1. Overview of Logistics Companies in the United Kingdom
The United Kingdom is an international business hub owing to its strategic location. It is connected with Europe and the USA via the Atlantic Ocean. This has allowed it to become one of the most powerful economies in the world.
The UK has one of the finest logistics networks 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’s economy relies on its logistics companies to help take the business ahead. It is home to some of the biggest shipping services providers. This allows it to connect with domestic as well as international consumers.
This allows enterprises based in the UK to reach customers all over the world. This is, however, only made possible through the best of providers. There are several renowned logistics companies in the UK. However companies can easily become overwhelmed and fail to decide which partners are right for their needs.
Therefore, this article discusses the best logistics services providers in the UK. We outline the different types of services these logistics companies offer. We will also consider criteria when choosing the ideal partner for your business.
2. 15 Best Logistics Companies in United Kingdom (U.K.)
Due to the boom in industry and technology, the UK consists of a number of logistics services providers. This is cause for confusion for various companies. They find it tough to decide which provider is reliable and ideal for their requirements.
Therefore, to help make an informed decision, here is a list of the top 15 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. It employs over 15,000 people worldwide and offers solutions to 100+ retailers from all over the world. They allow companies to reach customers in over 20 countries.
Hermes offers a variety of shipping and delivery services. These include express deliveries and shipping services for heavy and bulk items. They also provide international shipping solutions for companies.
Hermes allows businesses to manage their orders using an advanced tracking system built into the platform. They support their forward logistics operations with 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. They help UK based 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. They are also 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. They have a reach of more than 220 countries and territories.
DHL is owned by the Deutsche Post Group, one of the world's largest postal companies. DHL employs more than 400,000 people. Their large and experienced workforce helps them handle more than 1.8 billion packages every year.
DHL offers air, sea and surface freight services to businesses in the UK. They offer domestic and international shipping services to businesses. They also provide express solutions to ship products quickly.
DHL 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. Their services and delivery network cover more than 220 countries.
They process 12.5 million packages every day on average. They provides several cross-border services to businesses in the UK. FedEx offers a range of overnight, same day and next day delivery solutions. They also provide services for domestic and international shipping services.
FedEx offers freight services via air, sea and land. They specialise in logistics solutions for sensitive items, dangerous goods and clearing services for customs. Apart from these, they also offer 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.
Yodel offers standard shipping services. They underwent a branding overhaul in 2010 after it acquired DHL Express UK. They have a workforce of over 10,000 people with 50 facilities throughout the UK. They also provide express delivery, same-day and next-day deliveries.
Yodel supports and enables order tracking and helps manage returning items. Yodel's roster of services also extends to cross-border shipping and other solutions. They allow businesses to reach over 200 countries. They also provide specialized shipping solutions for sensitive 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. They have a workforce of more than 35,000 people.
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. Their experience helps them help businesses process over 12 million packages every single month.
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. They currently have the highest revenue of any logistics company in the world.
UPS is a courier company at heart, but also offers specialized services. UPS 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 supports tasks such as bulk shipping, cross-border shipping, customs clearance and more. They also provide 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. They offer supply chain management solutions as well as reverse logistics services. They further help businesses move goods across different countries and provide 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. DHL is a subsidiary of the postal giant Deutsche Post Group. UK Mail was formerly known as Business Post but was changed to its current name in 2009.
UK Mail offers several shipping and logistics services. They have 52 facilities throughout Britain and a workforce of more than 4,000 people. They help businesses reach customers in over 220 countries and territories.
They cater to a range of services including last-mile delivery, international shipping and mailing. They also provide a host of marketing services. UK Mail provides mail marketing solutions and enables businesses 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 their offerings are similar to that of their parent company.
They allow companies to make express deliveries on the same day as well as the next day. They also provide solutions for specialized deliveries such as bulk packages, heavy items and more. They also offer industry-specific solutions to companies in the UK.
With its headquarters in London, Freightliner was founded in 1995. It is an award-winning intermodal rail service and rail freight operator in the UK. This UK-based logistics giant moves almost 800,000 containers every year via their 200+ locomotives.
With terminals and depots nationwide, Freightliner provides bulk freight haulage services. They also offer infrastructure maintenance as well as rolling stock solutions.
2.12) Clipper Logistics
Founded by Steve Parkin in 1992, Clipper Logistics began operations with one van delivering fashion products to stores. Based in Leeds, they soon gathered a list of high street fashion retailers for whom they provided warehousing, haulage and transport services.
In 2016, Clipper partnered with John Lewis to provide Click and Collect services to fashion retailers, known as ClickLink Logistics. In 2020, Arcadia signed up with Clipper to facilitate its logistics operations. This retail logistics solutions provider also operates a distribution centre for SuperDry.
Palletways provides express freight services internationally and domestically to 24 countries across Europe. It is the largest provider of palletised distribution services in the UK and Europe. They operate through over 450 depots and 17 hubs in 20 countries. They also provide value-added services such as delivery before noon or after five.
Headquartered in Staffordshire, domestic shipments reach anywhere between 24-48 hours. International shipments can take about 48-72 hours. They are specialists in delivering bulky pallets that are commonly found in the construction or automobile industry. At the same time, they are capable of handling fragile merchandise for the beverage industry.
Turners began delivering loads from their farm with their first vehicle in Cambridgeshire in 1930. Over the last several decades, they have grown into a massive logistics giant. They possess a fleet of close to 2000 vehicles operating from 32 sites. Their workforce is over 3000 strong.
Turners provides warehousing, transport and logistics solutions. They are specialists in logistics operations that require temperature controlled warehousing and transportation. Their focus lies in offering their finely-honed logistic solutions to the food, produce and beverage industry.
2.15) Mango Logistics
UK based Mango Logistics offer bespoke and sustainable logistics solutions. A 3PL, they offer warehousing and courier services. Their fleet is made of electric vehicles which aids their mission of sustainable last-mile delivery solutions for their B2C and B2B clients.
Mango Logistic's tech integrates with multiple platforms from Magento and Shopify to Zendesk and Netsuite. Their roster of services include international, same day and next day courier services. They also enable forward stock location and cross docking operations.
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 point to another. This helps businesses connect with customers in different geographical locations.
Shipping services including international freight solutions and distribution services. These are supported through 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. It allows businesses to store products in a safe environment. Form here, goods can be dispatched to the desired location.
A warehouse facility is important. It can help with sorting, managing, packing and dispatching products easily from a strategic location. Warehouses also allow businesses to store products closer to customers. This feature enables 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. These include wrong products, faulty or inaccurate goods.
Returned products are to be sent back to the seller’s storage facility or hub. Such products need to be delivered back safely. They will help to ensure 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 logistics activities. These activities are those that are outsourced by companies to logistics service providers.
3PL solutions allow companies to receive several services from a single provider. These include packaging services, transportation, storage and more.
3.5) eCommerce Fulfillment
There is a constantly growing market for online shopping. This 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. eCommerce fulfillment will help businesses 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.)
The sheer number and varied options of logistics companies in the UK can make it difficult for businesses to choose one. UK based enterprises are likely to be confused when its time to choose a shipping solution provider.
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. Hence, it 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. They are likely a poor-quality provider. Instead, businesses must budget for their logistics needs. They must 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. It also indicates the logistics company's ablility to expand to newer markets without any hindrances.
Ideally, a wide coverage area also translates into higher efficiency in operations. This often means that 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 have size and weight restrictions when it comes to transportation. This means that products that don't fall within the specified constraints may not be shipped or cost extra. This prevents many companies from sending all the products in their portfolio.
This limits the scope of the partnership. Businesses must understand what they need to move to their customers and choose a partner accordingly. What if a company needs to move odd-shaped and bulky items? They must then 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 what the needs of their organization are.
They must then look for partners that specialize in domains that directly impact the operations of the company. This allows businesses to form ideal partnerships with logistics services providers. Forming the right partnerships 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. They, however, provide additional solutions that help fulfill specialized requirements of companies. These services include a variety of solutions.
Services include packaging, assembly, kitting, bundling, labelling, specialized transportation and more. These solutions are often overlooked by companies. But it is 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. This increases 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. A good returns infrastructure will 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. These include adverse weather conditions, incorrect customer address, and more.
When companies are choosing a logistics partner, they must look for providers that have mechanisms in place to avoid such exceptions. They should 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. More companies are moving 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.
They should not fail 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. These include tech 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.
This will 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.
1) What are the maximum size and weight restrictions for a parcel?
The size and weight restrictions for parcels sent through logistics companies in the UK depends on the destination as well as chosen service.
2) Why do logistics companies in the UK require exact weight and dimensions of parcels?
Accuracy in parcel measurements helps logistics companies execute speedy deliveries. In case of inaccurate measurements, your parcels could be held back at any one of several checkpoints in the transit journey. You may need to compensate for differences in cost and even pay a fine.