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Royal Mail has launched a new parcel shipping and tracking platform to enable e-retailers to improve integration between their IT systems and Royal Mail's software.

Royal Mail has launched a new parcel shipping and tracking platform to enable e-retailers to improve integration between their IT systems and Royal Mail's software.

The new Shipping and Tracking application programming interface (API) is available to all Royal Mail business account customers. The free API will enable e-retailers and other parcel customers to benefit from "improved parcels management", including the ability to monitor usage and customise reports, said Royal Mail.

Customers will be able to track the progress of their consignments, check the track status of an item and retrieve the tracking history of their shipment.

Nick Landon, managing director of Royal Mail Parcels, said: “Our Shipping and Tracking API will enable e-retailers to improve and speed up the integration between their own IT systems and Royal Mail. The new API provides the potential for improved parcels management."

Business customers who do not want to use an API integration can use Royal Mail's Despatch Manager Online system, which is also free and requires no systems development, just an account with Royal Mail and a login.