The extensive reach of the Royal Mail postal service in the UK has made sending letters and parcels across the country possible for centuries, from Brighton to the Isle of Skye. Nevertheless, while the service generally satisfies everyday postage needs, it’s often more cost effective to send large packages directly through a courier or parcel delivery company.
While businesses have used courier services to ship large parcels for several years, the growth of e-commerce has meant that many individuals – for example, second-hand sellers on Amazon or eBay – are now also looking for efficient and reliable couriers who offer their services at competitive rates. With so many companies to choose from, however, it can be difficult to distinguish which company offers you the best service.
So what should you look for in a parcel delivery service? To start with, investigate your options. Don’t simply choose the most famous companies, which may offer the best service for getting a letter to the other side of the world quickly but could be far too expensive if you simply want to transfer a large package from London to York. Seek out the most competitive rates for the weight and size of your particular parcel. Then, when you have a short-list of affordable companies, look for reviews online to find out which offer the quickest and most reliable service. It’s also a good idea to ask business colleagues or friends which parcel delivery companies they have employed in the past to get first-hand accounts of success or failure.
In addition to cost and reliability, also consider convenience when choosing a parcel delivery service. For instance, some companies will collect your package directly from your house, while others may give you the option to deposit your package at the nearest depot.
Once you’ve chosen the best service for your needs, ensure that you adhere strictly to their guidelines. If your package is being collected by the company, you will need to be at your specified address at the time of collection and you may be charged a late or non-collection fee if you are not. Moreover, most companies will impose restrictions on the size and weight of the package they are able to deliver. Common weight limits are between 20 and 30kg, while dimensions are often constrained to 100x50x30cm or similar. Often, companies may simply charge an excess fee for packages that exceed these limits. However, others may reject the delivery entirely and return it to its original sender.
Some parcel delivery firms may offer an additional oversized parcel delivery service, which could be a cheaper option than paying excess charges. These services may take parcels of up to 99kg and could be particularly useful for small or large businesses with bulky items to deliver to their customers. Individuals may find these services useful, too. For example, if you’re moving house and want to avoid hiring a moving van, transferring oversized items using a parcel delivery service may eliminate much of the hassle involved in the relocation process.