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The difference in delivery success rates by courier service

Once upon a time, Diamond Logistics purely specialised in same day courier. Same day courier effectively means that a consignment is chauffeured from A to B. But as the market needed more cost effective solutions we moved to a next day and international consolidated service provision; which in terms of value is, quite frankly, amazing.

However we got an increase in complaints before Christmas because client service expectations didn’t meet the actual delivery. Now we cite in all our literature that you should only expect 98.5% successful first time delivery for next day consignments. And that statistically outperforms most of the carrier networks; especially Royal Mail before Christmas.

Managing client expectations

But we had an incident whereby from 1,600 deliveries, 15 either went wrong or were late and the client was very, very upset. But this is the cost/value balance of this service. When you’re paying approximately £4 pound per delivery, then the realistic balance is that you should be budgeting for some deliveries going wrong.

And this is what drove the need for this article. We thought we’d clearly break down the difference in delivery success rates per service. Basically,

  • If you want 100% deliverability then utilise the same day courier.
  • If you’re looking for something really cost effective then do use a next day carrier but plan for at least a couple of percent of them going wrong.

Pre-Christmas demand

Before this Christmas, DPD’s volumes were up by 50%. In addition to that, we had Royal Mail strikes. That meant that the other carriers were also incredibly busy. In addition to this, requirements grew through people wanting greater delivery and fulfilment support around Cyber Monday.

This is great until they’ve experienced 0.01% failures, and believe our carriers have done a bad job. That’s a very poor perspective.

Delivery success – a breakdown of services

Same day delivery / same day courier


  • Picked up is usually within 30 minutes (up to 45 minutes when out of hours) when collecting from location local to the office and driven directly to the destination
  • 24 hours a day 7 days a week
  • Proof of delivery emailed to client upon completion


  • Direct
  • Very little margin for error
  • Goods In Transit insurance to value of £15k per consignment
  • Success rate 99.999%


  • Cost per mile is therefore not the cheapest option, especially over longer distances

Next day delivery – all visible through our logistics management platform, Despatchlab


  • Collected at fixed time in afternoon
  • Consolidated at local depot to be collected by carriers then
  • Consolidated in hub in Midlands, then distributed overnight for delivery next day


  • Fixed cost per parcel rate – up to 30kg
  • Consignment rate is for multiple parcels and is not mileage based


  • Consolidated – e.g. many hands responsible for package therefore very much greater margins for error
  • Automated parcel distribution can mean quite rough handling of package
  • Success rate – 98.5% means things can go wrong . . . 

International delivery – all visible through our logistics management platform, Despatchlab


  • Collected at fixed time in afternoon
  • Consolidated at local depot, then delivered to LHR agents for global distribution ASAP
  • Some timed options are available
  • Variable prices for variable destinations


  • Cost effective – relative to distance of delivery marginally making it more efficient than next day/overnight


  • Consolidated (see above)
  • Proof of delivery marginally slower to collate
  • Problem solving can be long winded due to time and language issues
  • Not subject to standard Goods in Transit insurance
  • Transit times are non-guaranteed

Fulfilment or pick pack and despatch


  • Goods are stored in a secure warehouse
  • Client has the ability to stock check items remotely
  • Goods are despatched based on receipt of orders


  • Integrated online order despatch process allowing for goods to be despatched


  • Consolidated (see above)

Which service is best for your business?

A really good conversation to have with your operations team when you start utilising a next day carrier, is to ask what the remedying action is going to be for the inevitable small percentage that will go wrong. So, for example,

  • If it’s low cost value of goods, can you empower your fulfilment centre just to simply redeliver?
  • If it’s a higher value consignment that’s gone missing, is there an insurance process that can be put in place?

These are all really good conversations to have at the start of your client experience journey.

Logistics isn’t perfect. There’s many hands that touch many packages and things can and do do go wrong. But you can rest assured that Diamond Logistics tries its very best to mitigate these circumstances. Any carrier or courier that tells you they’re going to be 100% successful all day, everyday, is simply not telling the truth.

So this is our declaration that we won’t be perfect, and neither will our carriers, but when stuff goes wrong we will work with you in order to mitigate the impact on your customers. If you want to know more about our fulfilment and delivery services, or discuss how we can support your business in 2023, give our team a call on 0333 567 5888, email us at or complete our contact form below.


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Diamond Logistics is part of The Diamond Logistics and Technology Group.  

A group of companies that work together to deliver a unique mix of people, technology and logistics that allows them to excel at delivery and fulfilment solutions for UK and international clients. Click on the logos below to visit the other websites.