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How to Choose the Best European Courier for E–commerce

If you manage an e-commerce business than you know the importance of choosing the right courier. 

Choosing the correct courier is not just a search for the right supplier, it’s about identifying a serious ally that will help you deliver the best value and service to your customers. 

The right courier will satisfy your customers with the best quality, speed, and cost-effective services.

Here at ShippyPro, we want to help you in your search for that best European courier, the perfect one for your business!

Today we will be analyzing a variety of couriers within the national European market to help you decide which one works best for you!

Before you choose your courier consider:

  • TNT vs DHL
  • TNT vs UPS
  • TNT vs FedEx
  • UPS vs DHL
  • DHL vs FedEX
  • FedEX vs UPS

What this article is about


Best european courier: logo TNT

TNT offers a wide variety of options in the European market.

1. The most popular options are their Express Packages. These are so popular due to their balance of reasonable delivery time and very competitive price.

Express Packages guarantee fully airfreighted delivery and are intended primarily for European countries.

2. The Economy Express 12:00 service is exclusive to the eurozone and is designed for greater convenience at the expense of prompt delivery.

The Economy Express service provides transportation to areas and lorries.

Royal Mail

Best european courier: logo Royal Mail

Royal Mail’s international services are also offered in Europe with the reduction of delivery times. These services can be broken down into two economic options and three slightly more costly options based on the delivery needs.

1. International Tracked aims to complete the delivery by the end of 3-5 business days. This service also provides end to end tracking of the parcel, giving you peace of mind from start to finish.

2. International Signed aims to hand you the parcel by the end of 3-5 business days as well. The difference with this service is it requires a signature upon the arrival of the package. This is perfect for sensitive parcels that are too important to be left out sitting on the porch.

3. International Tracked and Signed brings the best of both worlds to the table. Offering end to end tracking on top of the required signature upon arrival. With the same delivery time of 3-5 days this option is very popular and is the most expensive of Royal Mail’s European/international options.

4. International Standard is the first of the two economic European options. With a goal of delivery in 3-5 business days and no required signature or tracking system, it is a happy middle ground between cost-effective and expensive additional services.

5. International Economy is the most bare-bones European service Royal Mail offers. Completion of the package is expected between 10-15 business days with none of the frills of the other services.


Best european courier: logo DHL

DHL ships to Europe using many of the same services it uses for international shipments.

1. Express Worldwide is the most used service, reaching around 220 countries worldwide.

2. The Economy Select service is the most used service in Europe. It is a door to door service that allows to send single, multicolored packages and pallets in Europe. The delivery is from 1 to 4 working days, with a weight limit of is 30 kg per package and volumetric weight of 200 kg per m³.

It is the cheapest service DHL provides for shipments in Europe, the service can be integrated with additional options to improve the quality. One of these additional options is continuous monitoring, which allows you to follow progress of the goods from start to finish.

3. The Same Day Sprintline service is the fast road service that reaches the entire euro zone. The speed of the service does raise the cost, even if the distances are relatively short.


Best european courier: logo DPD

DPD provides one European service, DPD Classic.

DPD Classic reaches all major European destinations in 1-4 business days to serve your European delivery needs. With entirely road-based transport within Europe, your DPD CLASSIC parcels know no boundaries.


Best european courier: logo FedEx

FedEx offers a range of times for their next business day delivery services. They also offer an economic option.

The next day delivery options are by 9:00 am, 10:00 am, 12:00 pm, or by the end of the day Monday through Friday.

1. FedEx Economy offers delivery by the end of 1-3 business days Monday through Friday.

2. FedEX for Europe with the Europe First service ensures a rapid delivery the morning after the collection of the goods. The timeliness of the service does result in an increased price.

3. Europe Economy, on the other hand, represents the basic shipping service on European territory with delivery within 2-5 working days. These delivery times are more cost-effective.


Best european courier: logo UPS

UPS offers all the same services for Europe that it offers internationally.

1. Standard Service is the most basic service, trading slightly longer delivery times for cost-effectiveness.

2. Express Service offers the opposite with shorter delivery times at a slightly higher cost.

The main difference between UPS’s standard and express services is the mode of transportation. UPS standard services use a truck while express services use an airplane.

UK Mail

Best european courier: logo UK Mail

UK Mail only offers a single European-specific service, Road Express.

Road Express aims for delivery by the end of the day in 2-6 business days. At a fair price point and reasonable delivery time, this option is very popular in the European market.

Which is the Best European courier for Next Day Shipping Options?

Courier Services Delivery Times Cost
TNT Special Services; Express 9:00; Express 10:00; Express The same day if possible; Next business day by 9 AM; Next business day by 10 AM; By the end of the next business day €€€ - €€€€
Royal Mail Same Day Delivery; Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed; Royal Mail Signed for 1st Class or 1st Class Mail By end of same business day; Guaranteed next business day by 9 AM; Aim to deliver by end of next business day €€€
DHL DHL Same Day
Sprintline or DHL Express Worldwide; DHL Express 9:00; DHL Express 12:00
One business day after the withdrawal; By 9:00 am next business day; By 12:00 pm next business day €€€€
DPD No next day delivery guaranteed    
FedEx Europe First The morning after the withdrawal €€€
UPS No next day delivery guaranteed    
UK Mail No next day delivery guaranteed    

Which is the Best European courier for 2 Day Shipping Options?

Courier Services Delivery Times Cost
TNT No 2 day delivery guaranteed    
Royal Mail No 2 day delivery guaranteed    
DHL No 2 day delivery guaranteed    
DPD No 2 day delivery guaranteed    
FedEx International Priority By end of day in 1-2 business days €€€€
UPS No 2 day delivery guaranteed    
UK Mail No 2 day delivery guaranteed    

Which is the Best European courier for 3+ Day Shipping Options?

Courier Services Delivery Times Cost
TNT Express Economy By the end of a specified business day
Royal Mail International Tracked, International Signed, International Standard; International Economy Aim for end of 3-5 business days; Aim for end of 10-15 business days € - €€
DHL DHL Economy Select By end of day in 1-4 business days €€
DPD DPD Classic 1-4 Business Days €€
FedEx International Priority; Europe Economy; International Economy By end of day in 1-2 business days; By end of day in 2-5 business days; By end of day in 4 business days €€ - €€€€
UPS WorldWilde Express; Express Plus; Express Saver; Expedited; Standard 1-3 business days; By 9 AM in 1-3 business days; By the end of the day, 1-5 business days; By the end of the day in 2-5 business days; By the end of a defined business day €€
UK Mail Road Express Delivery by end of 2-6 business days €€

Which is the Best European courier for my E-commerce Business? 

At this point, you understand how difficult it is to determine which courier is better than another. In fact, the “best European courier” does not exist, but surely the best provider for your needs does.

Now, considering that your goal is to provide the best customer service, there is nothing better than trying to enter into a contract with not one, but multiple couriers.

This way you will be able to offer excellent service in every area and every category of product. Don’t limit yourself to a single shipping service provider.

Instead, look to choose different couriers, each for a specific scope, significantly reducing asset management costs. In fact, each freight forwarder charges very different tariffs in relation to the weight, size, and destination of the goods.

It’s convenient to pick a software like ShippyPro, which automatically compares the prices of different vendors and allows you to set shipping rules, saving you time and money.

Connect European Couriers to ShippyPro

Integrate more than 120 Carriers in a few clicks and start printing shipping labels, tracking shipments and creating returns quickly and efficiently. 

Start your free 30 days trial now, and discover how to optimize the management of your shipments!