Supply chain · 27 January 2017

The parcel courier companies small business owners should avoid

Parcel courier companies
Poor service from parcel courier companies can result in lost business for small firms

Consumers have ranked Yodel as the worst delivery service in the UK in a survey of the best and worst parcel courier companies in the country.

The poll, undertaken by, took the views of over 11,000 British shoppers at the end of the 2016 Christmas period to shed light on the many different courier services available to businesses.

Yodel topped the rankings after being rated “poor” by 57 per cent of consumers and “great” by just 18 per cent. Considered the third worst courier in 2015, the company watched as rivals iPost Parcels and DX made improvements to push Yodel as the most poor service.

The firm voted the best courier for a fourth consecutive year was DPD, while Royal Mail Parcels went from third in 2015 to be ranked the second-best UK courier.

Poor courier services are damaging to firms relying on reliable deliveries, and small business owners looking to safeguard their reputation and carry on delivering products and services on time would do well to give these courier companies a wide berth.

Martin Lewis, financial journalist and founder of, said that a company settling for a poor courier service was at risk of driving customers away.

“We live in the age of delivery, yet service levels from some firms are dire. They don’t ring the doorbell, parcels are misdelivered, they’re left in bins or under cars – and it leaves many grinding their teeth in frustration.

“I was once booed by a conference of senior retail-company bigwigs when I told them that I hoped they suffered brand damage if the firms they chose to do deliveries messed up.”

Lewis added that firms would be forced to “justify” to customers the use of poor courier companies or face losing business.

“If they won’t do it, then we must vote with our pockets and stop buying online from firms that use crap delivery services,” he warned.

Responding to its poor consumer ranking, a spokesperson for Yodel told Business Advice that the firm stood “disappointed”.

“We continuously challenge ourselves to improve our service and we have seen huge improvements over the last two years but clearly we still have significant ground to make up.

“We have specifically invested over £30m in technology over the last two years…but we recognise that there is work we need to do with our retail customers to boost this service experience further,” the spokesperson said.

Worst courier delivery companies

2016 rank Delivery company ‘Great’ ‘OK’ ‘Poor’ 2015 rank
1 Yodel 18 per cent 25 per cent 57 per cent 3
2 City Sprint 13 per cent 51 per cent 37 per cent 5
3 iPost Parcels 16 per cent 48 per cent 36 per cent 1
4 DX 18 per cent 46 per cent 36 per cent 2
5 Hermes/myHermes 30 per cent 29 per cent 42 per cent 7

Best courier delivery companies

2016 rank Delivery company ‘Great’ ‘OK’ ‘Poor’ 2015 rank
1 DPD 71 per cent 19 per cent 9 per cent 17
2 Royal Mail Parcels 49 per cent 40 per cent 11 per cent 15
3 Collect Plus 47 per cent 42 per cent 11 per cent 16
4 UPS 47 per cent 38 per cent 16 per cent 14
5 Amazon Logistics 46 per cent 39 per cent 15 per cent =9


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Praseeda Nair is the editorial director of Business Advice, and its sister publication for growing businesses, Real Business. She's an impassioned advocate for women in leadership, and likes to profile business owners, advisors and experts in the field of entrepreneurship and management.