How do you choose a carrier?

How do you know which carrier to choose with the huge choice of providers that all have their own specialty? We list the various criteria with which you can choose your carrier:

For example, the carrier has many drivers in the Netherlands or Belgium, but no network in other countries in Europe. Transport companies often work together with other transport companies. For example, PostNL has its own network in Belgium, but uses a partner in France. During the transfer between the carrier and the partner, an extra communication link is created if something goes wrong. In that case, the carrier is often unable to provide an answer to the status of a shipment and must request it from the partner. This creates noise faster.

Speed ​​of delivery

A package that quickly needs to be sent to the other side of the world is best sent via an Express network. A parcel carrier can take several weeks. The transit time of a shipment is of course very important if the recipient wants the shipment quickly. You can read about the possible choices between Sameday, Nextday, a direct courier, super fast combined delivery, flash delivery or delivery in a parcel shop. here .

Dimensions and weights

Each carrier has a preference for certain dimensions and weight of a package. Surcharges are often applied for packages that are outside the ideal size of the carrier. Usually these surcharges have to do with the length of the package, the weight of the package or the shipping volumes. To avoid surcharges, it is smart to choose a carrier where the specifications of your shipment meet the standards.

In addition to a maximum volume, many carriers also have a maximum belt size. The belt size is calculated by adding the following together: 

1 x the length of the package (cm) + 2 x the width of the package (cm) + 2x the height of the package (cm)

Express carriers are also familiar with the term current and volumetric weight. The actual weight is the weighed or measured weight. In other words, the weight if you put the shipment on a scale. The volumetric weight arose because the transport of, for example, a kg of springs in an enormously large package is more expensive for the carrier than a XNUMX kg brick in a small package. You calculate the volumetric weight as follows:

length of the package (cm) x width of the package (cm) x weight (kg) of the package ÷ volumetric divider. 

This volumetric weight sharer often differs per carrier and service. For example, an 80 x 50 x 35 package with a volumetric weight divider of 5000 has a volumetric weight of 28 kg.

Usually the carrier uses the heaviest weight. So if the volumetric weight is 28 kg and the measured weight is 20 kg, the carrier will charge 28 kg. 

Number of shipments to the same address

There are various carriers that give a discount if you have multiple shipments delivered to the same recipient at the same time. Usually you have to book these shipments at the same time. However, there are carriers such as DHL eCommerce that offer financial consolidation. As long as you book on the same day and use the same reference number, they will give you an extra discount for DHL Europlus.


Many carriers collect a minimum number of shipments from you for free or at an additional cost. Parcel carriers usually pick up an occasional shipment on the next business day. Express carriers often arrive on the same day. The time until which you can pick up a shipment the same day varies per location. The further you are from a sorting center, the sooner you have to register the shipment. 

Extended service
Recipient Choices

Various carriers give recipients the option to influence the delivery date or location. For this, the carrier sends an email to the recipient with the delivery time. If this is not convenient, the recipient can choose delivery on another day, delivery to a parcel shop, to a selected neighbor or to a designated location such as a shed or under a carport. Offering choice reduces the chance that a package will be returned and therefore additional costs will follow. 

Business or private recipients

You may not think about it, but there is a big difference between delivering to a business customer who is always present and a private person who is often not at home. When you send to a private individual, it is important to think about what will happen if they are not at home. Will the carrier offer the shipment again or does the recipient have to go to a parcel point? If a carrier has few parcel points, the recipient has to drive far to receive his parcel. If you choose a carrier with few package points in the country of receipt, this is often a reason that the shipment is returned. There are also carriers that specialize in delivering to private individuals or business customers.


There are many differences between carriers with regard to CO2 neutral delivery. For example, some transporters plant trees or buy off emissions through emission compensation. Virtually every carrier aims to replace its fleet of vehicles with electric or LNG vehicles. Research by Wuunder shows that 4 out of 5 people do not mind waiting a day longer for the order if it is delivered in an environmentally friendly way.

Return options

Parcels are often returned and often senders do not realize that this is not possible via a local parcel shop. If a shipment is too large or too heavy for a parcel shop, the shipment cannot be returned with the same carrier. Worldwide collection is possible via Express carriers, but that is often a lot more expensive. Wuunder uses local carriers, among other things, which often prevents these extra costs.

Our experts are happy to help you make the right choice. Via shipping rules we can configure our software in such a way that you always choose the right service and carrier, taking into account the above points. This way we can of course also set you to always opt for the lowest rates!

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