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What is the fastest way to ship internationally?

The need for fast international shipping has never been more important. Specialist logistics providers can now track and deliver to hundreds of international destinations faster than ever before. As you assess the options available to you, there are several considerations to take into account.

Fast international shipping considerations

Your product or package

The method of transportation and timing of the delivery will be affected by the nature of the goods. Some high-value or fragile items (e.g. electronics) may be more susceptible to damage, theft or loss. Seasonal or perishable organic substances (e.g. holiday goods, flowers, food) may be very time sensitive.

Electrical circuit board packaged for delivery

Distance to destination country

There are numerous ways to ship your goods depending on the destination. Air freight is probably a must for fast trans-Atlantic shipping; surface routes such as road or rail may be preferable for countries close to the UK, such as France or Belgium.

Fast international shipping rates vs business costs

You cannot decide on the best international shipping option without considering the costs involved – particularly when evaluated against the value of the product and potential revenue to be gained. The cost difference between three-week delivery, three days or 24 hours can be significant. Equally the level of tracking provided and security required also contributes to costs.

Fast international shipping delivery times

How quickly you need something shipped is relative and will depend on the nature of the product and your business. Sea freight can take 6 weeks or more to reach Australia or China, air freight can take 2 – 3 days. Courier services, such as those offered by Impact Express, can offer next-day delivery to places like the United States.

Be realistic about how quickly you need your parcel or shipment delivered. Do you really need premium next-day delivery, or would delivery within a few days suffice?

Convenience of collection service

The amount of time and effort required to send your parcel is a valid consideration. If half a day is spent in service of arranging 48-hour delivery, including going to and queuing at the Post Office for the sake of cheaper rates, there will still be a cost incurred in terms of time and productivity. Compare this with a comprehensive door-to-door 24-hour delivery service, which will allow you to get on with more important work.

Different shipping methods

Bulk international deliveries

Sea freight

Perhaps the cheapest but slowest way of sending goods worldwide, sea freight remains a good option for large and bulk exports. However, it is not a sensible choice if your delivery is urgent.

Sea freight containers aboard ship for bulk export

Fast international shipping by air

For bulk items or large parcels, this is often an affordable and fast option. Delivery is completed within days.

Medium-quantity international deliveries

Surface freight

Road transportation can be an affordable and fast option for shorter hauls. Loading and unloading is fast, the road network provides leeway in terms of chosen routes, and there’s also a large degree of flexibility in terms of parcel size. However, delivery speed can be affected by weather, road conditions and regional events (such as local strikes).

Rail transport may be less flexible than road but a cheaper and faster option over much longer trans-continental distances (e.g. journeys exceeding 1,000 miles). Faster than sea freight and slower than air freight, overland shipment is often a sensible compromise.

Smaller shipments

Traditional mail service providers

As the historic incumbent national mail delivery service in the UK, Royal Mail may still be the option many consider the default standard. While they offer international delivery services, suitability will vary depending on need.

Royal Mail’s International Business delivery services vary in price and speed: most services promise a target delivery time ranging between 2-5 days, with the cheapest ‘International Business Standard Economy’ taking 10-15 days. The caveat is that the services cap item weight at either 2kg or 5kg – a restriction which limits the types of packages that can be sent. They also do not collect from your business.

Royal Mail worker sorting parcels at delivery depot

International shipping via courier

International courier services, like those offered by Impact Express, lead the field when it comes to fast and convenient shipment. As an authorised service partner for DHL, we have access to their experienced, reliable and efficient logistics networks, while our unrivalled customer service operation ensures that the stress and effort that may be incurred by the customer when choosing other delivery options is eliminated.

At Impact Express we offer next-day delivery to the United States, next-day AM delivery to central Europe and 2 working days’ delivery to Australia and Asia. Our aim is to offer fast international shipping with complete convenience: bookings can be completed quickly online, and consignments can either be collected direct from your premises or dropped off at one of our collection points.

Speed of delivery is influenced by many factors, but fast international shipping doesn’t have to be complicated or time consuming. Contact us today if you’d like to know more.  

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