- According to Statista, the most popular parcel delivery services among UK shoppers are Royal Mail (52.7%), Hermes (16.1%), and DPD Group (14.2%)
- Domestic delivery times within the UK vary due to the distances your parcel must travel and the chosen delivery option
- Most expedited delivery options also offer guaranteed delivery, insurance, and packaging tracking options for a truly failsafe post-purchase experience
The United Kingdom (UK) is the third-largest eCommerce market in the world. With a long history of online shopping, UK shoppers expect timely and affordable delivery as part of a rewarding post-purchase experience. In other words, the bar is high for UK merchants.
This begs the question – what’s the best parcel delivery service in the UK?
The best parcel delivery service is whichever offers quick, cost-effective shipping at your parcel size and weight. As your browse rates, pay attention to how parcel weight and size impact delivery speed and cost. You’ll also want to consider value-added features like insurance and tracking to offer shoppers the peace of mind that invites repeat sales.
This blog shows you how to identify the best parcel delivery services in the UK, including the cheapest and fastest way to ship.
You’ll also get access to a free shipping rate calculator to save heaps of time, plus save up to 70% on UK shipping rates. At Easyship, we aim to help you simplify and save on shipping with our rock-bottom rates and our all-in-one shipping platform.
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The Best Domestic UK Parcel Delivery Options
The UK is home to many domestic courier services, though a few stand out.
According to the research firm Statista, the most popular parcel delivery services among UK shoppers are Royal Mail (52.7%), Hermes (16.1%), and DPD Group (14.2%).
This poll indicates that, by far, people prefer parcels to be delivered by Royal Mail. Hermes and DPD are the runners-up, and still a far sight more popular than the rest.
Consumer favor aside, merchants can choose from more than a dozen UK parcel delivery services, including:
- Royal Mail
- DPD Group
- UK Mail
- Leading Courier
With many options available, you may want to narrow your options based on customer preferences. To get rate quotes on parcel delivery, visit the websites of prospective courier services.
You can also use Easyship's free UK shipping rate calculator to find real-time shipping rates.
This free tool provides accurate rate quotes directly from the top UK delivery courier services. The easy dashboard view lets you scroll through and compare all available rates at your specified parcel weight. This saves heaps of time as you search for the rates you need.
How Long Are Delivery Times in The UK?
Domestic delivery times within the UK vary. The distance your parcel must travel and the chosen delivery option are the determining factors.
Most leading UK courier services offer a range of delivery timelines, and at several price points. Typically, cheaper delivery options take longer to arrive.
The following delivery speeds are available from top couriers:
- Same day delivery
- Next day delivery
On average, a typical parcel delivery arrives within 1-2 working days. Delivery to remote locations like the Isle Wight will take longer than mainland deliveries, weather permitting. A cross-country delivery option at economy ground rates should arrive in 3-5 days.
Want the cheapest rates? You can slow the timeline to upwards of a week to be most economical.
What’s The Cheapest Way To Ship Domestically in The UK?
Parcel delivery rates within the UK depend on the following factors:
- Parcel weight
- Parcel size
- Travel distance
- Value-added options like insurance, tracking, etc.
Each courier company prices its services differently based on these factors.
Before you can get a quote on shipping rates, you’ll need to weigh your package and determine the delivery location. Next, you can visit the sites of top parcel delivery services to find the rates that fit your budget and timelines.
Below we use Easyship’s Get A Quote feature to find the best available rates on shipping a 10 kg parcel from London to Bristol.
At £6, UPS Standard is the cheapest way to deliver. The fastest and recommended option is DPD Next Day for £8.41, or we could use Hermes Parcelshop for £7.04.
This tool sources rates directly from courier sites to provide a range of prices for delivery anywhere in the UK, at any package size and weight.
Not an Easyship user? No sweat. The same cheap rates are available on our free shipping calculator.
Just plug in your shipment weight, size, and destination to see the cheapest rates from leading UK parcel companies – no signup required. This way, you can skip the painstaking process of sourcing rates from individual courier sites.
What’s the Cheapest Way To Ship Large Parcels Within The UK?
Oftentimes, companies that ship cheaply at smaller sizes and weights don’t offer cheap rates on large shipments. This is why it’s best to double-check the shipping rates if you’re shipping larger or irregularly sized parcels.
In the UK, a large parcel is defined as weighing a maximum of 30 kg, with a length of 1.5 meters, with 3 meters of combined length and depth. There may be slight variations between couriers.
As seen below, we use Get A Quote to find the cheapest shipping from London to Leeds on a 30kg parcel sized at 30 x 30 x 15.
Somewhat surprisingly, UPS Standard is again the cheapest way to ship our large parcel, followed by DPD Next Day. UPS is only slightly pricier at this higher weight, but it’s a 2-4 day delivery window instead of 1-2 working days. If your customers are expecting rapid delivery, it’s likely best to go with DPD.
How to Offer Fast Domestic Shipping in The UK
In the age of Amazon, sometimes it’s best for parcels to arrive with a swiftness. Fortunately, the UK is home to a handful of reliable parcel delivery services that move like lightning – for a price.
Most expedited delivery options also offer guaranteed delivery, insurance, and packaging tracking options for a truly failsafe post-purchase experience.
Again, as we search for the fastest delivery times in the UK, we use either Get a Quote or the Free Shipping Calculator. This time we’re shipping from Leeds to Glasgow and our package weighs 10 kg, and is sized at 10 x 10 x 10.
Again, DPD Next Day is the fastest shipping option at 1-2 working days. UPS Worldwide Express offers the same delivery timelines, but for much more – £26.22 instead of £8.41.
This trial case demonstrates that fast shipping across the UK is affordable. If you’re shipping closer to home, you’ll get even cheaper rates on expedited parcel delivery from these established couriers.
The Best Parcel Delivery Services in The UK
The best UK parcel delivery courier is whichever offers budget-friendly rates and timely, reliable delivery. Be sure to check rates by weight and size to get accurate rate quotes for your shipments.
Feel free to use our free shipping calculator, or create a free Easyship account to access the more sophisticated Get A Quote feature.