Top 10 Best Shipping Companies in UK in 2023

The UK has a thriving e-commerce industry, with online sales projected to reach £187 billion by 2025. As more people shop online, the demand for reliable and affordable shipping services also increases. Choosing the right delivery partner can make all the difference for an online business.

This guide will explore the top 10 best shipping companies in UK for e-commerce and online sellers. We will look at their services, prices, and reliability to help you find the right fit for your business.

shipping companies in uk

What to Look for in a Shipping Company

When evaluating shipping companies in the UK, here are some key factors to consider:

Reliability and Delivery Times

The number one priority is getting parcels safely to customers on time. Look for couriers with good track records for on-time delivery and low damage rates. Fast transit times are also essential for satisfying buyers.

Range of Services

Top carriers offer a wide array of shipping solutions for all types of e-commerce businesses. Look for things like next-day deliveries, click and collect options, returns management, etc.

Competitive Pricing

Balance speed and reliability with affordable rates. Compare prices between couriers to find the best value. Look for discounts on high volumes or negotiated custom rates.

Customer Service

Good customer support can resolve issues quickly if problems arise. Seek carriers with responsive customer service teams and transparent claims processes.

Scalability

As your sales grow, you need a company that can scale with you. Make sure they offer solutions to support small startups to major enterprise clients.

By evaluating carriers across these criteria, online sellers can identify the right partner for their needs. Now let’s dive into the top shipping options in the UK e-commerce market.

1. Royal Mail

Royal Mail is the UK’s flagship postal service moving over 13 billion parcels and letters annually. They offer dependable delivery across the UK with over 1,300 delivery offices nationwide.

Services

  • Royal Mail Tracked – Basic tracked option for small parcels up to 2kg
  • Royal Mail Tracked 24/48 – Guaranteed next day delivery by 1 or 9pm
  • Royal Mail Tracked 48 – 2 day delivery service
  • Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed – Same day delivery by 1pm or 9am next day

Prices

  • 1st Class letters start at £1.10, while 1st Class Signed For starts at £2.60.
  • 2nd Class letters start at £0.75, while 2nd Class Signed For starts at £2.25.
  • 1st Class parcels start at £3.69, while Tracked 24 starts at £4.15.
  • 2nd Class parcels start at £2.99, while Tracked 48 starts at £3.45.

Royal Mail offers volume discounts for large shipment numbers.

Why Choose Royal Mail?

With extensive infrastructure and delivery experience, Royal Mail is a safe choice for online retailers sending large volumes nationwide. Their special delivery options also support time-critical parcel delivery.

2. DPD

DPD is one of the UK’s largest parcel couriers, operating one of Europe’s most advanced road networks. They deliver over 275 million parcels annually.

Services

  • DPD Next Day – Guaranteed next day delivery by 12 noon to both residential and business addresses
  • DPD Next Day amended – Evening delivery by 6pm
  • DPD 2-3 Days – Delivery within 2 to 3 working days
  • DPD Classic – 3-5 day service for heavy/large items weighing 30kg+

Prices

The rates below are valid from June 23 2023 and include VAT.
Countries2shop2homeParcelLetter
0-1 kg1-10 kg10-20 kg0-1 kg1-10 kg10-20 kg0-1 kg & 38 x 26 x 3 cm
The Netherlands€ 4.25€ 4.40€ 9,00€ 5.25€ 5.60€ 9.50€ 3.90
Belgium€ 8.75€ 11.50€ 16.00€ 9.50€ 12.25€ 17.25€ 8.50
Bulgariaxxx€ 15.75€ 21.50€ 31.50€ 14.50
Denmark€ 9.25€ 11.50€ 17.00€ 9.75€ 14.75€ 23.25€ 8.00
Germany€ 9.00€ 13.50€ 19.00€ 9.75€ 15.25€ 23.25€ 8.00
Estonia€ 15.50€ 19.50€ 26.00€ 15.75€ 21.50€ 29.50€ 14.00
Finland€ 19.25€ 19.50€ 26.00€ 21.00€ 21.50€ 29.50€ 14.50
France€ 9.00€ 13.50€ 21.00€ 9.75€ 15.25€ 23.25€ 8.00
Greecexxx€ 21.00€ 21.50€ 29.50€ 14.50
Hungary€ 11.25€ 12.50€ 18.00€ 13.75€ 15,75€ 24.25€ 10.25
Irelandxxx€ 21.00€ 21.50€ 29.50€ 14.50
Italy€ 19.25€ 19.50€ 26.00€ 21.00€ 21.50€ 29.50€ 15.50
Croatiaxxx€ 15.75€ 21.50€ 31.50€ 14.50
Latvia€ 15.50€ 19.50€ 26.00€ 15.75€ 21.50€ 31.50€ 14.50
Lithuania€ 15.50€ 19.50€ 26.00€ 15.75€ 21.50€ 31.50€ 14.50
Luxembourg€ 9.00€ 13.50€ 21.00€ 9.75€ 15.25€ 24.25€ 8.00
Austria€ 9.25€ 12.50€ 18.50€ 9.75€ 15.75€ 23.25€ 8.50
Poland€ 9.25€ 11.50€ 18.00€ 11.25€ 13.75€ 23.25€ 8.50
Portugal€ 19.25€ 19.50€ 26.00€ 21.00€ 21.50€ 29.50€ 14.50
Romaniaxxx€ 15.75€ 21.50€ 31.50€ 14.75
Sloveniaxxx€ 15.75€ 21.50€ 31.50€ 14.75
Slovakia€ 15.50€ 19.50€ 27.00€ 15.75€ 21.50€ 31.50€ 14.75
Spain€ 19.25€ 19.50€ 27.00€ 21.00€ 21.50€ 31.50€ 14.50
Czech Republic€ 11.25€ 11.50€ 16.00€ 14.25€ 15.75€ 24.25€ 10.25
United Kingdomxxx€ 12.50€ 16.00€ 21.00€ 10.75
Sweden€ 19.25€ 19.50€ 26.00€ 21.00€ 21.50€ 29.50€ 14.50

Why Choose DPD?

With industry-leading transit times and tracking updates, DPD is ideal for time-sensitive UK deliveries. Their later drop-off times also support next day fulfilment cycles.

3. Parcelforce

Parcelforce is the express courier arm of Royal Mail Group, providing domestic and global delivery services. They deliver over 140 million parcels annually.

Services

  • Express 9 / 10:00 – Next morning by 9am or 10am
  • Express AM – Delivery by 12 noon next working day
  • Express PM – Delivery by 6pm the next working day
  • 2 Day and 3 Day services

Prices

ServiceCompensation CoverPost Office Prices fromOnline Prices from
express9
next working day by 9am
£200£40.45N/A
express10
next working day by 10am
£200£20.45N/A
expressAM
next working day by 12 noon
£200£13.45£12.70
express24
next working day by close of business
£150£10.45£9.70
express48
within 2 working days
£150£9.95£9.20
express48large
within 2 working days for items upto 2.5m long
£150£34.95£28.85

Why Choose Parcelforce?

Parcelforce offers extensive UK coverage and integration with Royal Mail infrastructure. Fast nationwide delivery makes it a good option for urgent B2C and B2B parcels.

4. UPS

UPS is a global logistics leader operating one of the world’s largest shipping fleets and networks. They handle over 20 million packages daily.

Services

  • UPS Next Day Air – Delivery by 10:30am next business day
  • UPS Next Day Air Saver – Delivery by end of day next working day
  • UPS Next Day Early – Delivery by 8:30am in over 120 UK postcodes
  • 2 and 3 day delivery options

Prices

UPS is a parcel delivery company that offers a wide range of services with varying prices. The price of sending a parcel with UPS depends on several factors, including the size, weight, destination, and delivery speed of the item. UPS offers different rates for occasional senders and for businesses that have signed a contract with them.

UPS has a “Calculate Time and Cost” tool on their website that allows you to quickly get estimated shipping quotes for their global parcel delivery services. You can provide the origin, destination, and weight of your shipment to compare service details, then sort your results by time or cost to find the most cost-effective shipping service

Why Choose UPS?

For urgent next day B2B and B2C deliveries, UPS offers excellent UK coverage and early delivery options. Advanced tracking and scalable solution make them ideal for growing online sellers.

5. DHL Express

DHL Express is a top international express provider with strong domestic UK services. They handle over 2.6 million shipments daily across 220 countries.

Services

  • DHL Express 9:00 – Delivery by 9:00am next working day
  • DHL Express 10:30 – Delivery by 10:30am next day
  • DHL Express 12:00 – Delivery by 12 noon next day
  • DHL 2 Day and 3 Day services

Prices

DHL Express is a parcel delivery company that offers a wide range of services with varying prices. The price of sending a parcel with DHL Express depends on several factors, including the size, weight, destination, and delivery speed of the item. DHL Express offers different rates for occasional senders and for businesses that have signed a contract with them.

DHL Express has a “Ship and Track” tool on their website that allows you to quickly get estimated shipping quotes for their global parcel delivery services. You can provide the origin, destination, and weight of your shipment to compare service details, then sort your results by time or cost to find the most cost-effective shipping service.

For more detailed information on DHL Express’s prices and services, you can visit their website .

Why Choose DHL Express?

For urgent international and domestic next day deliveries, DHL provides very fast transit times and great tracking visibility. Large global network also supports international growth.

6. FedEx

FedEx is a leading global courier with extensive domestic UK capabilities. They handle over 15 million shipments daily worldwide.

Services

  • FedEx First Overnight – Delivery by 8:00am-8:30am next working day
  • FedEx Priority Overnight – Delivery by 10:30am next day
  • FedEx Standard Overnight – Delivery by 3:00pm next day
  • 2Day and 3Day economy options

Prices

FedEx is a parcel delivery company that offers a wide range of services with varying prices. The price of sending a parcel with FedEx depends on several factors, including the size, weight, destination, and delivery speed of the item. FedEx offers different rates for online bookings and for services booked at a FedEx location.

FedEx has a “Calculate Time and Cost” tool on their website that allows you to quickly get estimated shipping quotes for their global parcel delivery services. You can provide the origin, destination, and weight of your shipment to compare service details, then sort your results by time or cost to find the most cost-effective shipping service.

Why Choose FedEx?

For urgent B2B deliveries, FedEx offers some of the fastest UK delivery times and latest drop-off options. Advanced tracking and returns services also provided. Global network supports international growth.

7. Yodel

Yodel provides economy parcel delivery focused on serving e-commerce companies. They deliver over 205 million packages annually in the UK.

Services

  • Yodel Direct – Next day delivery by 6pm
  • Yodel Advise – 2 to 3 day economy delivery with email/SMS notifications
  • Yodel CollectPlus – Click & collect to over 6,500 local shops

Why Choose Yodel?

Yodel offers affordable pricing for high delivery volumes. Economy options work for less time-sensitive items. Extensive click & collect network also convenient for buyers. Provides complete solutions for e-commerce sellers.

8. Hermes

Hermes is one of the UK’s largest delivery companies focused on serving online retailers. They handle 330 million parcels in the UK per year.

Services

  • Hermes ParcelShop Direct – Delivery to over 4,700 ParcelShop locations
  • Hermes Next Day – Next working day delivery by 6pm
  • Hermes 2 Man Delivery – 2 person delivery team for large items

Prices

Discounts for high volumes available.

Reliability

Hermes offers reliable services tailored for e-commerce:

  • 90% next-day delivery rate
  • 99% scan rate for parcel tracking

Why Choose Hermes?

Hermes combines affordable pricing, extensive click & collect options and e-commerce specialization. Ideal for online retailers sending high parcel volumes.

10. TNT

TNT is a leading business-to-business express delivery company with extensive domestic and global capabilities.

Services

  • Express – Delivery before 9:00am, 10:30am or 12:00pm next working day
  • Express Extra – Delivery by 9am to more UK postcodes
  • Economy Express – Cost-effective next day delivery by 6pm
  • Global Express – Time-critical international delivery

Reliability

TNT maintains strong service levels:

  • Over 90% on-time delivery rate across UK services
  • 99% first-time delivery success rate

Why Choose TNT?

TNT offers very reliable next day B2B services in the UK and worldwide. Ideal for urgent business parcel shipping domestically and globally.

Evaluating the Top Shipping Companies in UK

When selecting a delivery partner, e-commerce businesses must balance speed, reliability, and cost. Top carriers like Royal Mail and DPD are leaders in next day delivery but can be more expensive. For more budget-friendly shipping, companies like Yodel and Hermes offer economy rates but slower transit times.

To find the right fit, evaluate carrier options across these key criteria:

  • Delivery speed and reliability
  • Range of services like next day or economy delivery
  • Pricing models and volume discounts
  • Customer service and support capabilities
  • Scalability and growth support

The ideal partner offers the best combination of features tailored to your business’s needs. As you grow, reassess if they continue providing the right solutions at the right price. With the UK’s thriving e-commerce industry, plenty of choice exists to find a shipping service that powers your success.

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