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UK Couriers
 
AndyP
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Total Posts:  2
Joined:  2009-01-31
 

Hi,

I am looking for any information and advice anyone may have with regards to UK couriers and hooking Magento into their systems.
Ideally I would like to be able to pull shipping rates from their system, push delivery requests onto their system and have either Magento or the courier system print delivery paperwork.

Any experience people may have on this in the UK would be much appreciated, even if it is comments like “don’t use X their API is a nightmare!”.

Thank you,
Andy.

 
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drewclarke
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Joined:  2008-11-12
 

I think DPD have an API that you can hook into. The UK couriers are sadly well behind on the US ones.

Just found these guys that might be able to help you, http://www.shippingmanager.co.uk

 
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J_T_
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Joined:  2008-08-07
London-ish, UK
 

I’ve used them all, from Parcelforce to CityLink to Interlink/DPD and so on and believe yo me, they are all as backwards as the next one.

You can go FedEx or DHL if you want to stomach a minimum of £8 which you get for £4 on InterLink. FedEx and DHL do have decent tracking and systems but aren’t really UK couriers.

The UK ones don’t even offer automated tracking via XML. I had to build a scraper for each of them.

The most automation I’ve achieved was with InterLink’s PC based ship@ease (not the web based one). I got osCommerce to export despatch instructions to the format Interlink’s software takes as an input and have it process those files with just a few clicks. But with our volumes, it wasn’t really worth the effort.

As far as I know, and granted, I’ve not looked for a year, there’s no IT competent courier in the UK other than the pseudo-Yank ones mentioned above.

Someone with a lot of money should step in, buy them all out and consolidate this fragmented, old-fashioned industry and give it the modernisation it craves.

 
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beebware
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Total Posts:  9
Joined:  2008-12-30
Harrow, UK
 

The only UK courier that I’m aware of that has an API is http://www.ecourier.co.uk/

 
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J_T_
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Their API seems to be just a data API, not to book collections/shipments etc.

http://api.ecourier.co.uk/site/documentation

Expensive services too!

 
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jaybregman
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Total Posts:  19
Joined:  2009-02-27
 

Hi,

We do now have a shipment API (contact me for details jay at ecourier dot co dot uk) which allows electronic orders but does not support auto-pricing.  if you contact us at sales at ecourier dot co dot uk, we can take a look at your profile and may be able to offer a fixed zone structure in central London (ie any booking from W1 to E1 is a fixed price) so that you can have a very simple table of pricing to maintain.

Bear in mind the prices on eCourier.co.uk are our UK Sameday eXpress service--which is ultra-fast point to point delivery. If you put in addresses which are far away (say London to Manchester) yes it will appear “expensive” next to other next-day carriers but that’s because it’s comparing apples and oranges.

I’ve been using Magento for another project and would love to support it more fully in the future.

Best,

Jay Bregman
Founder & CTO
eCourier.co.uk

 
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J_T_
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London-ish, UK
 

Thanks Jay, that sounds good.

We are in a KT postcode and do get regular requests for same day within-M25 delivery on an item that is very small and light and lends itself perfectly for a bike. We tell them to ring Addisson Lee but would like to enable your services in the check-out if they order up to a certain quantity of a pre-selected number of products.

If a Magento Module is in the pipeline, that would be great news!

Royal Mail have something same day now as well but who dares putting their trust in the old RM?!

 
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rob_hawthorn
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Total Posts:  16
Joined:  2009-07-06
 
J.T. - 12 May 2009 03:26 AM

I’ve used them all, from Parcelforce to CityLink to Interlink/DPD and so on and believe yo me, they are all as backwards as the next one.

You can go FedEx or DHL if you want to stomach a minimum of £8 which you get for £4 on InterLink. FedEx and DHL do have decent tracking and systems but aren’t really UK couriers.

The UK ones don’t even offer automated tracking via XML. I had to build a scraper for each of them.

The most automation I’ve achieved was with InterLink’s PC based ship@ease (not the web based one). I got osCommerce to export despatch instructions to the format Interlink’s software takes as an input and have it process those files with just a few clicks. But with our volumes, it wasn’t really worth the effort.

As far as I know, and granted, I’ve not looked for a year, there’s no IT competent courier in the UK other than the pseudo-Yank ones mentioned above.

Someone with a lot of money should step in, buy them all out and consolidate this fragmented, old-fashioned industry and give it the modernisation it craves.

I could not agree more, well said!

 
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ggggareth
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Total Posts:  2
Joined:  2010-04-15
 

Hi, Your best bet might be to look at metapack.com - you can use their carrier management system for all UK carriers (they’re integrated to all of them) and they also integrate automatically with Magento. So orders with a status of Processing get labels printed for any carrier, etc, and when it’s been shipped in MetaPack the Magento orders get updated as Shipped and with tracking references too! smile

 
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bigmag
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Total Posts:  63
Joined:  2009-09-04
 

On the Metapack website it suggests that it’s integrated with Magento Enterprise, does it also work with the community edition?

How does that integration work? If you have 100 orders and 90 of them go out as Royal Mail packetpost and the other 10 need to be shipped with different couriers, can it handle that kind of thing easily?

Any info on Metapack would be really appreciated - thanks!

 
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MetaPack
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Joined:  2010-07-13
London
 

Hi Bigmag,
Apologies for not seeing this post sooner. I can hopefully help you with all things MetaPack. YES! MetaPack does work with Community Edition, in fact, currently the majority of Magento users integrated to MetaPack are CE users.

 
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MetaPack
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"How does that integration work? If you have 100 orders and 90 of them go out as Royal Mail packetpost and the other 10 need to be shipped with different couriers, can it handle that kind of thing easily? “
ABSOLUTELY! In MetaPack you can set up any number of rules to automate the carrier allocation.

 
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Joe180291
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Total Posts:  1
Joined:  2009-05-08
 

MetaPack seems to offer the solution however with all its functionality, surely there will be a uncomfortable cost. What are the costs associated with using MetaPack???

 
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MetaPack
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Joe180291 - 05 November 2010 03:45 AM

MetaPack seems to offer the solution however with all its functionality, surely there will be a uncomfortable cost. What are the costs associated with using MetaPack???

Hi Joe,
MetaPack is a “pay as you go” solution, so the more you use it the more you pay; there’s no upfront cost (so no user licences, etc) the client will be invoiced monthly for a small percentage of whatever the carrier charges you to deliver each parcel. The rate is individually worked out for each client based on the amount of shipments and average cost, so I don’t feel comfortable giving precise figures in here, but you’re probably talking about 4% for SMEs - while you can expect average efficiency savings in the region of 10-11%.
The “pay as you go” approach means you get to use exactly the same delivery system as the big boys but at a fraction of the cost.

 
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