How cheap are cheap international courier services really?

cheap international courierIt is fairly easy to send a package abroad these days and you don’t even need to leave home to do it either. Most good couriers will now offer quotes for a delivery directly from their homepage (all you’ll need is a few details about what is being sent and where it is going) which makes selecting the service type that suits you, pretty simple.

Finding the best service for you will often mean finding the best price too; none of us want to pay more than we need to after all. No two couriers price their services exactly the same though, so you can find yourself doing a lot of hunting around before you find what you think looks like the best combination of price and service; even then it can be hard to be sure you’ve found the very best deal possible.

I’m going to take a (very) brief look at the factors that are most critical in determining the cost of a delivery which should give you a better grasp on what to look out for when comparing international courier services.

There are three key factors that come into play when a courier calculates exactly how much a delivery will cost; it should come as no surprise that these are the distance your parcel will travel, the size (and weight) of the package and the desired transit time. Each courier will place a slightly different emphasis on each of these factors which creates the wide variety of quoted prices available.

A typical example of these factors in action should illustrate the idea here. Imagine you want to send a parcel to India as quickly as possible; speed and distance are accounted for. Most couriers will take these factors and calculate their final quote according to the dimensions you give them. You can expect to pay a flat price for the first 500g of any delivery (if your parcel weighs 200g you pay the set price for 500g) and additional fees are calculated for each 500g thereafter. So if your parcel weighs 1.5kg you’ll pay the set price for the first 500g and additional fees for the extra 1kg.

This is why is pays to shop around – if your parcel is light you’ll want a courier with a low set prices, as your parcel becomes heavier you are more likely to benefit from finding a courier with lower incremental increases.

With so many couriers available, finding a company that can make your delivery is a relatively simple task. The variations in how each courier determines the price of a given delivery should make finding a great deal fairly simple too.