1) Overview of Courier Companies in the United Kingdom (U.K.)
The United Kingdom is one of the world’s largest economies. It has noticed steady growth for over half a millennia and has accumulated vast amounts of wealth worldwide owing to its colonial past. This has allowed eCommerce companies in the United Kingdom (U.K.) to boom and acts as a catalyst for high market competition.
The logistics sector is an important part of the UK's economy, which connects customers with enterprises. Parcel delivery service companies form a big part of the economy and provide scope for business expansion.
However, businesses are often confused about which logistics solutions are ideal for them due to the high number of options available in the market. Therefore, this article discusses the top courier companies in the U.K. and how to decide which courier service is ideal for a business.
2) Top 10+ eCommerce Courier Services Provider Companies in the United Kingdom [Cheapest and Fastest] [2023 Updated List]
The United Kingdom is home to many parcel delivery services companies, including some of the world’s largest names in the industry.
However, with so many options available in the market, it is easy to get confused and become indecisive. Therefore, here is a list of the top courier companies in the United Kingdom (U.K.) and what they bring to the table.
Hermes is an international courier service company owned by the Otto Group, the largest mail-order delivery business in the world. It allows businesses in the UK to deliver products to over 20 countries around the world. It employs a total of 15,000 people and works with over 100 top retailers from across Europe.
Hermes allows businesses to make quick bulk deliveries and facilitates cross-border e-commerce through its extensive network. It tracks orders through its in-house tracking platform. Hermes also helps businesses manage returning orders and aids in efficient deliveries.
|Products, Services, and Benefits||Supply chain operations, Shipping, Logistics, Parcel delivery,|
2.2) Royal Mail
Royal Mail is one of the UK's oldest parcel delivery services companies. It was established by the English government in 1516 and has been in operation for over 500 years. It employs over 150,000 people and allows businesses to send items to over 230 countries and territories worldwide.
Royal Mail provides supply chain solutions to ship parcels and mails, and even manages returns through its platform. It offers marketing solutions to businesses and works with 37 out of 100 top retailers in the UK to help them reach customers in the country and abroad.
|Company Name||International Distributions Services plc|
|Headquarters||London, United Kingdom|
|Products, Services, and Benefits||Mail delivery, Online order tracking, Postage, and Stamps, Returns management, Scheduled delivery.|
FedEx is one of the world’s largest logistics companies to provide international delivery to different countries. It was established in 1971 and has been a popular choice for businesses worldwide for over two decades.
It has significant operations in the UK and allows businesses to deliver products to customers in over 220 countries and territories worldwide. It employs more than 600,000 people worldwide and manages an average of 12.5 shipments per day.
FedEx provides parcel delivery services to ship products overnight, make express and international deliveries, and facilitate customs clearance. It allows businesses to deliver bulk and dangerous goods while offering last-mile delivery solutions.
|Company Name||FedEx Corporation|
|Founder||Frederick W. Smith|
|Headquarters||Memphis, Tennessee, United States|
|Products, Services, and Benefits||Shipment management, Scheduled pickups, Shipping tools, Order fulfillment, Packaging and supplies, and Warehousing.|
DHL is an international courier services company founded almost 50 years ago. It is one of the largest delivery services providers operating in the UK, with more than 380,000 employees and a presence in over 220 countries and territories worldwide. It manages a total of 1.8 billion shipments every year.
DHL offers freight services via surface, air, and sea, express shipping services, bulk shipping options, and delivery services for sensitive products. It allows businesses to make cross-border shipments and provides customs clearance services. DHL is a superb logistics provider that can connect e-commerce companies in the UK to hundreds of shipping companies for freight services, international delivery, same-day, and next-day delivery, express delivery, and supply chain management.
|Founder||Adrian Dalsey, Larry Hillblom, Robert Lynn|
|Products, Services, and Benefits||Global logistics solutions, Transportation, Freight shipping, International delivery, Warehousing and fulfillment, Customer service.|
Yodel is a British company that provides courier services. It is one of the largest logistics services providers in the country. It was established in 2008 and was originally known as Home Delivery Network. It employs more than 10,000 people to help deliver products to customers in the UK through its 50 facilities. Yodel is also active in the Middle East.
Yodel provides bespoke services to businesses to deliver items, make express deliveries within 24 to 48 hours, and even deliver to international customers in over 200 countries. It allows businesses to ship sensitive items, track packages, and manage returning items. It is great for same-day and next-day deliveries.
|Founder||David Barclay, Frederic Barclay|
|Headquarters||Liverpool, England, United Kingdom|
|Products, Services, and Benefits||2-hour delivery, 24-hour Express delivery, International shipping, Offshore services, Online marketplace integration.|
DTDC is an international shipping company that was founded in 1990. It provides significant shipping and delivery services in the UK and other countries, with over 35,000 employees globally. DTDC gives ecommerce businesses access to over 240 countries and territories.
DTDC offers several logistics and shipping-related services to businesses in the UK, including last-mile courier delivery, warehousing, and eCommerce fulfillment. It also handles reverse logistics for businesses and provides a myriad of 3PL delivery services.
|Company Name||Desk to Desk Courier and Cargo|
|Founder||Subhasish Chakraborty, Debasish Chakraborty|
|Products, Services, and Benefits||Domestic delivery, Premium Express shipping, Supply chain management, Internation expedited service, Priority services.|
UPS, United Parcel Service, is the largest courier service company in the world regarding revenue. It is one of the most popular choices in the UK for delivering products.
It was established in 1907 and currently provides access to over 220 countries worldwide. It employs more than 500,000 people worldwide and handles an average of 4.7 billion packages annually.
UPS offers several courier services to businesses, including last-mile delivery, freight, reverse logistics, same-day delivery, next-day delivery, supply chain solutions, and more. It also offers bulk shipping, customs clearance, and 3PL delivery services.
|Company Name||United Parcel Service|
|Founder||James E. Casey|
|Headquarters||Atlanta, Georgia, United States|
|Products, Services, and Benefits||Batch file shipping, Shipping calculator, Packaging, Reverse logistics, Expert advice, Business solutions, Pickup and drop, Shipping insurance.|
Agility is an international logistics company that was established in 1979. It currently operates in over 40 countries and allows businesses in the UK to deliver products to over 200 countries and territories worldwide. It employs over 16,000 people worldwide.
Agility offers various delivery services to businesses, including freight, supply chain management, and reverse logistics. It helps facilitate the cross-border movement of goods and offers customs clearance solutions to businesses. It can offer air freight delivery services, day couriers, and same-day delivery.
2.9) TNT Express (owned by FedEx)
TNT Express is a provider of courier and logistics services in the UK. It is owned and operated by FedEx. It is one of the most popular courier services providers in the UK and allows businesses in the country to deliver products to customers in over 200 countries.
Similar to FedEx, it allows businesses to make express deliveries, offers international shipping options and clearing solutions, and allows businesses to ship heavy and bulk items. It also offers dedicated solutions for different industries, including healthcare, government, manufacturing, and more.
|Company Name||TNT Express|
|Headquarters||Hoofddorp, The Netherlands|
|Products, Services, and Benefits||Ecommerce shipping, Order management, Insurance, Online track and trace, Mobile app, Special services.|
2.10) UK Mail (owned by Deutsche Post Group)
UK Mail, formerly known as Business Post, is a leading courier and mailing service in the UK. It is owned and operated by DHL, part of the Deutsche Post Group. It maintains a total of 52 facilities across the UK and employs over 4,000 people to handle its operations. It allows businesses in the UK to deliver products to over 220 countries in the world.
UK Mail offers last-mile delivery, cross-border shipping, direct mailing, and other courier services to businesses in the UK. It also offers a host of marketing services to businesses and helps them run advertisement campaigns.
|Company Name||UK Mail|
|Founder||Deutsche Post DHL Group|
|Headquarters||England, United Kingdom|
|Products, Services, and Benefits||Postal service, Express parcel delivery, eBilling, Direct Mail|
2.11) DPD (UK)
DPD (UK) is a parcel delivery and fulfillment company in the United Kingdom. It started its operations in the region in 1970. It is part of the larger DPD Group, owned by La Poste, established in 1976. DPD (UK) has a smaller subsidiary in the UK called DPD Local, which provides express parcel delivery services. DPD (UK) is one of the best courier service companies in the U.K.
DPD (UK) provides a range of domestic services like Same-day, Saturday, and Next Day delivery. It also allows customers to return or exchange an item at the time of delivery, thereby reducing shipping costs. Under DPD Global, this courier company provides express parcel delivery services to over 200 countries. It also provides tailor-made e-commerce solutions with DPD Direct.
|Company Name||DPD (UK)|
|Products, Services, and Benefits||DPD 10.30, DPD 12, Next-day delivery, Saturday and Sunday delivery, Air freight shipping, International parcel delivery, International e-commerce logistics solutions.|
2.12) Parcelforce Worldwide
Parcelforce Worldwide is a courier delivery company owned by the Royal Mail group. It was established in 1986 as Royal Mail Parcels and later renamed Parcelforce in 1990. It has 270-degree barcode scanning technology in all its 54 national stations.
The international center delivers document and non-document items to 240 countries and manages customs clearance on arrival.
It processes over 7 million packages annually. Parcelforce Worldwide provides domestic delivery every day of the week and international deliveries every day, barring Sundays. It also operates 11000+ post offices worldwide for easy courier pickups and drop-offs.
|Company Name||Parcelforce Worldwide|
|Headquarters||Milton Keynes, United Kingdom|
|Products, Services, and Benefits||Courier delivery, Large shipment, Returns management, Global shipping, Online tracking.|
Collect+ is UK's biggest courier pick-up and drop-off store. Collect Plus started in 2009 in partnership with PayPoint and Yodel. It works on a similar model as Yodel, enabling e-commerce companies to send parcels anywhere in the world through one of Collect+ stores. Online stores can book parcel-sending services online or at their nearest Collect+ store.
The system automatically shows a quote upon booking, after which senders can select their preferred carrier. Customers can use the Click and Collect feature at all Collect+ stores throughout the week. They can even return items without too much paperwork from their nearest outlet.
|Founder||PayPoint and Yodel|
|Products, Services, and Benefits||Package collection, Reverse logistics, Customs clearance, Tracking notifications.|
2.14) Amazon Logistics
Amazon Logistics started in 2015 with the sole aim of systematizing the shipping process of ecommerce. Since then, it has risen to become the second biggest courier service company in the United Kingdom after Royal Mail. Amazon's wide reach and popularity are second to none.
Paired with over 500 warehouses and fleets of trucking vehicles, Prime delivery, 2-hour delivery, and other express shipping services, it's easily one of the best UK courier service companies. Amazon Logistics rests on Amazon Flex and Amazon DSP (Delivery Service Partner) programs to provide the best post-purchase customer experience.
Both these programs use 3PLs (individuals/groups) for order delivery. Amazon Logistics integrates with some of the best carriers in the world, like FedEx, UPS, USPS, DHL, and more.
|Company Name||Amazon Logistics|
|Products, Services, and Benefits||Warehousing and inventory management, Same-day delivery, Hyperlocal delivery, Fulfillment, Logistics solutions.|
2.15) APC Overnight
APC Overnight is one of the UK's fastest courier service companies for same-day and next-day deliveries. It provides time-definite deliveries across the UK from Monday to Saturday at fixed time slots - 10 am, 12 pm, and 4 pm. It also provides specialized services, including shipping live fish, coral, and other fragile and perishable items.
APC Overnight also provides international shipping of time-sensitive packages with air cargo and standard shipping within Europe via road transport. Businesses can buy packaging materials like boxes, envelopes, etc., for shipments weighing upto 30kgs. It has 100 depots in the UK, where customers can collect and send orders.
|Company Name||APC Overnight|
|Headquarters||Staffordshire, United Kingdom|
|Products, Services, and Benefits||Overnight delivery, International and Cross-border shipping, Fragile item delivery, Live Fish and Coral shipping, Timed delivery, Real-time tracking.|
3) Top 15 Main Factors to Consider When Selecting the Best Courier Service Company in the United Kingdom (U.K.)
Coverage is an important factor in the success of any enterprise. It allows businesses to expand seamlessly as and when their business grows.
Businesses in the UK (United Kingdom) looking for a courier service company often face several parcel delivery and supply chain companies restricted to certain geographies.
This hinders current and future operations, limiting the scope of the business and supply chain and distancing potential clientele. Therefore, businesses must choose courier service companies that offer domestic and international coverage to ensure maximum customer reach.
3.2) Dimensions and mass of packages
The package's shape and size is often critical characteristic that defines a delivery's dynamics. Several courier service companies place restrictions on the size and weight of packages, limiting businesses to delivering packages of a certain size.
Therefore, it is important to note which courier service companies in the United Kingdom allow businesses to deliver packages of different sizes and weights and partner with a service provider that caters to a business's particular needs.
The shipping cost is one of the most important parts of the partnership agreement. It defines how much the engagement will cost and how it will impact the business's revenues.
Courier services in the UK come with all sorts of different pricing structures. Therefore, it is important that businesses calculate their budget for shipping operations and then partner with a courier company that allows them to maintain healthy margins while providing good quality service.
It's also important to remember that many parcel delivery services like same-day delivery, day courier, transportation of dangerous goods, etc., come with additional costs.
3.4) Hidden Costs
Parcel delivery service companies in the UK may bury hidden cost information deep into agreements. This creates a revenue problem for the company later into the engagement since these costs are difficult to understand and pile up to hamper the firm's revenues.
Therefore, before choosing a courier service company in the United Kingdom, businesses must carefully pursue the agreement and understand if there are any hidden costs and charges associated with the service provided.
3.5) Delivery Speed
The United Kingdom is a highly developed economy and a fast-paced business environment. Therefore, it is only logical that courier service companies are also in line with the practice of delivering promptly and timely.
To be able to compete in a market that is so competitive, e-commerce businesses in the UK must look for courier service companies that provide fast delivery services to online sellers to help them reach their customers on and even before time. Some of these expedited courier services are - same-day delivery, overnight delivery, express delivery, next-day delivery, day courier, etc.
The UK has an abundance of courier service companies operating in the economy, with each provider offering something, even if slightly different, to the table. Different parcel delivery companies in the UK specialize in different aspects of the logistics industry and cater to different types of businesses.
Therefore, before choosing a courier service company, businesses in the UK must understand the courier service provider’s specialization and if it benefits the enterprise. If not, businesses must look for providers specializing in the particular enterprise domain.
3.7) Safety and Insurance
The logistics process is dangerous for items and full of damage, loss, and theft risks. Companies must use the services of companies that are reliable at delivering the products on time while also ensuring that the products are delivered without sustaining any damage.
Therefore, when choosing a courier service company, businesses in the United Kingdom must explore providers with a reputation for delivering products safely.
It is also recommended that businesses opt for providers that offer insurance for the value of the products being delivered using their services to recover potential losses.
3.8) Delivery Ecosystem
The delivery ecosystem of a parcel delivery company is a key deciding factor when choosing a provider for an enterprise. When the courier service company maintains high standards at the base, the need for constant monitoring and intervention is eliminated at the end of the business availing such services. This makes the process more efficient and cost-effective.
3.9) Proof of Delivery
Businesses in the UK increasingly notice fake delivery attempts where agents do not proceed to the customer's destination and mark the delivery as attempted. This causes immense losses to the company in terms of revenue and reputation.
A great way to overcome this is by ensuring that the delivery agent provides proof of delivery for every completed delivery. Therefore, when businesses are looking for courier service companies, they must partner with providers that offer proof of delivery services.
3.10) RTO Percentage
RTO stands for return-to-origin and is the event when a product delivery has failed, and the item is to be returned to the original location from where the seller had it shipped. In many cases, RTO rates are higher due to inefficiencies in the delivery process at the end of the courier service company.
Therefore, when businesses look for courier companies, they must ensure that the RTO percentage of the courier service is lower to get a sense of the success rate of deliveries made by the provider.
3.11) Returns Management
In a highly competitive market, businesses resort to a myriad of solutions that are often a losing proposition but are important to stay ahead of the curve. Returns policy is one service many businesses in the United Kingdom now offer customers. Sorting out reverse logistics is also extremely useful in managing your supply chain.
However, the process is complicated and requires the careful execution of several processes to return the returned products to the original location. Therefore, businesses in the UK must look for courier service companies that allow them to handle reverse logistics easily, bring products back safely to be sold to a different customer and make the process efficient and reduce the cost of returning the product.
3.12) Shipping Exceptions
Shipping exceptions are simply an umbrella term for a variety of events that may occur during the delivery process that may cause the package to be stuck in transit. Some of the most common reasons for stuck shipments are customs clearance issues, delayed pickups, etc.
This may cause the number of WISMO (Where Is My Order?) calls to rise and hinder customer experience. Therefore, partnering with a courier service capable of managing and resolving such exceptions is the ideal choice.
The developed economy of the United Kingdom is naturally connected through technology on every scale. This has allowed businesses to be streamlined in the country and, naturally, smooth logistics operations. Therefore, when choosing a courier service company in the UK, selecting a partner that uses advanced technologies that can help manage orders, track packages, and more is the ideal solution.
3.14) Value-added Courier Services
Value-added services are cherries on top of the existing portfolio of solutions provided by the courier service company. Although businesses in the UK might not be looking for additional services, it is always better to have options on the table.
Value additions such as co-packing services, same-day delivery, bundling, kitting, and assembly solutions allow businesses to avail of multiple services through a single provider making the entire process more efficient and cost-effective. Management of supply chain activities can also cost extra. Therefore, businesses must understand their requirements and avail themselves services of a provider that offers relevant VASs.
3.15) Past Performance
The previous performance of any business is a marker of its capabilities. It allows clients to understand if the provider can handle the kind and volume of expected work. Therefore, before choosing a courier service company, businesses must get a holistic view of their previous clientele, work experience, and performance in the domain.
That was our list of the top courier companies in the U.K. (United Kingdom). These logistics providers can help sort out supply chain snags, provide same-day/next-day delivery and enhance your customers' post-purchase experience.
The United Kingdom has been financially prosperous for over 500 years. The country has been home to some of the largest names in every industry and is a competitive environment for any enterprise.
Therefore, to survive such cutthroat competition, businesses need to avail the services of reliable partners, in this case, courier service companies. Although the sheer number of options available in the market can confuse any enterprise, the only way forward is to consider a variety of factors and assess individual needs before settling for a partner.
1. Which is the best courer service in UK for e-commerce delivery?
The best UK courier service companies for e-commerce delivery are DPD, APC Overnight, and Amazon Logistics.
2. Which UK courier companies provide Same-day and Next-day delivery international delivery?
UK courier companies providing international Same-day and Next-day delivery are APC Overnight, FedEx, and DHL.