Courier options revealed: SmartCompany’s guide to parcel delivery for small businesses

parcel delivery

The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated growth in Australia’s e-commerce industry as more and more Australians opt to make purchases from home. And for retailers in this space, there’s now plenty of postage and courier options to get these purchases delivered.

Here’s a brief guide to the options on offer for startups and small and medium businesses.

Allied Express

Allied Express is an independent courier and express freight company with over 1000 vehicles in its fleet. Information about door-to-door courier services – which range from ‘normal courier service’ to ‘gold courier service’ – and relevant surcharges can be found here and here.

Using Allied Express, sending a 25kg, 20cm x 20cm x 20cm box from Melbourne to Sydney today, June 16, would cost between approximately $36 (road express) and $39 (overnight express).

MyPost Business — Australia Post

Part of Australia Post, MyPost enables users to get a quote online, order packaging, track and send parcels, print shipping labels and schedule pick-ups through the app and website. MyPost also has a savings feature, which provides discounts of up to 35% depending on the volume and destination of delivery.

The service has introduced carbon neutral parcel deliveries, and “compensate for the remaining emissions by investing in carbon offset projects”.

Postage rates, optional features and discounts can be found here.

StarTrack — Australia Post

StarTrack is a parcel, freight and logistics company owned by Australia Post, which operates across over 190 countries.

The company’s box packaging is made from 100% recyclable paperboard, and it offers freight services ranging from its ‘regular B2B service’ to 24/7 same-day interstate delivery.

StarTrack has also introduced carbon neutral parcel deliveries, and “compensate for the remaining emissions by investing in carbon offset projects.”

Box packaging rates range from $0.275-$1.650 per unit depending on dimensions. For satchels, a flat rate of $0.220 per unit applies. Packaging rates and freight services can be found here and here.

BHF Couriers

BHF Couriers is a courier service based in New South Wales that offers a range of freight services varying from ‘standard road service’ (estimated delivery within two to five business days to most locations) to ‘sameday freight service’.

According to the company’s instant quote page, the cost of sending a 25kg, 20cm x 20cm x 20cm box sent from a residential address in Melbourne to a residential address in Sydney ranges from approximately $88 (road service) to  $178 (super express, delivery within one-to-two business days).

DHL

A private logistics company that operates across 220 countries and made 400+ million shipments per year, DHL was awarded the top spot in Canstar Blue’s courier services ratings in 2019.

The company’s rates – which vary depending on the delivery zone, weight and product – can be found in its 2020 Service & Rates Guide.

Details on the company’s environmental footprint can be found here.

Heapsgood Packaging

Based in Melbourne, Heapsgood Packaging (formerly known as Dirtbag Packaging) specialises in compostable shipping mailers for e-commerce brands, which break down within 180 days of home composting, and within 90 days of commercial composting. According to the company’s website, the bags can be stored for up to 10 months in the right conditions.

The mailers are made from cornstarch, PLA (vegetable-based plastic material) and PBAT (composting co-polymer), with prices ranging from $14 for 50 small (165 x 235mm) mailers, to $575 for 1000 large (395 x 455mm) mailers.

Fastway Couriers

First established in New Zealand, Fastway Couriers operates as an independent courier service with over 800 franchise partners across Australia. The company offers “low cost, reliable, local, short-haul and national courier delivery service across key regional and metropolitan locations across Australia”.

Fastway Courier’s rates, which are divided by city, can be found here.

GoFetch

GoFetch is a peer-to-peer online platform that connects independent couriers — known as ‘fetchers’ — with individuals and businesses requiring same-day deliveries.

According to the GoFetch website, its costs of deliveries are reduced by up to 25% compared to traditional couriers, as the business doesn’t require its own fleet of vehicles. And, according to the FAQ page, ‘fetchers’ receive 80% of each delivery.

Up to 10 items fitting in the one car, delivered from Caulfield to Brunswick in Melbourne, would cost about $56.

Momentum Messenger

Momentum Messenger is a metro courier service that uses pushbikes and cargo-bikes for delivery, and operates across the Melbourne CBD and surrounding suburbs.

The company’s rates, as per its website, are as follows:

Standard — $11.00 inc GST, delivered within three hours from booking

Urgent — $19.80 inc GST, delivered within 90 minutes from booking

ASAP — $28.60 inc GST, delivered ASAP, usually within 30 minutes from booking.

There are additional surcharges for overweight and bulky items, as well as for instances where waiting times exceed five minutes.

ParcelPoint

Launched in 2011, ParcelPoint features a network of neighbourhood stores — including convenient shops, pharmacies and newsagents — that ostensibly act as local post offices, with users able to pick up and drop off orders outside of traditional working hours. As previously reported by SmartCompany, ParcelPoint raised $4.5 million in funding from existing shareholders in June 2019.

ParcelPoint has a Shop & Collect feature that costs $2.95 per package, provided pickup occurs within seven days. The returns policies and pricing can be found here.

According to Inside Retail, ParcelPoint has also been working on “products that reduce the environmental impact of delivery, such as the rollout of electric delivery vans”. 

[Left to right] Sendle's head of growth Apurva Chiranewala and co-founder James Chin Moody

[Left to right] Sendle’s head of growth Apurva Chiranewala and co-founder James Chin Moody. Source: supplied

Sendle 

Established in 2014, Sendle is Australia’s first 100% carbon neutral courier and a registered B Corp that provides a flat rate, door-to-door delivery service across Australia. As reported by SmartCompany, Sendle raised $20 million in Series B funding in January 2019, and launched in the US later that year.

Prices vary depending on the user’s plan (standard, premium or pro) and the parcel size being delivered. Sendle Premium — which is designed for small business owners — offers a delivery rate of $5.95-$10.50 in the same city, and $7.50-$29.95 nationally.

Information about domestic and international rates and services can be found here.

Sherpa

Sherpa is an on-demand and app-based courier service that connects a “vetted fleet of over 13,000 Sherpa drivers” with businesses seeking deliveries.

The company offers two-hour, four-hour and same-day delivery services, the surcharges for which can be found here.

A delivery from Brunswick to Caulfield in Melbourne would cost between $28 (same day) and $42 (two-hour delivery).

Shippit

Founded in 2016, Shippit is a carbon neutral and cloud-based shipping platform that is used by retailers across Australia on a subscription basis.

Options range from the ‘Start’ package, which costs $19 per month excluding GST, to the ‘Empower’ package, which costs $249 per month excluding GST.

More details can be found here.

TNT Express

Headquartered in the Netherlands, TNT offers international and domestic shipping across Australia.

For domestic shipping, the company offers 9:00 Express, 10:00 Express, 12:00 Express, Overnight Express and Road Express services.

Shipping rates — which depend on shipment type, destination and the speed of delivery — can be found here.

Using TNT, sending a 25kg, 20cm x 20cm x 20cm box from Melbourne to Sydney ranges from approximately $42 (road express) to $169 (9:00 express).

This article was updated on Wednesday, August 12, 2020.

NOW READ: Australia re-opens: Seven ways to increase the likelihood customers will return to your store

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This article is supported by the Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism and Ideas.

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