Netherlands' top 5 parcel shipping service providers for ecommerce

Choosing the best company for your webshop

As a Dutch-based webshop owner, you are most likely also interested in, besides the Dutch market, shipping your products to other European countries such as Germany, United Kingdom, Denmark and France. Being known as the gateway to the European market for e-commerce companies shipping from outside the EU, the Netherlands’ shipping service providers are an important factor also for global players. As such, the effective logistics should not be underestimated by neither domestic nor international e-commerce businesses. To put the importance of logistics on the success in other markets into a perspective, 153 million parcels were sent cross-border from the Netherlands and 351 million parcels (of which, 240 million can be assigned to the B2C sector) were handled domestically in 2018.

Therefore, in order to establish and optimize Dutch-based order delivery for your webshop, your focus should be on choosing the  most efficient shipping service provider in the Netherlands. The majority of webshop owners primarily look for cheap shipping and fast delivery. Especially the speed of the delivery became a business standard, as roughly 90% of shipped parcels in 2020 are already delivered the next day and that is also the standard Dutch customers expect from your business. So, to help you out with reaching the standards when shipping domestically or across Europe, we prepared a detailed overview of top 5 shipping companies in the Netherlands that are a great option for your e-commerce business.

How to choose the best shipping provider for your webshop

As is often the case, there is no one-fits-all solution, so when choosing the delivery service provider, e-commerce companies should take details into consideration. As all delivery companies have different strengths and weaknesses, finding the best fitting partner for your webshop might result in immediate or, alternatively, long-term positive effects. Which option fits your business model the best, is for you to decide. On the basis thereof, we are emphasizing the most important questions webshop entrepreneurs should take into consideration

  • How many parcels are being shipped per month/week/day
  • What is the size of the parcels your online shop ships
  • How much do the parcels weight
  • Are the parcels shipped internationally or domestically
    • In case they are shipped internationally; are they “only” shipped to neighbouring countries like Germany, are they shipped across Europe, or are they shipped globally, for example to the USA or alike
  • Does it make sense to use the services of more than one delivery company
  • What are your priorities, what do your customers expect

Top 5 parcel delivery companies in the Netherlands

In this part of the blog, we are listing top 5 parcel delivery companies that might be suitable for shipping your webshop’s parcels in the Netherlands and across Europe. In this overview part, we are listing some of the most important facts and figures about these companies, as well as their advantages and disadvantages.

PostNL

PostNL, formerly known as TNT NV until TNT Express was separated from it in May 2011, and the remainder of the company was renamed PostNL, has been assigned by the Dutch government to carry out the universal postal service. Most notably, PostNL handled approximately two thirds of the domestic parcel deliveries in the B2C market in the Netherlands in 2018. Other interesting facts and figures about this shipping provider include

  • PostNL delivers 900 000 parcels throughout the Benelux per day 
  • PostNL workforce includes 50 000 employees
  • PostNL carries out cross-border activities under the name of Spring

Advantages

  • Fast domestic parcel delivery 
    • 98% are delivered to customers within 24 hours
  • Experts in the Netherlands
    • market share for domestic parcel deliveries is 67%
  • Dutch company

Disadvantages

  • Not as big as main international competitors
    • especially regarding cross-border shipping across Europe or to the US, other parcel delivery providers have more expertise

Other types of parcel delivery services

  • PostNL Standard
  • PostNL Service Point
  • PostNL Mailbox Parcel
  • PostNL Abroad (across Europe)
  • PostNL Globalpack (worldwide)

visit the homepage

Facts and figures postnl

DHL

The German parcel shipping company DHL was founded in 1969 and is a division of the world’s biggest logistics company Deutsche Post DHL. Some impressive facts and figures about this shipping company are

  • DHL recorded a revenue of €4.05 billion for e-commerce solutions in 2019.
  • DHL shipped 1.6 billion parcels only in Germany in 2019
  • The company employs 520 000 people worldwide
  • DHL delivers across the whole world including countries like north korea
  • Environmentally friendly shipping options are offered

Advantages

  • Strong international focus
  • Flexible offers (ground, express, sustainable, international)

Disadvantages

  • Not the best option for domestic shipping

Various services offered include

  • DHL International Express
  • DHL Euro Plus
  • DHL Sameday Jetline
  • DHL Sameday Sprintline
  • DHL Express 9:00/10:30/12:00
  • DHL Express Worldwide
  • DHL Express Easy 

visit the homepage

DHL facts and figures

UPS

The American company was founded in 1907 and, therefore, has a lot of experience in what they do. Take a look at the company’s exciting facts and figures

  • $13 billion revenue for supply-chain solutions last year
  • UPS employs 495 000 people
  • 5.5 billion parcels shipped last year

Advantages

  • Known for speedy delivery
  • Large fleet on the ground
  • Environmentally friendly options

Disadvantages

  • More costly than competitors
  • Added area surcharges
  • Saturday delivery is value-added service

Various shipping service options

  • UPS Express Critical – International
  • UPS Worldwide Express Plus
  • UPS Worldwide Express Shipping
  • UPS Worldwide Saver, UPS Next Day Air
  • UPS Worldwide Expedited
  • UPS 2nd Day Air
  • UPS Standard

visit the homepage

Ups facts and figures

DPD

The DPDgroup based in France is a parcel delivery service, founded in 1999, that has its main expertise in shipping within Europe. Below, you can have a look at some relevant facts and figures regarding this parcel delivery service provider

  • DPD employs 77.000 people
  • DPD’s annual revenue is a approximately $8.9 billion
  • DPD shipped 1.3 billion parcels in 2019
  • There are 42.000 DPD parcel shops around Europe
  • DPD sets off 100% of its carbon emission by purchasing carbon credits.

Advantages

  • Flexible offers
  • Big amount of parcel shops across Europe

Disadvantages

  • No expertise in the US

Other services include

  • DPD Air Classic
  • DPD Air Express
  • DPD PickUp 24
  • DPD PickUp Express
  • DPD PickUp Classic

visit the homepage

dpd facts and figures

FedEx

The American company, operating in the whole world, is most well known for pioneering all other parcel delivery service companies in making real-time tracking of packages possible. Additionally, you might be interested in these facts and figures

  • Company revenue of $70 billion
  • 2.2 billion parcels shipped in 2019
  • 50 000 employees in NL

Advantages

  • Saturday delivery
  • Large fleet of airplanes

Disadvantages

  • Focus on US instead of Europe
  • No big focus on the Netherlands
  • Smaller fleet on the ground

Various delivery service options offered by FedEx

  • FedEx International Next Flight
  • FedEx International First
  • FedEx International Priority
  • FedEx International Economy
  • FedEx International Priority DirectDistribution
  • FedEx International Economy DirectDistribution
  • FedEx International Ground

visit the homepage

fedex facts and figures

Other parcel shipping providers to look for

Of course there are many other, mostly smaller companies, but also established ones, that  did not make it to our top 5, but still might fit your needs best. Below, we are honorably mentioning the following

Order Fulfillment and 3PL services as a convenient alternative solution

In case you are shipping a higher number of parcels to your customers each month and you don’t want to use your time and resources on tedious logistics, outsourcing and automating your order fulfillment might be the best option for you.. 3PL (third party logistics) companies like byrd can integrate your shop system within literal minutes and your orders will be fulfilled automatically and in real time. In addition, you also benefit by having an access to the multitude of shipping service providers, rendering your logistics to be as personalised and optimized for your needs as possible.

Conclusion

Choosing the right logistics partner is one of the most important factors that determine the success or the downfall of the majority of e-commerce companies. Adding to that trope, research also shows that for many online shoppers it is important to know which parcel delivery companies are available for shipping their intended purchases and they will often terminate the checkout if they are not content with the options provided by the particular webshop. Last but not least, the importance of sustainable e-commerce is also generating some serious waves in the e-commerce industry as more and more customers are becoming environmentally cautious and are demanding the same from their favourite webshops.

In conclusion, opting for one or even multiple logistics partners that fit your needs should be the top priority for your Dutch-based webshop. As argued above, having the right parcel shipping service partner will optimise your logistics and make your customers happy; and the combination of happy customers and optimised logistics is, in our humble opinion, a great fail-proof strategy to have.

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