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UK courier service

Looking for a UK couirer



10:38 pm on Nov 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


Hopefully this is type of post is allowed - guess I'll soon find out :)

So far we have limited our business to selling small / lightweight items that we can send using Royal Mail parcel post (weigh, frank and drop at the Post Office).

We are looking to expand our range in to heavier items (up to around 1.5 - 2kg), and would be interested to hear of others experience. 99% of our sales are within the UK, so international shipping is not huge concern.



8:33 am on Nov 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Hi Deab,

In our experience couriers will only compete with Royal Mail's First Class postal service at about 1.75kg - ie that tends to be the cutoff point where they become competitive.

So basically everything over 1.75kg in our business gets pushed through City Link's Next Day service, which works well - free insurance, pickup, online tracking and web-based viewing of the signature, etc. Have a look around there's a lot of couriers out there and most are negotiable. It's worth sitting down with their rep and seeing what he'll do for you. Other factors are worth considering, ie perhaps who will do the latest pickup for you - your rep will probably be able to tell you that based on current pickups in your area.


8:37 am on Nov 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Also another point - be careful of minimum invoice levels - this can hurt if your business is still small (or at least if the volume of packages > 1.75kg you are sending are low).

Business Post for example will bill you 20 per month regardless. Lynx wants a massive 30 per week.


9:32 am on Nov 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


I can highly recommend NOT using DHL/Securicor, they are the most useless company in the world!



9:44 am on Nov 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I can tell you which companies we've had awful experiences with but if this thread turns into a bash fest the mods will pull it. So, instead, here are some tips:

1. If it is franchise setup where each depot is a privately owned business then AVOID it. Depots not earning money directly from you have no incentive to help you despite what head office says. They won't answer your calls, they won't fax you PODs, they won't follow up missing goods, they don't give a monkey's.

2. Call and call and call. See how easy it is to get through on their phones. And, find out what the complaints procedure is... and the route to escalation of a complaint.

See also this thread [webmasterworld.com]


9:54 am on Nov 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I know them all. had them all round to tea, and chatted with the lot of them.

at the weights that your talking about then i would say that they can all be good.

If its delicate glass/electronics etc - UPS (they won't carry more than 70kg consignments, most of the component suppliers use them. Most are lose loaders - which will put an small innocent box next to a freely moving crate that may way 100 times its weight.

If its not and its ruggid then TNT would probably be the best option.

Though worth checking out Amtrak, Interlink & its partners around Europe.
There are many others that some will recommend., but the most important thing to look at is the following.

1. Quantity of dispatches - # per month (get rates based on a months work - not per dispatch > you'll get robbed).
2. Delicacy of items - Style of courier (TNT is lose loader, UPS is max weight / compartment loader).
3. Quality of Service - Items getting damaged, getting lost, not getting there at all!
4. Type of Service - Timed delivery's, etc.

If you do get a courier in to chat about what they can do for you.

Ask about breakages, timed deliveries, coverage of the UK, whether they are a franchise chain, or entirely owned by the brand, how they pack, and the scalability of reducing their costs for an increase of work.

Royal Mail Special Deliveries are another option - though i would not recommend them for delicates.


10:12 am on Nov 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I've also had good experiences with City Link, prices are competitive, and they don't charge extra for delivering to non-business addresses like Business Post do.


10:33 am on Nov 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

if you need a excellent daily courier service between Brighton and London sticky me for details.


5:55 pm on Nov 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member essex_boy is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

City link appear to be teh best that I can think of too.


6:32 pm on Nov 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Has anybody tried parcels2go?


6:39 pm on Nov 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Sorry guys but I've tried sh*ttylink and they are one of the worst if not THE worst. Over the course of two years they lost or damaged over 10,000 of my (properly packed) products. Out of 20 meticulously filed claims they paid out on zero/zilch/nada... not 1.

Have a laugh, ask to see a copy of their claims form and see what happens

And it wasn't just insurance claims they were rubbish on.


8:45 am on Nov 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Thanks all for sharing your experiences.

I think holtyboy has answered this for us - we are likely to have very few (if any) packages over 1.75kg in this round of product expansion.

Going to stick with royal mail for now, and will bookmark this thread for later use.



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