Courier services are now at the heart of businesses all around the world. The growth in online sales has almost made us take the delivery of our orders for granted, where as in fact there is a lot of hard work and planning goes in to getting a package to the correct destination on time.
Obviously, to get any consignment from origin to destination requires a reliable courier service. Not all delivery routes are equal. Some parcels and packages might be a local drop off or even just a quick hop across the city, where as others might literally half to travel half way around the world.
The nature of courier services means that there are many different choices to be made and this can all have a bearing on cost. For example, is the package going to be insured in case of loss or breakage? Will the sender be compensated if the delivery does not get there by the time specified? What if the package gets into the hands of the wrong person (i.e. its delivered to the wrong place). All these things should be considered when choosing a reliable courier company.
Unfortunately its far too easy, especially its seems in the UK, to go for the option of choosing the cheapest courier company. This is very often a bad move. Cheap services do not always (I say not always, as I don't want to discredit cheap companies that do provide a good service) provide a service that is good value for money. They are cheap for a reason and that's because they might outsource the jobs or leave them lying around in a warehouse for a long time prior to delivery.
When you choose a courier company you want one that will treat the consignment as if it was their own. That is they would take good care ensuring it arrives on time, to the correct destination and in one place.
You should also choose a courier company that has the transportation available to handle your consignment. It is unlikely that a small company is going to be able to ship your item overseas for example without relying on a third party and so it is important that they make you aware of this and who the third party is (if its a large carrier like UPS or DHL then great - but watch out for cheaper services being used).
In summary its not always the best idea to go for the cheapest option (as with anything in life really) as you often end up getting what you pay for. If in doubt you could contact a Courier Consultant who will have carried out extensive courier benchmarking processes and assessments to create a ready made database of the courier companies that provide the best value for money.