What time do I have to book by for a collection today?
The cut off time for Same Day Collection (with Next Day delivery) varies between courier networks, but it is usually between 11am and 1pm. Not many couriers offer this facility and more rural parts of the UK will be subject to the earliest cut off times because couriers need more advanced warning of the booking in order to travel there. Therefore, collections from remote areas may need to be booked for the following day. If you live in a remote part of the UK, we advise you call us to check your Same Day collection can go through; we'll check with the courier.
Our system will only display the Same Day Collection service if the cut off time has not yet passed and if it is available, so you'll not be able to book the service when it is not.
If you miss the cut off time you can arrange a Same Day collection and delivery.
Can I have my item collected and delivered on the Same Day?
You can have your item collected and delivered on the same day with a premium service. The sooner you get in touch with us for a quote, the sooner we can get your delivery on its way.
Can I choose a collection window?
Collection times are all day Monday to Friday. However, if you are not able to arrange collection from a different address and can't wait home, you can use a Drop Off service instead. Drop off at a time that suits you.
Can I book a collection in advance?
You can book collection for up to a week in advance of today's date. In your list of quote results you will see an option for Collection Date. Underneath this date is a drop down menu with a list of days for you to choose from.
If you have a large or unusual shipment that needs organising in advance, contact our sales team for a bespoke quote, so that we can get everything in place for you.
What does Business Collection Only mean?
You'll notice that some of the couriers we work with specify "Business Collections Only" on select services, but businesses come in all shapes and sizes. You can book a business collection if your address is:
- The registered address of a company or
- A VAT registered address or
- A location where you pay business rates or
- A place where employees arrive to work or
- A place for which you hold Public Liability Insurance
Rules for international shipments
The definition for international shipments moving outside of the EU is strict. Your goods will pass through Customs and may be stopped for inspection. In these instances your business will need to be identifiable and the nature of the import or export clarified in line with rules set in place by Customs. You'll find all the help you need as a business in our International FAQs section - pay close attention to the Commercial Invoice advice and related information, since this is the paperwork that gets your shipment through.
Rules for UK domestic shipments
The definition for 'business' can be more relaxed for domestic shipments. Essentially, it means that someone will be at the collection address during working hours and available to hand over your collection, since a specific collection time cannot be given. You will also understand how to package and label your parcel correctly to make sure your delivery is ready for transportation through a courier network, and have good knowledge of how the courier system works: How your goods are handled in transit.
If you feel this explanation does not cover your business type and would like to check if you can use a Business Collections Only service, contact us with details of your business and collection address.
When will the courier arrive and what happens if they don't?
Collection can be any time during the day and, unfortunately, we cannot often get information from couriers when they are out en-route or provide an ETA on the day. More detailed information for each service is provided in the Service Information in our quote results at the time of booking, but - in reality - couriers can work earlier than the times stated and often work much later in to the evening up until 7pm, so please don't panic!
Collections are not automatically re-booked. If your parcel or pallet is not collected you must let us know straight away, so that we can investigate the reason for non-collection with the courier. If the courier is found to be at fault, we will re-book for the next day or another day from the same address or from a different one, unless you prefer for the order to be cancelled and refunded. Where a non-collection occurs because of a customer error, there may be a necessary surcharge applied to the order to cover the courier expense.
Most couriers will not take a parcel if there is not somebody at the collection address to hand it to them in person. This is because the wrong parcel may be taken in error, for example. If needs be, arrange to have your parcel collected from a different address.
If something happens en-route to delay the courier, be it a traffic jam, vehicle breakdown, customer issue, or other unforeseeable problem, you might be surprised to learn that the driver often has no way of contacting the customer. This problem exists not only in the courier service industry, but across all industries involved in shipping. Courier networks are working on solutions to this problem.
No courier service is guaranteed.
Which areas are not included in UK Mainland delivery?
UK mainland courier services do not include places not on the main island: the Isle of Man, Isle of Wight, Isles of Scilly (including remote areas of Cornwall), Channel Islands - Guernsey and Jersey, Northern Ireland, and the Scottish Highlands. Therefore, when you book a courier service to or from these areas you will need to use the drop down menu to move away from the default of "United Kingdom (Mainland)" and select your location eg. "UK: Isle of Man."
To help you identify non-mainland locations within the UK, here is information about the relevant postcodes:
Guernsey postcards are GY; Jersey is JE.
PO is the Isle of Wight, IM the Isle of Man and some TR postcodes the Isles of Scilly (some TR postcodes are for Cornwall and the mainland).
The restriction includes Northern Ireland and postcodes there are BT.
The areas that perhaps cause the most controversy are the Scottish Highlands. Although they are only marginally separated from the mainland, which is an area of contention itself, PA and PH postcodes are excluded from the mainland, as are IV and HS postcodes, KA and KW, plus ZE. This is simply because these areas take more time to reach. Since they are also not so densely populated, parcel collections or parcel delivery is less frequent and therefore becomes a more expensive journey due to lack of volume.
These UK mainland restrictions are defined by DHL courier services and may differ slightly with other courier companies, like Yodel, TNT and Parcelforce who we also work with. However, the definitions for UK mainland are fairly standard. Unfortunately, it means higher shipping costs to places in Scotland, which is an unpopular reality to many. P4D is not able to influence this cost for our customers, we can only work alongside these restrictions.
The goods news is that parcel delivery within the European Union is just as easy as sending a parcel in the UK. Your delivery won't need to pass through customs or risk being stopped or delayed on its journey.
Can I arrange a time for delivery?
If you need your parcel to arrive by a certain time, say first thing in the morning or before lunch time, you can opt for a timed delivery. These are premium services available across a number of different courier networks.
All of the options available to you will be presented in your quote results, dependent on the size, weight, and destination for your parcel. You can sort quote results by delivery date, just click the arrow at the top of the list.
How can I track my delivery?
To track your parcel or pallet, all you need is your P4D order number:
Tracking does not begin until your item has been collected
Where to find your order number
Your P4D order number (eg P4D123456) will show on the order confirmation page at the end of the booking process. We'll also send an order confirmation email and a link to this same page. If for some reason you can't find your P4D order number contact our Customer Support team on this link with the collection postcode, so they can find your order details.
What happens if my item is not delivered?
Delivery on a standard service is any time between 9.00am-5.30pm and unfortunately we cannot often get information from couriers when they are out en-route. This means we can't offer you an ETA on the day. In reality, couriers often deliver much later in to the evening up until 7pm, so please don't panic!
Thankfully, the majority of deliveries go through without a hitch, but sometimes a delivery fails and this can be for a number of reasons. If you missed a delivery and would like it re-booked, we can arrange this for you. If it is presumed that no attempt for delivery was made to the delivery address, we need to find out why. Let us know straight away and we will contact the relevant courier network on your behalf and get back to you with their response. We will see the problem through to its full conclusion.
Access to the address
Courier services deliver hundreds of thousands of parcels daily and their delivery vans are pretty big. It's important that drivers have clear access to the addresses you've given them for both collection and delivery. They will struggle to get down narrow roads or driveways with no leeway or under low archways, for example. We don't want you to experience any delays on your parcel delivery, so if you think there might be a problem with access, arrange for your parcel to be delivered to another address.
It is not often that parcels go missing altogether and so we do not jump to that immediate conclusion. First, we will contact the courier to find out if there is a reason for the non-delivery, whether this is because they could not deliver for some reason or perhaps tried to deliver, but nobody heard the door. We'll let you know as soon as we have all the facts.
No courier service is guaranteed.
What about weekends and Bank Holidays?
Saturday delivery options are available. They are more expensive than options for week day delivery, so will appear further down in our list of quote results.
The option for a Saturday delivery will not appear in our quote results on Friday afternoons because the cut-off time to book a Saturday delivery has passed. At this point, the only option would be a Same Day collection and delivery for a Friday.
There are no collections on Saturdays.
Sundays and Bank Holidays
Couriers do not collect or deliver on Sundays or Bank Holidays.
What happens to my order if it snows?
We explain the knock on effect of snow on our dedicated snow page.
Is there an age limit for delivery?
In theory, there is an age limit for delivery. No courier company is meant to leave a delivery with a person under the age of 18 years. This is because they do not know the contents of the delivery and, therefore, the driver should ask to see ID from the person receiving the parcel if they are not convinced the person is old enough to accept it.
However, rules on age limits are set by individual courier companies and so policies will change from courier to courier. Businesses delivering products like alcohol will make it a condition of the booking that the recipient must be proven to be over 18 and this can be printed on the label. If this instruction is not printed on the label, enforcement may not automatically be put in place. Ultimate responsibility for checking ID has to lie with the driver under the specific terms of their employment with the courier company.
What is a manifest?
A manifest is a paper receipt. Ordinarily, couriers use digital devices that contain all the information they need to carry out their collections and deliveries each day and these are used to take signatures upon delivery. When a digital device is not available a manifest is used in its place as an alternative.
Couriers try to avoid using manifests because a paper receipt is less effective than a digital scanner where tracking information is required quickly.
Have we missed something important? Email us with your question, so we can add it to the list.