Royal Mail (UK)

ShipEngine's integration with Royal Mail allows you to create domestic and international shipping labels for your small parcels to be delivered anywhere within Royal Mail's extensive delivery network.

Royal Mail Requirements

Connection Requirements:

  • Your Royal Mail account number.

  • Your Royal Mail Online Business Account username.

    This is your Royal Mail OBA email address used on the OBA login page.

    Note

    Non-OBA accounts are not currently eligible to connect to ShipEngine.

  • Email address (used by ShipEngine to notify you when Royal Mail is fully configured in your ShipEngine account - it can be the same as the OBA email address, or can be a different one).

International Requirements:

  • VAT and EORI numbers required.

    These are added in the Tax Identifiers Object when creating your international label.

  • Royal Mail provides the CN23 form when required.

  • Royal Mail generates a commercial invoice when required. Include this invoice with your shipment.

Label Requirements:

  • Ship From Address with Name and Company Name included.

Close Shipments Daily

Royal Mail requires you to create and print a Sales Order Summary, which you must then hand to the driver who picks up the parcels. You cannot close shipments with dispatch dates in the future, only past or current date shipments.

You can generate your Sales Order Summary through the ShipEngine End of Day process. When you make your request to the /v1/manifests endpoint, the response will include a link to download the Sales Order Summary PDF.

Connect a Royal Mail Account to ShipEngine

To connect your Royal Mail account to ShipEngine:

  1. Select the Royal Mail tile:

    Royal Mail Logo
  2. Fill out the registration form with your Royal Mail account information, then click the Connect button.

    CONN_Carriers_RoyalMailPU_MRK.png

    Email Address vs OBA Email

    The email address for your Online Business Account must be entered into the OBA Email field.

    The contact email address in the Email Address field is just your preferred point of contact. It can be the same email address or it can be a different one.

  3. Review the Submit Registration information, then click the Ok Got it button.

    CONN_Carriers_RoyalMailPU-Submit_MRK.png

Royal Mail can take up to 5 business days to approve connecting your account to ShipEngine. Once approved, you will receive an email to let you know you can start shipping.

Should any errors on the registration form cause Royal Mail to reject the registration request, ShipEngine will email you to let you know that corrections are needed. Potential errors could result from your shipping address, OBA email, or Royal Mail account number.

How to Find Your Royal Mail OBA Account Number

To locate your OBA account number:

  1. Log into your Royal Mail OBA account.

  2. Click the Online Business Account Log in button.

    RM_OBA_Login_MRK.png
  3. Click the Access Online Business Account button.

    RM_OBA_Access_MRK.png

    This will take you to your OBA account Welcome page.

  4. Click the Access Online Business Account button provided on this screen.

    RM_OBA_Access2_MRK.png
  5. Go to Invoices.

    RM_OBA_Invoices_MRK.png

Your Royal Mail OBA Account Number and OBA Company Name will appear above the list of invoices for your account.

RM_OBA_AcctCompany_MRK.png

Available Features for Royal Mail

ShipEngine's integration with Royal Mail supports the following standard features:

Additional Features for Royal Mail

ShipEngine's integration with Royal Mail allows for the following additional features:

Feature

Description

Sales order summaries are required for each of your day's shipments.

Royal Mail requires you to print a Sales Order Summary for your day's shipments. This is how Royal Mail invoices your label fees to your account. Failure to do this can result in extra charges on your bill.

You can generate your Sales Order Summary through the ShipEngine End of Day process. When you make your request to the /v1/manifests endpoint, the response will include a link to download the Sales Order Summary PDF.

Saturday Guarantee

When you create Royal Mail shipments on a Friday, include the saturday_delivery property set to true in the Advanced Options object to ensure your parcels are delivered on Saturday. You must use a Special Delivery Guaranteed service type with Saturday Guarantee.

See the Royal Mail page on Special Delivery for more information and restrictions.

Customs Forms

Customs forms will print with labels so you do not need to print them separately. Labels print with the CN23 form, which will work for both low and high value shipments.

Domestic ShippingInternational ShippingElectronic Customs SubmissionReturn LabelsEstimated RatesCarrier InsuranceTrackingEnd of Day (PDF)Label BrandingLabel MessagesMulti-package ShippingMultiple Accounts

Royal Mail Customs Declarations

Custom forms will print with the label for your international shipments.

  • ShipEngine does not provide CN22 forms, only CN23. However, CN23 forms are sufficient for both low and high value shipments.

  • If there are too many different content types to fit on one page, the CN23 automatically extends to an additional page.

Shipping to Channel Islands

Royal Mail requires customs declarations for Channel Islands shipments. However, Royal Mail will not produce these forms if the country code is GB.

Change the country code to IM, GE, or JE and then the proper forms will be included with the label.

Additional Details about the Royal Mail Integration

  • Channel Islands: Royal Mail requires customs docs for shipments to Guernsey and Jersey. Please use the country code GE and JE, respectively, and include the customs docs with the label. The shipment's customs docs will not work with GB as the country code.

    Isle of Man (IOM) shipments do not require customs, and there is no option to select IOM as a country code.

  • ShipEngine cannot return estimated rates for Royal Mail services, as Royal Mail does not currently allow third-party apps, like ShipEngine, to connect to their Rates API.

  • Address line has a character limit of 35.

  • Only Label Message 1 is supported. It has a character limit of 20.

  • You must set pickups (daily and other schedules) within Royal Mail, not in ShipEngine.

  • While ShipEngine does return a tracking number for shipments that include tracking, ShipEngine does not receive Royal Mail tracking events. All tracking must be done on the Royal Mail tracking page. ShipEngine tracking webhooks and the Branded Tracking Page cannot be used with Royal Mail services.

  • To create return labels, Royal Mail must approve you for at least one of the following services:

    • Tracked Returns 24 - TSN

    • Tracked Returns 48 - TSS

  • Royal Mail's connection pop-up does not validate your input. If you enter incorrect details into the fields, Royal Mail will contact ShipEngine during the “pending” phase. If this occurs, ShipEngine will then contact you so you can re-enter and resubmit it to Royal Mail.

Royal Mail Troubleshooting Tips

Here are some common issues, potential causes, and troubleshooting tips.

Issue

How to troubleshoot or resolve

ErrorError transmitting to OBA. Details: Access Denied (not authenticated)

What it means: If you receive this error message, it may indicate that you have a 'Pre-paid' Royal Mail account. This type of account cannot be accessed via a third-party shipping platform and thus is not supported.

Direct any questions to Royal Mail.

Error: Attempting to divide by zero

What it means: This means you are missing customs declarations information for one of your orders.

What to do: Check the customs declarations for the orders contained in the End of Day to ensure they include all the required information: Description, Quantity, Value, Content Type, Country of Origin.

Error: Royal Mail: The given key was not present in the dictionary

What it means: This error typically means that when you attempted to get a rate or create a label, you selected Small Parcel for an international shipment. The package type Small Parcel is only available for domestic UK shipments.

What to do: Select the Parcel package type.

Domestic ShippingInternational ShippingElectronic Customs SubmissionReturn LabelsEstimated RatesCarrier InsuranceTrackingEnd of Day (PDF)Label BrandingLabel MessagesMulti-package ShippingMultiple Accounts