1. Overview of Logistics Companies in the United Kingdom
The United Kingdom is an international business hub owing to its strategic location. Its connection with Europe as well as the USA via the Atlantic Ocean has allowed it to become one of the most powerful economies in the world.
Much of its growth can be attributed to colonial rule, however, the country has witnessed immense growth due to its trade practices and international connectivity. The UK has one of the finest logistics networks in the world and is home to some of the biggest shipping services providers allowing it to connect with domestic as well as international consumers.
The UK’s economy relies on its logistics companies to help take the business ahead, allowing enterprises to reach customers all over the world. This is, however, only made possible through the best of providers.
Although there are several renowned logistics companies in the UK, companies can easily become overwhelmed and fail to decide which partners are right for their needs. Therefore, in this article we discuss the best logistics services providers in the UK, the different types of services offered, and how to choose the ideal partner.
2. Top 10 Best Logistics Companies in United Kingdom (U.K.)
Owing to such development in industry and technology, the UK consists of a number of logistics services providers. This is cause for confusion for various companies as they need to decide if a provider is reliable and ideal for their requirements. Therefore, to help make an informed decision, here is a list of the top 10 logistics companies in the UK.
2.1) Hermes Logistics Company In The United Kingdom
Hermes is a global shipping and courier delivery service provider founded in 1972. The company is owned by the Otto Group, a major international mail order delivery service provider. The company is a leading logistics services provider in the UK and allows companies to reach customers in over 20 countries. It employs over 15,000 people worldwide and offers solutions to 100+ retailers from all over the world.
Hermes offers a variety of shipping and delivery services including express deliveries, shipping services for heavy & bulk items, and international shipping solutions for companies. It allows businesses to manage their orders using an advanced tracking system built into the platform, while also providing reverse logistics solutions.
2.2) Royal Mail Courier Services In the UK
Royal Mail is a government-owned shipping postal and delivery service. Founded in 1516, it is one of the oldest logistics companies in the UK as well as the world. It has a workforce of more than 150,000 people employed all over the world, helping businesses send items to more than 230 countries and territories.
Royal Mail offers a variety of services that allow businesses to send mail and parcels. It offers mail marketing services to businesses in the UK and is a service provider for 37 out of the top 100 retailers in the UK and Europe.
2.3) DHL 3PL Company In The United Kingdom
DHL is an international logistics services provider that was founded in 1969. It is one of the most prominent shipping and transportation companies in the world with a reach of more than 220 countries and territories. DHL is owned by the Deutsche Post Group which is one of the largest postal companies in the world. DHL employs more than 400,000 people and handles more than 1.8 billion packages every year.
DHL offers air, sea and surface freight services to businesses in the UK. It offers domestic and international shipping services to businesses, and also provides express solutions to ship products quickly. It provides specialized shipping services for moving sensitive and heavy items. Their service also enables businesses to consolidate multiple packages into a single shipment.
2.4) FedEx Logistics Service Provider
FedEx is a major shipping services provider founded in 1971. It is one of the one biggest logistics companies in the world with over 600,000 employees and a reach of more than 220 countries. It processes 12.5 million packages every day on average and provides several cross-border services to businesses in the UK.
FedEx offers a range of overnight, same day and next day delivery solutions as well as domestic and international shipping services. It offers freight services via air, sea and land as well as specialized solutions for sensitive items, dangerous goods and clearing services for customs. Apart from these, it also offers product distribution, last-mile delivery, and reverse logistics services.
2.5) Yodel Shipping Company In United Kingdom
Yodel is a British courier company that was founded in 2008. It is a popular service provider in the UK with one of the highest domestic order volumes. The service was originally called Home Delivery Network but renamed itself in 2010 after it acquired DHL Express UK. It has a workforce of over 10,000 people and has 50 facilities throughout the UK.
Yodel offers standard shipping services, express delivery, same-day and next-day deliveries, cross-border shipping and other solutions. It allows businesses to reach over 200 countries. It also provides specialized shipping solutions for sensitive items, enables order tracking and helps manage returning items.
2.6) DTDC International Shipping Company in U.K.
DTDC is another major international shipping and logistics company. It was founded in 1990 and has been operating in the UK for the previous two decades. DTDC is a large service provider with a workforce of more than 35,000 people who help businesses process over 12 million packages every single month.
DTDC allows businesses to make domestic as well as international deliveries. It offers freight solutions to businesses via air, ocean and surface transportation, as well as supply chain management services.
2.7) UPS Shipping Company Provider
United Parcel Service or UPS is a global carrier and one of the largest logistics service providers in the world. It was founded in 1907 and currently has the highest revenue of any logistics company in the world. It operates a massive international network in 220 countries through a workforce of over 500,000 people. The company processes almost 5 billion packages each year.
UPS is a courier company throughout the world but also offers specialized services such as bulk shipping, cross-border shipping, customs clearance and more. It also provides freight solutions via air, sea and surface. Additionally, UPS offers reverse logistics services.
2.8) Agility Shipping Logistics Company In UK
Agility is a global logistics service provider founded in 1979. Its operations are spread across 40 different countries with over 16,000 employees. Further, it provides access to customers in 200+ countries throughout the world.
Agility provides freight services via air, sea and surface, it offers supply chain management solutions as well as reverse logistics services. It further helps businesses move goods across different countries and provides custom clearance services.
2.9) UK Mail (owned by Deutsche Post Group) Logistics Courier Company In United Kingdom
UK Mail is a carrier based in the United Kingdom, owned and operated by DHL which is a subsidiary of the postal giant Deutsche Post Group. It was formerly known as Business Post but was changed to its current name in 2009. It has 52 facilities throughout Britain, has a workforce of more than 4,000 people and helps businesses reach customers in over 220 countries and territories.
UK Mail offers several shipping and logistics services including last-mile delivery, international shipping, mailing, as well as a host of marketing services. It provides mail marketing solutions and enables them to run ad campaigns.
2.10) TNT Express (a subsidiary of FedEx) Logistics Service Company UK
TNT Express is an international shipping and logistics company founded in 2011. It has been owned by FedEx since 2016 and is a major carrier in the UK. The company offers a reach of 200+ countries.
Since the company is part of FedEx, a lot of its offerings are similar to that of its parent company. It allows companies to make express deliveries on the same day as well as the next day. It provides solutions for specialized deliveries for bulk packages, heavy items and more. It also offers industry-specific solutions to companies in the UK.
3. Services offered by Logistics Companies in the United Kingdom
Logistics companies offer a wide variety of services that solve for different needs of enterprises in the UK. However, some services are common across the board, allowing people to understand standards of quality in the industry. Here is a list of services offered by the best logistics companies in the UK.
Shipping is one of the most important and common logistics services. It allows items to be moved from one to another and helps businesses connect with customers in different geographical locations. Shipping services including international freight solutions, distribution services, air, sea and surface transportation as well as last-mile delivery. It is the service that finally gets the products in the hands of the customers.
Warehousing is another important logistics solution that allows businesses to store products in a safe environment from where they can be dispatched to the desired location. A warehouse facility is important as it can help sort, manage, pack and dispatch products easily from a strategic location. Warehouses also allow businesses to store products closer to customers, enabling faster distribution and efficient deliveries.
3.3) Reverse Logistics
Reverse logistics is a solution that helps businesses return products to their original location. It helps businesses outsource the collection of items that are not desired, faulty or inaccurate, to be sent back to the seller’s storage facility or hub. Such products need to be delivered back safely in order to make sure that they are in a condition to be sold to another customer in the future.
3PL or third-party logistics is a term used to describe a variety of activities that are outsourced by companies to logistics service providers. 3PL solutions allow companies to receive several services from a single provider such as packaging services, transportation, storage and more.
3.5) eCommerce Fulfillment
The growing market for online shopping has led to an increase in demand for dedicated services for eCommerce order fulfillment. Logistics companies are now increasingly providing eCommerce fulfillment services to online sellers. The lack of a physical presence in the eCommerce industry requires sellers to avail the services of logistics companies to fulfill orders and deliver the products to the end consumers.
4. How to Choose the BEST Logistics Company in the United Kingdom (U.K.)
Since the number of logistics companies in the UK can make it difficult for companies to make a decision without confusion themselves, they need a set of standards that can be looked at in order to ensure that the ideal partner is selected. Therefore, here is a list of factors that companies must consider when choosing an ideal shipping partner for their needs.
The pricing structure is one element that affects almost all businesses that look for service. The cost of services has a direct impact on the revenue and profitability of an enterprise and must be considered carefully before availing the services of any provider. However, this does not necessarily mean that businesses must choose the cheapest logistics company in the market, which is likely a poor-quality provider. Instead, businesses must budget for their logistics needs and choose an affordable service provider that is known for high-quality service.
The area that is covered by a logistics company determines the present and future prospects of a business. It determines if the business will be able to fulfill the needs of its current customers, and also if it would be able to expand to newer markets without any hindrances. Ideally, a wide coverage area also translates into higher efficiency in operations since the provider has a large network. Therefore, companies must opt for logistics companies with large serviceability.
4.3) Size and weight restrictions
Several logistics service providers are known to place restrictions on the size and weight of the products that can be transported by them. This prevents many companies from sending all the products in their portfolio, therefore, limiting the scope of the partnership. Businesses must understand what they need to move to their customers and choose a partner accordingly. Should a company need to move odd-shaped and bulky items, they must identify companies that provide logistics solutions for such products.
4.4) Types of Services Offered
The service portfolio of a logistics company is critical to the partnership. It defines what will be the capabilities of the provider, and what requirements can be fulfilled by it. When companies look for logistics partners, they must first understand what they require from the partnership. Once that is identified, they must look for partners who provide the services that would help fulfill those specific requirements.
Since logistics companies consist of several players in the market, each provider has a speciality. Such specializations help different companies in different ways. Therefore, when companies look for logistics partners they must understand their own needs and then look for partners that specialize in domains that directly impact the operations of the company. This allows businesses to form partnerships with logistics services providers that will make the company more efficient.
4.6) Value-Added Services
Value-added services are those that are not core to the portfolio of the logistics company, however, provide additional solutions that help fulfill specialized requirements of companies. These services include a variety of solutions including packaging, assembly, kitting, bundling, labelling, specialized transportation and more. Although these solutions are often overlooked by companies, they are important to ensure that additional solutions are available to businesses as and when they expand their operations.
4.7) Reverse Logistics
Reverse logistics are a critical component in the logistics industry. The process of returning products exposes items to the risks of transport again, increasing the odds of them getting damaged, stolen or lost. Therefore, when companies look for logistics partners they must identify companies that have efficient reverse logistics infrastructure to ensure that your returning items are received safely and in a condition to be resold to another consumer.
4.8) Shipping Exceptions
Shipping exceptions refer to the shipments that are stuck during transit. A package may be stuck while being shipped for several different reasons including adverse weather conditions, incorrect customer address, and more. However, when companies are choosing a logistics partner, they must look for providers that have mechanisms in place to avoid such exceptions and ensure that enough measures are taken to complete the shipment successfully.
The technology used by companies is also an important determinant of how efficient its operations will be. As more companies move towards devices that are capable of imparting all types of information over the internet, it is only fitting that logistics service providers also offer such service without failing to keep up with the requirements of their partners. When looking for logistics service providers to partner with, companies must choose partners that use the necessary technologies to share information, data and analytics to make operations efficient and accurate.
4.10) Past performance
The historical performance of a logistics company is a clear indicator of its capabilities and offerings. Companies must seek reviews and a report on previous clientele to ensure that their logistics partner is the ideal choice for their requirements. It also allows companies to identify if these are reliable service providers.
5. Final thoughts
Given the UK’s location and international significance, it is one of the most prominent grounds for international trade. The higher income has also made the country one of the biggest consumer markets in the world. Naturally, the logistics industry is flourishing and in demand in the country. Such an environment could easily confuse businesses. Therefore, use this article as a guide to understanding the landscape of the logistics industry and key players in the United Kingdom.