If you’re sending documents or parcels within the EU then you might be tempted to think that any given International Courier will offer the same prices and services as most of its competitors. On the surface you’d probably be right, but if you look a little deeper you quickly find some key differences between each company. Understanding exactly where you can expect most courier services to be roughly the same should put the areas of difference in much starker contrast.
Most online couriers will work in partnership with at least one of the established global carriers – the likes of DHL and UPS. The more of these carriers that a courier works with, the more comprehensive their range of services will tend to be.
A full range of services should include:
- Express Delivery – including next day delivery to the EU and the US.
- Economy Delivery – taking between 2 to 4 days across the EU.
- Timed Delivery – offering pre-9am, 10.30am and midday delivery to most locations.
Since the pool of established global carriers is limited to a select few, the reliability of the services offered by most couriers should be of a high quality and a comparable standard.
For the real differences we need to look elsewhere. The most obvious example of where a courier can really set itself apart from the crowd is in their approach to customer service. This will include how easy they are to contact (telephone, email and live web chat should be a standard feature), and how far they go to resolve problems on your behalf.
This second area can be crucial. Many couriers will expect you to track your delivery and tackle any delays should they arise. Some couriers though, take a more pro-active role, identifying issues and resolving them on your behalf.
In short; most couriers will provide broadly equivalent service in terms of reliability and cost, however where you can find the most difference, and the most advantage for you, will be in how they deal with problems if and when they arise.