In South Africa, courier companies are the solution of choice for product deliveries. But there are a lot of courier services out there! Here are recommendations on how to choose the best courier companies in South Africa.
The Best Courier Companies in South Africa – Overview
The courier company you select will pick up the goods at the location you want. This will typically be your warehouse, office, or home. They will then deliver them to your customers. Here are the top courier services in South Africa we recommend:
- Fastway – Best for local deliveries
- Pargo – Best for rural deliveries
- The Courier Guy – Good all-round solution
- MDS Collivery
- Dawn Wing
Fastway, The Courier Guy, SendR, MDS Collivery, and Dawn Wing. Those five delivery services offer great value for money and good customer service. Check out the courier services detailed reviews below for more details about each of them.
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Local deliveries and rural deliveries in South Africa
If you plan to deliver to local and rural areas, here are a few tips:
- To get the best price on local deliveries (city center), Fastway is usually the cheapest. Their prices start at R36 for local deliveries!
- For bulk items, 1st freight is also an alternative to look into.
- For rural deliveries, Fastway remains very cheap; another good option to consider is Pargo.
Store-to-store delivery options like Pargo can indeed a good option for rural deliveries. Indeed, people are often happy to collect their parcel the next time they go to town rather than having to arrange for a delivery in person.
Do I need to offer free delivery?
The short answer is yes. You need to offer free delivery. Indeed, customers expect free delivery for orders over R500. If you can offer this option, it will drive up your sales.
Yet, to offer free delivery, you need to understand your numbers, and in particular your average cost of delivery and profit margin. This will show if you can feasibly offer this option. Indeed, if you make R50 margin on an R500 order, you cannot afford it. But if you make R250 you can probably do so and this will help your sales.
What is the cheapest courier in South Africa?
The courier prices in South Africa will depend on the size of the parcel and the area you are delivering to. For rural areas, Pargo and Fastway are great options for cheap courier services. For standard size and destination, pricing is comparable between companies. Quality of service and convenience will be better criteria to choose between them.
Even if you want the cheapest courier service, it is important to review other factors when selecting your courier partner. For instance, having timely deliveries without damage to your parcels is crucial. Indeed, saving a few Rand on the shipping, but having to replace a lost or damaged parcel can lead to a significant loss.
Finally, to get the best prices, always remember to negotiate the rates with your courier service regularly. To do that, you need to start building a history with them. After some time, you can contact them to discuss the rates and see if they can bring down your pricing. They will often be happy to offer special rates.
The Best Courier Services in South Africa: Detailed Review
Now, let’s review in more detail our recommended courier companies list in South Africa.
Fastway is a low-cost national courier distribution service across South Africa. Established in 1983 in New Zealand, Fastway Couriers is a globally franchised courier company. They currently have a presence in New Zealand, Australia, Ireland, and South Africa.
The Fastway pricing is transparent and easily available on their website. They offer standard parcel deliveries, and another delivery method called Satchels. Those are pre-paid envelopes with no weight limit, ranging in price from R52 to R85. They offer a convenient option for easy delivery and even include an R1000 cover at no extra cost.
In terms of extra services, Fastway offers real-time updates through its app. Like with other delivery companies, it is also easy to track your shipments online. They also focus on being transparent, with no hidden charges or re-delivery fees.
Through their network of more than 300 franchise partners, they move and deliver 16.4 million parcels every year in South Africa. They have a lot of options whether you’re looking for courier companies in Johannesburg or Cape Town and almost everywhere in between.
Pargo is a delivery company in South Africa that focuses on solving the challenges of last-mile distribution. They allow customers to send and receive parcels at pickup points located in retail stores across the country. Store partners include Caltex gas stations, Clicks, FNB, or Wellness Warehouse shops.
Thanks to this business model they offer a nationwide flat rate. The delivery cost is R99 per parcel. Delivery can take up to three business days, and delivering to outlying areas adds another 2 days to that.
With over 2500 pick-up and drop-off locations, Pargo operates an extensive network of collection points. They offer a good option for remote locations where delivery rates can become prohibitive. The store-to-store delivery model also solves the problem of inaccessible areas, lack of address, and missed deliveries. The flat rates and wide choice of location make Pargo a great solution for rural deliveries.
The Courier Guy
The Courier Guy is one of the leading courier companies in South Africa. The business started in 2000 and is now a worldwide courier company. They offer a full range of courier services, including express, overnight as well as international courier options.
Standard rates start at R75 for parcels up to 5kg and 2-4 business days national delivery. The cost of overnight shipping is R100 for up to 2kg. This can be a great choice for urgent deliveries and if you are looking for the fastest courier service. The Courier Guy also offers reduced rates through their Pudo service, which starts at R40. With this option, you leave your parcels in a drop-off box of your choice. A courier will pick it up there before delivering it to your recipient.
With more than 140 branches across South Africa, they are one of the largest delivery companies in the country.
MDS Collivery is a courier service based out of Johannesburg. It started in 1991 as an intra-city delivery service and is now one of the largest delivery services in South Africa.
They offer a full range of delivery services: same day, next day, road freight express as well as normal road freight. A quote calculator is available directly on the site, to get a quick estimate online. For instance, the next-day delivery of a 1kg parcel from Cape Town to Johannesburg will cost approximately R150.
In terms of services, tracking is available directly from the website. MDS Collivery also allows receiving SMS updates for your collections and deliveries. Like with most other courier services, clients can easily track their parcel number directly through the website.
The MDS Group consists of 4 companies employing over 300 staff with a fleet of over 200 vehicles. They handle more than 60,000 parcels a month through a nationwide network of 18 hubs.
Dawn Wing – DPD Laser
Dawn Wing – DPD Laser is one of South Africa’s leading express courier companies. They offer a fast and easy way to deliver packages to your customers across South Africa.
Dawn Wing offers a comprehensive suite of domestic courier services. These include overnight, same day, next day, economy, and road freight services. Overnight Express is delivered by 11h00 the following business day. Same-day Express allows collection and delivery on the same day. Next-Day / Economy Service takes 1-3 business days, and road freight 1 to 4 business days.
Dawn Wing also has a specialized eCommerce team with over a decade of online retail experience. This type of expertise is an advantage to able the specificities of online commerce.
With 19 depots and 900 delivery experts, they have an extensive national network. They are also adding pickup points to allow more proximity with their clients.
For local deliveries, Sendr is another option of choice. Sendr is an on-demand courier company that operates a fleet of delivery bikes. This provides a practical and cost-effective solution to local deliveries in urban areas. It can be a good option for instance if you look for courier companies in Cape Town, Durban, or Johannesburg.
SendR does not charge for the distance to get to the collection address. They only charge for the distance from the collection to the delivery address. eCommerce businesses are among their clients of choice.
Founded in 1994, Postnet offers printing and shipping solutions. They operate a large network of shops across South Africa. They are also among the leading international courier companies in the country.
They offer a variety of shipping solutions. Postnet-to-Postnet allows to drop-off a parcel at a store and collect it from another store. Postnet-to-door offers courier delivery services to your clients door, with a variety of delivery times. For international shipments, they are a DHL partner and also have an in-house solution called Postnet Global Express.
In terms of pricing, rates start at R99 for parcels up to 5kg delivered nationwide within 2-4 working days. They do not offer the cheapest option for local deliveries. Yet, they can be interesting for nationwide deliveries, especially if your location is close to one of their stores.
With over 400 stores nationwide, they offer a large network of locations to drop off or collect parcels.
PAXI is a store-to-store delivery service managed by PEP stores. Their objective is to make it easier for small businesses across South Africa to get their products into the hands of their customers.
With PAXI, you buy bags with a set dimension and maximum weight. You can also choose between a 3-5 or 7-9 business days delivery. After packing your products in the bag, you drop it at any PAXI location. PAXI then sends it to the desired location for a flat rate across South Africa. The price starts at R60 for a 5KG bag and 7-9 days service, and goes up to R120 for a 10kg bag delivered in 3-5 business days.
PAXI has also developed some tools to help businesses specifically. You can for instance buy bags online, register PAXI parcels on the portal, and more.
PAXI operates a network of 2800 PAXI points, located in every PEP, PEPhome, PEPcell, Shoe City, and Tekkie Town in South Africa. This offers a very dense network of pickup points and provides a great store-to-store delivery option.
Those elements will allow you to select the best courier service in South Africa to deliver your products to your clients. Fastway is an option of choice for local and rural deliveries. Store-to-store options like Pargo and PAXI are also great options for rural deliveries. Finally, The Courier Guy is a good all-round choice for many eCommerce shops.
In addition to using the best courier companies in South Africa, don’t forget to bring down your delivery prices by renegotiating with your delivery partner. It is also good to offer free delivery options if you can, as it will most likely drive up your sales.
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