The top ranked courier services for small businesses revealed

SmartCompany, September 14 2016:

StarTrack has come out on top in Canstar Blue’s latest satisfaction rankings for small business courier services, after scoring multiple five-star ratings from a survey of small business owners and managers.

StarTrack is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Australia Post and this is the first time Canstar Blue has broken out the business separately in its small business courier services survey.

While Australia Post topped the list in last year’s rankings, StartTrack pulled ahead of its parent company this year with a five-star overall satisfaction score.

Australia Post, DHL and Fastway Couriers are next in line, with each business receiving an overall satisfaction rating of four-stars, followed by Toll with three stars.

StarTrack was given five-star ratings across multiple areas, including value for money, speed of delivery, pick up service, its call centre and problem resolution. It scored a four-star rating for reliability.

Australia Post scored highest for reliability, while also picking up five-star ratings for value for money and problem resolution. Small business owners and managers gave Australia Post four stars for speed of delivery, pick up services and its call centre.

The ratings are drawn from a survey, commissioned by Canstar Blue and conducted by Colmar Brunton, of 800 small business owners and decision makers, which was finalised in August this year.

Only ratings from those in the survey group who had used a courier services for work purposes in the past 12 months are included in the data, meaning the sample size is smaller at 485 people.

However, the Canstar Blue ratings do not include all providers operating in the market for small business courier services as brands need to have received a minimum of 30 responses from the small business owners and managers to be included.

Canstar Blue editor Simon Downes told SmartCompany some survey respondents provided qualitative feedback about instances where they were less than satisfied with a courier service provider and what came through from the feedback was the importance of service reliability.

“People are just determined that the service has to be reliable,” Downes says.

“They don’t necessarily mind paying a good amount of money for, provided there is reliability.”

A spokesperson for Australia Post told SmartCompany the mail carrier is “delighted” to come in at the top of the Canstar Blue rankings.

“Australia Post and StarTrack form Australia’s largest parcels, freight and logistics provider, and we take great pride in bring able to deliver on the needs of our customers of all sizes,” the spokesperson said.

Canstar Blue’s courier services for small business rankings: 

Rated brands Overall satisfaction Reliability Value for money Speed of delivery Pick up service Call centre Problem resolution
StarTrack 5 stars 4 stars 5 stars 5 stars 5 stars 5 stars 5 stars
Australia Post 4 stars 5 stars 5 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 5 stars
DHL 4 stars 3 stars 4 stars 4 stars 3 stars 5 stars 3 stars
Fastway Couriers 4 stars 4 stars 5 stars 4 stars 4 stars N/A N/A
Toll 3 stars 3 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 3 stars 3 stars

Small businesses shopping around for the best deal

Canstar Blue also asked small business owners and decision makers how loyal they are to courier service providers.

Close to 60% of survey respondents (59%) said they always use the same service, suggesting there is a portion of the market that will shop around when it comes to finding the best service provider.

Downes says this is further backed up by the finding that only one in four survey respondents have a contractual arrangement with a particular courier provider, with three in four respondents preferring to have the flexibility to “pick and choose” between providers.

One business owner who shops around for the best service is Jo Scard, managing director of communications agency Fifty Acres.

While Scard says Fifty Acres does use the courier services of Australia Post, she told SmartCompany her business is just as likely to find and use a local courier in the location it needs something delivered in.

“If I think about the way we work, we’re a virtual agency with no actual office and we’ve got 12 staff … in regional areas, Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra,” Scard says.

“We’re couriering things from one office to another.”

As a communications firm, Fifty Acres also regularly uses courier services as part of launch events for clients and Scard says this is one example of when it often pays to work with a smaller provider. While she says the tracking capability of the larger providers can be useful in this situations, local providers tend to be able to package deals and more personalised service.

“They often take more care,” she says.

Scard believes that individual consumers and businesses are becoming more comfortable with the process of outsourcing and courier businesses stand to benefit from this trend.

“You can outsource whatever you want,” she says.

“If you’re a small business, quite honestly, why wouldn’t you develop a relationship with a micro courier?

“You can develop a trusted relationship with someone and there’s no reasons why the service would not be as good or even better.”