The growing popularity of online shopping has seen internet sales increase with consumers and businesses looking for reliable courier services to get these goods delivered. Aside from many individuals who send the odd parcel here and there, businesses and online retailers are now heavily reliant on courier services to have their products sent to customers nationally or internationally. We understand at Interparcel how important it is to find a reliable courier as the right price.
But how do you choose the right courier broker? And what do different courier comparison websites offer? There are some key considerations at play when choosing the most suitable courier for you or your business. All of the couriers have their own sites directly, but buying through a parcel comparison website like Interparcel gives you the one stop shop for courier services. We allow you to compare, select, and then mix and match services and suppliers too, all on one website. Plus as well as providing the best couriers we add our own value added benefits too.
What's the difference between standard postage and a courier service?
Courier services have become a popular choice for parcel shipping. You can use both courier and standard mail services to send goods to a range of destinations but using a courier service can provide a really good rate as well as a range of different service options, often including a signature to give a great variety together with the mail alternative and often much quicker with more benefits.
Sending through a courier will also give you the choice of collection from your door or dropping off to local point together with an attractive price, and you really will be surprised at what a great deal you could get. Gone are the days of just dropping to the Post Office, you can still do that if you wish or select a courier drop off point - we offer that choice, but now there's so many more options too. Services are so much more flexible than they used to be, allowing collections from homes, businesses, warehouses, between businesses and many offering a window so you know when the driver will arrive, or even an AM, PM or evening if that suits.
Service options & the price you'll pay
Ultimately, the service you choose will depend on the product you're sending as well as to where it's going. While some courier services are more suitable for UK deliveries, there are others which specialise in European or international destinations. It's always worth comparing the different services that are available so you know you've made the right choice.
If you ship to multiple destinations, you may want to choose a different courier for each destination– for instance, one for domestic UK deliveries and one for international shipments. Booking with Interparcel allows you to pick and mix to suit every parcel you're sending and just pay once.
Some couriers will be more competitive to ship the smaller packages whereas others will provide a specialist pallet service for heavier items. It really comes down to what you're sending and how quickly you would like it to be delivered. You can also see our other blog on How to choose the right courier service.
Always make sure you know the full price when you're comparing through a comparison website too. At Interparcel we try to be as transparent as possible. We know which remote areas that have a small additional price for example. As long as you enter the correct postcode, we'll reflect this in the price you see. We take into account the size and weight accordingly, and again display the price based on this - we don't have any nasty add on's once you get to the shopping cart. We'll display the price as part of the Quote & Book process, and as long as you've entered the correct details, the price you pay will be what you selected from the outset. Easy.
Level of Customer Service
The key thing to consider when considering where to book, is what service you're likely to receive as well as what price. Whether you're choosing a courier company who only offer their own services or a price comparison website, be mindful of what Customer Service they offer. How easy are they to contact? Do they have a phone number? It's great to email, but who wants to be waiting on a response, wouldn't you rather know straight away?
At Interparcel we have our phone lines open 8.30am to 8pm each day and we're monitoring emails and live chat during this time too so you'll always get a fast response however you contact us. All our staff are trained to know the ins and outs of all our services so if you're not sure of who to book with, how, or what to expect, call us! We also track every order behind the scenes and know if there's any issues holding your parcel up too, so the chances are if you contact us we already know and are dealing with it for you. This will give you complete piece of mind that not only have you booked through one of the premium brands but that Interparcel are looking after your delivery too.
Why not add a text message too? We can then let you know when the delivery is expected and loaded for delivery and also once it's safely delivered!
We also offer additional benefits if you create an account with us. It's so quick and easy. If you book with us logged in you'll have your very own address book, so you don't have to type in regular addresses every time, you can customise how services are displayed, for example always order by cheapest, or by a certain courier. You can also click on your orders page to see the status of each delivery in one place, plus many other features. All of these things really are important, especially if you're a regular shipper. We know, & we've got it covered.
Word of mouth, recommendations and online reviews can give a good insight into how good a company is. However, all couriers will encounter some issues due to the nature of the industry so they'll always be a small element of negative comments on social media or online review platforms. But you only know how truly good a company is when you have an issue that needs fixing and you need to contact them. If you see any negative reviews, see how the company resolves them.
We believe at Interparcel that a negative situation, although regretful, is our chance to show our customers how good we really are and we'll always do all we can to turn that negative into a positive. Whilst the Internet is a great platform to book in seconds, 24 hours a day, it's great to know there's actual people behind the scenes that care when you need that little bit of help.
Sending specialist items
Standard parcel couriers cannot handle certain items and will have a list of restricted or prohibited items. These items can vary from courier to courier so you should always carefully check which items a carrier will refuse to handle before arranging deliveries.
Some standard courier services are not suitable for sending certain items. For example, fragile or valuable items are often too delicate to be stacked or handled by machinery– as they would be with most courier services. Also, there may be liquids or medications which should be kept at a specific temperature and such items will need to be sent using a specialist courier service which uses temperature-controlled transportation.
At Interparcel we have a general list which applies to all the couriers we deal with, but also additional items that apply to certain countries by certain couriers. Just choose who you'll be using and where to and you can easily check which courier is able to handle your goods. This will give you piece of mind that not only it will it be delivered safely and securely but that you'll also be assured it will be covered by our dedicated Transit cover.
Timing and availability
Most people's top concern when sending a parcel is whether an item will arrive at its final destination on time. Couriers differ greatly in the services which they offer and their estimated transit times will also vary. When you enter the delivery address on our site we'll clearly show you the expected delivery date for the postcode you've entered so you can make your selection based on this too. It's so easy to make the choice on our site as a whole page of suggested delivery days with pricing is displayed.
Courier brokers also differ in how many options they offer their customers. At Interparcel we like to give you the best variety and offer a range of services so you can select what's best for your needs. No two customers are the same and no two parcels are the same so why choose a one size fits all delivery service? We offer same day deliveries or by 9am next day for those really urgent parcels or 5 day services for those less urgent but more price sensitive shipments. Is your receiver only home at the weekend? Not a problem, we also offer a Saturday delivery service – no more taking a day off work to wait for the postman! See our more detailed blog on how to choose the best delivery service with Interparcel.
Transit cover and tracking
Make sure that you can easily track your parcel so that you can monitor its progress and keep recipients updated. Most reputable couriers and courier comparison sites will provide a full tracking service so that you can track each stage of the parcel delivery process. Tracking should be accessible and easy to use. As discussed above, Interparcel offer proactive tracking so we can keep an eye on your parcel behind the scenes as well as our text updates, putting you in control.
You should always check what a courier offers in terms of insurance or transit cover. Often quotes will include an inclusive amount of free Transit cover as standard but this can vary greatly between different courier companies. Transit cover will provide you with that level of comfort that if there are any issues with deliveries and it will help protect your company too. For more valuable goods, Interparcel offer enhanced Transit cover if needed, so you can fully protect your parcel in transit. For just a few extra pounds you'll know you'll never lose out on the rare occasion it may suffer damage or be lost in the system.
Also how long will it take to process a claim if you had to? At Interparcel we have our own in house claims team. We appreciate when something like this happens you just want it resolved. As soon as we receive all the information to process the claim, we'll immediately work to complete it for you. We advise 28 days, but most claims are concluded within 14 days.
Interparcel have the right courier service for you
In conclusion, finding a courier service doesn't have to be complicated. Interparcel make it easy for you to choose the right courier service based on a range of factors – including price, cover, delivery timings as well as service and ease of use. All you need to do is simply enter your parcel details and begin comparing options using our online quote tool see our Blog Post too to help you decide.
We want to make it as easy as possible to book with us to so as well as the great service, discounted rates and the choice bringing you back, we also want to be the natural, easy choice. So if you have any feedback, suggestions, or ways we can improve, tell us! contact us around the clock via telephone, email or live chat.