Parcel delivery firms including Hermes and Yodel are failing to deliver on customer satisfaction, according to a league table.
In a survey by Citizens Advice (CA) all the firms involved, including Amazon Logistics, had performance issues.
Whether it is an expensive piece of tech or a small gift for a friend, there is nothing worse than someone experiencing delayed or lost deliveries – and of course, the sender then having to track or resend the item.
Nick Drewe, money-saving expert at discounts platform, Wethrift shares six precautions you can take before sending an item to make sure it is delivered straight to your recipient’s front door.
1. Secure Packaging
Even if your parcels won’t be travelling on a cargo plane to be shipped internationally, they will still be processed by at least two depots and placed on conveyor belts. Therefore, ensuring that the packaging is secure is very important.
Whilst damage to your parcel on any route of delivery is very unlikely, it is always worth packaging your items with extra precaution.
Packaging items in bubble wrap within sturdy cardboard boxes that are tightly shut with packing tape is the most secure way to send something off.
2. Ensure correct delivery and returns address
Whilst it may seem like an obvious one, making sure you don’t make a typo when printing your delivery and returns addresses will save you a whole lot of hassle in the long run.
Make sure you also clearly and correctly print the address on a visible area of the package. This will ensure you have covered any previous address marks so the courier service won’t get confused.
For different countries abroad, the format of an address is often different. Therefore, it is always worth double-checking with your recipient or sender to make sure the address is correct and ready to be printed.
3. Include all necessary documents
The good thing about shipping is you can provide customers with all the documents and labels you need free of charge.
When sending parcels internationally or locally, ensuring all documents are included in the packaging is crucially important. Not only does it provide the customer with a guarantee for their items, but also helps with any lost deliveries.
In addition, make sure forms are filled in correctly, so they aren’t turned away when checked at the depot or customs.
4. Get transit insurance
Transit cover will protect your items from loss or damage as standard. However, for items of sentimental value, it is worth taking out extra insurance.
Also known as a ‘Goods in Transit’ cover, it acts as a door-to-door insurance policy that protects the items from the point of collection to the point of delivery onto the doorstep of your recipient.
5. Ask for an alternative ‘safe place’
For customers who may not be able to receive their parcel at the estimated time of delivery, it is always advisable for them to list a ‘safe place’ or a ‘trusted neighbour’ for their delivery.
On the customers tracking, allow them to add a safe place option before dispatch so you are able to redirect the parcel. For this, it is easiest to get in touch with the recipient directly to ask if this alternative delivery option is necessary.
To know the full whereabouts of your parcels, having a tracking service is extremely helpful. For example, Interparcel offers full tracking services for multiple couriers, being integrated with the top shopping cart platforms, to help streamline your parcel shipping.
6. DO NOT attempt to send prohibited items
And most importantly, do not attempt to send prohibited items. These are items such as weapons, knives, keys, chemical/solvents, E-cigarettes and dangerous goods. The full list of items can be found here.
If you do send something from this list, whether it be accidentally or on purpose, your parcel may be refused at customs and returned to you or even destroyed.