Nowadays, travelling and relocating has been becoming easier than ever. We could either carry our goods with us or simply ship them to our next destination. However, when it comes to standard courier services, there are a few things that we should keep in mind. It may seem obvious to some of us, but how do courier companies actually operate?
Although using courier services has become quite popular, shipping your belongings is still one of the issues you won’t be familiar with until you actually need to send a package. Before searching for the right courier company or booking a pickup via one of the online platforms, you should have an overview of what to expect from standard courier services.
Getting ready for a shipment
Both courier companies and booking platforms allow shipping various items (such as suitcases, boxes full of goods or sports equipment). Nevertheless, almost every courier service provider is specialized in different types of packages. It means that one company could be offering shipping services up to 30kg, whereas others accept to ship heavier shipment without any problems. That’s why it’s important to know the dimensions and the weight of what you wish to send and then find the right courier for it. This is not only to obtain an accurate price but also to make sure your package fits the standards of the selected courier company. Whenever the package is non-standard, the driver might refuse to collect it. Since courier drivers are not equipped with any measuring devices, they might still pick up the package, but it could be refused in a depot later on.
Placing an order
So, you’ve already measured your package and explored your options, and now it’s time to place an order. It doesn’t matter if you decide to do that via booking platform or directly with the courier company; Similar rules apply.
First of all, when ordering standard courier services, you can select a specific pick-up date but not a specific time. The driver follows a predetermined route and usually operates only on working days, between 9:00 and 18:00 (in the peak season, the driver may arrive later). In some cases, you might be able to get a narrower timeframe by calling the local courier directly. However, arranging a specific time within the standard courier service process is not an option.
When it comes to your address, don’t hesitate to provide the courier company as many details as possible. Using door-to-door services allows you to order a pick-up from almost any address. The driver has just to be able to find the place easily. Don’t forget about additional information that could be needed, such some access codes to the property or the names written on the doorbell (if it’s different than yours). Simply add anything that you think might help the driver locate your flat.
Packing your items for standard courier services
There are plenty of things that couriers do when dealing with packages. They handle and load parcels onto vehicles, plan and follow the most efficient routes or record important tracking information. Unfortunately, packing your items is not one of them.
The price for standard courier services does not include professional packing assistance, as well as any packaging (such as cardboard boxes). As the sender, you are responsible for choosing a proper way to pack and protect your items. It’s important to take some time and pack the goods in an appropriate manner for transportation with a courier service provider. This means not only that your package must be properly closed and sealed, but also that its content should be adequately protected in order to avoid any damages. If you’re not sure how to prepare your package for a shipment, have a look at other blog posts. Depending on the courier company, you might be asked to print out the labels and mark the package yourself.
Waiting for the pickup
The pickup of your package will be scheduled for the date you selected when placing the order. As already mentioned, courier drivers can come anytime between 9:00 and 18:00. You don’t have to wait the whole day, but it’s important that somebody is present at the given address to be ready to hand your package to the courier.
If there is nobody available, the courier won’t be able to collect your package. In this case, another pick-up attempt will be scheduled. Be careful, because in some countries (such as Spain), only one pick-up attempt is included in the price of standard courier services.
Sometimes, due to unforeseen circumstances, couriers might not show up. If your address is either incorrect or difficult to locate, there’s heavy traffic, a car accident or any other problem on the road, your package won’t be collected on the chosen date. In any case, the responsible courier company should collect your parcel on the next working day.
Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that the courier will call you before the pick-up, as it varies from country to country, and it also depends on the courier service provider. If the courier driver decides to do so, he will only call a local phone number. He might not be able to speak any “international” language.
Tracking your parcel
The delivery of your package is fully tracked. Once it has been collected, it is going to be taken to a local depot and a sortation hub, where it finds its way to the recipient’s address. This process is done a couple of times until your parcel is assigned to the specific driver for the final delivery.
Almost every stage of the distribution chain is a 24-hour operation, consisting of a constant inflow and outflow of packages. As a result, each of them is prone to damage or loss. That’s why it’s important to protect your items properly and track them throughout their journey. If you think that something might have gone wrong with the delivery, check our blog post.
Expecting to receive the package
From the moment you hand your items to the courier, up to the minute the parcel reaches its destination, there is a lot of work involved in order to transit your package safely and quickly. Be patient, as it might take some time. However, if you notice something unusual in the tracking system, and your package seems to be delayed, do not hesitate to contact the booking platform you used or the courier company directly. Have a look at our shipping-guide dedicated to the case of packages not being delivered on time.
If no one is available to accept your parcel, the courier should leave a note explaining how to arrange a new delivery attempt in the upcoming days. In some countries, the courier service providers guarantee only one delivery attempt. After the first attempt is made, the parcel will be stored in the local depot and the customer can pick it up from there. Sometimes your parcel could be delivered to a “safe” location nearby, for example to your neighbour, local post office or a delivery point.
Keep in mind that it’s the standard courier services we’re talking about. Each courier company offers a range of additional services, that can be purchased when placing an order. If you have any questions regarding our offer, you can always chat with us!
Last modified: November 20, 2019