Courier Services Explained

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Courier Services Explained

When you’ve been providing courier services as long as we have its easy to make the simple mistake of assuming that everyone understands exactly what you do and precisely what services your business provides.

Despite our targeted marketing it’s really not uncommon for us to calculate a cost-effective solution for a sameday delivery, to Glasgow for example, and for the enquirer to respond with something along the lines of “why do you cost so much when Parcel Force will do it for a tenner?”.

Regular shippers of goods around the UK readily understand that there are “overnight” or “nextday” couriers and also that there are “sameday” or “dedicated” couriers and that these have radically differing levels of service and pricing structure. But what if you’re not a regular shipper? Why would you know that all couriers are not the same? You just want to send your parcel by the most appropriate method, don’t you? Perhaps we can assist by bringing a little clarity and explain when a courier is not a courier……

Sameday Courier Services

Exceed Sameday Couriers, perhaps obviously, are a “same day courier” service; this is also well described as a “dedicated courier service” as we may often collect one day for delivery the next. The crucial thing about our service is that a driver will attend to collect your consignment, at the exact time that you have requested, and it will remain with that vehicle and driver until delivered, again at the exact time that you have requested.

This is a dedicated service, so no other client’s consignments will travel with yours; the vehicles are tracked by satellite and we remain in contact with your goods at every step of the way. Clearly this is an extremely reliable service and timely delivery is guaranteed save for circumstances outside of our control such as extreme traffic or acts of God. Furthermore, whilst high levels of insurance cover are included, as your consignment remains in the same vehicle the risk of damage is nil – you can even assist the driver in securing the load if you have very specific requirement or a very fragile item. We’ll even give you advice and guidance on best practice packaging if you wish!

Aside from happily carrying fragile, high value, awkward, outsized and overweight items, as long as you let us know when booking, our drivers can deliver your consignment to wherever you wish. To an exhibitor stand at a conference, specific ward in a hospital or an internal stock room for example.

Because this is a dedicated service, that collects and delivers based on your specific timescale, it is charged based on the distance to be travelled and the size of vehicle required for your goods. The greater the distance between collection and delivery points, or the larger the vehicle requested, then the more it costs.

Overnight Courier Services

Contrary to our sameday courier service levels, the “next day courier service” or “overnight courier service” is a very different animal that trades off much in respect of service in exchange for (sometimes) a very much cheaper cost.

Overnight couriers – TNT, FEDEX, UPS, Parcel Force to name a few – provide a consolidated service; your consignment must be booked in advance and will be collected as and when the courier has a vehicle in your area. Your goods will travel with many other items – some collection vans make 200 calls each day – and will be handled by many pairs of hands and various machines along its journey. We’ve all seen the YouTube videos of boxes being thrown over walls haven’t we?

Your goods generally must fit within given weights and dimensions, as they will be mechanically sorted and travel within the confines of a conveyor belt system, and they must be packaged to not only sufficiently protect themselves but also to protect the consignments of other customers. Increased insurance is available at additional cost; inclusive insurance is usually based on a value per kilogram of weight – so a laptop might only be insured for £10 or less if it’s even insured at all.

Though overnight parcels are tracked this is not the same our sameday tracking GPS solution; more so it is based on scanning the bar-coded label that is placed on each parcel on collection and therefore forms a record of where your consignment was and not necessarily where it actually is! You may be surprised too how often the self-adhesive bar code sticker, upon which the correct routing of your parcel depends, becomes detached having not adhered to the outer packaging and leading to consignments stuck in sortation hubs with no readily identifiable owners!

This service is based on weight and time; generally, you can request delivery before 9am, before 10.30am, before 12 noon and before 5pm. Some areas are not covered under these timings such as the Highlands, but the general premise is that the heavier the consignment and the earlier the delivery then the more it will cost. Bear in mind that should any element of the delivery chain suffer a delay – a conveyor or sortation breakdown or a trunk vehicle breakdown for example – these delivery windows cannot be maintained. To compound the issue, as your consignment would be one of thousands affected by the delay, you will receive no special assistance to rectify the late delivery.

A final point to consider is the actual delivery instance; with so many consignments on a daily route a driver will make one single attempt to deliver your consignment within the requested service level. If the delivery point is closed – bear in mind a pre 9am service may be attempted at 8am – then a card will be left, and the consignment will be returned to the depot (at the end of the day) with a further attempt only being made the next working day. Unfortunately, even if the recipient responds to the calling card that same day, due to pressures of time it is extremely unlikely the driver will make another delivery attempt. Delivery will also only be affected to the front door.

Whilst all this may sound as though we’re being critical of overnight courier services please be assured that we’re not; most carriers operate at over 95% success rates and when you consider just what’s involved in what they do then that figure is fantastic. What we’ve tried to do is highlight the very real differences between sameday or dedicated courier services and their overnight counterpart, and to make it clear why the latter can be so very much cheaper in comparison to our dedicated delivery services.

Ultimately the decision on what courier services are suitable depend on the specifics of each consignment; and whilst we will happily advise the choice is yours to make. If you can accept the very small chance that your consignment won’t be delivered when you hope, then an overnight courier may be right for you. However, if your consignment is a vital tender, legal document or other item that has a very high consequential value, where the cost of late delivery would not be simply measured in the value of the materials shipped, then we can only recommend our sameday courier service. Similarly; if the items are irreplaceable such as a medical sample, easily damaged or require delivery to your schedule and not that of the carrier then our sameday service is ideal too.

Don’t hesitate to contact us if you require any guidance when selecting the best courier service for your goods.

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Exceedingly good sameday couriers..............

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