Banner showing clock depicting time taken to send a parcel in the UK

Fastest way to send a parcel in the UK

Whether you are fulfilling a priority order from a customer or ensuring the safe delivery of important documents to close a deal, a fast and reliable way to send a parcel in the UK is vital to businesses and the economy.

Choosing a service to send a parcel in the UK

With parcel services, delivery delays can be encountered while waiting for collection, or while large quantities of items are processed and sorted. Although Royal Mail offers next-day delivery, they need to operate outside their usual system to do so, which can mean higher prices.

A more customised courier service can offer better value and efficiency, with extras such as improved tracking, secure handling and insurance. Typically, couriers also offer more delivery options, allowing you to pay for the speed you require and tailor delivery to your needs.

Delivery speed options

Courier services exist to offer a more efficient and safe option for shipping, which is also more personalised than parcel services. These can range from overnight delivery, guaranteed before 9am or 12pm the next day, or slower but more economical 2–3 day standard delivery.

A large package being handled by a courier

Factors that can affect delivery speed when you send a parcel in the UK

Despite every courier’s best intentions, there are issues outside of their control that can impact the effectiveness of a delivery service.

Size, weight, or parcel contents

While size and weight restrictions are more varied, overly heavy or large packages may require extra shipping considerations and handling procedures.

If the contents are suspected to be dangerous or contain perishables which have gone off, this could also delay delivery while an inspection is carried out.

Parcels should be properly packaged and clearly addressed to avoid being lost or damaged in transit. If incorrect address information is given, resulting in trouble locating a recipient or unpaid fees for undisclosed items, delivery times will likely be impacted.

Delivery destination

Sending a package to a nearby town will be easier and likely less expensive than sending a shipment from one end of the country to the other.

More complicated logistics are required to access remote locations, which may affect delivery speed. Within the UK, areas such as the Isles of Scilly, Channel Islands, remote areas of Scotland or some parts of Northern Ireland can be harder to reach due to frequency of ferries or overall journey times.

The need for postal services to direct mail through multiple sorting offices can also add time to deliveries. In addition, set routes for drivers can result in packages being held and queued for delivery. Couriers structure routes around their deliveries, ensuring shipments arrive faster.

Crossing a lake to send a parcel to a remote UK location

Cost considerations

Different service levels have different prices. If delivery speed is prioritised, reserving a pre-9am slot for the next morning may be essential, but will likely cost more than a delivery later that day.

Less time-sensitive deliveries can be scheduled for a service that guarantees speedy delivery but at lower cost. Even opting for a pre-12pm slot instead of pre-9am will be more economical, leaving budget for other value-added options, such as insurance.

Other courier service benefits

Advanced tracking

You can keep an eye on the progress of your delivery with real-time tracking. This allows you to update the recipient, ensuring they’re ready to collect when delivery is due. Tracking will typically be available through a web browser or dedicated smartphone app.

Dangerous goods services

Though domestic freight doesn’t pass through customs, some items are prohibited from shipping due to safety concerns. There are also laws governing what can and can’t be sent via post.

Some couriers offer specialised dangerous goods services to ensure safe handling of items such as dry ice or lithium-ion batteries. Trained staff and careful procedures help avoid delays, refusals, or damage during shipment.

A lithium-ion battery, which is considered to be a dangerous item when you need to send a parcel in the UK

Send a parcel in the UK with Impact Express

We offer a variety of different services to get your parcel safely to its destination as quickly as you need and at competitive prices.

Depending on your account type, parcels can be dropped off at over 1,000 locations nationwide or collected direct from business premises.

Our overnight UK delivery service ensures time-sensitive consignments reach the recipient before 9am or midday, and comes with the benefit of real-time online tracking for convenience and peace of mind.

For a shipping estimate, please use our online quote tool, or get in touch with our helpful team today.


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