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Finding the best courier service for small businesses

Which is the best parcel carrier for a new UK start up business in 2019

Finding the best courier service for small businesses

How many parcels do you send every day?

If you are only sending a couple of parcels a week, then you are best suited to using a carrier directly. If on the other hand you are sending multiple parcels on a regular basis (i.e. anywhere between 20 and 5,000 per day), locally and/or internationally, from your eBay or Amazon store (or even your online shop), outsourcing a parcel distribution provider that is geared up towards startups, mid-market and enterprise level shippers, such as Parcelhub can empower you with increased economies of scale; by leveraging a consolidator’s buying power you can save up to 80% on standard shipping rates.
Watch the video below for a better explanation:

As of May 2018, Parcelhub helps more than 500 small ‘SME’ businesses and large multichannel retail corporations save time and money on their business parcel delivery, shipping more than 6 million parcels annually via its carefully selected range of carrier partners. Whether you are selling via eBay, Amazon, an eCommerce platform such as Magento or a combination for these, expect savings of up to 80%. Integration with your PC or server is completely free as well, granting you access to bespoke business delivery services.
As there are so many local and international parcel delivery companies out there, sometimes it’s hard for a small business to choose which is most suitable.

There are four factors you should take in to consideration:

– Price – Are you willing to pay a premium for a faster and more comprehensive delivery service, such as an Express service through an aggregator?
– Reputation/Reliability – Parcel carriers vary in reputation, and online feedback is usually the best indicator for this.
– Speed – How long are your customers happy to wait?
– Scale – Generally, due to economies of scale, larger postal organisations offer cheaper rates, however there are exceptions.

Which courier service is cheapest for small businesses?

For UK businesses, Yodel and UK Mail often prove to be cheapest for UK to UK parcel deliveries, however while their core competency lies within UK delivery, carriers such as DHL offer more competitive international rates.

Which courier service has the best reputation?

According to Trustpilot, the mainstream parcel carrier with the best reputation is ArrowXL, with a trust score of 9.3 out of 10 from 16,226 reviews. This is followed by CollectPlus, with a trust score of 9.2 out of 10 from 66,123 reviews.
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Which courier service can deliver the fastest?

Technically, the fastest way to get a product from your business to your customer would be to use a local same day courier, however because they charge on a ‘pence per mile’ basis, this would not be a cost effective solution for a business wanting to generate a decent profit.
UK Mail, Hermes and Yodel offer next day delivery services with collections at 9am, 1030am, 12pm or next day. DHL have an excellent reputation for international delivery, with delivery times ranging from next day, to a 7-10 working day delivery.

Does bigger always mean cheaper?

Larger carriers generally offer cheaper rates due to economies of scale. However, rates are generally very similar across the board. Using a parcel broker gives businesses access to much cheaper rates than buying direct from a mainstream carrier.

How important is the volume of parcels my business is sending?

Some business courier service providers can give your business access to discounted shipping rates, regardless of your daily volumes. However this is fully dependent on the location of your business premises, daily volumes, despatch locations, level of customer support you are seeking, which eCommerce platform you sell on (see below) and what your entrepreneurial aspirations are (i.e. your anticipated future parcel and packet volumes).

Do I have to be an online seller to get the best commercial parcel delivery rates?

Generally in this day and age businesses who don’t sell their wares online are missing a trick. Being an online seller is not a prerequisite of getting the cheapest courier rates for your SME company, as there are other sales channels out there, including brick-and-mortar, mail order and many retailers sell at markets, but online really is ‘where it’s at’ so to speak.

How can I add value to my business and make the delivery a competitive advantage?

There are three core methods to adding value to your firm’s offering which can be influenced by which distribution provider you use. Firstly, a multi-carrier solution will add flexibility and ensure your business is offering the most appropriate and cost effective service for each SKU (Stock Keeping Unit) – This is useful for businesses with a large product range. The second factor to consider when looking to increase competitiveness offering free shipping (read free shipping discussion). The third method of adding value to your business’ delivery is to outsource fulfilment – Find out why Laura from I Love Retro outsourced her eCommerce fulfilment.

Parcelhub helps over 500 growing businesses such as BuyDirect4U save time and money on their parcel shipping. Click Here to find out how we can help you.

Simon Wright

As SEO and Content Marketing Manager at the Whistl Group, Simon has over 10 years' experience in both B2B and B2C marketing, and as a result, offers a unique perspective on the pre- and post-checkout delivery experiences. Simon writes regularly for both the Parcelhub and Whistl blogs and is passionate about helping retailers make delivery their competitive advantage.

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