Customer labelling a parcel

How do I send a parcel in the UK?

If you don’t often send a parcel in the UK, it can be easy to overlook important details. Follow these recommended steps to ensure safe, speedy delivery – no matter which service you use.

Find out if you can send a parcel in the UK

It sounds like odd advice, but bear in mind that some items are restricted or prohibited from being sent in the post. For example, any explosive or flammable substances or indecent materials.

Be careful to note any less obvious examples, like frozen water (even in the form of an ice pack).

It’s important to always check if you are unsure.

When using a courier service, there may be special provisions for dangerous goods or prohibited items than those specified by law.

Many couriers will list banned items to avoid confusion.

Using packing tape to send a parcel in the UK

Pack and label properly

Choose an appropriately sized, sturdy container and pad the item if loose, before securing well with strong parcel tape. This will help avoid or minimise potential damage or loss in transit.

Clearly address the package on the external layer and include a return address, just in case. A duplicate label inside the package will aid delivery if the outer label is damaged in transit.

For more detailed instructions, refer to our packaging guide.

Measure your parcel

Weighing and measuring your parcel at home allows you to obtain accurate pricing for shipping and prevents potential delays due to insufficient postage.

Always check the maximum weight guidelines provided by your intended carrier before sending.

To weigh an odd-shaped package on household scales:

  • Weigh yourself.
  • Hold the parcel and weigh yourself again.
  • Subtract the first value from the second value to determine the weight of the parcel.

If the parcel is too light for bathroom scales to accurately weigh, use kitchen scales. As a last resort, try to approximate the weight of your parcel by comparing to weighted household items such as boxes, or bags of foodstuffs like flour.

Choosing a domestic delivery service when you send a parcel in the UK

Parcel services

The Post Office provides a parcel service which is simple and can be cost-effective for small, light items, where delivery is not expected urgently.

The provide wide domestic coverage and offer several options, from standard first- and second-class post, to delivery before 9am or within 48 hours.

However, these services become costly for larger packages, bulk volume, and express deliveries. Maximum weight restrictions are also generally lower than those offered by courier services.

Large pallet loaded onto forklift

Courier services

Courier services afford more advanced and flexible levels of service, catering to professional and commercial demands and tailoring delivery options to each customer’s requirements. Courier services often face fewer constraints in terms of item sizes and weight restrictions.

Delivery speed

Overnight UK delivery can be vital for fulfilling orders or meeting high levels of customer service. As a premium delivery service, it needs to be reliable to be worthwhile.

Couriers can offer a guarantee of delivery within a specific timeframe, providing the level of security a business needs to complete orders quickly and consistently, while solidifying levels of trust between a business and its customers.


Full end-to-end tracking provides the ability to check on the status of a delivery at any stage. This information can also be relayed to the recipient, so they know when to expect delivery.

Dangerous goods

Experienced couriers can handle a wide range of products and items that a conventional postal service may either struggle to deliver or be forced to reject on safety grounds. This includes dangerous goods such as dry ice or lithium batteries, which require specialist handling training and knowledge.

Parcel collection

Many couriers can make direct arrangements with the customer to get a package to the delivery hub. Depending on the service you choose, the carrier may be willing to collect the package from you at your place of work or residence.

Alternatively, they may offer the option to drop-off the item at a convenient nearby location, such as a shop or local depot.

Parcel collected by customer from courier

At Impact Express we offer a range of courier options for UK deliveries at competitive prices, including overnight delivery. With easy online booking and reliable estimation, our services are designed to be convenient and reliable, with no hidden costs.

We offer the option to collect packages directly from all business account holders, while providing local drop -off facilities to non-business accounts.

For more information on the services we offer, or a detailed quote, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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