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This article will explain under what circumstances a courier service is the most beneficial transport solution. Additionally, it will go into detail with what you have to pay special attention to in regard to the couriers’ packing requirements, and finally, how it works when you book your parcel delivery with Transporteca. With our online price calculator you always have the transport rates available at your fingertips – find and book international parcel delivery whenever it suits you. Curious? Try our price calculator below:
Under what circumstances is a courier service most beneficial?
It’s simple really. A courier service is usually the best solution when your shipment is relatively small or light (less than 200 kg per cubic metre) and when you are in a hurry. We will elaborate below.
Unlike freight forwarders and hauliers, couriers do not operate with minimum sizes for shipments. When you send your goods with a courier, prices are calculated on the basis of the exact measurements and weight of your shipment. Hauliers and forwarders, on the other hand, typically charge you for at least 1 cubic metre for sea freight and 1 pallet for regular road transport – even if you send less. Therefore, when your shipment is relatively small and light, couriers are often the better transport solution.
The big, reputable courier companies like FedEx, GLS, DHL and UPS each have their own large, international network of aircrafts and lorries, as well as a large number of distribution centres. In addition, they are technologically stronger than both freight forwarders and hauliers: The couriers have automated their work processes and can scan and track packages in real time using highly developed technological solutions. With such a network spread out across the world, along with the integration of automated and technological working methods, couriers can offer a much faster transit time than other transport providers when it comes to parcel delivery.
A door-to-door service
It is also worth mentioning that courier services are always door-to-door. This covers pickup from the shipper’s address and delivery at the consignee’s address, including customs clearance at both origin and destination. If the goods are subject to customs duty, the courier will ensure that the customs debt is collected on behalf of the tax authorities in the respective country before delivery takes place.
Furthermore, please note that when you send parcels to or from third countries (ie outside the EU) the courier will need an invoice that documents the value of the goods, as well as a description of what the shipment contains. This information is used to declare your goods, which is required when goods pass the EU borders. When you book your transport with Transporteca, you can either send your invoice to us and then we will make sure to forward it to the right person. Alternatively, the respective courier company will contact you in order to obtain relevant documents. For parcel delivery within the EU, no invoice and goods description are required.
Even though the couriers’ fast-paced work processes are their biggest advantage, it is also the biggest downside downside to courier transport. The parcels are often subject to rough handling, as there is a great demand for efficiency and productivity. Therefore, we highly recommend that you – regardless of cargo type – always pack your goods appropriately for transport to ensure they are optimally protected during transit. In addition, we encourage you to never send fragile goods with a courier, but instead use a haulier – even though the transit time is longer and also costs more. Transporteca kan help you with most modes of transport, and if you have any doubts about which service best suits your needs, you are always welcome to contact us.
In the following we will review the requirements for packaging, which ensures that your parcel arrives safely.
Guidelines for packaging
It is crucial that you are aware of how the couriers work and handle your parcels if you want to avoid damage to your goods. Get the insights below.
As mentioned above, couriers operate in a fast-paced work environment and the workflows are shaped through a high degree of automation This means, among other things, that the courier companies sort your parcels on an automatic sorting plant. No exceptions. Thus, fragile goods can and will not be taken into consideration, even if you apply ‘caution’, ‘this side up’ or ‘glass’ labels to your parcels. All goods are sorted on the same terms, and this applies to all couriers in the industry.
The only exception is if your goods are placed on a pallet, then for obvious reasons the pallet will not go in the sorting plant, but is instead handled with an electric pallet lifter.
Therefore, before you send your parcels with a courier, consider if your goods and packaging are suitable to be handled at an automatic sorting plant. A useful rule of thumb to determine this is that your parcel should be able to bear a drop from 1 metre without sustaining damage. If it cannot, then you should consider if it’s a better solution for you to send your goods on a pallet or as break bulk. Alternatively, you must improve your parcel’s packaging to withstand rough handling. An example of a good, protective packaging consists of a hard outer shell and a soft inner protection, for example, a wooden crate filled with foam.
There are two main reasons why proper packaging is so important:
- With inadequate packaging, you risk that your goods will sustain damage during transit, and that’s always a shame
- If you have purchased a transport insurance, the right to compensation drops if it is assessed that your parcel has not been properly packaged to withstand the couriers’ sorting plants
Parcel delivery with Transporteca: This is how it works
Whether you need to send one or more parcels, or if the transport is within Europe or overseas it is always very straightforward to find and book your transport service with Transporteca. Simply follow the guide below for your parcel delivery:
- Visit Transporteca’s website and search for transport by entering the cities for pickup and delivery
- Select ‘parcels’ and enter the measurements and weight of the parcel
- Select the service that fits your transport needs the best – for example based on price or transit time
- Enter the details of shipper and consignee
- Confirm your booking and pay with a credit card or bank transfer
- Shipper will receive a label by mail, which should be printed and placed on the parcel
- For import shipments shipper must contact the local courier company and arrange collection. For export shipments Transporteca will arrange collection and let the customer know the details. Collection can usually be arranged for the following day, if it’s scheduled before noon
- The parcel will be collected from the shipper and both shipper and consignee will then be able to track the parcel via the tracking number provided by Transporteca
- The parcel is delivered at the consignee’s address
That’s it. Want to try it out. Find our prices and services directly online:
Book with Transporteca and save money
One of many good reasons to book your parcel delivery with Transporteca or a similar transport provider is that you will often get a much better price than if you contact a courier directly. If you have fewer than 100 shipments a year, you typically do not have enough bargaining power to negotiate with the couriers on favorable prices and must settle for the prices available to everyone (list prices). Instead, when you book with Transporteca or other freight forwarders, you will benefit from our large customer agreements that offer favorable negotiated transport rates.
Below is a quick summary of the most important points from the article.
4 things to remember about courier services and parcel delivery
- Choose a courier when you need a fast transit time and when your shipment is relatively small and light
- Make sure your parcel is well-protected to withstand rough handling and remember to follow the couriers’ guidelines for packaging for a safe transport
- If your goods are particularly fragile, place the goods on a pallet or choose an alternative transport solution
- Save money by booking your transport through a freight forwarder to access their negotiated transport rates. Try, for example, Transporteca’s online booking portal, where you can easily find prices for your parcel delivery
We look forward to assisting you with your transport!