Why price guidelines are wrong for your courier

Often we get enquiries about our courier services and the customer has a guide price in mind.

This is great except for when a customer doesn’t really know what service they require. For instance there are three main types of courier service –

  • Parcels, generally delivered by Royal Mail and parcel carriers.
  • Pallets, often delivered by a hub / national network.
  • Express (Same day courier) delivered by all sized companies.

And the price differentials between each type of service are huge. Royal Mail can deliver a package for £5 from one end of the country to another. You ask an express courier to do that and you won’t get a lot of change from £700. Now when you don’t know what type you require that can seem like a huge difference and fell like you are being ripped off.

That’s not the case.

A parcel courier collects and delivers multiple parcels. You have a rough idea (if you are lucky) of delivery time and the package is small and can be carried with many other packages and parcels. A same day courier picks up and collects one parcel and delivers it directly to it’s destination.  You know the time of collection you know the time or arrival and if it fits on the truck it can be delivered. The driver that collects the item is the driver that delivers it.

That means if you have a a CD or iPhone as a gift, you need a parcel carrier. If you have a Rolex, then you need a same day courier. Hang on a minute you’re thinking, a Rolex is a small item. And that’s where another factor comes into play – the value of the item.

Parcel couriers tend to only cover an item up to a certain value. Usually £500 and sometimes £2,500 if you are lucky. They also exclude items made of glass, liquids, foods, explosives and jewellery and items that are over 25kgs.  In other words if it’s robust, can be thrown around then they are happy to deliver the items. If it needs extra care… then they are not.

So when you are looking at guide prices for your courier service you need to factor in all the variables. The time it takes a driver to drive to the collection point, load and then drive to the end destination and unload, speed limits, the price of fuel, the drivers wages, the insurances etc are just a few of them.

When you ring up for a price and you tell us that your fragile item needs to travel 600 miles, remain upright and not be moved you are not going to get it delivered for a £5. If you are getting it for a fiver then there is something seriously wrong with your courier service and you may land up losing all your goods.

The more conditions you add to the delivery, the more it will cost is the general rule of thumb. It’s a bespoke delivery that is needed and something that requires delivery specialists. Like us.


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