Royal Mail (founded in 1516) is the most used postage and courier service provider in the UK – this is mostly thanks to its history and pioneering efforts. But recently the service is on thin ice with business owners. The organization, which has been criticized by the business community for the past couple of years, is suffering from an exodus of dissatisfied customers – because of all the delays, short opening hours and unpredictable service. The continuing increase of their prices is also affecting all of their partners, coupled with a recent scandal over a huge payment to shareholders – the business perception of Royal Mail is declining.
Small and medium-sized businesses are now looking for a better way of getting their letters and packages delivered. In this blog post we will explore the alternatives to using Royal Mail –so let’s see what other courier companies we can trust to deliver our parcels safely:
Myhermes is one of Royal Mail’s main competitors. They have the accounts for most of the UK’s largest retail firms, however, their dedicated business services are only available to customers who send at least 150 parcels a week with Hermes. The company offers flexible volume discounts and dedicated account management and a service called “safe place”- which means that the local courier can pick up packages from a local safe place you decide upon. They aim to deliver parcels within three working days and they also have the lowest prices among courier companies – so if you want something cheerful and cheap – MyHermes is the company for you.
DPD is also one of the alternatives to using Royal Mail, they offer a range of extra services, including Sunday delivery. Business accounts are available with DPD only on application, but even if you are not sending hundreds of parcels a week, you may find that DPD’s regular consumer delivery service is also a good option. DPD also offers a 1-hour window for deliveries, which sounds great, as most companies offer a 3+ hour delivery window.
You won’t have a courier arrive at your house to collect the parcels, nor will it go straight to your customer’s door – Collect+ offers a different service when compared to other courier services, offering an unorthodox alternative to Royal Mail.
First, you have to drop off your parcel or package at a designated point – which is usually a local shop, then you can track the movement of the parcel online. This has its advantages, for example, you don’t have to go into a busy post office, you just drop the parcel off at a local shop. Once you’ve dropped the package, your customers will get a notification and they will be able to track the whereabouts of the package. Delivery time is usually 3-5 days, so you may find your customers check the whereabouts of their package multiple times during this period.
It should not be on this list because it’s owned by the Royal Mail Group, but it can serve as a good alternative because it has a couple of useful features that are absent from its parent company. For example, people that might be sending more valuable items get a free cover that protects items worth up to £100. Also, everything is tracked through their website for free – you even have the option of a Saturday delivery, but as you would expect, it costs extra.
Till recently, they were known as Business Post – which might give you an idea about their main form of business- their postal services were specially designed for businesses. Offering next day collection and delivery services parcel services, UK Mail also offers a pay as you go tiered service – without the need for contracts.
For parcel delivery services, UK Mail has teamed up with iPostParcels – which is a really reliable service – catering to all parcel posting needs, from labels to free office collection and does appear to be one of the most cost-effective services on the market.
They are possibly one of the best all-rounder alternatives to using Royal Mail, they’ve done a very good job covering all the necessities when it comes to parcel delivery, from labeling your parcel to arranging the pickup and tracking your deliveries. They try to deliver your parcel within 2-3 working days and their prices are fairly good compared to the competitors. You can quickly get a quote on their website and arranging a pick-up is not difficult at all. You can save about a pound by dropping your parcel off to one of their 52 depos if you don’t mind the trip. You also get a free cover –which is just £25 but given the price of the service, it’s not a huge surprise – just be sure not to ship valuable items unless you purchase an added cover.