Courier Services UK

Deciding which courier company to use can be confusing with so many companies and services on offer. Below we have listed information for you on the more common services by companies like UPS, DHL, Parcelforce etc. as well as some information on how to prepare for dispatch.

Delivery Services

Same day

1) Driver normally collects package and drives direct to the delivery address. As your package is usually the only one to be delivered this tends to be the most expensive system of couriering.
2) If time is of the essence to you then this may be the service you need. Companies conducting business to tight deadlines tend to use this service daily.
3) Mileage tends to determine the pricing as does how long the trip takes and also what type of vehicle is used.
4) There is no limit (other than your budget) as to how far some couriers will go (providing they can reach it easily one way or another). For example, from Boston to Paris within a set time (normally under 24hours) you will need to pay an express airfare to ensure on-time arrival. This applies even if you want it delivered within the same country during a 24 hour period. However, some couriers will send packages/documents by car, rail or ship to keep the costs down for you.

Next day/Overnight

1) These use parcel networks and are much cheaper than the same day service.
2) Goods are taken from you, delivered to a central office of the courier company, sorted, loaded onto a lorry or van and taken to the office nearest to your delivery address. From there they are sent out with a local courier.
3) The delivery time is normally no more than 36 hours from the time of pick-up.
4) In the main, courier services will also offer to deliver by a particular time of day.

Back/Part Loads

1) Good for items that are too large, heavy, fragile or valuable for a parcel service, or any items prohibited by parcel carriers.
2) Done by a courier that already has jobs booked on your delivery route. 
3) If you are flexible in timing for delivery (3 -4 days usually) this is very good.
4) Cheaper rate because an outgoing job has already paid for the expenses for the trip. Based on the time/distance this will add on to their scheduled job.

Before Dispatch Basics

1) Packages may be handled many times during one delivery, so ensure packaging is secure.
2) With very valuable or fragile items consider whether you prefer to pay more to ensure it is delivered in pristine condition and/or on the same day.
3) Expect to declare the contents, weight and/or the value of the parcel or package, particularly when being transported overseas as it will need to pass customs.
4) Be prepared to supply the company with payment information (credit or debit card, etc). Once you have an account set up then the rest is fairly straightforward.
5) Check the collection or drop-off details with each courier (they can vary).
6) Larger couriers often have offices in main cities and you can often drop off packages to them.