designed with local Third-Party Logistics Aggregators in mind, another growth area in the sector. Until now, no system existed that specifically helped aggregators and delivery resellers, who previously often had to request multiple accounts in their name from the carriers instead. Now with Shipmate, delivery aggregators can provide individual access to their customers and set rates according to each of their requirements and volume, while also removing a large administrative overhead across the board with integrated manifesting and invoicing.
Shipmate charges its customers a monthly fee based on the number of parcel labels they print, and can flex their accounts up and down according to seasonal demand, benefiting from lower per-label fees as volumes increase. More established and stable retailers can opt to agree minimum volumes over extended contract periods to attain further reduced rates, which are among the most competitive compared with similar platforms. Antony Stevenson, Managing Director, said: “With Shipmate we are entering an established marketplace but it’s one that is continually growing and has scope to improve customer satisfaction standards. When we speak with potential customers, we hear about poor customer service and continually rising prices from competing platforms, so I hope by launching Shipmate we can prove to online retailers they have a friend in the business and we genuinely want to help them grow their companies.”. Prices start from £49 per month + VAT.