TOP 7 Courier Services in Germany in 2023 - Fulfillment-Box Skip to main content
Courier Services in Germany

The Courier, Express and Parcels (CEP) market in Germany is considered one of the largest in the European region. Over the past decades, it has experienced impressive growth, with revenues of 26 billion euros in 2022 These impressive figures were achieved thanks to the growing e-commerce market and the influence of strong and innovative courier services in Germany. In 2021 alone, they delivered 4.2 billion parcels.

Each of these companies has its own advantages and disadvantages. We will help you understand their features and provide our own experience of working with each of the services so that you can make the right choice.

1. Market Leaders in Parcel Delivery in Germany: An Overview

Whether you are a business or an individual, understanding the characteristics of each courier service will help you save time, money, and ensure seamless delivery in Germany and beyond. In the German parcel market today, seven delivery services have taken the lead: DHL, DPD, GLS, UPS, Hermes, FedEx, and Kühne & Nagel. Let's take a closer look at each of these companies and determine their strengths and weaknesses.

1.1. DHL Group

DHL Group is one of the world's best international courier services, providing a wide range of services for both domestic and international shipments. With over 600,000 employees in more than 220 countries worldwide, they ensure reliable and fast delivery. In Germany alone, DHL delivers 6.7 million parcels daily.

The company started offering international delivery services in 1970. Given its leading position in the global parcel market, DHL Group can be considered the best international courier service in Germany today.

DHL invests in delivery innovations and actively participates in initiatives to reduce its environmental impact. This makes it not only a reliable partner for businesses but also a responsible organization acting in the interest of a sustainable future.

AdvantagesDisadvantages
Global Worldwide CoverageHigh Delivery Costs
Quality ServiceDelays in Resolving Some Issues
Parcel Insurance of up to 500 Euros
Wide Range of Services: From Express Delivery to Standard Options
Fast Delivery Times
Economical Options for Small Items
Innovative Tracking Technologies
Environmental Responsibility

DHL delivery methods:

  • DHL Paket - Domestic parcel shipments.
  • DHL Express - Express delivery service for the fastest possible delivery of cargo and parcels worldwide.
  • Warenpost (in cooperation with Deutsche Post) - a service that offers fast and economical delivery of small items.

DHL rates

You can find domestic shipping rates here.

You can find international DHL shipping rates here.

Delivery times

Delivery times may vary depending on the urgency and destination. Standard delivery takes 1-2 business days within Germany, 2-3 days across Europe, and 2-6 business days to other countries.

With DHL express delivery, parcels are delivered the next business day throughout Europe or within 2-3 business days outside of it.

Tracking system

DHL provides customers with an innovative tracking system that allows them to monitor the movement of their shipments from pickup to delivery. Access to the tracking system is conveniently available through the company's website or mobile app, where customers can simply enter their tracking number and obtain delivery progress information.

The DHL tracking system allows for complete control over shipments. Customers can easily determine the expected delivery date, track its status, and receive email or SMS notifications.

1.2. DPD (Dynamic Parcel Distribution)

DPD is the second-largest international courier service in Germany, owned by the French company La Poste. It provides a wide range of delivery services for both business clients and individuals in over 220 countries worldwide. In 2022, DPD delivered approximately 2.1 billion parcels to its customers around the world.

One notable aspect of DPD's parcel delivery company is its focus on innovation and high-quality customer service. Among the company's innovative solutions, contactless delivery stands out. This option allows customers to make a deposit and receive their parcel without the need for personal contact. This is particularly relevant in modern times when safety and convenience are of the utmost importance.

AdvantagesDisadvantages
Flexible delivery optionsHigh delivery costs on weekends
Parcel insurance up to 520 euros
Real-time parcel tracking
Environmental focus

Delivery methods by DPD:

  • DPD Shop2Shop - an affordable delivery service from one Pickup parcel point to another.
  • DPD Classic - standard parcel delivery across Germany and beyond with the option to choose the time and place of parcel receipt.
  • DPD Express - expedited delivery worldwide.

DPD Rates

You can check DPD's rates here.

Delivery times

Standard delivery times vary from 2 to 7 business days depending on the destination. Within the DPD Express service, next-day delivery is available throughout Germany, 1-3 business days across Europe, and 2-5 business days to other countries worldwide.

Tracking system

Using the mobile app or website, DPD customers can easily track the real-time location of their parcels and even personalize delivery options. You can redirect the parcel or register your preferences regarding the delivery time.

1.3. GLS (General Logistics Systems)

GLS began its journey with the founding of German Parcel in 1989. Today, it is a subsidiary of the British Royal Mail and offers a wide range of delivery services both within Germany and beyond. In 2022 alone, GLS sent 870 million parcels, which is an increase of 32 million compared to the previous year.

The German Institute for Service Quality (DISQ) included GLS in the top three among German parcel delivery companies in their research, highlighting its favorable delivery conditions and quality of service.

Since 2019, the company has also joined the ranks of environmentally responsible companies, taking measures to reduce CO2 emissions. Recipients can choose the day, time, and location of delivery, as well as redirect the parcel to a different address or a postal office, reducing unnecessary courier trips.

AdvantagesDisadvantages
24-Hour Standard DeliveryDelivery only to European countries, the USA, and Canada
Low Shipping CostsA small number of delivery points
Insurance of up to 750 Euros
Online parcel tracking
Environmental responsibility

GLS delivery methods:

  • GLS Express - an express delivery service from GLS that ensures fast and reliable parcel delivery on a national and international level.
  • Business Parcel - a service for business clients for delivering parcels within the country.
  • FlexDelivery - a service that allows you to manage the delivery process of your parcels. Management is done through the GLS online platform, providing maximum flexibility and convenience for customers.

GLS rates

You can check the current GLS rates here.

Delivery times

The company stands out for its short delivery times. Within Germany, GLS delivers parcels to its customers within 24 hours as part of its standard delivery service. International delivery times vary from 1 to 6 days depending on the recipient's country.

Tracking system

The GLS delivery service provides customers with the ability to track their parcels in real-time through the website or mobile app. Using a special tracking number, customers can check the status and location of their parcels throughout the entire delivery process.

1.4. UPS (United Parcel Service)

UPS is a globally recognized logistics and transportation company with an extensive logistics network, providing reliable delivery services worldwide. It began its operations as a telegraph company in the early 20th century. Today, UPS is a leading provider of freight, overnight, two-day, and ground transportation services, serving more than 11 million customers in over 220 regions and states.

UPS stands out for its customer-centric approach and its commitment to providing services in simple and efficient ways. The company actively develops its digital infrastructure, including an intelligent logistics network, to ensure seamless customer service.

AdvantagesDisadvantages
Global CoverageHigh service costs
ReliabilityAdditional charge for climate-neutral delivery
Flexible delivery optionsFocus on the USA, limited number of parcel shops in Germany
Delivery on the day of dispatch
Parcel insurance of up to 510 euros
Convenient parcel tracking tools

UPS delivery methods:

  • UPS Standard - Standard delivery service at both national and international levels.
  • UPS Express, Express Saver, Express Plus - expedited delivery options worldwide with the ability to choose delivery times, providing additional flexibility for customers.
  • UPS Express Critical - the service for the fastest possible delivery, where UPS delivers the parcel on the same day it is sent.
  • UPS Freight - a service for shipping goods over 70 kg within the country and internationally.

UPS rates

You can check the current UPS rates here.

Delivery times

Delivery times vary depending on the distance between the sender's address and the recipient's address. UPS aims to provide customers with maximum flexibility to meet a variety of delivery time needs. You can choose express delivery and receive it on the same day of shipment or opt for a more economical option for non-urgent shipments, which will be delivered within 5-12 days for a low fee.

Tracking system

UPS provides numerous channels for tracking shipments. Through the company's official website, you can easily track the real-time status and location of your shipments. The UPS mobile app extends this capability, offering features for managing your shipments and finding nearby UPS Access Points.

For more active shipment management and personalized notifications, UPS offers the UPS My Choice service. With it, you can consolidate all your shipments in one place, change the delivery address, specify a preferred location for pickup, and set up SMS or email notifications regarding the delivery status.

1.5. Hermes

Hermes is one of the leading companies in Germany in the field of logistics and delivery, operating both domestically and internationally. Founded in 1972 in West Germany, it is now a significant part of the Otto Group. In just 5 years, the company managed to improve its financial performance by approximately 860 million euros. In 2019, Hermes delivered over 900 million parcels and continues to actively expand its operations.

The company actively collaborates with online retailers and e-commerce platforms, providing them with order fulfillment services. Thanks to its distributed network of parcel processing points and pickup locations, Hermes can offer customers convenient and flexible options for sending and receiving parcels. This makes it one of the key players in the field of e-commerce and logistics.

AdvantagesDisadvantages
Flexible delivery optionsFrequent returns of parcels
Parcel insurance up to 500 eurosEnvironmentally neutral delivery only for furniture and household appliances
Individual solutions for business clients
Online parcel tracking
Up to 4 delivery attempts

Hermes delivery methods:

  • Delivery to ParcelShop - the most economical option for delivering parcels to one of the 16,500 delivery points across the country.
  • Courier delivery - parcel delivery services to your home throughout Germany and to more than 140 countries around the world.

Hermes rates

You can find the current Hermes rates for domestic shipments here.

You can check the rates for international shipments with Hermes here.

Delivery times

Delivery within Germany typically takes 1-2 business days, depending on the distance. If you need to send a parcel to islands with ferry connections, the recipient may have to wait for 2-3 business days. International delivery takes 4-7 business days.

Tracking system

Hermes offers various tracking methods. This can include standard real-time tracking through their website or mobile app, as well as premium tracking with additional personalization options and delivery confirmation with a signature. Customers can also subscribe to receive delivery status notifications via SMS or email.

1.6. FedEx

FedEx is one of the global leaders in the delivery and logistics industry, founded in 1971 in Memphis, Tennessee, USA. The company's founder, Frederick Smith, developed the FedEx business plan during his studies at Yale University. The company officially started its operations in 1973 under the name Federal Express Corporation. In 2000, it was renamed FedEx.

The company offers various delivery services, catering to the needs of both e-commerce businesses and individuals. FedEx was one of the first to implement a real-time tracking system, which helped address the issue of lost parcels.

AdvantagesDisadvantages
Global coverageLack of environmentally friendly delivery
Fast deliveryLimited presence in Germany
Wide range of international services
Effective package tracking
Customs assistance

FedEX delivery methods:

  • FedEx Priority Overnight - expedited delivery across Germany by noon or the end of the business day.
  • FedEx International - international delivery offering various delivery times, including expedited delivery within 1 business day or a more economical option for delivery within 2-5 business days.
  • FedEx freight - a service for the delivery of large shipments weighing over 68 kg.

FedEx rates

You can find the current FedEx rates here.

Delivery times

Delivery times depend on the type of cargo and the distance of the shipment. Domestic delivery within Germany takes 1 business day, while international delivery times vary from 1 to 5 business days depending on the urgency.

Tracking system

Customers can track the location and status of their shipments in real-time using convenient online tools. You can track all your shipments with the option to personalize settings through the FedEx Tracking system or by using the mobile app.

1.7. Kühne & Nagel

Kühne & Nagel is a global leader in logistics and freight transportation, spanning over 100 countries. The company offers a full range of business solutions in the fields of sea, land, and air transport, as well as contract logistics, warehousing, and project management services. Kühne & Nagel is a leading freight forwarder in the maritime transportation sector and ranks among the top five leaders in the land transportation region.

AdvantagesDisadvantages
Wide range of services (warehousing, customs clearance, transportation)Services for business clients only
Transportation of large cargoesNo weekend delivery
Advanced logistics management technologiesPrices on the company's website are restricted to authorized users

Kühne & Nagel delivery methods

  • Airfreight
  • Seafreight LCL and FCL
  • Overland

Kühne & Nagel rates

You can find information about the Kühne & Nagel rates here.

Delivery times

Delivery times depend on the type of cargo, the chosen delivery method, and the final destination.

Tracking system

Kühne & Nagel has all the necessary tracking technologies. You can use their website or functional application to get all the information regarding your shipments.

2. Which Courier Service in Germany Should You Choose for Your Business? Experience with Fulfillment-Box.

In the German parcel delivery market, there are many strong players offering various delivery services. To facilitate a more visual comparison and help you choose the optimal courier service, we recommend reviewing the table below. It will allow you to compare the characteristics and conditions provided by different carriers and make an informed decision.

DHLDPDGLSUPSFedExHermesKühne & Nagel
Maximum parcel weight31,5 kg31,5 v40 kg30 kg68 kg31,5 kg1250 kg
Express delivery services+++++++
Delivery beyond Europe++(USA and Canada only)++++
Delivery on weekends++-For an additional fee within some packagesOnly in countries where Saturday is a working day+-
Parcel insuranceup to 500 euroup to 520 euroup to 750 euroup to 510 euro22 euro per kgup to 500 euroSpecial insurance program
Online tracking+++++++
Environmental sustainability+++For an additional fee-Delivery for furniture and household appliances only+
Services for business clients+++++++

It's important to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all solution, and what works for one business may not be suitable for another. Each of the courier services in Germany provides different services at their rates. Some may offer a higher cost but faster delivery, while others may have more affordable prices but longer delivery times. The choice should depend on the needs and preferences of your business. It's important to consider the type of goods, shipping volumes, your customers' expectations, and your budget.

The ability to work with several different delivery services can prove to be an extremely beneficial strategy. Fulfillment-Box has been working with many of the above mentioned parcel service providers in Germany for over 5 years. During this time, our company has gained extensive experience in shipping parcels and shipments both within Germany and across borders, within the EU and worldwide.

Expert commentary from Fulfillment Box:

"Our first choice in terms of speed and quality of delivery within Germany for standard-sized parcels is DHL. For shipping small items, the Warenpost service is more cost-effective. Kühne&Nagel offers fast and reliable delivery services for items such as pallets or large and bulky items such as bathtubs.

DHL Group is the best option for shipping parcels outside Germany to the EU and worldwide. DHL Express guarantees punctual and high-quality international parcel delivery (provided all international shipping regulations are met)."

If you understand the German parcel market and its key players, you can offer your customers a high-quality service. With Fulfillment Box's experience, you get an even faster and more reliable solution to optimize your logistics processes.

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Julia Gordon

AuthorJulia Gordon

Head of the Fulfillment-Box Prep Centers network

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