If you are a product-based ecommerce starting out in Australia, the journey to find the right courier or parcel delivery service for your business may be hard. Between Australia Post, StarTrack, and the like, what is the best service for your business?
Couriers are companies who own trucks, drivers, and the network - in other words, they are the ones who will deliver your packages. Choose your courier wisely, as a long term relationship may result in better savings, greater delivery rate, and happier customers.
Australia Post is the largest network courier in Australia (it's in the name after all). With many depots and well known reputation Australia Post is the number one option for small businesses, individuals, to even large businesses who ship 1000+ packages per month.
Australia Post is a good option for you if you prefer convenience. It's easy to avoid the pickup fee when you are able to drop off parcels at post offices and post boxes located a stone's throw away. Aus Post is reliable (most of the time), and starting at an affordable $7.50 you are sure to please your customers on their shipping rates. It's also great if you have larger volumes as schemes like eParcel and My Business helps you to save, the more you ship. Australia Post offices are also individually owned meaning you can even negotiate on your rates if you are shipping large numbers. If you need some help setting up your Australia Post contract or want to know if Australia Post is really for you, contact us here. We are a proud partner of the Australia Post network.
StarTrack is just as much of a local as Australia Post - the company was born and bred in New South Wales, and under the joint venture with Qantas and Australia Post, it was acquired and became part of the Australia Post network. It currently has 55 depots in Australia with 90% of revenue from road freight.
StarTrack is your go-to when you need your packages delivered, fast. They serve to mostly only businesses (unlike Aus Post who also serves individuals and for non-commercial purposes), and operates on a contract basis. StarTrack also offers comprehensive parcel integration with multiple ecommerce platforms such as Shopify. However, the reviews online indicate that StarTrack's system may not be foolproof, as we've seen reported number of cases of missing parcels that are claimed as delivered.
Founded in 1983 as a specialised metropolitan parcel delivery business, CouriersPlease is uniquely placed to service Australians through its independently owned franchisee fleet of couriers.
CouriersPlease has also been known for launching its POPStation (Pick Own Parcel Station) product which allows customers to collect their parcels at their own convenience. They've also partnered with HUBBED (a one-stop eCommerce service aggregator, with a network of newsagents to provide a parcel delivery service in every major city across Australia), the courier makes it easy for customers to pick up their parcels at their own pace.
CouriersPlease is a great option for you if you have your own packaging, want your parcels picked up and delivered from home to home, and like the flexibility of POPStation, despite the higher price tag. The down side is CouriersPlease seems to run in trouble when it comes to rural deliveries - they may deliver your parcel through a third party with a larger network, such as Australia Post.
Fastway has been operating in Australia since 1993. The network includes 27 regional franchises and over 800 franchise partners across the country, from Cairns to Perth and almost everywhere in between.
Fastway prices start from as low as $7.50 and it definitely helps if you have decent volume. If your deliveries are mostly metro, short hauls, and small packages, Fastway can be very efficient. One good practice, regardless of any couriers, is to follow up with the customer when their parcels are marked delivered by the courier. That way, if the parcel was not delivered, you are able to lodge a claim quickly and efficiently, avoiding headaches and money.
Third party booking systems (parcel delivery services)
Instead of directly going to the courier, you may also choose to book a delivery through a third party service. These parties usually offer multiple rates from multiple couriers, so you are able to get the best deal.
Sendle is a start up in Australia that has recently received a lot of attention for its flat rate, 40% cheaper than Australia Post rates. Parcels can start from as low as $6.95, compared to the $8.50 at Australia Post (for individuals, not businesses). Sendle is a great option for small businesses just starting out and need to minimize shipping costs, or to use low shipping prices as a way to entice customers. It has partnered with multiple ecommerce companies, including eBay, Shopify, and even DHL eCommerce for an international shipping solution.
Something you may need to be cautious about with Sendle and third party parcel delivery services is that parcels booked through these systems are low priority (compared to parcels booked directly with the courier). That means that your parcel are vulnerable to issues such as late pickup once every now and then, and of course the dispute process is also much more complicated as it now involves another party in the mix.
Shippit is another company that is making waves in the parcel delivery services industry. Claimed to convert more sales, and save you more time, Shippit prices start as low as $5.99, but our initial investigations saw that it's more similar to Australia Post rates, and their My Business model where the more you ship per month, the less you pay over time. We have to give it to them for the user-friendly freight management system, and the beautiful ads that makes shipping seem so easy and effortless.
So in summary, the method of parcel delivery you use will depend on many factors related to your company. If you are a small business trying to save some buck and hassle, Sendle or Australia Post is perfect for you. If you are a larger business who are looking to reduce cost per parcel, negotiating a specific contract may reap benefits for you in the long run. Location also matters - if you live in metro, need pickup, and want an efficient service, use CouriersPlease or StarTrack. If you want to save all that time and effort submitting quotes all the time, go with Shippit and enjoy the first-class service.
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Whale Logistics are Australia’s leading Freight Forwarder and Logistics company located in Sydney and Melbourne. We deliver digital-focused freight forwarding services such as Australian customs parcel tracking, parcel delivery box, and comprehensive ocean, air and road freight solutions. For cost competitive and innovative freight forwarding solutions, or if you want to get in touch with one of our Customer Success Managers, drop us a line and we will be in touch shortly.