When it comes to send a parcel or package that weighs more than 1kg, most of us instinctively think to go to the Post Office. But now thanks to the web is possible to use a discount web courier instead of Royal Mail. So whats the best way to get an understanding of parcel delivery?
Which one is the best for you?
- More than 1kg weighing Royal Mail is generally the cheapest way to send cards, letters and small parcels under 1kg (use Price Finder to check dimensions). But for heavier parcels over 2kg the cost is over £13 without tracking, with delivery in 3-5 day.
- Fast shipping For urgent deliveries many courier services offer same-day collection.
Discount courier services
If you want to access big courier firms like DHL or UPS paying the same discounted price that large companies pay, you may go for a discounted courier services. These work as middlemen, who bulk-buy postage slots from big delivery agencies and then sell them to the public.
It is usually possible to book a pick-up for the next day if you book before the daily cut-off time, which is usually around midday.
Couriers calculate costs based on both size and weight of items. Usually discount courier companies offer flat-rate prices based around DHL’s standard maximum dimensions. These are generally about:
- 150 cm – max length
- 30kg – max weight Some services also go by volume. How to calculate the volume of your parcel in cubic metres?
Width * Length * Height (all in centimeters) /5000.
Get your packaging right
Packing your items properly is really important. Indeed poor pickings may invalidate postal insurance and claims. To avoid this situation you can follow these precautions:
Be sure to measure and weigh your parcel accurately when getting a quote. If the package is bigger or heavier than stated, you may have to pay a surcharge.
- Banned and ‘no compensation’ items
Couriers have a list of ‘forbidden’ items they won’t deliver, so your items may be inspected on collection. Because of this, it’s sensible to leave the top of your packing box open until it’s been inspected.
- Packing materials
All good packing requires a bit of common sense. Use appropriate material for delicate items like bubble wrap and free cardboard boxes.
- Delivery forms
Courier services ask you to fill in a booking form for each box you send. These can generally be completed online, or downloaded from the web and printed out. If the form isn’t filled in properly, compensation claims may be invalidated.
- Collection and delivery times
This sounds obvious, but make sure you’re going to be in for the whole of the day if you can. If you miss it you’ll probably have to repay. Most couriers will attempt delivery about three times at the destination address before returning items to the sender, but always double-check. Also make sure you include a return address, to be on the safe side in case problems arise.
Since you’re getting the equivalent of the courier company’s full price service, you naturally get the same protection, which can be about £50 per item. It can vary though, so always double check. Additional cover is generally available for a small surcharge, and if you are concern you won’t be covered enough, it may be worth adding. Always check any policy exclusions before you buy to ensure your item’s covered.