Research and reports
Finding a company to deliver your products that’s reliable, cost-effective, and fast is essential for any online business.
But there’s a lot of competition out there, so if you’re wondering what’s the best delivery courier in the UK, read our round-up to help you find what’s right for your small business.
Some delivery services have a better reputation, while others encourage you to sign up to an account to access cheaper rates. Many of these companies also offer delivery to parcel lockers in retail shops, making the process super simple for your customers.
To help you decide what’s best for your online shop, first think about these questions:
Compare pros, cons, pricing, and features to find the best courier for small business owners below.
If you’re sending parcels regularly within the UK, chances are that Royal Mail shipping services are one of the most affordable and reliable options. Although prices for parcels and stamps are likely to rise, according to BBC News.
What's more, if you have an online marketplace like Etsy then you can buy and print postage labels straight from the platform, so all you need to do is drop your parcel off at the post office to get proof of postage.
Selling your products on Amazon? Amazon Logistics is frequently rated one of the best courier companies thanks to their reliable and fast delivery service. Earlier this year it was voted the best courier by MoneySavingExpert.com users.
DPD offers a next-day delivery service across the UK, Europe, and the rest of the world.
While not the cheapest service out there, it was voted second for in a MoneySavingExpert.com user poll in 2021 – and actually held the top spot for seven years before that.
DPD also advertises ‘clean, green delivery’ across the UK with an expanding fleet of electric vehicles, and a drive to do more for the environment.
DHL delivers in the UK and internationally. They offer multi-parcel discounts and there’s no minimum order requirement, so you don’t have to worry about meeting certain order quantities to have an account with them.
Parcelforce delivers across the UK and to more than 240 countries worldwide. They recommend you open a business account if you’re posting parcels more than once a week, which gives you 45 per cent off standard prices.
When it comes to shipping with UPS, you can choose a service based on how often you send parcels. If you need to post several items a week, UPS recommends you open a payment account. This way you’ll be billed weekly, have access to tracking information, and simplify any returns for your customers.
But with prices starting at £2.69, it’s also one of the cheapest couriers so it’s a popular option with online sellers. If you send parcels a few times a week you can unlock tailored pricing and signed-for delivery by opening an Evri business account.
With Yodel Direct you can send parcels to customers at home, or at a nominated store. However, a Which? survey of shoppers last year found Yodel to have the lowest customer satisfaction score. Prices start at £2.32 though, so it could be a question of balancing price with quality of service here.
You may have also heard of CollectPlus, but they’re no longer making their own deliveries. They still offer collection and drop-off services for other delivery companies though.
Other smaller couriers do exist too. But whichever service you choose, it’s always worth getting feedback from your customers on their delivery experience so you can keep them happy every step of the way.
Who do you think’s the best courier for a small business? Let us know your experience in the comments section below.
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Catriona Smith is a content and marketing professional with 12 years’ experience across the financial services, higher education, and insurance sectors. She’s also a trained NCTJ Gold Standard journalist. As a Senior Copywriter at Simply Business, Catriona has in-depth knowledge of small business concerns and specialises in tax, marketing, and business operations. Catriona lives in the seaside city of Brighton where she’s also a freelance yoga teacher.
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