Compare the shipping rates and differences between courier and postal services before you decide which of them to choose. In this guide, we have compiled the differences and advantages of courier and mailing services. Find out which one is cheaper and faster for your route, and check how much it would cost to ship with Eurosender instead.
Regular mail is delivered by government-managed postal services while courier services are provided by private companies. Knowing the differences between mail and courier services can help you choose the right option for your particular needs.
In general, regular post is cheaper than couriers for sending letters or even small packages of up to 2 kg. However, for sending slightly larger packages, couriers offer cheaper and faster solutions than post offices.
To find out which option is cheaper – mail or courier – we have gathered some examples offered by both for parcel deliveries in different countries.
Mail and courier rates for sending a 2 kg package in Germany
|Shipping service||Price||Delivery time|
|Postal service||€4.99||1-2 working days|
|Courier service||€11.99||1-2 working days|
|Courier service via Eurosender||€8.42||1-2 working days|
|Shipping service||Price||Delivery time|
|Postal service||Not available||Not available|
|Courier service||€45.74||1-3 working days|
|Courier service via Eurosender||€13.23||1-2 working days|
To make it easier for you to compare services offered by postal and courier companies, we have gathered information about the most common services. Check the dimension limits and average delivery times when shipping from Ireland to Germany by mail or courier
|Service||Maximum dimensions||Delivery time|
|Envelope – Postal service||40 x 30 cm||3-5 working days|
|Envelope – Eurosender||35 x 28 cm||24h|
|Parcel – Postal service||Max length of 150 cm, up to 20 kg||3-5 working days|
|Parcel – Courier service||Max length 175 cm, up to 30 kg||3-4 working days|
|Parcel – Eurosender||Max length 175 cm, up to 30 kg||3 working days|
|Express – Postal service||Max length of 150 cm, up to 20 kg||2-3 working days|
|Express – Courier service||Max length 120 cm, up to 70 kg||24h|
|Express – Eurosender||Max length 120 cm, up to 70 kg||24h|
SPEED OF DELIVERY
Both couriers and mail services offer fast shipping solutions with similar transit times for domestic shipments. Express services guarantee delivery on the next working day. Other standard solutions offer lower prices but longer delivery times.
However, courier mailing services normally have faster delivery times than postal services for international shipments since courier companies transport the shipment for the entire journey. On the other hand, shipping internationally with postal services takes more time because items are transferred to the postal services of each transit country and processed according to local standards.
In some specific cases, courier companies may deliver to post offices when there is a last mile delivery agreement between these entities. However, this is not common practice. In most cases, if home delivery is not possible, the packages are taken to a warehouse or courier collection point. For greater convenience, the customer has the possibility of collecting orders at these locations.
PROS AND CONS
Compare the differences between courier and mail to help you decide which one is the best fit for your shipping needs:
|Service dedicated to envelopes||Depends on the company||✓||✓|
|Free door-to-door delivery||For some services||For some services||✓|
|Free address changes||X||X||✓|
|Instant online quotes||Depends on the route||Depends on the route||✓|
|Free signature upon delivery||✓||For some services||✓|
|Real-time tracking||✓||For some services||✓|
|Freight solutions for individuals||For some services||X||✓|
Consider the following factors before deciding whether the products sold through your e-commerce business should be delivered by mail or courier.
While post office delivery costs are usually cheaper than couriers for envelopes and items under 2 kg, the same may not be true for larger orders. You should take into consideration the type of product your e-commerce is selling to decide whether a courier or mailing service would be better for your needs. If you sell items that require a bulkier box, delivery by courier may turn out to be cheaper than the mail.
Postage rates offered by the post office are usually cheaper than courier services for occasional domestic deliveries. If you have a large volume of regular shipments, you will need to make a specific contract with your local post office to benefit from reduced delivery rates.
If you have a high volume of deliveries, organising your shipments through courier services can be the most cost-effective solution as you can choose from different large parcel delivery services to match your needs. Depending on availability in your area, you can even reserve a dedicated van service for your delivery. By booking with Eurosender, you can schedule your e-commerce deliveries on a regular or occasional basis without any binding contract.
It is important to take into account whether the courier is faster than the mailing service (or vice versa) in your main area of operation. In other words, if your audience is based in a specific city or region, it is important that the company you choose performs well in that locality. Alternatively, if you have national and international customers, a courier may be a better option for you than postal services since couriers can cover more distances in shorter timeframes through collaboration with other partners.
When comparing couriers vs mail for the payment methods they offer, most of them accept a wide variety of payment methods, including credit cards.
Invoicing, on the other hand, is essential to streamline your company’s internal processes. Post offices offer monthly billing solutions only for customers with a special contract. Otherwise, you have to pregay for each delivery individually – which can become a headache for your company’s accounting team. Similarly, the vast majority of couriers offer different billing options to their business customers.
With Eurosender, you can opt for single, weekly or monthly invoicing regardless of the volume of deliveries you organise every month. Create an account with Eurosender to start saving time and money on your future shipments!
Instant quotes for international shipments
Vast network of couriers, without binding contracts
Have all your shipping details in one single place
Use advanced tools to send multiple packages
To determine whether courier or post would be better for your shipping needs, you should identify the types of services you require.
Companies that ship internationally mostly prefer courier companies over mail. When compared to postal services, courier companies offer certain useful advantages such as real-time tracking systems, expedited worldwide deliveries and global brand recognition in the logistics industry. On the other hand, businesses that send small packages and envelopes domestically usually prefer to collaborate with their local postal services. In this way, they can benefit from lower prices for express domestic shipments and other postal services that are more tailored to local needs. Additionally, post offices are more physically accessible because they have many branches nationwide.
But why choose one single courier company if you have the option of using multiple providers based on the price/quality they offer for each route? At Eurosender, we work with a vast network of global couriers, and we make sure to match you with the best fit for each shipping request. Get a quote online or sign up for additional discounts and benefits.