Do you know that shipping cost is one of the crucial reasons for cart abandonment for e-commerce businesses? No wonder then that online stores face the challenge of selecting the right shipping partner for the delivery of products to their customers.

The United Kingdom has the most advanced e-commerce market in Europe. The country’s e-commerce revenue stood at almost $118 billion and it contributed to the worldwide growth rate of 29% in 2021. With e-commerce revenues churning out in billions, the shipping service providers have benefited the most from growing shipment needs.

As per a survey by Statista, the top courier service provider in the UK is Royal Mail followed by Hermes and DHL. The other players are UPS, Yodel, DPD, and others.

The Royal Mail is preferred because it is an established player in the shipment business. But others are catching up and the rates are competitive when we compare the rest. Here’s the chart of the estimated shipping rates for various parcel delivery companies in the UK.

Now, let’s get into the top 10 shipping partners for e-commerce businesses in the UK.

1. Royal Mail

Royal Mail is a British postal and courier company with its headquarter in London. It was established as a government department in 1516 but is now a public limited company.

For domestic parcel delivery, Royal Mail offers these services:

Name Parcel Weight Delivery Aim Features
Royal Mail Tracked 24 and 48Max 30kg1-2 daysTrack from posting to delivery
Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed by 9 am and 1 pmMax 2kg(by 9 am) and 10kg(by 1 pm)Guaranteed next working day Best for valuable items with guaranteed delivery next working day
Royal Mail Same DayMax 1350kgSame day Best for speed with urgent parcels delivered the same day
Royal Mail 24 and 48Max 20kg(by 24 hours) and 2kg(by 48 hours)1-2 daysCost-effective for large volumes
Royal Mail 1st and 2nd ClassMax 20kg(1st class) and 1kg(2nd class)1-2 days Untracked delivery service with the best value for money
Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed ReturnsMax 10kgGuaranteed by 1 pm next working dayFast, reliable way to return valuable or urgent items
Royal Mail Tracked ReturnsMax 20kg1-2 daysTracked to delivery point returns service

For international delivery, it offers these services:

Name Parcel Weight Delivery Aim Features
International Business Tracked and SignedMax 2kg3-5 daysA secure shipping service
International Business TrackedMax 2kg2-4 daysTracked to delivery point
International Business SignedMax 2kg3-5 daysSignature on delivery and tracking within UK
International Business Standard PriorityMax 2kg3-5 daysUntracked service with worldwide coverage
International Business Standard EconomyMax 2kg10-15 daysA great value service for non-urgent mails

It also offers domestic and international shipping services through its division, Parcelforce.

For e-commerce businesses, it offers these shipping solutions:

  • Click & Drop- It is best for quick setup. It is suited for marketplace sellers, corporations, and SMEs.

  • Royal Mail Pro Shipping- It offers scalability. It is suited for corporations and SMEs.

  • API Shipping- It offers flexibility. It is suited for SMEs and corporations.

  • Bespoke Shipping- It offers full control of shipping. It is best suited for corporations.

  • Third-party Partner services- It offers additional services and is suited for corporations and SMEs.

2. DHL Parcel UK

DHL Parcel UK is a market leader in courier services and offers shipment to about 220 countries. It offers door-to-door services with the next possible working day delivery.

With its DHL Service Point service, you can complete the parcel details online, find your nearest DHL Service Point, pick the free box, pack the items, drop it back again at the center, and pay for your delivery. The price is calculated as per the box type, weight, and location where it is to be delivered.

Maximum size and


United Kingdom

Delivery time*

1 working day

Europe EU

Delivery time*

1 - 2 working days

Europe Non-EU

Delivery time*

1 - 2 working days

USA, Canada & Mexico

Delivery time*

1 - 3 working days

Rest of World

Delivery time*

1 - 4 working days

envelope 1

Size 27 x 35 x 2cm Weight Up to 0.5kg

box 2

Size 34 x 18 x 10cm Weight Up to 1.5kg

box 3

Size 34 x 32 x 10cm Weight Up to 3kg

box 4

Size 34 x 32 x 18cm Weight Up to 7kg

box 5

Size 34 x 32 x 34cm Weight Up to 12kg

box 6

Size 42 x 36 x 37cm Weight Up to 18kg

box 7

Size 48 x 40 x 39cm Weight Up to 25kg

It has over 1,200 convenient locations nationwide with signature on delivery service available

Note: DHL Parcel UK has now acquired UK Mail parcel services.

3. DPD

DPD started in the UK in 1970 as Courier Express. It then changed its name to Parceline when it was acquired by Mayne Nickless of Australia. In 2000, France’s La Poste bought the company, and subsequently, it was renamed DPD. It is UK’s leading parcel delivery company with its sister company DPD Local focused on express parcel services for SMEs.

For domestic parcel delivery services in the UK it has:

DPD 10:30 & DPD 12:00- Parcels arrive by 10.30 am or noon the next working day

DPD Next Day- Parcel delivery before close of business the following working day

Saturday & Sunday Delivery- Deliveries even on Saturdays and Sundays.

Swap It-A quick & efficient exchange of goods, one-to-one.

Reverse It- Combines both delivery and collection in one service

ContractPak- A shipping service that delivers, collects signature, and returns a contract

Offshore- Delivery to the Channel Islands, Isle of Man, Northern Ireland, Scilly Islands, and the Scottish Highlands and Islands within 2 days.

Scotland- Delivery services to Scotland by postcode

Logistics Solutions- A combined warehouse and distribution solution

For overseas services to Europe and the rest of the world, DPD has-

DPD Classic- Fast and reliable delivery services in Europe

Air Classic- Full tracking for non-time sensitive shipments

DPD Express- Global express network with services to more than 200 countries

DPD Direct- International delivery solutions specifically for online retailers.

International Mail- An easy and cost-effective way to send material overseas.

4. Yodel Direct

Yodel is a delivery service company in the UK and is one of the largest shipping providers. It was originally known as Home Delivery Network until it acquired the B2B and B2C operations of DHL Express UK and rebranded itself to Yodel in 2010.

Its shipping services are:

Yodel Xpect- It provides customers with a two-hour delivery window notification sent on the morning of the parcel delivery.

Yodel Xpress- It is a standard 24 or 48 hours delivery service.

Yodel International- It is specifically for online retailers with a home delivery service to over 200 countries.

Yodel Xpert- It provides additional features for specialized delivery requirements such as address only, high-value goods, and exchange services.

Yodel Offshore- It delivers parcels within 2-3 days in the Republic of Ireland, Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man.

Yodel Direct- The Yodel Direct service has two options:

  • To send a parcel from a Yodel store to another Yodel store for pick up by the customer

  • To send a parcel from a Yodel store directly to the recipient’s door.

Parcel WeightPrice

£2.32 exc VAT


£3.16 exc VAT


£4.57 exc VAT


£5.41 exc VAT

The estimated delivery date is typically within 2 working days.

For e-commerce businesses, Yodel has links with marketplace platforms such as Amazon, eBay, and Etsy. The integration software is free to use and the store can automatically import details of the item and where it needs to be delivered. The Yodel shipping tool for e-commerce businesses helps in importing orders, managing contacts, and choosing the right shipping options.

5. FedEx

FedEx offers domestic and international shipment services in the UK through its FedEx Express Europe division headquartered in Hoofddorp, The Netherlands. It serves 78 airports with an air fleet of approximately 70 aircraft and a vehicle fleet of 25,000 vans and shuttles and 6,500 trucks and trailers.

For domestic parcel services in the UK, it offers next-day timed delivery options. There are economic options also available.

Delivery CommitmentYour FedEx UK Service
URGENT - Next Day
9.00amFedEx Next Day by 9am
10.00amFedEx Next Day by 10am
12 noonFedEx Next Day by 12 noon
Close off bussinessFedEx Next Day
Satyrday delivery options are also available for timed and close of business next day services.
less urgent
2-3 Business DaysFedEx Economy

For international parcel delivery services, FedEx has worldwide shipping services and additional value-added services.

  Fastest Less Urgent

Light or small packages ≤ 68kg

FedEx International First®

Wake up to absolute certainty with

our early-day delivery between 8:00 am

and 11:30 am to selected worldwide destinations.

FedEx International Economy®

Save on less time-sensitive deliveries

from 2-5 days, while still enjoying a

reliable door-to-door and customs-

cleared time definite service.

FedEx International First®

Wake up to absolute certainty with

our early-day delivery between 8:00 am

and 11:30 am to selected worldwide destinations.

FedEx International Priority® Express

Delivery by midday in 1-3 business

days to selected destinations in Asia,

Canada, Europe and the U.S.

FedEx International Priority®

Delivery by end of day in 1-3 business

days to more than 220 countries and territories.

FedEx® International Connect Plus

Day-definite e-commerce delivery

service, that combines competitive

speeds with attractive prices to meet

global customers’ needs.

Heavy or large packages

(Freight) > 68kg

FedEx International Priority® Freight

Our premium airfreight service delivers

your heavier shipments worldwide

within 1-3 business days.

FedEx International Economy® Freight

Send heavy shipments and pallets in a

simple and affordable way.

For e-commerce businesses, it offers services such as-

  • Integrated shipping solutions

  • Shipment services for domestic, intra-European, and worldwide shipments based on customers’ preferred delivery time

  • Customs support for shipping across borders

  • Customized deliveries with the option to choose delivery time and location

  • Smooth return processes with rapid replacements or refunds for customers

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6. UPS

UPS is a global shipment service provider with 220+ countries served and an estimated 25 million packages delivered daily.

In Great Britain, it offers both domestic and international shipping services.

UPS Internet Shipping- It offers easy shipping through the website with live price estimates. You can create shipping labels, schedule a collection, pay online, and send email notifications with this service. It is best suited for low-volume shipping or occasional shipping.

UPS CampusShip- It is best suited for volume shipping and for businesses with multiple campuses, large office buildings, or locations worldwide. It helps online businesses to centralize the shipping process.

WorldShip- It is perfect for volume shipments. It offers package, LTL, and air freight shipment services with a WorldShip integration tool.

UPS Marketplace Shipping- It simplifies the shipping process by integrating online marketplaces such as Amazon, Yahoo Shopping, Etsy, BigCommerce, Shopify, Walmart, and eBay with UPS shipping technology.

International Services- It offers international shipping services with express and economical options.

UPS Import Control- This service is to minimize delays and manage duty costs for inbound international shipments.

For e-commerce businesses, it offers simple and reliable shipping solutions.

  • It has plug-ins, APIs, and third-party solutions to integrate its shipping functionality into the online channel

  • UPS offers weekend delivery services across eight of Europe’s markets.

  • It lets customers collect their parcels from a nearby retail location.

  • It provides customers with automatic delivery notifications with an estimated 1-4 hour delivery window to change the delivery date or location.

  • UPS provides easy return activation for customers to return the shipment

  • It offers streamlined customs clearance solutions for shipments across borders.

7. Parcelforce Worldwide

A division of the Royal Mail UK, Parcelforce Worldwide is a trusted shipping service provider in the UK.

Its domestic UK parcel delivery service consists of delivery the next morning, next day, or two days.

Service Compensation cover* Prices from
express9 next working day by 9am £200£39.90
express10 next working day by 10am £200£29.82
expressAM next working day by 12 noon £200£19.74
express24 next working day by close of business £100£16.68
express48 within 2 working days £100£12.12
express48large within 2 working days for items upto 2.5m long £100£31.80

Its international parcel delivery services have compensation covered in its price. Customers can get the parcel collected with its Express and Priority services.

Service Tracking Compensationcover* Prices from
globleexpress From next working day Yes£200£43.50
irelandexpress next working day Yes£200£16.68
globlepriority From 3 working days Yes£100£30.00
globlevalue Delivery usually 5-8 days  £100£9.78
globleeconomy Delivery usually 28-46 days  £24.70
HM Forces Delivery varies with station  £100£9.00

Parcelforce is a dedicated parcel service provider with a wide network of pickup and delivery options. It specializes in fast delivery than its parent company, Royal Mail.

8. Whistl

Whistl is primarily a postal delivery company that offers parcel delivery and order fulfillment services. Formerly known as TNT Post, this company rebranded itself as Whistl in 2014.

For e-commerce businesses, it offers tracked delivery options and global coverage. It offers e-commerce fulfillment services for dropshipping, direct fulfillment, and outsourced third-party fulfillment complete with inventory and returns management.

Its parcel delivery services are-

Standard Parcel Delivery- It is a cost-effective parcel delivery service at competitive rates.

Tracked Parcel Delivery- Fully tracked Next Day, 2 Day, and 3 Day services

Part Tracked Parcel Delivery- Detailed tracking in the UK and internationally.

International Parcel Delivery- A range of international parcel delivery solutions

Export Solutions- Cross-border parcel export shipping service

Import Solutions- Complete import shipping service with customs clearance entry, gateway handling, and freight forwarding support.

International with Customs Clearance- To import business items into the UK with regulatory approved customs clearance.

Managed Parcel Returns- Fully-managed returns solution inclusive of tracking.

9. Hermes

A direct competitor to Royal Mail, Hermes claims cheaper charges openly on their website.

Weight Royal Mail Hermes Saving
Prices quoted are for a standard delivery of medium-sized, over-the -counter parcels that don't incur a location charges (compared on 01/02/2022)

It has the concept of ParcelShop and Parcel Lockers from where you can send, collect or return the parcels. It has over 5400 local business ParcelShops and 1600 Lockers across the UK.

Its domestic parcel services start from as low as 2.66 pounds and it has Standard and Next Day delivery options.

Parcel weight ParcelShop or Locker drop off Courier collection
Postable (Under 1kg) Next Day:£3.76(£3.13 + Vat) Standard:£2.66(£2.22 + Vat) -
Under 1kg Next Day:£4.06(£3.36 + Vat) Standard:£2.95(£2.46 + Vat) Standard:£3.67(£23.06 + Vat)
1kg to 2kg Next Day:£5.50(£4.58 + Vat) Standard:£4.40(£3.67 + Vat) Standard:£5.12(£4.47 + Vat)
2kg to 5kg Next Day:£6.90(£5.75 + Vat) Standard:£5.00(£4.83 + Vat) Standard:£6.64(£5.33 + Vat)
5kg to 10kg Next Day:£8.08(£6.73 + Vat) Standard:£6.98(£5.82 + Vat) Standard:£7.82(£6.52 + Vat)
10kg to 15kg Next Day:£9.71(£6.09 + Vat) Standard:£8.60(£7.17 + Vat) Standard:£9.44(£7.87 + Vat)

Its international shipping costs start from 8.26 pounds. It delivers parcels to more than 190 countries with full tracking options.

Country Weight Cost
Belgium 0 - 1kg £9.50
Denmark0 - 1kg£11.30
Denmark0 - 1kg£12.00
Denmark0 - 1kg£8.30
Ireland0 - 1kg£12.30
Italy0 - 1kg£14.00
Netherlands0 - 1kg£9.50
Portugal0 - 1kg£14.00
Sweden0 - 1kg£12.80

For e-commerce businesses, it offers a comprehensive shipping solution.

  • A pricing structure to suit the business needs

  • Extra options include courier tracking, signature on delivery, and a returns account.

  • Simple and quick B2B and B2C shipments

  • Integrations with leading platforms such as Volo, Shopify, and Zenstores

  • Import shipments from Amazon, eBay, Etsy, and CSV file.

  • Premium business delivery service with a 2-hour delivery time window

10. TNT Express

TNT Express offers domestic and international shipping solutions with a door-to-door network across more than 200 countries.

Its domestic Express services deliver parcels at a suitable time with online tracking and door-to-door service.








End of business day

Next-day delivery*, guaranteed by 9amNext-day delivery*, guaranteed by 10amNext-day delivery*, guaranteed by noonNext-day delivery*,
Documents, parcels & freightDocuments, parcels & freightDocuments, parcels & freightDocuments, parcels & freight
Max Piece Weight (not palletised): 70kgMax Piece Weight (not palletised): 70kgMax Piece Weight (not palletised): 70kgMax Piece Weight (not palletised): 70kg
Max Piece Weight (palletised): 1000kgMax Piece Weight (palletised): 1000kgMax Piece Weight (palletised): 1000kgMax Piece Weight (palletised): 1000kg
Max Consignment Weight: 2000kg Max Consignment Weight: 2000kg Max Consignment Weight: 2000kg Max Consignment Weight: 2000kg

For international shipments, it has different solutions based on the weight of the parcel, location, and time of delivery.








Next-day delivery*, guaranteed by 9amNext-day delivery*, guaranteed by 10amNext-day delivery*, guaranteed by noonNext-day delivery*,
Documents, parcels & freightDocuments & parcelsDocuments & parcelsDocuments, parcels & freight
Major cities in 40+ countriesMajor cities in 45+ countries Major cities in 65+ countries Worlwide
Max. 210kgMax. 210kgMax. 210kgMax. 210kg

Its shipping solutions are:

Same Day- Parcel collected within 60 minutes and same-day delivery anywhere in the UK. In this again, they have the Same Day, Same Day Timed, and Same Day Dedicated service.

Express- Parcel collected during business hours and delivered on the next possible business day.

International Economy Express- Parcel collected within business hours and delivered within 2 business days.

Note: TNT Express has now been acquired by FedEx Express.


Most of the e-commerce companies select from among these top 10 parcel delivery companies in the UK. The best solution for online stores would be to go with an aggregator service that provides the best rates for shipments. They bargain with the top shipping solution providers and provide discounts for large volume businesses.

In the end, e-commerce businesses have to select the best shipping partners that suit their business needs.