In an experiment to see if we can both improve the service and reduce the cost of international post, we have been trialling DHL Global Mail.
Over the Christmas period, Royal Mail’s service in the UK was generally very good. Occasionally they were a bit slow, but the number of actual losses was virtually non-existent. Their international performance, sadly, was not so good. Again, they didn’t actually lose very many items. But there were a number of extensive delays. The biggest concern was that there were far too many cases where their European delivery partner (GLS) just marked items as “Return to Sender”. The return labels made it clear that they had never even tried to deliver. Strangely, the non-tracked post actually did far, far better than the Tracked & Signed items.
So over the last couple of weeks, we have been trying out DHL Global Mail. The account set up and software logins took a little while to arrange. But it is working very smoothly now. We started off by testing it using orders from some of our other sales channels (eBay, Amazon etc). The conclusion is that because it goes to Germany first, the fastest time is sometimes a day longer, but the slower delivery times appear to have been eliminated as well. A significant proportion of our international customers are in Germany, and with DHL and Deutsche Post being the same organisation, they really do well with that ! They are also able to deliver to Packstations, which is something Royal Mail are unable to do.
We are happy with the results of the trial. So we will roll DHL Global Mail out as a delivery option for the majority of our international customers. We will do this a few countries at a time; there is a huge amount of data entry that needs to be done ! In the process, we will also be setting it up to only allow checkout if all the items in your basket can be shipped internationally. It’s better to find out then, rather than be surprised when we have to email you !