A Guide to Courier Services and Finding the Best Price on Your Parcel Delivery
The internet age has resulted in a boom of dedicated door-to-door courier services, supported by businesses responding to the demands of customers ordering more and more of their products online. But it isn’t only businesses that can utilise this booming courier industry. You can too and it’s easy and cheap.
National postal services like the Royal Mail in the UK were inventions of the early 20th century when most customers were sending letters and small items. These industries were built and designed for this purpose and have been slow at adapting for the internet market.
They simply don’t have the logistical capacities for sending heavy items that door-to-door courier services have since the latter were built and designed in response to the internet market. That’s why it’s usually cheaper to send heavy items with a dedicated courier service. You can compare courier prices on sites like myParcelDelivery to find the cheapest price online.
Most courier services follow a very simple system. First they will ask you for the dimensions of your package (length x breadth x height) and then its weight. To give you an accurate price they will ask for your postcode and the recipient’s postcode. You will then be shown a list of delivery services (usually taking between 24-48 hours) and will be given options of whether you want to track the parcel and perhaps whether you want Saturday delivery.
You will be asked for more information at the next screen followed by your payment details. You make the payment and that’s it! Simple. The great thing is when you send an item by courier there is no walking down to the post office involved. It’s called door-to-door for a reason after all. If you book your service early enough in the morning, collection is often on the same day.
If you send small items in the mail using a national service like the Royal Mail, these items will be sorted by hand. However courier services handling large packages often use conveyor belt systems due to the scale of the operation. It’s a bit like how luggage gets sorted in an airport. An unavoidable consequence of this is that your items will get thumped around so packaging your item carefully is imperative to a successful experience.
Pack your item in thick corrugated cardboard, use plenty of bubble wrap and do it in a way that isolates any movement within the box. A good way to check you have packed your box correctly is giving it a gentle shake afterwards. If there is no movement, nothing can get damaged.
While we have established that using a courier service is cheaper than national services, businesses still get better rates than individual customers. However an abundance of intermediaries have sprung up to give individual customers access to these business rates. It works like this.
You make the order through the intermediaries website in exactly the same way as you would do by going on the couriers own website. The intermediary then fulfills the order on your behalf. When the orders stack up from individual customers, the intermediary has greater buying power and is able to buy a large quota of services at business rates. A small commission is earned by the intermediary and you save up to 50% on sending your package. It's a win win situation.