The top UK parcel delivery partners for cross-border shippers

February 15, 2024
The top UK parcel delivery partners for cross-border shippers

The UK market remains a profitable market for online retailers even after Brexit. However, to succeed, shippers need to rely on experienced local partners for parcel delivery and returns and have expert support for customs clearance. Having a multi-carrier strategy comprising local delivery last mile carriers is often the best way to operate cost-effectively while ensuring customer satisfaction.

How to choose the best last mile delivery partner for your online shop

Besides identifying which carrier best suits your shop's top priorities, such as cost, delivery time, or sustainability, shippers also need to consider the type of goods to be delivered. Some carriers, for example, offer lower rates for smaller parcels, while others specialize in bulky goods.

Cross-border shippers also need to work with carriers who can meet the delivery preferences of their target audience. Make sure you have done the market research to know if your customers are going to be expecting a familiar last mile carrier like Royal Mail or if they are more concerned about having out-of-home delivery options, collecting their parcels at a PUDO (pick up/drop off) location like a parcel shop or parcel locker.

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The five top UK carriers for cross-border shippers

Royal Mail 
Royal Mail is undoubtedly the UK's best-known and most experienced delivery service provider. When it comes to local expertise, it is a trusted leader and offers numerous delivery options that cover a wide range of customer requirements: from next-day delivery to standard delivery, with and without tracking, many options are available. Royal Mail delivers cost-effectively on the same day, the next working day, and within two to three working days, except on Sundays and public holidays. 

With an extensive delivery network covering almost every corner of the UK, Royal Mail is also a good option for online stores that want to deliver to customers nationwide - even in remote areas. Royal Mail is also very suitable for the delivery of small, lightweight products. However, when it comes to bulky or high-value goods, some providers are more suitable.

Evri, formerly Hermes UK, is one of the major players in the UK, known for working with several large e-commerce retailers. The carrier claims to be the UK's "leading specialist parcel delivery company" with a 7-day delivery service. As an alternative to home delivery, online customers can choose to collect their parcels from one of the 4,500 Evri ParcelShops nationwide. This carrier also offers greater flexibility regarding parcel size and weight, with a low flat rate for parcels weighing between 2 and 15 kilos. Further advantages are the many different delivery options, delivery locations, and tracking options. However, there may be a more suitable carrier for high-priced or very large goods. 

Known for shipping across Europe, DPD is one of the top delivery companies in the UK. They offer fast and reliable delivery options, including next-day delivery and time-specific delivery windows. With higher weight and size restrictions, DPD is also a good option for those shipping larger or heavier goods. In terms of delivery options, DPD offers several, including safe place delivery, delivery to a neighbor, or a parcel shop. However, DPD is not always the most cost-effective choice for all shippers. 

Yodel offers affordable and reliable delivery across the UK. From two-hour delivery windows to timely updates and tailored communications, Yodel aims to provide end customers with the best possible customer experience. Parcel collection and returns are also possible. However, those who require high-quality shipping options or special services such as temperature control or hazardous goods shipping may be better off with a different service provider.

Parcelforce is part of Royal Mail Group Ltd. and offers various time-guaranteed delivery services. Additional offers include temperature-controlled transportation and shipping dangerous goods and heavier parcels. Parcelforce's focus on fast and reliable delivery can come at a higher cost than other delivery services

Additional standard universal parcel service providers delivering in the UK include DHL, Fedex UK, and UPS.

 Shipping to the UK with Seven Senders

Seven Senders simplifies shipping and customs clearance to and from the UK to Europe. Connect to our delivery platform via our single API and gain access to the best local carriers, and start shipping like the local market leaders from day one. Plus, shippers can get all the delivery services they need for optimized cross-border shipping - tracking, notifications, labels, and more - in one platform.

Get in touch and receive a personalized offer tailored to your shipping needs!

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