How to choose the right delivery service for your business

You’ve created an amazing product that people love. Now you need to get it to them on time and in one piece. That should be the straightforward part, right?

It may be easier than ever to start your own business, but finding a reliable delivery service probably feels like it’s only getting tougher. The big providers have dominated for decades but are now providing a service that simply isn’t good enough: 65% of retailers say that failed or late deliveries are a significant cost to their business – nearly £200,000 a year on average!

And even when a package has been delivered the first question is, well, has it? Precious deliveries can be found on the roof, in the neighbour’s back garden and nowhere to be seen. It’s bad for your customers; it’s really bad for your business.

This is all very doom and gloom, but all is not lost. There are (ahem) delivery services offering a far better way. Here are questions you need to ask if you want to find them.

How reliable are they?

This shouldn’t have to be a concern, but sadly it’s probably the biggest: unreliable deliveries have been the scourge of eCommerce brands for longer than many brands have been around. A great rule of thumb is if they don’t talk about how reliable they are, they’re not.

Us? We practically scream about it. Our failure rate in January 2023 was 0.07% – 10x less than the leading traditional courier (no naming names).

Can they deliver what you sell?

Not all packages are created equal. You may sell hardy non-perishables that can happily bounce around in a DPD van for months, but perhaps instead you’re shipping fragile items or perishables. If it’s the latter you should definitely make time to understand a delivery service’s track record with your specific category – or categories – of goods.

If you want to hear how we perform from the horse’s mouth, read about our partnership with meal kit provider Dishpatch.

Can you track your goods in transit?

What you really don’t need as a business is shipping a product and it disappearing into the ether – to then receive an angry DM from a rightly unhappy customer. Instead, what you really do need is real-time tracking information that’s available to both you and your customer whenever you or they need it.

Learn about how Packfleet supports our customers through up-to-the-minute ETAs, live redirection options and plenty more.

What do their reviews say?

Hell hath no fury like a customer without their package.

Review platforms like Trustpilot are where you really learn about a business’s services (in 2023, there’s really no excuse not to). And let’s just say that a lot of delivery services aren’t that popular there.

While you’re reading the horror stories, see what people have to say about us.

How much will they cost you?

Knowing if a delivery service is in your price range is one thing, finding out how much they’ll truly cost you is another. In the age of hidden fees and surcharges, cost transparency is so important, and so is a price structure that scales with you.

It’s why, whether you're shipping 50 or 50,000 items, we provide fixed pricing per package.

Can you get in touch with them?

Bad customer service is nearly as painful as a bad delivery service. And when you combine the two, it’s really not fun.

When something inevitably goes wrong, you need to know that you can find a quick resolution without spending an age on hold. We get it – hey, we’re customers too – which is why you can speak to us within four minutes through our live chat, give us a ring or email us. Yes, you can email us.

How sustainable are they?

Doing better for the planet is really a non-negotiable nowadays. While so many brands have sustainability at their core, they rely on delivery services that don’t. 10 years ago, even five, this would have slipped under the radar, but today environmentally conscious customers care a lot more – 43% are opting to choose brands that have environmentally sustainable practices or values.

We want every single Packfleet delivery to improve our planet. So, we only use fully electric vans and efficient routing to ensure that every delivery is carbon neutral.

Read more about our net positive impact.