Delivery costs can be a large expense for many eCommerce sellers. It is important to keep your knowledge of the best UK courier prices up-to-date, not only to maximise your profit margins but also to keep your customer base satisfied.
There is often a fair amount of flexibility in pricing when it comes to business courier services. Most companies will adjust postage costs to reflect the number of packages you send. This usually means that the more parcels you have, the cheaper the cost per parcel will be if you negotiate with your courier service provider.
The Price Factor
The price you’ll pay per parcel will also be determined by a range of factors. The speed of delivery, size, shape and weight of the parcel can all affect the amount that you’ll pay. Additionally, tracking and insurance options can add to the cost of delivery. Delivery costs can vary greatly depending on the courier service provider that you choose, so it’s always a good idea to research your options and decide which is best for your business. Some couriers are more suited to larger businesses, whereas others offer reasonable rates to small businesses.
The reputation of the courier that you choose should also be taken into consideration when deciding on the best option for you. Choosing a courier with a poor reputation can be off-putting for customers. It can also mean that you may have to jump through more hoops in the event of lost parcels or damaged items due to poor practice by your chosen courier. Therefore, price shouldn’t be your only consideration when integrating with a good courier service, although it is a very important factor.
Here are several options available to UK sellers and the courier prices you can expect to pay when sending parcels with them.
Hermes is a popular UK courier choice for many businesses due to its more transparent pricing. Their services offer good value for money for businesses that send lightweight packages and they are often the go-to courier for businesses that send clothing or other small items. Businesses that send larger goods regularly may need to look elsewhere however, as Hermes has a weight limit of 15kg on parcels and a length limit of 1.2 metres. Currently, their pricing model is based on the weight of the parcel, but they are in the process of changing this to include size in the calculation. This may mean that in future, businesses which typically only use Hermes to send smaller and lighter items may benefit from these changes.
Unlike other couriers, the weight limits that guide their pricing are fairly broad. Whereas some other UK courier service providers base their prices on the weight of the parcel in grams, Hermes works only in kilograms. This means that this option may be more expensive for companies sending very light items such as jewellery. They do, however, offer two different courier options, courier collection or parcel drop-off, with one being substantially cheaper than the other. These are exactly as they sound, a courier can come to you to collect your parcels or you can drop them off yourself at various locations to save money.
Hermes UK Courier prices (VAT inclusive)
Sending a parcel that is under 1kg in weight currently costs £2.90 (standard) if you choose to drop off your parcel. It will cost £3.62 if you require a courier to collect it from you. You can expect to pay £4.20 (drop-off) for a parcel weighing between 1 and 2kg or £4.92 if it’s collected. Parcels weighing between 2kg and 5kg will cost £5.99 for drop off or £6.71 if collected; 5-10kg is £6.99 for drop-off or £7.72 if collected and 10-15kg is £9.20 for drop-off or £9.92 if collected.
Hermes Price Table:
|Parcel size||ParcelShop or Locker drop off||Courier collection|
|Postable (Under 1kg)|
If you require the parcel to be signed for, you can pay an additional £0.80. This price remains the same regardless of whether you arrange collection or drop-off. Hermes also cover parcels up to the value of £20.00 for free, however, if what you’re sending is worth more than £20.00, you’ll have to pay extra. They also only cover certain items, and cover is only available on items with a value of under £300.00. Pricing is also based on value. Their pricing for cover is as follows: £0.30 for £30.00, £0.60 for £40.00, £0.90 for £50.00, £1.80 for £60.00, £1.90 for £70.00, £4.50 for £150.00 and £10.50 for £300.
If your business sends over 150 parcels each week, you can benefit from discounted rates through a business account in the form of free van collections, tracked delivery and account management.
First established in the year 1516, Royal Mail has been the go-to service for most people in the UK for a long time. They are the market leaders when it comes to postal services but not all businesses choose to use their courier services. However, many customers trust the Royal Mail over their competitors, so it’s a good idea to consider their courier services. For businesses that send small and lightweight parcels, Royal Mail is often the most cost-effective and no-nonsense option. Unlike other courier services, you won’t pay VAT when sending parcels, so this is something to consider when looking for the right courier for your business. For businesses sending larger items, Royal Mail isn’t necessarily the most cost-effective solution, but for e-commerce businesses that mainly deal in smaller items weighing under 2kg, their services are often cheaper than their competitors.
Like other couriers, businesses can expect certain perks for using their services frequently. Those spending £15,000 or more each year are given free collections from their business premises; if you spend less than this, you can pay an annual fee to cover collections.
Royal Mail UK Courier prices
Currently, you can expect to pay as little as £3.70 to send a small parcel weighing under 1kg via first class mail. It is important to remember that as Royal Mail also cover the postal service, you’ll be able to send packets for less than this. Depending on the item that you’re sending, you may be able to send it as a ‘large letter’ which is significantly cheaper. This can be as little as £0.76 if it weighs less than 100g, £1.64 for up to 250g or £2.14 for anything up to 500g. This is a cost-effective solution that isn’t available from other couriers, so if you mainly deal in smaller items such as t-shirts, jewellery or stationery, this can be the best option.
If your parcels are likely to weigh up to 1kg, the small parcel option can still be made cheaper by opting for 2nd class. A second class small parcel will currently cost as little as £3.10 to send. As the Royal Mail is, first and foremost, a postal service, pricing for larger parcels may not compete with other couriers. Sending a parcel weighing up to 2kg starts at £5.20 and the price increases substantially if you are sending a parcel weighing over 2kg. A parcel weighing over 2kg will currently cost at least £8.99 to send.
Royal mail includes £20 worth of cover as standard, but they do have options available if you’re sending more expensive items. Additionally, you will have to pay extra for tracking options or for signed delivery. Royal Mail’s prices change fairly frequently too, so always ensure that you check their business prices.
Unlike other couriers, DPD is good for shipping items of higher value or weight. They also offer deliveries on Saturdays and Sundays and are very focused on providing a timely service, which is great when it comes to keeping customers happy. Using DPD means that you can offer a broader range of delivery options to your customers, which is something that many customers look for. Businesses can also use their services to ship items globally, even up to the weight of 300kg. Although they aren’t the cheapest courier on the market, they do offer the most flexible options when it comes to sending heavy and expensive goods and fulfilling international deliveries.
DPD UK Courier prices
What you’ll pay to send a parcel via DPD will vary greatly. Their Expresspak next day service, which will cover the delivery of a parcel up to 5kg, currently costs £20.09. A standard parcel weighing 5kg or less will cost £18.20, plus an additional £0.52 per kg for anything heavier than 5kg. However, this is subject to a minimum charge of £8.68 per parcel. To truly understand DPD’s pricing structure, it’s a good idea to take a look at their Tariff Guide.
Although they may not be the cheapest courier, DPD’s reputation for timeliness, customer service and support is very good. Customers are kept up-to-date with their delivery every step of the way, which is something that many other couriers fall short on. They also give customers a one-hour timeslot on the day of delivery, which is an excellent service. DPD offers some of the most flexible services around and even covers the delivery of freight pallets up to 999kg.
In addition, DPD also has a sister company called DPD Local to cover smaller deliveries. For sellers shipping smaller volumes and parcels, DPD local can be a great option. They are the only courier company in the UK (Apart from DPD) to include next day delivery as standard in their services. Like other couriers, they offer drop-off services where businesses can drop their parcels off at certain points for collection, or arrange for their parcels to be collected from them directly.
DPD Local UK Courier prices
Their pricing is very competitive and they offer next day delivery of a parcel up to 5kg for £5.99 (ex. VAT) to drop-off or £7.49 (ex. VAT) if you want your parcel to be collected from your businesses premises.
Parcelforce are part of Royal Mail, but they offer more cost-effective options for those looking to send parcels of a larger weight or size. They are a great option if you like the reputation of Royal Mail but want to save money when sending parcels over 2kg. Their delivery options are also more flexible, meaning customers can choose specific timeslots, something that isn’t offered by Royal Mail.
They also allow customers to send parcels that weigh up to 30kg and measure up to 5 metres in length, something that many other couriers don’t offer. Unlike Royal Mail, however, Parcelforce prices are subject to VAT. Their services include free parcel tracking and a refund if parcels are delivered late to customers. If you use certain services, you’ll receive a full refund on the delivery cost and also be covered up to £200 if the item has been lost.
Parcelforce UK Courier prices (VAT inclusive)
Sending larger items is considerably cheaper through Parcelforce than Royal Mail. For example, a 5kg parcel can be sent for £11.34 and still be dropped off at your local post office, or £13.14 if you want it to be collected from your address. The same parcel will cost you £17.70 if you want it to be delivered by midday the next day (drop-off), or £20.70 if you want it delivered the next-day (morning) from your address.
These prices can vary depending on whether you sign up for a Parcelforce Worldwide account, which can reduce your delivery costs by up to 45 per cent, depending on how many parcels you send each week/annually.
Yodel is one of the cheapest courier services and offers greater flexibility on the weight of your parcels. Customers can send parcels with a maximum weight of 25kg and a maximum length of 1.2 metres, which means they’re a good choice for most e-commerce businesses dealing in small to medium-sized goods. Yodel’s pricing can vary greatly depending on many factors, but for businesses sending between 5,000 and 49,999 parcels per year, they can be a great option. This is because businesses sending this amount of parcels can apply for a business account which will greatly reduce delivery costs and also offer a broader range of services. However, you don’t need to send this many parcels to benefit from a discount as they also offer a discount to those sending multiple parcels from the same address.
Yodel UK Courier prices (VAT inclusive)
The average cost of a parcel sent via Yodel 24 is £8.99 or £7.99 via Yodel 48. However, these prices reduce significantly when multiple package discounts are applied.
For example, the average cost per parcel reduces to £7.89 for Yodel 24 and £7.24 for Yodel 48 if you send two packages. Sending 20 parcels reduces the average cost per parcel to £6.90 via Yodel 24 and £6.57 via Yodel 48. However, these are averages and your parcels may cost less than this to send or more depending on the weight and service that you choose.
Sending 50,000 packages or more each year comes with the best benefits, including an executive sponsor and a personal account director dedicated to helping your fulfilment run smoothly. However, for most smaller businesses, a standard business account still comes with some good perks and reduces delivery costs. To better understand Yodel’s pricing structure, it is best to get in touch with them directly and discuss your options and needs.
Yodel Direct (Now Collect+)
Yodel Direct used to be a popular service for frequent senders. However, Yodel has replaced the service and now use Collect+, which is a great choice for online sellers due to its cost-effective delivery options. Unlike Yodel Direct, Collect+ does not offer a collection service, but with cheaper solutions for lighter items and an option to drop off packages at over 7,000 locations in the UK, it can still be a very convenient and sensible option. It’s also an ideal solution for start-ups as they offer label printing services for £0.30 to give your packages a more professional appearance.
Collect+ doesn’t offer a next-day delivery service, so it may not be for everyone. However, their Standard service will deliver your packages within two working days or if you’re not in a rush you can opt for their Economy service which will deliver within three to five working days. Both of these options will allow you to send packages that weigh up to 10kg each.
Collect+ UK Courier prices (VAT Inclusive)
Collect+ do offer affordable courier options and their prices start at £3.79 for Standard delivery of a package weighing up to 2kg. Standard delivery typically takes 2-3 working days. If you’re sending a package weighing between 2-5kg you can expect to pay £5.49 for Standard. For heavier parcels weighing between 5-10kg, Standard delivery will currently cost £6.49.
Collect+ services also include cover to the value of £50.00 and free tracking options as standard.
DHL is different from most other couriers, mainly due to its transparent pricing structure. They also allow you to drop-off parcels at several high-street shops which makes using their drop-off service much simpler. Their pricing structure is based around 7 different sized envelopes and boxes and although their prices aren’t the cheapest on the market, their services are simple and easy to understand. They also offer great international shipping options.
DHL UK Courier prices
Sending an envelope via DHL can be fairly expensive. It’ll currently cost you £7.95 to send an envelope of up to 500g in weight. However, all of their services include next-day delivery within the UK. DHL prices are transparent but very specific regarding size and weight, so to understand their pricing structure better, click here.
Saving money with Multichannel Courier integration
Although all of the couriers listed above offer fantastic services to all types of customers, there are are more options available to save money when choosing couriers. It is evident from the examples above that different couriers have different benefits. For example, Royal Mail is a great option for sending lightweight items that can fit in a small packet. Alternatively, if you’re sending something heavy, DPD may be your best bet.
Using multiple couriers can often be a way to save money on your delivery costs, while also providing very flexible options to your customers. By considering integrating several different courier companies into your operations, saving money and fulfilling orders can be made simpler. Some businesses choose to give their customers various shipping options when they check out, but this isn’t always necessary. There is now software available that can take care of choosing the best shipping options automatically, which can save money and also keep your customers satisfied with faster delivery times.
Advantages of Multichannel Courier integration
Multichannel courier integration lets you take advantage of perks from multiple courier services without needing to manually research and calculate the best option for each order that you receive. Choosing just one courier and sticking with this can mean that you’ll pay more than you need to. For example, if you have a website selling various items of all shapes and sizes and your default shipping option is Royal Mail, you’ll pay much more for an item weighing 2kg than you would if you chose another courier. However, another item on your website may only weigh 100g and be able to be sent as a large letter. It’s easy to see why using multiple couriers makes sense.
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