UK Postage Costs – Planning for Delivery Charges
November 21 2022
Basic postal rates are driven up and down by a few different factors. It’s always going to be more expensive to send a bigger parcel than a smaller one, but the postage cost that you end up paying will also be affected by the kind of service that you want in return. Here are a few things to consider:
Royal Mail’s parcel postage costs start from £2.95 to send a small parcel second class and increase from there. We’ll start by taking a look at their size classifications:
*These can only be sent by Parcelforce Worldwide (through Royal Mail).
The pricing structure is based on parcel size and weight, and the type of service required:
Royal Mail has an additional service, express 48, that is fulfilled through Parcelforce Worldwide. This service has £100 compensation as standard (with up to £2500 available in add-ons), full tracking and size limits of a combined length and girth of 3m. Prices range from £11.99 for a 2kg parcel to £43.78 for a 30kg parcel, with the option to add on additional kilograms for £1.50 each.
Read our Royal Mail Parcels Guide for more detailed information.
We’ve also put together a ParcelForce Parcel Sizes Guide covering everything you need to know.
We’ve focused on Royal Mail so far because they’re by far the largest postal service in the UK and the most accessible to businesses and individuals of all shapes and sizes. However, they are far from the only option out there. There are multiple logistics companies that will provide many comparable services, allowing you to compare prices, delivery times and compensation rates.
Couriers will all operate in slightly different ways, but most will offer some form or combination of collection and drop off services for you to get your parcels to them. It’s worth noting that Royal Mail also has services geared towards regular senders, including their drop and go, which allows you to process the details and payments for parcels away from the Post Office then drop them at a fast track counter to speed up the whole thing.
It’s worth comparing quotes from a few different couriers before committing. Royal Mail is a familiar and reliable option but by no means the only viable choice.
Evri – previously known as Hermes – are a popular parcel delivery and courier service. Read our Evri parcel size guide.
DHL are an international logistics company that offer many business and consumer services including courier delivery. Find out more about DHL parcel delivery.
DPD are the second largest courier service in Europe. We have a guide on DPD parcel sizes.
It is essential that you factor postage costs into your product pricing. Whatever you pay for postage will come out of the profit that you can make on that item. Setting your prices high will help you to cover the costs more easily, but can lead to cart abandonment in the checkout process. However, if you set postage too low and don’t account for in the product’s price, you’ll risk slashing the money that you can make from selling that product.
Online sellers need to find the balance between being competitive and realistic in their pricing. Most sellers are up against tough competitors and need to do what they can to keep prices low, but it’s important to keep your own business’s needs in mind.
If you’re finding that your postage costs are too high to keep up with competitors it might be worth looking to see if there’s another courier that can provide a cheaper service.
Remember, buying the right boxes is critical if you want to minimise your postage costs. Check out Boxtopia’s extensive range of cardboard boxes available to order today, or use our calculator to build your own bespoke boxes.