It is a fact that courier
services that are offered by private companies can be more expensive than those
offered by the South African Post Office or SAPO. While this is true there are
still times when you may need to choose a courier service over the SAPO due to
specific requirements that you may have (such as an urgent delivery or the
safety of the consignment being sent.)
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There are so many courier companies in South Africa, that it can become
difficult to decide on the specific company that you should choose. While cost
is often the first thing that most people consider, there are various other
factors that need to be taken into account when selecting a courier service.
- Reputation :: First and foremost, it is essential to assess the reputation of
the courier company. Speak to your friends and colleagues and find out if any of
them have used that specific courier company before. Even though your sample may
be small, it is worth your while to check with some people about the experiences
that they have had.
- Licensed Companies :: Make sure that the courier service company that you
choose has a valid license or permit. It is pertinent that you choose an
operator that is authorised to operate in the areas of your interest.
- Delivery time conformance :: There are many courier companies that commit to a
delivery time and then do not live up to the promise that has been made. Make
sure that you choose a courier company that has a good reputation with regards
to delivery time. Alternatively, you may want to seek a guarantee for the
delivery time, especially if your consignment is extremely urgent.
- Scope of operations :: If you are looking at sending a domestic courier, this
aspect may not matter much because most South African courier companies have a
large domestic network. On the other hand if you are looking to send a parcel
out of the country, you may want to check the countries where the South African
courier company has self manned offices. Some smaller courier companies have
partners in other countries; something that creates hassles if you are looking
at resolving issues like a missing parcel.
- Logistics :: Large courier companies now operate on a hub and spoke model to
ensure smoother sorting for the deliveries. This basically means that all the
collected consignments are sent to a central hub where they are then sorted into
categories based on the delivery location. While the increase in scale at a
single location reduces the overall cost, it tends to delay the consignments a
- Pick up :: This is generally an essential part of any Courier Service. If you
are sending a parcel that is not easy to move around, it may be necessary to
choose a courier company that allows for pick up from your office or residence.
- Tracking :: While most courier companies have the provision for you to trace
the exact location of your parcel at any time, you may also want to know whether
you can call the customer service operators if you need to contact someone
- Discounts and deals :: Last but not least, the bulk discounts, quote and deals
that are being offered by the courier companies should also be considered before
locking onto a specific courier company.
The whole thing basically boils down to the specific parcel that you are sending
and your requirements. If the parcel is large, a pickup service becomes more
important than anything else. If the parcel contains something that needs to be
delivered immediately, the delivery time takes precedence over the other
aspects. Make sure you know what you are looking for when you set out to choose
a courier service.
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DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article is the opinion of the
Author and should not be taken as advice.