What alternatives are there to Royal Mail?

With Royal Mail announcing strikes, small businesses may be wondering what alternatives are out there to help them get through these periods.

Around 115,000 Royal Mail workers will be going on strike over Black Friday (24 and 25 November) and Cyber Monday (30 November and 1 December).

Here, we take a look at some of the other delivery providers available. Prices for businesses tend to be bespoke depending on how many packages you want to send and what type and weight they are.

A note on the Post Office

The Post Office will be open on the days that postal workers are on strike, but they expect queues so they’re advising people who want to deliver parcels to get there early. Collections by Royal Mail from Post Offices will be limited and some services will be disrupted.

DPD

Delivery options

Standard: 1-2 working days

DPD 10:30 and DPD 12:00 – ensure parcels arrive by 10:30 or midday the following day.

Next Day – ensure parcels by the end of the following day

Saturday and Sunday delivery – by 10:30, 12 on Saturday or a nationwide Sunday service

Link with ecommerce accounts?

No.

Pick-up points for customers?

Yes – there are 6,000 DPD pick-up points around the UK.

Other features:

Fulfilment service, one-hour delivery window for customers, secure contract delivery and signing services, combine delivery and collection in one.

Evri (formerly Hermes)

Delivery options

Standard: 2-5 days
Next day – must be presented before midday for next day delivery

Link with ecommerce accounts?

Yes – connect your account with Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Shopify, Not on the High Street, WooCommerce and CSV.


Pick-up points for customers?

Yes – ParcelShops based in over 7,000 local businesses across the UK, plus over 3,000 lockers.


Other features:

Print parcel label in the shop, courier tracking options, signature on delivery, you get an account manager, next day delivery, recipients get a two-hour delivery window and three delivery attempts.

DHL

Delivery options

Next day delivery

Saturday delivery

Link with ecommerce accounts?

Yes – connect your account with Etsy, eBay, BigCommerce, Amazon, CSV, Magento, PrestaShop, Shopify, Squarespace, WooCommerce.

Pick-up points for customers?

Yes – over 3,500 DHL partner stores around the UK.

Other features:

Mail sorting service, 15 per cent off first order, no minimum spend amount, Quick Send service for ecommerce platforms.

APC Overnight

Delivery options

Timed delivery – weekday by 10am, 12pm or 4pm
Saturday – by 10am, 12pm or 4pm
(upgrades are available for fragile goods)

Link with ecommerce accounts?

Yes – connect with eBay, Amazon, Squarespace, Magento.

Pick-up points for customers?

Yes – there are over 3,500 DHL parcel points around the UK. Over 50 depots around the UK where you can drop items off.

Other features:

Fragile service, liquid service, security service.

Whistl

Delivery options

Standard: 2-8 days

Tracked next day
Tracked 2-day
Tracked 3-day
Part-tracked parcel delivery

Link with ecommerce accounts?

No.

Pick-up points for customers?

No.

Other features:

Bespoke solutions for finance and healthcare businesses, ecommerce fulfilment centres, direct to consumer fulfilment and B2B orders, import and export services.

Yodel

Delivery options

Yodel Xpress – one or two days for small and medium-sized parcels
Yodel Xpect – provides customers with a two-hour window notification
Yodel Xpert – additional features for specialised delivery requirements such as address only, high-value goods, exchange and BFPO services

Link with ecommerce accounts?

Yes – connect to eBay, Amazon, Etsy, BigCommerce, CSV, Magento, PrestaShop, SquareSpace, WooCommerce.

Pick-up points for customers?

Yes – thousands around the UK. Find the nearest using the store locator.

Other features:

Have label printed in-store free when you deliver your parcel, customer rewards scheme, customers can be given two-hour predicted delivery window, additional care for packages which involve a more complicated journey in reaching their customer.

UPS

Delivery options

Standard: 1-2 business days
Morning delivery service – before 10:30am the next business day or by 12pm for a bit cheaper

Link with ecommerce accounts?

No.

Pick-up points for customers?

Yes – find your nearest UPS Access Point here.

Other features:

Step-by-step tracking, UPS MyChoice for customers with up-to-date delivery alerts and the ability to track multiple deliveries at once.

FedEx

Delivery options

Standard: 2-3 business days
Same day
Same day plus
FedEx next day by 9am
FedEx next day by 10am
FedEx next day by 12 noon
FedEx end of business day (end of next working day)

Saturday delivery option is available for timed and end of next business day services.

Link with ecommerce accounts?

Yes – connect with BigCommerce, Magento, Shopify, Squarespace, Wix, WooCommerce.

Pick-up points for customers?

Yes – over 240,000 worldwide.

Other features:

Sustainable packaging, redirect package to a FedEx location, free FedEx shipping supplies with account, integrate FedEx account number into your merchant account.

ParcelForce

* Please note that ParcelForce will also be on strike on Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2022

Delivery options

Standard: 2 working days

ExpressAM (by 9am, 10am or 12pm the next day)
ExpressPM (for the next working afternoon)
Express24 (by end of next business working day)
Express48 (within two working days)
Express48 Large (within two working days for large packages
Sameday (same working day)

Link with ecommerce accounts?

Yes – connect with Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Magento, WooCommerce, Shopify, PrestaShop, CSV.

Pick-up points for customers?

Yes – either from over 11,000 Post Office branches or up to 7pm from one of 54 depots.

Other features:

If you send two domestic or one international parcel per week then it may be worth getting a ParcelForce account.

You’ll get a named account manager, can pay as you go or have a monthly payment commitment set up, tracking and payment dashboard.

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