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Shipping with Hermes – Choosing the right courier for your UK e-commerce business is one of the most important business decisions you’ll make. Taking plenty of time to do your research is vital. You need to consider costs, service options, company reputation, customer service provision and much more. 

In this guide on shipping from the UK with Hermes we take a look at the up to date and detailed information about the types of domestic and international shipping services that Hermes currently offers. It will inform you about pricing structures, additional shipping and tracking services. It also serves as a guide for other important considerations, including how to manage shipping dangerous or hazardous goods. 

But before we start, if you’d like to take a look at more couriers than just Hermes, feel free to download our complete Courier Comparison Guide 2021. Compare shipping services, costs, pros, cons, and more for; Royal Mail, Hermes, FedEx, DPD, DHL Parcel, DHL Express, UPS, and Pacelforce.

Read on to discover the top facts about Hermes and whether they are the right UK courier for your e-commerce business. The article covers: 

Shipping with Hermes – Company profile

hermes shipments

Hermes is a well-respected and well-known delivery company. Here are some of the key facts about Hermes. 

Hermes is a global trade and logistics provider and is part of the Otto Group. It is the largest dedicated parcel delivery service in the UK. The company works with 80% of the UK’s top retail brands including Asos, John Lewis and Next. Founded in 1972, Hermes began operating in the UK in 2000. The company’s UK operations are in Leeds and the largest UK sorting hub is located in Rugby. Hermes headquarters are based in Hamburg, Germany.

Hermes delivers to over 190 countries from the UK, serving both B2B and B2C markets. It has over 15,500 employees worldwide. Hermes delivers more than 400 million parcels every year and in 1980 celebrated the delivery of its 100 millionth parcel. On 30 November 2018 Hermes processed a record 1.9 million parcels in just one day. 

The Hermes brand includes a range of companies that operate along the retail value chain. This includes fulfilment services, import and export and parcel distribution. Hermes is committed to good business ethics and corporate social responsibility (CSR). This includes the strict prohibition of child labour, modern slavery and human trafficking. Hermes has strong sustainability credentials. It has held the ISO 14001 certification for 19 years (the international environmental standard that mandates continual improvement). It has also invested heavily in electric and low-emission vehicles. 

How can Hermes help my e-commerce business?

Hermes enjoys considerable success as a UK shipping provider. Here are some of the main reasons to choose Hermes as your shipping provider. 

Hermes is the largest shipping provider in the UK. The company has excellent reach delivering to over 190 countries from the UK. Hermes controls costs by employing non-professional couriers who use their own vehicles. Hermes deliver parcels in the UK within two to five days with delivery times depending on which service you choose. 

Customers can choose from having a parcel collected from their door or dropping off at an official Hermes ParcelShop, which offers good flexibility to both businesses and their customers. There are 4,500 Hermes ParcelShops nationwide, most of which are situated on high streets or places designed to be convenient to the customer. Hermes ParcelShops are open longer hours than the Post Office with over 80% of Hermes ParcelShops open until 10 pm. They also offer free parking. Customers can make extra savings by taking parcels to the ParcelShop drop off points, or to one of Hermes Lockers. 

Businesses can link their eBay, Amazon, Volo, Linnworks, Zensotres and Shopify accounts with Hermes which is a good service for e-commerce retailers who send a lot of parcels as it can save time and money. Prices for deliveries are available within seconds from the Hermes website. Customers can easily track packages using the Hermes website or app. 

The 16 digit tracking codes can be shared with the customer so they can keep an eye on the progress of their shipment.

Free insurance cover is available up to £20. For a small fee, you can increase this to £300. 

Hermes is ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 accredited. These standards are for quality management, environmental management and occupational health and safety management systems respectively. 

Shipping with Hermes nationally

Hermes has a good reputation as a UK shipping provider. They focus on providing the flexible and cost-effective services that e-commerce businesses need. This makes Hermes a good choice for UK e-commerce businesses and retailers. 

Hermes standard shipping services

Hermes offers three choices for sending parcels in the UK. 

Hermes ParcelShops

Hermes ParcelShops is a perfect service for people who are out during the day. They are also useful for customers who don’t have a safe or convenient place to leave their parcel. Using the ParcelShop is cheaper than using a Hermes Courier service. 

Hermes ParcelShops are open longer hours than Post Offices. Over 80% of Hermes ParcelShops are open until 10 pm. This gives customers excellent flexibility for the time they want to drop off. ParcelShops are open seven days a week. Every ParcelShops offers free parking. 

Hermes has 4,500 ParcelShops around the UK. They are conveniently situated on high streets or local business parks. Hermes says that 9 out of 10 people in the UK live within two miles of a Hermes ParcelShop. You can also collect shipments from the Hermes ParcelShops. 

Need to print a label? This can be done in the majority of the ParcelShops. Over 3000 of ParcelShops offer a free printing facility or you can use the Hermes app in the store. You can print labels by requesting a unique QR code on the Hermes website then simply scan the device at the ParcelShop to print the label and complete your drop off. 

Hermes lockers

Hermes Lockers are a convenient method for dropping off your shipments. Using Hermes Lockers is cheaper than using a Hermes Courier service. They are located in places that are handy for the customer and are open 24/7/365. Hermes Lockers are very secure and have CCTV coverage. This gives you peace of mind and protects your shipments.

Hermes offers more than 800 locker facilities throughout the UK. Lockers vary in sizes. The largest measures an impressive 66cm x 41cm x 38cm. As with all Hermes shipping from the UK, the entire journey is trackable. So, you have good visibility of your shipment’s progress. 

Hermes courier collection

Hermes partners with more than 18,000 independent courier drivers worldwide. The drivers use their own vehicles which helps Hermes keep their costs down. Hermes couriers can do door to door collections or deliveries from any commercial or residential UK address. They can also collect from a nominated safe place. Using a Hermes Courier costs a little more than dropping off at a ParcelShop or using a Locker. 

To book a Hermes courier, simply enter your details on the website. You can book a collection up to seven days in advance. The earliest you can book it is the following day. Next day collection requires you booking the courier before 10 pm. Couriers can pick up between 8 am and 8 pm. Customers are advised of a 2-hour time slot when they can expect pick up. 

If you send a lot of parcels from the UK, you can link your Hermes account with eBay, Amazon and Shopify. 

Hermes additional shipping services from the UK

Shipping with Hermes UK Economy

The Hermes UK Economy shipping service is a domestic courier collection service. Hermes UK Economy ships within three days. The maximum length for parcels on Hermes UK Economy is 115cm and the maximum weight is 15kg. Delivery is tracked throughout the entire journey, giving you and your customers peace of mind. 

Important note: The Hermes UK Economy shipping service does not automatically come with a signature collection service. You can opt-in to this service by adding an extra 80p onto your invoice. 

Shipping with Hermes ParcelShop

Hermes ParcelShop delivery service is a great option for people who want a convenient, low-cost service. Simply drop off the parcel at one of the 4500 ParcelShops across the UK. Hermes UK Economy ships within three days. It is important to note that transit times start when the shipment has been collected from the ParcelShop. If the driver has already made a collection on this day, your parcel will start its journey the following day. 

This is a courier collection service. The maximum length for sending parcels with Hermes UK Economy is 115cm. The maximum weight for parcels travelling on the Hermes UK Economy service is 15kg. Delivery is tracked throughout the entire journey. 

Important note: If you want to have your parcels signed for, you need to pay 80p extra. If you don’t include this option, the courier will not get a signature. 

Shipping with Hermes Parcel Shop Next Day

As the name suggests, the Hermes ParcelShop delivery service is just like the ParcelShop service. The main difference is your parcels will arrive in around one working day. This is not a guaranteed service. However, it is the fastest ParcelShop service. The same weight and length requirements apply. You can also track the parcel from door to door. If you want a signature on arrival, you need to pay 80p extra. 

Important note: Transit time begins once the parcel has been collected from the store and parcels must be dropped off by 12 noon for the ParcelShop Next Day delivery service. Parcels received after noon will be processed the following working day. 

Shipping with Hermes Light and Large

This service is great for vendors who send large packages from the UK. Hermes Light and Large delivery service can accept packages up to 30kg in weight and 180cm in length. Hermes Light and Large is a collection service. It is only available in the UK. As with other Hermes UK delivery services, you can track the whole journey. 

Important note: Hermes Light and Large service doesn’t include the courier obtaining a signature on delivery. The package may be left unattended at its destination. 

Shipping with Hermes NI Economy

This UK shipping service from Hermes is for vendors who need to send packages to Northern Ireland. Hermes NI Economy offers the same service as the standard Hermes Economy Service. Delivery is expected within three days. Parcels up to 15kg in weight are accepted. Parcels up to 115cm in length are accepted. Hermes NI Economy is a courier collection service. The whole journey is trackable. 

Shipping with Hermes internationally

hermes international shipping

Hermes understands the need for UK e-commerce businesses to ship their goods with a reliable and flexible international shipping provider. Their international shipping services are as simple and straightforward as their UK shipping services. 

Hermes offers the following international shipping services from the UK. 

Hermes International Economy shipping services from the UK by courier collection service

You can send a parcel with Hermes internationally from the UK by courier. Delivery takes between three and seven days. Simply head to the Hermes website to get a quote. Make sure you have the dimensions of your package(s) close to hand. Hermes ParcelShops can only accept packages up to 115cm in length. Hermes ParcelShops can only accept packages up to 15kg in weight. 

Once you have a quote, you can then arrange a convenient time for the courier to collect your parcel. The Hermes courier will then arrange delivery for your parcel. If your parcel is going to Denmark, Finland or Sweden, it won’t be delivered to the recipient’s address. It will be delivered to the nearest post office or local shop. The whole journey is trackable. So, you have full visibility of your parcel’s progress. 

Hermes International shipping services from the UK by ParcelShop drop off

Another option for shipping internationally with Hermes is dropping your package at a Hermes ParcelShop. Delivery takes between three and seven days. This method can be more convenient for some businesses. It also costs less than using a courier. Hermes ParcelShops can only accept packages up to 115cm in length. Hermes ParcelShops can only accept packages up to 15kg in weight. 

Important note: Using a Hermes ParcelShop is a drop off service only. Hermes will not attempt to get a delivery signature. The parcel may be left unattended at the delivery point. 

There are 4,500 Hermes ParcelShops across the UK. These ParcelShops are conveniently located, so there is always one closeby. They also offer free parking and packaging services. Following drop off, Hermes will then arrange delivery of your parcel. If your parcel is going to Denmark, Finland or Sweden, it will be delivered to a nominated post office or local shop, rather than the recipient’s address. 

The entire journey is trackable. This gives you peace of mind and means you can see how your parcel is progressing. 

How long does it take to send parcels internationally with Hermes from the UK?

Sending packages internationally from the UK with Hermes takes between three to seven working days. 

Hermes shipments for your webshop

Hermes provides good services for business customers. This includes e-commerce businesses. To qualify for a Hermes Business Account, you need to send over 150 parcels per week

Hermes Business Account

  • Discounted rates.
  • Full tracked services.
  • Personalised collections.
  • Dedicated account manager.
  • Customers have the option to notify Hermes prior to delivery to leave a parcel with a neighbour. Or in a safe place
  • Specialist UK-based customer service team.

For more information on your particular requirements, contact Hermes customer service. You can also visit their website. 

E-commerce Integrations with Hermes

Hermes has partnered with some of the world’s leading e-commerce platforms. Linking your Hermes account with your e-commerce provider can save you time and resources. 

Which e-commerce sites does the Hermes integrate with?

Hermes integrates with the following e-commerce platforms: 

  • Amazon.
  • Shopify.
  • eBay.
  • Linnworks.
  • Volo.
  • Zenstores.

How do I integrate my e-commerce sites with my Hermes Account?

Integrating your Hermes accounts with your e-commerce site is easy. Simply log into your account and connect with the e-commerce marketplace(s) that you use. 

Some of the features of Hermes e-commerce integrations include: 

  1. The ability to set preference with tracking, sender information, collection points, parcel contents, insurance cover and signature on delivery. 
  2. The option to send multiple parcels
  3. Simple address and data upload via CSV
  4. Immediate payment and label printing.  

Restricted items

The definition of dangerous or hazardous goods is items or substances that could present a risk to health, safety, property or the environment. There are nine types of dangerous or hazardous goods. These include: 

  1. Explosives ie. firearms or flares.
  2. Flammable gases i.e camping gas. 
  3. Non-flammable gasses i.e compressed oxygen.
  4. Toxic gas i.e carbon monoxide.
  5. Flammable liquids i.e paints. 
  6. Flammable solids i.e matches.
  7. Substances which are liable to spontaneous combustion i.e phosphorus.
  8. Substances which emit a flammable gas when in contact with water i.e calcium carbide.
  9. Oxidisers i.e fertiliser.
  10. Oxygen peroxides i.e fibreglass repair kits.
  11. Corrosives ie. bleach. 
  12. Toxic substances i.e pesticides.
  13. Infectious substances i.e blood samples.
  14. Radioactive materials i.e smoke detectors.
  15. Miscellaneous dangerous goods i.e magnets. 

If you are in doubt about whether your goods are dangerous or hazardous it is important to check before you send. You can find out more on the UK Government dangerous goods webpage. You can also ask your supplier for a Safety Data Sheet which will show you if the item is classified as hazardous. 

Packaging dangerous or hazardous goods well is vital when shipping from the UK. If you fail to do this, you could put others in danger. It could also result in delays at customs if you are shipping internationally or your deliveries might not get there at all. In addition, you could incur fines. You can see the full list of on items that cannot send on Hermes prohibited items webpage

Hermes are experts in shipping dangerous or hazardous goods from the UK. Hermes is ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 accredited. These standards are for quality management, environmental management and occupational health and safety management systems respectively. Hermes has held these standards since 2011.

Important note: don’t forget that sending prohibited items will make any Hermes insurance you have null and void. It could also affect other insurance covers you have. 

Shipping with Hermes – Tracking

Hermes offers a comprehensive tracking service for UK packages. This includes courier pickups and drop-offs at Hermes ParcelShops and lockers. The entire journey is trackable, from the point of drop off to when it reaches its destination. 

Tracking your parcel with Hermes when shipping from the UK is easy. Simply type your 16 digit tracking number or your eight digit calling card number into the Hermes tracking tool. Customers receive the 16 digit number when the package is registered. The eight digit code is given when a courier fails to deliver a parcel due to the recipient being unavailable. The courier will then leave a calling card with the number on. 

The method of locating your package on the tracking systems is the same, whether you are tracking a parcel you’re receiving or returning. The method is also the same for tracking an international package with Hermes. The search engine is located on the Hermes international tracking tool.

Hermes’s mobile app

hermes tracking

Hermes mobile app is a great way of managing your Hermes account 24/7/365 from anywhere in the world. The Hermes app is available from the Apple Store or Google Play. 

Here are some of the features available on the Hermes Mobile App

  1. Send parcels, arrange pickups, pay, track and divert packages with just a few clicks. 
  2. Send messages to your courier to update them on important information such as a change of time you are going to be in. 
  3. Send a photo to your courier with details of delivery instructions. 
  4. Receive and store QR codes for printing labels in a ParcelShop. 
  5. Manage parcel returns.

Hermes play

Hermes customers can personalise deliveries by adding a video message on their Hermes Play tool. You can do this in three simple steps: 

  1. When booking a delivery, select ‘video message’ from the add-on section. 
  2. Record your message. You can do this straight away or later on. 
  3. Enter the details of the person you are sending to. 

Your recipient will get an email from Hermes telling them that a parcel is on the way and that it contains a video message. You can view the message at any time on the Hermes mobile app. 

Using Hermes UK shipping with Alexa and Google Assistant

Hermes offers connected voice services via Alexa and Google Assistant. The app for Alexa is called Hermes Skill. The app for Google Assistant is called Google Action. You can download these free apps from the Amazon and Google app stores, respectively. Both apps understand thousands of phrases and questions. They can answer questions on where your package is, where your nearest ParcelShop, what the ParcelShop’s opening hours are when your parcel will arrive and much more. You can also book returns, request diversions and tell the courier you won’t be in.  

UK Delivery Signature and proof of delivery services from Hermes

Hermes understands the need for flexibility when providing UK shipping services. 

Here are the options for Hermes UK signature and proof of delivery services: 

  1. Leave the package with a neighbour. The courier will obtain a signature from someone at the delivery dress or a nominated neighbour. 
  2. Signature capture at the original delivery address. 

Hermes proof of delivery services can be used with Next Day, Standard or Sunday Delivery services. Customers can view the recipient’s signatures via Hermes Corporate Web Tracking. 

Conclusion

We hope this guide to Shipping from the UK with Hermes has been useful. There is a great deal of information here, so a lot to think about. Your shipping provider is one of the first points of contact you have with your customers. When it goes right, you stand a good chance of increasing customer loyalty. If it goes wrong, you could lose customers and risk the dreaded one-star reviews on Trustpilot and other review sites. 

Don’t rush into making a decision. Talk to your peers and contacts about which services they use. Find out why they like them and any problems they have had. If you need clarification with any of the services, then don’t hesitate to call their sales or customer service teams. 

When you’re thinking about the right UK shipping service for your business, make sure you think about your future requirements as well as those you have right now. Take into account the needs of your customers. What changes might happen with your business? How might customer behaviours change? Are you hoping to expand into new territories or start trading new types of products? Take a look at the UK delivery services that your competitors are offering. Make sure the choice you offer your customers is as broad as possible. And that your costs are competitive. Are there any other services that might give you the edge over companies? 

We can’t stress enough that choosing the best delivery service is vital for your success. A good delivery service promotes customer loyalty. It shows you care about providing the best service possible to your customers. By choosing a reputable and well-run UK delivery company, you’ll have your customers talking about your service for all the right reasons. 

Need help deciding?

If you’re in the market for a UK-based shipping partner to grow your online retail business, then Hermes is one of many options you can consider. But if you’re still not sure which courier is the best fit for you and your customers, then try checking out our other useful guides to UK couriers. Here you have the links:

11 Comments

  • Virginia Durham says:

    Not sure about Hermes, sent a parcel 21st December to Cwnbran, it was my granddaughter’s Christmas present. Lu Lu has not received it yet, even though I have sent lots of emails and writing to Hollie (non human) no reply😪

    • Stephanie Butcher says:

      Hi Virginia,

      I’m sorry to hear you’re experiencing this delay with your package, and that you haven’t been able to reach anyone. Have you tried directly calling Hermes? On their website, they state they have a dedicated contact number: “We have a dedicated phone line to our UK contact centre for customers sending parcels via Hermes: 0330 808 5456. Lines are open 8.30am-4pm Monday to Friday and 8.30am-2pm Saturday.” I wish you luck, and hope your grand-daughter gets her Christmas present soon!

  • Robert woollard says:

    Warning do not use hermes! They have lost 2 big parcels in last year. 4 have arrived with goods damaged inside. They denied any claim as they it should have been checked on arrival. Yet if you try and check the driver goes nuts as he has not got the time as he has loads to do. And if you do actually manage to speak to some one, they fob you off. They just say contact seller! Customer service is a joke. Really unhelpful. I know several people who have had problems with them. And now with lockdown they ring bell and leave it on doorstep. But they if they go to wrong address, you have had it. Their Trust pilot rating is atrocious. 1.1 rating. Hundreds and hundreds of complaints. I have left 3. If it was me i would take away their licence to operate!! You have been warned.

  • James Kim says:

    I don’t why people even consider Hermes for eCommerce courier service. Non-UK based eCommerce operators should avoid using Hermes at any cost if they care for their customs. I have had repeated disappointments with angers for shipments sent from China for my purchases at AliExpress. Not delivering for weeks since their arrivals in the UK is common event. Once case, tracking record showed it was delivered at 0:12 AM and I found it outside my door. I asked the seller in China to complaint about my case not delivered for weeks then this happened. Delivering at 0:12 AM without even knocking the door. Another case, it wasn’t delivered for weeks. Tracking record showed it was cleared customs but somehow it wasn’t delivered for weeks. Hermes has no e-mail address or contact channels for shipments sent from overseas but to be delivered by Hermes when they arrive in the UK. It turned up when I ordered a book at eBay UK. Courier turned up with international package together. It looked to me that Hermes was waiting for any domestic order item for delivery to me and holding international package. No channel to make any complaint in the cases I have experienced. To save money, least human involved, almost non-existing customer service channel is used by Hermes. Hermes offers low tariff but its service quality is almost non-existence, especially international shipments coming to the UK. I would pay a bit more for quality of service. AliExpress has almost like Hermes. Human contact is almost impossible. Its customer service is based on rubbish quality ‘AI’ but frankly it is just FAQ. Anything out of its FAQ listed situation, you have no choice but go along with its terrible, its own rules. It has no understanding of individual case situation. Hermes does the same thing. If your order is to be delivered by Hermes, you should think it will turn up when Hermes wants to deliver or never get delivered in worst case. I do not recommend Hermes to any non-UK based eCommerce firms as it will increase complaints, frustration and lose customers.

  • Raman Sangha says:

    One of the worst courier service. if you send 10 parcels a week they will ensure to lose 3 parcels and wont give you any reliable answer. Worst customer service, collection service often misses collection on Saturday and Monday’s that result in late deliveries (if they wont lose it), negative reviews and feedbacks.

    Right now we have around 15 claims open for Feburary deliveries as these are not delivered yet. Parcel on it’s way, delayed for 24 hours that’s the only message.

    Hermes use freelancers using their own vehicles and I believe they nick parcels as they are not committed to their company.

    In addition, private car freelancers smoke in their car and your parcels smell of smoke and cigarettes.

    Use UPS, DPD, DHL or RoyalMail. These are little bit costly but are more specific and reliable.

    Thanks and Kind Regards,

  • Terence MCCRORY says:

    I ordered from qvc . I didn’t know they were using hermes. If I had known I would not have ordered. First they said they tried to deliver. I was in. Then I got an email saying they would try the following day. They did not. I got back to qvc who said the parcel had gone missing and would I like a replacement or a refund. I would like a replacement if they used another courier if not a refund. They are sending me a replacement by hermes with a stipulation that it must be signed for. So let’s see how this goes. Oh before I go one time I was getting a parcel the guy delivering it could not speak ENGLISH so I guess he was doing his deliveries through SAT NAV.

    • Stephanie Butcher says:

      Hi Terence,

      We’re sorry to hear you experienced issues with Hermes with your delivery. I hope the next time works out, and if you continue to have issues, then you could consider contacting Hermes directly. On their website, they state the following: “We have a dedicated phone line to our UK contact centre for customers sending parcels via Hermes: 0330 808 5456. Lines are open 8.30am-4pm Monday to Friday and 8.30am-2pm Saturday.” I hope this helps!

  • Kieran Arigho says:

    Hi, you very kindly collect a parcel for delivery return to Latvia, and charged a fair sum to this. You also charged my additional insurance to cover the value of the content. Whilst you advise the parcel has been delivered (via app) the supplier insist it has not. Your bot can’t provide signature verification. Numbers I’ve used to contact Hermes go into a black hole. Please can somebody contact me to help resolve this issue of pay on the insurance

    • Stephanie Butcher says:

      Hi Kieran,

      To give you some more information, we are Sendcloud – a shipping platform tool that e-commerce stores use to help optimise their logistics strategy. I unfortunately can’t find your contact details in our user base, but if you are a Sendcloud user experiencing this issue, then I ask if you could please contact our Customer Support team so they can help you directly with this issue. However, if you are not one of our customers but you’re looking to contact Hermes directly, unfortunately all I can supply is the following contact details for myHermes UK: https://www.myhermes.co.uk/help-and-support/contact-us

      Wishing you luck with solving this issue!

  • Lilian Chiamaka says:

    Hello,
    I sent a parcel on 30/03/2022 but it is yet to be delivered. I have valuable items in that parcel and I can’t afford to loose them. I reside in Gillingham and would like to visit the hermes depot near me to show the picture of my parcel.
    .

    • Stephanie Butcher says:

      Hi Lilian,

      To give you some information, we are Sendcloud, a shipping software that helps connect e-commerce retailers to carriers. If you are a customer of Sendcloud and you are looking for a shipment you dispatched with Hermes through our platform, please contact our Support Team through your account to begin an investigation. The support team will hopefully be able to help you solve the issue. If you have privately sent an item with Hermes (so not with the use of Sendcloud), then you will need to contact Hermes directly to look further into this situation.

      Wishing you all the best. Kind Regards,
      Steph

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