Freight services in Australia have come a long way over the years. As a Print Services provider, weve seen it first hand
With the emergence of online shopping, delivery and freight companies are facing increasing demands to meet customer expectations for faster, more reliable deliveries that reach clients in a timely manner
As such, businesses need to be aware of the different types of freight services available and how they can best meet their needs.
Written by someone in the printing services business, we will explore the different types of freight services available in Australia and provide a review (based on our experience as a Printing Company) of key players in the industry.
Types of Freight Services
The delivery and freight industry can be broadly divided into two categories: direct freight providers and third-party brokers.
Direct freight providers are companies that own and operate their own fleets of trucks and delivery vehicles. Examples include companies such as Toll, TNT, Direct Freight and Couriers Please.
On the other hand, third-party brokers are companies that act as intermediaries between shippers and freight providers to arrange for shipments. Examples include companies such as Effective Freight, Transdirect, and various other freight brokers.
Reviewing Key Players
When looking for a freight provider to meet your delivery needs, it is important to review the different companies and their respective services. Based on our experience as a print services provider Here are reviews of some of the key players in Australia’s freight industry:
Toll is one of Australia’s largest direct freight providers, with a fleet of more than 1,000 vehicles providing both national and international services.
In addition to offering competitively priced freight services, Toll also provides a range of value-added services such as track and trace, real-time driver tracking and 24/7 customer support.
Best prices /High on time Delivery rate
Toll is the go-to business for cost-effective freight. They are big, and do it all, including Express Bags, Toll Ipec (boxes) and Intermodal. This is great, and as a printing services provider, these guys are our key professional partners.
But, as always, a few things to watch out for. Their Express Bag system is copping some serious competition from Australia Post. The old `Guaranteed overnight delivery’ for bags is pretty much obsolete.
And if you have a regular pickup, and your driver is sick, you need to make sure you book another pickup – even if your regular truckie has told you he has done it for you.
Uh Oh – Something when wrong with my order !
Tracking is great. The biggest challenge you face with Toll is when something goes wrong. Like most others on this list, you have Buckley’s chance of getting anywhere with their Call Centre. They have set answers for questions.. its more of a `frequently asked questions’ page in human format. Find someone in the upscaled issue team, get their direct details, and liaise directly.
Overall Toll can be very good. When they drop the bundle though, they drop i hard and you need to get on to them early
TNT is another popular direct freight provider with a range of express parcel delivery options as well as an extensive road network for larger-scale freight.
They are highly trusted and have been around for years, providing cost-effective and reliable delivery services backed by a strong customer service team.
Very similar to Toll in their offering, some may say almost identical. The difference? Price.
They operate and quote on similar turnarounds, but Toll is just that bit less expensive.
Direct Freight is a Brisbane-based freight company with an impressive fleet of trucks, vans and trailers. With their dedicated network of drivers, they provide fast, reliable and cost-effective delivery solutions across Australia.
Their services range from general freight to tailored door-to-door delivery services – whatever you need, they will do their best to accommodate.
Pricing can be a little higher with Direct…
If you are prepared to pay 10-20% more for your freight, Direct are a great option. They are slightly better, slightly faster and have slightly better systems.. but is it worth that 10-20%. I’ll let you be the judge.
They do have a more tailored approach to Customer Service as they are smaller than Toll/TNT, much does make it easier to get solutions.
Couriers Please is a global express parcel delivery network serving customers in Australia, New Zealand, India and South Africa. They offer a range of delivery services, including same-day delivery and next-day delivery options.
Their network is extensive and they pride themselves on their customer service. As a printing service provider, we have used them and still use them extensively, as they are extremely cost-effective when going from Metro to Metro in the same state, using one box of less than 25kg.
They are also pretty good at small parcels (5kg to 25kg) to other metro cities on the Eastern Seaboard, but if you are sending to Hobart, Darwin or Perth from Melbourne, Sydney or Adelaide – or vice versa – forget it
But the quality of service is good overall.. you may not see your goods delivered in record time, and for the price, you get decent customer satisfaction.
Aramax is a global express and logistics service provider with offices in Australia, New Zealand, India and South Africa. They provide same-day delivery services as well as next-day options to all major cities in the Asia Pacific region.
To be candid, do yourself a favour and leave them alone. Pick-ups booked can take anywhere up to 5 days to get collected. This alone simply makes using them unfeasible.
Once picked up, they are great. It’s getting them to come say hello that is the greatest issue. A competitor of Couriers Please.. Couriers Please are more reliable and cost competitive.
Startrack Express is an Australian delivery company that offers a range of services, including same-day express, overnight express, international express and freight forwarding.
They also offer business solutions such as e-commerce shipping services and customs clearance.
We have used them for specialised job requests rather than daily use as Couriers Please.
Owned by Australia Post, as a printing services provider we used them more as an alternative to Toll/TNT to get better service. About the same level of service, but pricier.
Their delivery rates, however, are competitive and they also offer a range of additional services as mentioned above that may make them a more attractive option for some businesses.
Australia Post is the nation’s premier parcel delivery service provider with an extensive network throughout Australia and New Zealand. They provide same-day express delivery to major cities across Australia and next-day delivery to regional areas.
Affordable Prices when it comes to Parcel Business
For small packages, they offer the lowest rate compared to any other carrier in Australia. For larger packages, they are very competitive and can provide discounts if you use their services regularly.
500 gram, 1KG, 3KG and 5KG Bags are Aussie Post’s Bread and Butter. It also has the advantage of the Bag being the same price no matter where in Australia it goes. Others charge by weight + destination. Australian Post will charge you the same to Melbourne CBD as they would to Kangaroo Island.
For example, if clients ordered Business Cards from us, you would likely see your print order arrive in an OzPost bag. Fast and Effective nation-wide.
Their package tracking service is great too so you can track your parcels from anywhere in the world.
They also have a range of other services such as printing and shipping, international postage, business solutions and more.
Freight brokers are third-party logistics providers who act as intermediaries between shippers and carriers to negotiate the best rates for freight shipments.
Most freight brokers specialize in certain types of freight (such as air or sea freight) and offer services such as route planning, quotations, customs clearance, and document preparation.
Freight Brokers can make a Big Impact to Small Business
This makes them especially attractive to small business, who may not have the volume to get the best rates from carriers on their own. They can tap into a Freight Broker and utilise their buying power
There are many examples to choose from, but the ones you need to look out for are freight brokers with poor customer service and response times. They do not own or drive the trucks or vans – all they do is organise it (and in most cases this organisation is automated)
Make sure Freight Brokers fix problems, and not create them !
So when you do have a problem with one of the carriers they are representing, they better have the contacts and the speed to get it sorted better than anyone else can. If not, they are not worth even looking at – fixing problems when they arise should be their number one priority. If they can’t do this (let’s face it, they don’t do much else) – walk away.
Try Transdirect – Best Support and save money
Transdirect would have to best the best of the current 3rd party brokers out there. They canvas new suppliers themselves, and will always look to get you the best deal with the fastest delivery time.
The Future of Freight
The future of freight is looking bright, with more and more companies embracing the use of technology to streamline the traditional logistics process.
From automated route planning systems that can calculate the most efficient delivery routes within seconds, to tracking devices that provide real-time updates on shipments, there are now a variety of digital solutions that make the entire freight process much easier for businesses and consumers alike.
The industry is also becoming greener, with many carriers embracing the use of electric vehicles in order to reduce their carbon footprint. This is great news for those concerned about sustainability, as it shows that even the most mundane aspects of business can be made more efficient and environmentally friendly.
So who should I use ?
As a print services provider, we use multiple carriers based on cost, turnaround and service ability.
This review is all advice based on our experiences as a printer for those that can deliver a large amount of freight cost-effectively.
When customers order printing, be it flyers, brochures, posters, stickers, manuals, a T Shirt or promotional goods, nothing changes – clients want it delivered yesterday.
So look at your product range, and ask your team – which method should we use shipping for with this item? Is this freight half price but the deliver slightly longer. This one gets there in record timebut ruined our goods, and as such, our brand.
Tes, test, test… you’ll get used to the good and bad, remote zones, and who provides quality service and are delivering on time. I suggest a mix of both going direct to a provider and adding in a 3rd party. Book the freight yourself in your business for a while so you get the feel for it. Youll soon fin ou which company fulfills their promise and who does not!