The Courier Selection from The Delivery Conference – how big & what services

The Delivery Conference 2016 was packed with interesting lessons for improving your business in 2016. You can find our breakdown of the key takeaways right here.

During the conference it was clear that the right delivery options are important to get orders from your customers. So I thought I’d work my around all the suppliers exhibiting at the conference and find out how big you need to be to work directly with them, and what their service offering includes.

I’ve summaried that data below grouping the couriers into Normal Parcels, Lockers/Click and Collect, 2-Man, and Ireland. (It’s amazing how much development there’s been in the last 12 months!)

[couriers – I’ve managed to lose your business cards – so if you want me to correct anything below please just get in touch]

A handful of things to note before you dive in:

  • Required Volumes of Parcels – these are rough guides. If you’re just under please do still give them a call as they’re always interested in your growth potential
  • Prices – I’ve ignored pricing here for oh so many reasons! So you’ll need to chat to the couriers directly about that
  • Service offering – these are being tweaked all the time, so use this list as a starting point, not the be-all-and-end-all of your research!
  • International parcels – with the exception of Ireland i’ve ignore international parcels.
  • Rather than go direct to the couriers (especially if your volumes are small) you might want to see what your warehouse and fulfilment team recommend

Before running off to start relationships with a vast array of different service providers remember this:

premium vs economy

This is based on MetaPack’s data – so a combination of ALL the parcels that went through their software. It shows by day over the Christmas season 2015 (starting on 23rd November, ending 3rd Jan). Economy is the standard delivery method, and premium services are anything the customer has to pay extra for – next day, Sunday, time slots, lockers etc etc.

Key lessons to take from this before you dive into the courier’s details:

  • Standard delivery is always the most popular (apart from a few days before Christmas) so make sure you have a great standard delivery before you tackle anything else.
  • Premium services are rarely used by more than 30% of customers, so find out what your customers want before you add every possible option!

Normal Parcels

DX Delivery

Volume: 50+ parcels per night

Services include:

  • Express
  • 1 man
  • 2 man
  • Lockers vis inPost and Doddle

Royal Mail

Volume: 1+ parcel

Services include:

  • Tracked / untracked
  • Signed for / non signed for
  • 48 hours
  • Basically anything that can be delivered by the postman!



  • Via MyHermes self service site – from 1+
  • Business accounts with Hermes – 20+ parcels per day

Services include:

  • Next day



  • Via Interlink Express 5+ per day
  • Via DPD itself 25+ per day

Services include:

  • Next day

Lockers/Click and Collect

Also known as PUDO (pick up drop off)


Volume: ?

Services include: Asda Collection points


Volume: 1,500 parcels / year

Services include: Click and Collect at different time spans – 24/48/72 hours


Volume: 1+ parcels per year

Services include: lockers


Volume: (waiting to hear about their minimums)

Services include: dedicated parcel stores operated by the Doddle team




Volume: 5+ per day

Services include:

  • 2-man white glove service – everything from delivery, to assembly, and recycling the old items
  • 1-man assisted delivery
  • All available as next day


Volume: 40+ parcels per week

Services include:

  • Next day
  • Assembly
  • Room of choice

Arrow XL

Volume: 1 parcel per week

Services include:

  • 2 man – reoom of choice, remove packaging, white good recycling etc
  • Direct despatch warehousing



Volume: 1+ parcel per year

Services include:

  • Next day
  • 1 hour windows
  • Virtual UK Addresses in Belfast for EIRE customers to benefit from £ pricing, and p&p deals

Nightline Group

Volume: no minimum

Services include:

  • Next day
  • Parcel motel (virtual addresses)
  • Lockers

AnPost (Ireland’s Royal Mail equivalent)

Volume: 2,000 / year for delivery in Ireland

Services include:

  • Next day (tracked, signature, insurance)
  • 1 Man
  • Secure post boxes (on the side of the individuals house)


Volume: 10+ parcels per week

Services include:

  • Next day
  • Click and collect