The Post Office used to be the company of choice for sending any item across country. However the prices have increased and it may no longer be the best option. So, should you send your parcel by Parcel Company or by Royal Mail? Here are some of the pros and cons.
Most people automatically think of the Royal Mail as their first option, as at one time there was a Post Office in every small town and even village. Many of these have now closed, and you may find you have to travel to a Post Office to post your parcel. With the arrival of the internet, booking a Parcel Company is now more convenient than travelling to your nearest Post Office, and most Parcel Companies will both collect and deliver. You will have to be available for the Parcel Company to collect so you will have to organise your time carefully. Some Parcel Company companies have depots where you can hand your parcel in, which is similar to the Royal Mail system.
A Royal Mail Parcel under 2 kilograms will cost you £5:30 to send, with larger parcels costing more, up to £21:90 for a 20 kilogram parcel. If you shop around on the internet it is possible to find delivery for £4:99 for a 2kilogram parcel but this is plus VAT, which means no real saving on the Royal Mail price. However if your parcel is heavier than this, then Parcel Companies provide a valid alternative as you can get Parcel delivery for £7.14 for a parcel up to 10 kilograms compared to £18:80 by Royal Mail; a considerable saving.
The Royal Mail will cover your parcel up to £46 for loss or damage. Parcel companies offer compensation between £20 to £50 as standard, with up to £2500 available as an optional extra.
The Royal Mail claims to deliver 99.9% of items correctly. However the latest Which survey contradicts this, saying that at least 34% of households have had a problem with Royal Mail delivery being either damaged or lost in the previous 12 months. Postwatch, the watchdog for the postal service, has also said that the number of cases where customers had problems with the premium “special delivery” service was “quite worrying”. Parcel Company reliability is down to the individual company and it is sensible to check reviews and feedback as customers are very quick to alert others if they have had bad service.
Some items need specialist delivery, which is not offered by Royal mail. If your item is very valuable, or fragile then a specialist parcel company service will be your best bet.
The Royal Mail itself will only deal with parcels up to 2 kilograms (up to 5 if this is paper but exceptions apply) Parcelforce is the Parcel Company service associated with the Royal Mail if you need to deliver larger parcels and it claims to deliver your parcel within three working days to Europe for £26.38 compared to £18:24 for a similar service from another Parcel Company.
The Royal Mail is finding increased competition from parcel companies for similar services. It makes sense to check out the information and make an informed decision before you buy.