The French last mile: a look at the best parcel delivery providers

March 19, 2024
The French last mile: a look at the best parcel delivery providers

In cross-border e-commerce logistics, the last mile assumes paramount importance. Any logistics professional knows what happens on the final mile can make or break the customer experience. To ensure a seamless delivery experience tailored to your products and the preferences of your French customers, you need to understand the local last mile carrier ecosystem.

How to find the best last mile carrier for your operations

The types of goods you ship are pivotal in determining which carrier to partner with. Whether it’s delicate wine bottles, bulky products, or smaller parcels, aligning with a carrier experienced in your product domain ensures cost-effective and timely deliveries. Your target customers also have specific expectations about the delivery experience that you must consider. 

While home delivery remains a favored delivery method, our experience at Seven Senders demonstrates that French online shoppers prefer out-of-home delivery options compared to other European markets. This aligns with research from Statista, which found that in 2023, 71% of French e-shoppers chose delivery to a pick-up point. Any online shipper looking to enter or scale in the French market must work with at least one local carrier with a robust PUDO network of parcel shops, parcel lockers, and other pick-up points.

The top carriers in France for e-commerce parcel delivery

Mondial Relay
Mondial Relay, founded in 1997, is one of the top carriers in France and a leader in e-commerce parcel delivery. They offer delivery for a range of parcel sizes and position themselves as an expert in out-of-home delivery. Mondial Relay offers a wide PUDO network comprising more than 12,000 Points Relais® pick-up locations and 4,000 parcel lockers open 24/7.

Mondial Relay is the most economical choice for cross-border shippers, especially for those who can take advantage of the carrier’s out-of-home services.

Founded in 1991, Colissimo is part of La Poste Group and one of France's most popular carriers for e-commerce shippers. Operating six days a week, Colissimo has a high reputation and a 48-hour delivery promise throughout the country. Notably, they provide two distinct home delivery services: one with a signature requirement and another without. In addition, Colissimo maintains the largest PUDO network with delivery to post offices, parcel shops, and parcel lockers. For retailers with a high rate of returns, Colissimo can be an excellent choice due to its convenient return options. Customers can return items via their private mailboxes or a PUDO location.

For shippers looking for consistent performance and affordability, Colissimo is a safe bet. However, shippers looking for faster delivery or delivery for larger parcels might want to partner with a different carrier.

Colis Privé
Founded in 2003, Colis Privé is one of the leading French last mile carriers known. Specializing in home delivery, Colise Privé boasts an impressive first attempt delivery rate, with delivery times ranging from 24 to 48 hours after injection. Bolstering this high FDA rate is the fact that Colis Privé has an ARCEP Postal License, meaning their drivers can deliver parcels directly to customers’ mailboxes. Moreover, Colis Privé understands the nuances of customer convenience. In cases where the recipient is absent during the initial delivery, they offer three flexible re-delivery options: home, pickup point, or to a third party. Colis Privé also has a large network of pick-up points, many of which are open on the weekend.

For cross-border shippers looking for a carrier with wide distribution coverage, Colis Privé can be a good option. 

Belonging to the DPDgroup, Chronopost is the leading express carrier in France. Services include delivery by appointment and next-day home delivery - including Saturdays- anywhere in mainland France. However, with its expedited delivery options comes a higher price, so it is not the most economical choice for most e-commerce shippers. However, Chronopost also has a higher weight (30kg) and parcel volume limit (300cm), so shippers with larger parcels could consider it.

Partnering with Chronopost is most suitable for shippers whose customers demand fast shipping options and can afford higher rates. 

In addition to the above, e-commerce shippers also have the possibility to work with DPD France and GLS France as well as other standard universal carriers.

Shipping to France with Seven Senders

Whether you are starting out on the French market or are looking to optimize your cross-border logistics operations, Seven Senders can help you succeed. Our one-stop solution delivery platform connects you via one API to the best last mile carriers in each market and gives you access to all the additional delivery services you need - from tracking and notifications to labels. Plus, with our PUDO Locator, you can easily integrate out-of-home options from all European carriers into your shop’s checkout! 

Get in touch to receive a customized offer tailored to your shipping need

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