DHL van driving package delivery route

What companies deliver packages?

Almost as varied as the items that can be shipped are the services you can use to ship them. If you need to ship items in a timely and efficient manner, but don’t know where to start or which package delivery service is for you, here is a good place to start.

Using a parcel service

Parcel services, like the Post Office, handle small, lightweight parcels and letter post. They often have restrictions on the size, weight, and number of items you can send. Prices tend to increase rapidly once measurements, or the shape of packages, vary from standard.

These services are often more restricted in terms of express or timed delivery slots and international reach. Next-day delivery may not be available at all, and nominating a delivery slot may not be possible. With limited tracking, you’re also more likely to be given an estimated date of arrival as opposed to a specific time.

The recipient may also incur costs on international deliveries, as duty and taxes are often charged on delivery, rather than prior to shipment. This can result in frustrating delays.

Parcel services are best suited to sending small items in low quantities or standard letter post that isn’t time sensitive.

Person checking the time while waiting for package delivery

What courier services deliver

Courier services are usually private companies that ship any sort of parcel or document. With fewer restrictions and offering a range of delivery options, they provide greater flexibility than a standard parcel service.

If you require frequent domestic or international shipping, where efficiency and low prices are crucial, or need to ship bulkier items which require customised service features, such as express delivery or full end-to-end tracking, a courier service is likely the more sensible choice.

There are also companies which offer a combination of courier services and ordinary parcel service, allowing you to choose whichever best suits your current requirements.

What package delivery services are offered by couriers?

Parcel collection and drop off

Some couriers offer parcel collection and drop off for the sender and recipient, minimising time spent travelling to drop-off and collection points.

Timed or express delivery

Many UK-based couriers offer next-day delivery to Europe or North America, and fast delivery of 2 to 3 days to farther reaches of the world. For specialised local or national delivery, alongside guaranteed next-day delivery, some courier services offer specified time slots for same-day delivery.

Person tracking package delivery on smartphone

International package delivery

While most couriers offer international delivery, some provide a range of shipping options, like land, sea or air, for different cost and time requirements.

Couriers may also offer services to help manage the costs incurred by import and customs charges such as duty fees and taxes, to avoid unexpected delays or costs incurred to the recipient. These services are usually offered as an additional fee.

Tracking services for package delivery

To ensure secure parcel delivery, most courier services include tracking as standard, as well as advanced options such as real-time and international tracking.

Dangerous goods

Some couriers offer a specialised service to deliver dangerous goods usually refused for shipment. At Impact Express our specially trained staff allow us to deliver items such as dry ice and lithium ion batteries for customers who need these items shipped safely.

When to use a freight service

Courier services offer a wider scope of weight and size restrictions than parcel services, with some UK couriers willing to deliver an item up to 500kg domestically.

There are still maximum limits though. In situations where you need to send multiple large or heavy items, such as pallets of building materials. you could use a freight service instead.

Freight services are often more cost-effective for overweight items, but much slower than a courier service. The main types are air, ocean, and truck freight.

Air and ocean freight services usually treat airports and ports as their collection and drop off zones, though some freight shipping companies can arrange extended delivery options.

Use of removals firm instead of package delivery service to ship furniture

Removal services

It is important to be aware of the difference in expectations between a courier service and a removal service. As couriers often require items over a certain weight to be wrapped and transported by pallet, they won’t be the best choice when moving to a new house.

It is the job of a courier service to get your shipment from one point to another/ They will not be expected to unpack and place items. A removal service will expect to help you bring your belongings inside.

Choosing a reliable package delivery company

Whatever you need to send, Impact Express provides a premium courier service to businesses of all sizes. Offering competitive prices and professional efficiency, we guarantee delivery within agreed timescales both domestically and internationally. Contact us today to get an accurate quote and find out how we can meet your shipping needs.

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