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DHL vs Parcelforce: A Comparison

If you manage an e-commerce business than you know the importance of choosing the proper mail 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.

DHL vs Parcelforce

Here at ShippyPro, we want to help you in your search for that perfect carrier.

In this article we will be analyzing DHL vs Parcelforce’s National US services, National UK services, European, and international services.

Parcelforce is based in The United Kingdom, playing a key role in the UK market. It also effectively serves the international market as well.

DHL vs Parcelforce: National US Shipments

Parcelforce doesn’t offer services in the United States, so we will just focus on DHL.

DHL Parcelforce
Service Delivery Time Cost Service Delivery Time Cost
DHL SmartMail Parcel By end of 2-3 business days
DHL SmartMail Parcel Plus By end of 2-3 business days
DHL SmartMail Parcel Return By end of 1-3 business days
DHL Smart Mail Flats By end of 2-5 business days
DHL SmartMail Bundle Printed Matter By end of 2-5 business days

DHL’s US domestic services can be broken into three categories based on delivery time.

DHL SmartMail Parcel and DHL SmartMail Parcel Plus both guarantee delivery between 2-3 days. The only difference between the two is DHL SmartMail Parcel Plus has a maximum weight 25lbs while DHL SmartMail Parcel only has a maximum weight of 1lb.

Subsequently DHL SmartMail Parcel Plus costs a bit more.

DHL SmartMail Bundle Printed Matter and DHL Smart Mail Flats both guarantee delivery in 2-5 days. The only difference between the two is DHL SmartMail Bundle Printed Matter has a maximum weight 15lbs while DHL Smart Mail Flats only has a maximum weight of 1lb.

As a result, DHL SmartMail Bundle Printed Matter costs slightly more than DHL Smart Mail Flats.

There is also DHL SmartMail Parcel Return that easily handles return packages within 1-3 days.

DHL vs Parcelforce: National UK Shipments

This table compares DHL and Parcelforce’s domestic services throughout the UK.

DHL Parcel Force
Service Delivery Time Cost Service Delivery Time Cost
DHL Domestic Express 9:00 Delivery by 9:00 am next business day Next Morning Express 9 Next business day by 9:00 am
DHL Domestic Express 12:00 Delivery by 12:00 pm next business day Next Morning Express 10 Next business day by 10:00 am
DHL Domestic Express Delivery by end of next business day Next Morning Express AM Next business day by 12:00 pm
DHL Domestic Express Easy Delivery by end of next business day once handed over to a DHL Service Point Next Day Express 24 By end of next business day
Two Day Express 48 By end of next 2 business days
Large Parcel Express 48 By end of next 2 business days
Ireland Express By end of next business day

DHL’s UK services all offer next business day delivery with variations in time of delivery.

The options for time of delivery the next day are 9:00 am, 12:00 pm, by the end of the day, and by the end of the day once the parcel reaches a DHL Service Point.

Additionally, all of these services come with tracking and liability protection.

Parcelforce services can fall into the more expensive category but they are very reliable and offer a wide selection of services in the UK. These services can be separated into next day, two day, and Ireland services.

Next Morning Express 9, Next Morning Express 10Next Morning Express AMNext Day Express 24 all offer delivery the next business day with arrival times at 9:00 am, 10:00 am, 12:00 pm and by the end of the day respectively.

Two Day Express48 and Large Parcel Express48, offer delivery by the end of two business days. The weight of the parcel for Two Day Express48 is limited to 3okg. However, Large Parcel Express48 will take as many individual 30kg as you could ever want.

Their Ireland Express service will complete a special delivery to Northern Ireland to the Republic of Ireland by the end of the next business day.

DHL vs Parcelforce

DHL vs Parcelforce: Europe

DHL Parcel Force
Service Delivery Time Cost Service Delivery Time Cost
DHL Same Day
One business day after the withdrawal
DHL Express Worldwide One business day
after the withdrawal
DHL Express 9:00 By 9:00 am next business day
DHL Express 12:00 By 12:00 pm next business day
DHL Economy Select By end of day in 1-4 business days

DHL ships to Europe using many of the same services it uses for international shipments. Express Worldwide is the most used service, reaching around 220 countries worldwide.

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.

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.

Parcelforce does not have Europe specific services, they fall into the category of international services.

DHL vs Parcelforce: International 

DHL Parcel Force
Service Delivery Time Cost Service Delivery Time Cost
DHL Sameday Jetline By end of business day via air Global Express By the end of next business day for Europe, USA, and Canada. 2 business days for the rest of the world.
DHL Sameday Sprintline By end of business days via ground Global Priority End of 3 business days to Europe and major destinations worldwide
DHL Express Worldwide By end of 1 business day from withdrawal Global Value By end of 5-8 working days worldwide
DHL Express 12:00 By 12:00 pm in 1 business day Global Economy 28-46 business days worldwide (not available to Europe destinations)
DHL Express Envelope End of one business day (documents only) HM Forces Delivery varies based on station

Parcelforce’s services can be broken down into premium expedited delivery time services, slower but more economic options, and their special HM Forces service.

Parcelforce’s Global Express service is at the top of the market when it comes to expedited international shipping services. This service guarantees delivery by the end of the next business day in Europe, USA, and Canada. For the rest of the world, delivery time is around 2 days, which is still very fast for international shipping. Of course this service will cost a significant amount, but you definitely get what you pay for.

At a slightly lower price point Global Priority delivers the parcel in 3 business days to all European and major destinations worldwide. While still expensive, this service does offer a slightly more affordable expedited shipping option. 

 Global Value providesa nice middle ground between premium services and economic options. Delivery ranges from 5-8 working days worldwide, which is still very fast, but far less expensive than the previous two options. This middle ground makes the Global Value service very popular in the international market space. 

At the far end of the economic spectrum is the Global Economy option. A significantly slower delivery time of 28-46 business days worldwide (not available to Europe destinations) is matched with a significantly lower price. This options is perfect if time is not important in the arrival of the parcel.

Parcel Force also offers a special international service for HM Forces. This service is heavily discounted in order to keep service mean and women connected globally. Delivery times vary based on the destination, but it is often very expedited.

Internationally, DHL offers a large variety of services with different costs and shipping times.

DHL provides many services, some as expensive as the Same Day service available both by air and by road.

WorldWide Express is the most frequently used service, with slightly longer times but at a lower cost.

The exclusive DHL Envelope service reserved only for documents, enables rapid delivery of documentation in approximately 220 countries around the world.

DHL vs Parcelforce

DHL vs Parcelforce: Additional Services for E-commerce

Both companies have well-structured services that are full of additional options.

DHL offers its customers express delivery at DHL Service Points. These are authorized stores where DHL customers can choose to receive the goods.

This service allows the customer to pick up the package when it best suits them.

Specific industries such as fashion and food have their own special services.

DHL offers services designed for the fashion industry: DHL Express for Fashion offers solutions for the fashion industry and an ad hoc packaging, with an elegant and refined design.

DHL vs Parcelforce

DHL Medical Express manages the transportation of time sensitive and temperature sensitive shipments for the Life Science sector.

For non-perishable food products, DHL Express Food & Beverage packages and places these items in suitable packaging.

Parcelforce offers many additional services catering specifically to businesses and their customers.

Business Convenient Collect the parcel can be picked up the next business day after the parcel is dropped off at a Post Office in the UK. This is a very economic option as the package can be picked up as late as 10:00 pm, providing both convince and savings for the customer.

Business Express Collect similarly offers parcel pick up the next business day at a post office in the UK. The difference is that this service offers pickup as early as 8:00 am, resulting in a slightly higher price point.

Business Express Exchange takes care of the parcel exchange process with ease and low costs. This service handles collection and delivery in one single transaction. Delivery speed options range from 10:00 am, 12:00 pm, and 24 hour exchanges are available.

UK Pallet is specially set up for large and heavy shipments. This service delivers pallets to every area code in the UK. Different delivery times are met with different prices. The delivery times range 12:00 pm the next business day, end of the next business day, or by the end of two business days. Pallet can weigh up to 1000kg total, serving very heavy shipments. Compensation is also offered in line with Road Haulage Association (£1.30 per kilo).

For even larger deliveries theres Business Global Bulk. This service can handle pallets weighing up to 1,200kg, serving even the largest shipments. Delivery times vary, but collection starts usually the day of booking. CMR compensation is also included.

For large quantity shipments, Business Global Direct is a great solution for businesses. The requirements for this service are the sender must send a minimum of 40 parcels per country. With this service, Parcelforce can deliver a large quantity of parcels to all major European destinations, in 3 working days. Individual parcels can weigh up to 30kg with compensation up to £25 per parcel, that is included in the price. While this service is very expensive, in the long run businesses save a lot of money by using this bulk shipping option.

DHL vs Parcelforce: Reviews and Considerations

We at ShippyPro operate in the e-commerce sector, especially in the field of online shipments. We are in daily contact with many domestic and international couriers.

Evaluating all the work of a courier is not an easy task.

The one perfect courier does not exist, however, there are certain couriers that are more suited for the needs of your business.

In this article we have introduced the main services of both DHL and Parcelforce, used heavily at a national and international level.

We want to help you choose the ideal logistics partner for your needs, but there are other considerations we need to look at.

To do this, we will show you the only meter of transparent judgment we have; the reviews of our customers who use DHL and Parcelforce daily to ship domestically and around the globe.

Below are the total reviews of the two couriers formed on the basis of daily feedback from our customers.

dhl vs Parcelforce

DHL vs Parcelforce: Who do we choose to ship?

At this point you understand how difficult it is to determine which courier is better than another.

It is well known that some carriers work better in some areas than others.

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.

Compare and choose the best carriers for any type of shipping you make!

Comparing all these carriers is a time-consuming process, but there are services for managing the various shippers that can help.

The best way to manage this important decision is to choose a software that automatically compares the prices of different vendors and / or allows you to set shipping rules, saving you time and money.

ShippyPro Team

ShippyPro is the complete shipping software for online and offline retail. With Label Creator, Track & Trace, Easy Return and Analytics features, our software simplifies your shipping operations. ShippyPro integrates with over 160 couriers and 80 sales channels, making it compatible with a wide range of products and use cases.