Whether national or international: In case of doubt in favour of express delivery

“Deliverable in 4 weeks” – what is at best annoying in the private sector can have serious consequences for the entire supply chain in business. If goods are needed promptly, there are delays in the entire process. Conveyor belts come to a standstill, aeroplanes are grounded due to a lack of spare parts, supermarkets cannot be supplied.

Okay, admittedly: This example is pretty drastic (but unfortunately not unrealistic, as recent years have shown). But anyone who works in warehouse logistics knows that plannable processes are crucial and that just a few days or hours can make all the difference – whether it’s manufacturing parts for industry or the delivery of a new queen bee from the apiary. In such cases, express delivery is the safest choice to guarantee on-time delivery.

Express transport

Express is not the same as express

But what exactly does express delivery actually mean? The confusion starts with the name of the service: overnight express, 24-hour express, on-demand express… Carriers are quite creative in choosing different names for the same or almost the same services, which then differ in seemingly minor but actually essential details. Regardless of the name, express shipping at this point means same-day pickup from the sender during a desired time period and guaranteed delivery the next business day for domestic shipments and several days for international shipments. While the various tariffs do not differ in the delivery time of one working day nationally – standard delivery time, mind you, and not necessarily guaranteed delivery time – the situation is actually different with same-day pick-up. Although most providers guarantee same-day pick-up, there are also shipping service providers where this only happens under certain restrictive conditions. Further options, such as delivery within certain time windows, can be booked in addition.

Express delivery: more expensive but good

Express shipping is therefore a must for anyone who wants their consignment or delivery to be delivered on the next working day or within a few working days. But even if two or three days is not necessarily important, you should opt for it if in doubt. But why, when standard shipping is sufficient? After all, express costs twice as much and more.

Not only fast, but also prioritised

However, the calculation is not that simple. In addition to costs, the ability to plan logistics processes plays at least as important a role. Speed is certainly an important factor, but with express shipping there is another aspect that makes express possible in the first place and yet is not recognised as such. This is because express deliveries are prioritised. What does that mean? If there is a high volume of parcels or disruptions in operations – e.g. due to strikes or disasters – an express parcel (or an express pallet) is prioritised and loaded. Standard consignments are put on hold. And if, as was recently the case due to the start of the Gaza war, freight flights to a region are completely or partially suspended, it is the express shipments that are transported first as soon as operations resume. Anyone booking an express shipment can therefore be sure that their own consignment will arrive on time or will at least be given priority processing in the event of disruptions.

Guaranteed transit times with a money-back guarantee

In 2022, the standard transit time was exceeded for 50 % of all parcels in Germany. Normal day-to-day business is therefore already sufficient as an argument in favour of express delivery. And staff shortages at delivery companies are likely to exacerbate the situation in the near future. The rate of delayed express shipments is significantly lower. In addition, some carriers offer a money-back guarantee if the delivery is made later than agreed.

More expensive? Not necessarily

There is no question that express shipping costs are high. Especially in international B2B freight traffic, this can quickly add up to several hundred or thousand euros. However, as paradoxical as it may seem, Express International is often still cheaper than standard shipments. It is therefore definitely worth comparing prices.

Optimise express shipping with a multi-carrier shipping platform

Comparing rates of different services can quickly become time-consuming. When different carriers come into play, time quickly becomes a cost factor. Multi-carrier shipping platforms such as LetMeShip take this work off your hands. You simply select the desired service, the pick-up location and the destination and are shown a clear overview of all available rates from various carriers, including all additional costs and your savings compared to a direct booking.

This makes it easy to optimise not only the booking, but also your entire shipping process: Tracking, invoicing, package manager, invoice and shipping document archive and many other functions on one platform reduce your costs and streamline your processes, giving you more time to concentrate on your day-to-day business.