Welcome to wiki This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!
Welcome to wiki This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!
Here at ParcelFlow we are always on the hunt for new services we can offer to our customers to make their lives that little bit easier. We are extremely pleased to announce the launch of our virtual address service, which we believe will be incredibly beneficial for businesses both in the UK and other countries.
What is a virtual address?
A virtual address is basically an address that businesses can use on their mailings and correspondence, however they are not actually based there. So for example, a business may be located in a small town but use a virtual address in a big city like London
Why use a virtual address?
Using a virtual business address can benefit your company in many different ways. It’s particularly beneficial to those just starting out and perhaps running their businesses from home. Instead of having to use your home address on your business mailings and website (which can feel like a breach of privacy) you can instead use our virtual UK business address.
In addition to protecting the privacy of your home, using a virtual UK business address can also make your small start-up company look bigger and better established. The world of business is all about image, so having an address in a bigger city can greatly help to build your credibility and win you customers.
Another benefit of using our new virtual UK business address service is that you will be able to have your parcels sent to the team here at ParcelFlow and forwarded onto you. This can be very beneficial; as it will mean that you don’t have to wait in to sign for parcels at inconvenient times and can instead do something more productive with your time.
Any parcels you order using your new virtual UK business address will be sent to our depot. We will then get in touch with you to organise how we are going to forward them onto you and the delivery service you require. You may find that this actually helps to save you money, especially if you are located abroad.
Benefits for international businesses
The first benefit for having a virtual UK business address for your international business is that it can help save you money on parcel shipping. Instead of having to pay international rates, you can simply use your virtual UK business address and pay a much lower rate (or even benefit from free delivery). Your parcel will then arrive at our depot and get forwarded onto you by our team.
Another benefit of our new virtual UK business address service for international companies is that it will give them a local presence. Often customers are put off working with businesses in other countries, as they assume that communications will be poor. By using a virtual UK business address, you can make it seem like you are located in the UK, which will help you to win over customers and wow them with the high-quality product or service you provide.
Sign up for a virtual UK business address
We believe our new virtual UK business address service is going to really benefit small businesses (including home-based businesses) in the UK, as well as those operating internationally. It will make your business appear larger and more established, whilst also helping you to gain a local presence in a new location.
For more information about our virtual UK business addresses or to sign up, please contact ParcelFlow using our online contact form. We look forward to hearing from you!
“Made in China” products have taken the German market by storm over recent years. Germans love the low cost, variety of choice and quality standards which have improved massively over the past 20 years.
We proceed in this article to discuss Germany’s love for Chinese Goods but also some practical problems German citizens and businesses have in importing Chinese goods and how Parcelflow can help overcome these issues.
In a recent survey from Deutsche Handles Agentur  a number of interesting findings were made about Germany’s love for Chinese goods:
1) 85% of Germans said they were happy to buy “Made in China” products.
2) Around 8.9% of all German imports are from China.
3) Around 60% of purchases the country of origin was not important, in these cases Germans were happy to buy from China.
Germany buys a wide range of Chinese goods but items which are particularly popular include electrical equipment, TVs, clothing, toys, radios and computer equipment.
Germans buy Chinese goods for a number of reasons, these include:
i) Low cost – this is the main unique selling point of buying Chinese goods within Germany
ii) Many German businesses rely on buying Chinese goods to sell on for a profit; this is especially the case with affiliate sellers on eCommerce sites such as EBay and Amazon
iii) Chinese manufacturers have repositioned themselves in recent years to provide higher quality products which is reassuring to the German population
There are a number of problems which German customers face unfortunately when buying Chinese goods. The main issues experienced are:
i) High transit charges are often made by Chinese Companies to distribute goods, as the customer is seen as a one-off deal by the seller
ii) Exorbitant customs charges are applied by German authorities to import Chinese goods into Germany
iii) Goods are destroyed by German customs as counterfeit
iv) Many Chinese businesses don’t offer an export service at all, especially smaller eShops
Parcelflow can be relied upon to provide a solution to the importing of Chinese goods into Germany. Parcelflow offer a parcel forwarding service for Chinese goods.
To access this service customers from Germany need to register with Parcelflow. Each German customer will be given their own unique Parcelflow UK address. Goods received at this UK address will then be forwarded to the German address.
This will prevent high customs charges being imposed on receipt in Germany as the parcel will be from the UK and also reduce the chance of goods being destroyed (not that Parcelflow would knowingly ship counterfeit goods!).
So why not register with Parcelflow today and start saving money on Chinese goods? This service is available in other countries too, so feel free to register and save money in other countries too! Find out more about how parcel forwarding works with Parcelflow at this link.
One of the great things about the Internet is that you aren’t just limited to buying products from retailers in your home country; you can buy them from retailers all over the world! Unless of course, websites decide to impose restrictions, which unfortunately happens more than you think. Yes, many UK websites actually don’t let you purchase items unless you have a UK debit or credit card. This can be very problematic for those living in non-UK countries that want to shop online with UK retailers.
We can make purchases from UK retailers’ websites on your behalf.
Well, you could look for the same products on other websites; however the reason many people choose UK retailers is because they offer high quality products at cost effective prices. So if that’s not an option for you, then you need to find a way of obtaining a UK debit card.
The good news is that ParcelFlow has the perfect solution in the form of its Personal Shopper Program. With Personal Shopper, you simply let us know what you need to purchase and we’ll organise it on your behalf!
If you are non-UK resident looking to make a purchase from a UK website but don’t have a UK debit or credit card, we can make the transaction for you. All you need to do is let us know what you need to buy and from where from, provide us with the payment and then we’ll pay for your item, before having it shipped to you.
The most obvious benefit is that it allows you to buy products from UK retailers that you wouldn’t have otherwise been able to. Another benefit is that you will be able to benefit from lower shipping costs. As a ParcelFlow customer, we will provide you with a UK address that you can have your parcels shipped to, so you will only have to pay UK delivery fees, as opposed to expensive international shipping. Some retailers even offer free delivery in the UK, allowing you to make even bigger cost savings.
Once we’ve ordered your items, they will be shipped to our depot. From there, we will correspond with you, to find out which of our trusted courier services you’d like to use. Seeing as we use delivery companies every day to ship out high volumes, we benefit from bulk discounts, which we pass onto you, our customer. We can also offer you the opportunity to purchase additional insurance for your items, should you wish to.
After selecting a courier service, we’ll forward your parcels to you and ensure they arrive safely at your door!
We are happy to purchase all sorts of items on your behalf, providing they are legal. Common items that we have purchased for customers using our Personal Shopper Program include rail tickets, bicycle parts, clothing, baby products and much, much more.
To benefit from our Personal Shopper Program, you need to sign up to ParcelFlow. Don’t worry it’s completely free! We don’t charge any membership fees and only ask customers to pay for their items, handling costs and the cost of shipping / courier.
We also have a loyalty program, so you can collect points every time you use our services to trade in for freebies in the future. Build up your loyalty points and you will be able to benefit from things like free handling and free parcel forwarding.
The parcel delivery sector has seen many innovations in recent years, with the very latest being drones. Here we’ll take a look at the emerging role for drones in parcel delivery and how they can potentially benefit the industry.
Amazon is currently testing its delivery drones at a lab in Cambridge, after getting the governments go ahead. The aim is that their Prime Air service will deliver packages within thirty minutes of order being placed, by flying drones below 500ft.
However, in order for Amazon’s idea to work, they will need regulatory support. As it currently stands, commercial drone pilots must undergo a strict testing process before getting the Civil Aviation Authority’s permission. They must also ensure their drones are always in line of sight – something that would currently limit where Amazon could deliver parcels to.
Other companies that are testing drone delivery around the world include Google and Chinese Internet giant, Alibaba.
Whilst Amazon and Google are busy testing drone delivery, German delivery firm, DHLA has already introduced a regular drone delivery service. The service uses a quadcopter to delivery small packages to Juist, a small German island found 12km into the North Sea from the German coast. Just 2,000 people live here.
The drones regularly carry over medication and other goods deemed to be urgently needed by the small community. Once the automated drones have landed on Juist, a DHL courier picks up the goods and transports them to the recipient.
Whilst this new way of delivering parcels seems to be working well in Germany, the service is not currently available in the UK. This is due to the fact that the Civil Aviation Authority limits unmanned vehicles to operating at least 50m from a building or person and must always be within sight of the operator.
Here in the UK, we’re still a way off having drones deliver our parcels (until adequate safety testing and proper rules have been implemented) however, let’s take a look at some of the possible benefits that drone delivery could offer.
Drones could potentially lead to shorter delivery times; helping more and more brands to meet their customers’ demands for next day deliveries. Amazon is allegedly aiming to get parcels delivered via drones within just 30 minutes, which would mean customers having access to their online purchases quicker than ever before.
There is also the potential for drone delivery to increase road safety. If more people are ordering online, as opposed to going to the shops and companies are delivering via drones, instead of delivery vans, there will be fewer vehicles on the road, which inevitably means fewer accidents.
Another benefit of using drones for parcel delivery is that they will significantly reduce companies’ carbon footprints. More drones in the sky are likely to mean fewer gas-guzzling delivery vans on the road, leading to reduced emissions and a healthier planet!
Drone delivery could potentially result in new employment in the parcel delivery sector; however there is also a chance that people could lose their jobs too, as a result of less demand for road-based deliveries. Only time will tell how this pans out.
Whilst drones could certainly contribute a number of benefits to the parcel delivery sector, at the moment it’s all a bit conceptual. Until the CAA and government come up with dedicated procedures for regulating drone usage and companies build drones that can meet adequate safety testing, it’s safe to assume that for now, the technology will remain a thing of the future.
The importance of offering a wide range of parcel delivery options is growing every year. According to a study by Royal Mail, almost 40% of consumers say they would buy from eCommerce stores more if they offered a great range of delivery options.
Whereas in the past, offering next day delivery would give you a huge advantage over competitors, today it’s almost expected from consumers. What’s even more apparent is that consumers are becoming increasingly interested in weekend deliveries. So is this the next big move for businesses in the industry?
Thanks to the dedication and flexibility of couriers, eCommerce retailers can offer their customers more parcel delivery options than ever before. Whilst most companies offer standard delivery, which can range from 2 – 3 to 3 – 4 working days, many now also next day delivery at a premium rate. Providing customers place their order before a cut off period (say 2pm), many companies are able to get their items to them within 24 hours.
Amazon has gone one better by introducing same day deliveries. As it currently stands, this service is only available for areas within the M25 around London and certain postcodes in Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Nottingham, Sheffield, Leeds, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Bristol and Cardiff. The company plans to roll out the service to more customers in the future and there is even talk of a 30 minute delivery service, with the use of Amazon Prime Air drones.
Royal Mail also provides a same day courier service, which guarantees delivery of urgent items on the same day to almost anywhere in the UK. The service is offered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with 98% of collections taking place within the hour.
In addition to offering next day and same day parcel delivery services, many companies have also been introducing weekend deliveries. The great thing about weekend deliveries is that they are much more convenient for the majority of customers, many of whom go out to work in the week and are therefore not in the house when their deliveries arrive.
Introducing weekend deliveries could definitely save on time wasted on failed deliveries, whilst also improving customer satisfaction.
A number of companies are currently offering Sunday deliveries, including Amazon (using its own logistics business), Royal Mail and DPD. These companies have a significant advantage over other businesses in the parcel industry by meeting the demand for more convenient weekend delivery slots.
With more and more companies introducing 7 days a week parcel delivery, it seems as though we are heading towards this being the norm. Soon enough, 7 day parcel delivery will be expected by customers, just as most now expect next day delivery as standard. This could potentially mean that those unable to offer 7 day deliveries could really lose out.
A 7 day parcel service obviously benefits the consumer in terms of convenience and companies in terms of improving first time delivery success rates but it also benefits the economy as a whole. With increased demand for weekend deliveries, we are likely to see an increased need for delivery drivers and distribution centre staff, leading to job creation up and down the country.
With demand for quicker and more convenient services, it seems inevitable that 7 day a week delivery is on the cards for the UK parcel economy. We look forward to seeing how things progress over the next year or so.
The Made in England stamp or mark is used on pieces of china or pottery to tell people that it was made in England. The stamp or mark usually features on the bottom of the china or pottery, along with the maker’s name.
Whilst country of origin marking is not compulsory in the UK or Europe for non-food products, it is required in South Korea, the US and other markets around the world. However, most UK china manufacturers choose to stamp their products, as they believe it adds to the brand value.
English china was and still is highly sought after, as it is known for being some of the finest in the world. The Made in England stamp is therefore used to tell people that the china was made in England and is consequently of a high quality. By checking for the Made in England stamp or mark, buyers can have the peace of mind that they are paying for a premium piece of china made in an English factory.
Many producers argue that stamping their products with Made in England helps to thwart cheap imitations coming from China and other international markets.
The Made in England stamp obviously denotes that a piece of china was made in England; however it can also help you to date the item. Most pieces that feature the Made in England stamp were made in the 20th Century, usually after 1914, however some Wedgwood china pieces featuring the stamp could date back to 1898.
If a piece of pottery simply features the word ‘England’ it could have been made any time after 1891, as this stamp was introduced to comply with The American McKinley Tariff Act.
The Made in England is still widely used by china makers today, however recently there has been controversy over how a particular company seems to be using the stamp. Yes, Wedgwood, which includes the Royal Doulton and Royal Albert pottery brands has been criticised for misleading customers with the use of Wedgwood England (a variation on the traditional Made in England stamp).
Whilst 50% of its production and design work is done at its Barlaston factory near Stoke-on-Trent, the other 50% is carried out at its Indonesian factory. Whilst Wedgwood argues that the use of England is a brand name, many people argue that it is misleading customers into thinking they are buying a piece of china or pottery that has been made in England, when in actual fact it has been made in Indonesia.
Whilst country of origin markings like ‘Made in England’ is definitely one of the hottest issues the industry is facing right now, it is hoped that the acquisition of Wedgwood by Finnish group Fiskars will provide an opportunity to take a fresh look at the issue.
When it comes to purchasing English china online, it is important to take extra precautions to ensure you are buying from a legitimate seller. Always ask to see evidence of the Made in England stamp and ensure you are provided with plenty of images of the china.
China that has been made in England can be pretty pricey, so if you are looking to keep your delivery costs to a minimum, we highly recommend using our parcel forwarding service. We’ll provide you with a UK delivery address so you can pay UK postage rates and then forward your china safely to your home address with affordable handling and courier costs.
Always fancied backpacking around Europe? With summer fast approaching, now’s the perfect time to book your rail tickets! A summer backpacking around Europe will be an experience of a lifetime but unfortunately these things don’t come cheap. Luckily for you, Parcel Flow has a number of solutions that will help you make significant savings on your trip!
When it comes to travelling through Europe, you will always find that you get a better rate on rail tickets, if you book them in advance. Booking online can save you up to 75% on the price you would pay if you were to buy your tickets from the station and you can have the peace of mind that you’ll know exactly where you’re heading, with no last minute surprises.
There are a number of websites where you can get discounted rail tickets for travelling around Europe, with one of the very best being Voyages-sncf.com. This company specialises in selling European rail and inter-rail tickets and passes at discounted prices. The website is really easy to use and you can even book your hotels through it too.
Now you know how and where to purchase your tickets, you are probably wondering where Parcel Flow comes into this? Well, what you will usually find is that you need a UK debit card in order to purchase your rail tickets from Voyages-sncf and other similar websites. This means that if you live outside of the UK, you are going to struggle to purchase your European rail tickets yourself.
Luckily for you, we have the perfect solution in the form of Parcel Flow’s Personal Shopper service. Simply sign up to Parcel Flow (for free), let us know what you need to buy and we will organise it on your behalf. This means that you will be able to buy your European rail tickets from discounted UK websites, without needing to own a UK debit card yourself.
What’s even better is that our Personal Shopper service is extremely affordable. Many of our clients note that we’re much cheaper than our competitors and we offer a more personal and efficient service too!
Once we have organised the purchase of your European rail tickets and you have sent us the payment for them, we will then arrange to have them forwarded from our depot to your home address. You will be able to pick from our trusted list of couriers, which we’ll send to you in an email or alternatively, you can choose your preferred courier service. Either way, we’ll do our very best to ensure your tickets arrive safely and efficiently, so you have them in plenty of time for your holiday.
Sign up to Parcel Flow and you will automatically be eligible for our loyalty programme. Every time you use one of our services, whether it is our Personal Shopper or Parcel Forwarding service, you will be awarded a number of loyalty points. Build up these points over time and you will be able to trade them in for money-off vouchers for our parcel handling and shipping services, allowing you to save even more on your purchases!
If you are thinking of going on an exciting European backpacking holiday this summer, make sure you get your tickets nice and early. Book them today with the help of Parcel Flow’s Personal Shopper service and benefit from cheap UK prices and efficient first class delivery.
What are you waiting for? Sign up to start saving!
Moving to a new country is exciting and life changing but there’s bound to be a few things you miss and we’re not just talking about your friends and family. We’ve found that many of our customers are British ex-pats living in Qatar and use our parcel forwarding services to get their fill of quintessential British products that aren’t available to them locally. Here we’ve provided a few examples of the types of British products you can ship to Qatar hassle free.
Save money on shipping your favourite British products to Qatar with our parcel forwarding services.
British food supplies
A survey by the Mirror found that British ex-pat’s most missed food and drink products included:
These are quintessentially British goods that are difficult to find elsewhere in the world. The good news is that if you are living in Qatar, you can simply have your favourite chocolate, teabags and other British favourites shipped directly to your door. We offer efficient parcel forwarding services that allow you to order your favourite food goods online and have them shipped to Qatar at a relatively low cost.
British baby products
In addition to food and drink items, British baby products are also popular with the Qatar British ex-pat community. Formula milk and other baby related products are often shipped from the UK to elsewhere in the world, as they are known for being made from high quality ingredients.
If you need baby products for your little ones, you can simply order them online and ParcelFlow will forward them to your home address in Qatar.
British toiletries and medicine
Retailers in Qatar do not sell many British toiletry brands and medicines. Therefore if you want to buy your favourite shower gel, moisturiser or a certain brand of medicine, you will have to order it online. Many British ex-pats living in Qatar are put off by companies’ expensive shipping charges, however if you use ParcelFlow’s hassle free shipping service, you can reduce the cost significantly.
How does parcel forwarding work?
Sign up to ParcelFlow today and we will give you your own unique UK address to use when ordering your goods from British websites. You will then simply pay the UK shipping cost (which might even be free), when placing your order.
Your British food, baby products or toiletries will then be dropped off at our UK based depot. From there we will contact you with a list of cost-effective shipping services from our most trusted couriers. It will be up to you which one you pick and you can also specify if you would like any additional services such as fast delivery or parcel insurance.
Once you’ve sent back your requirements, we’ll get to work on forwarding your parcel to your home in Qatar. We make shipping from the UK to Qatar hassle-free and help our clients to make huge savings on their delivery costs.
Loyalty scheme for the Qatar British ex-pat community
If you plan on forwarding parcels from the UK to Qatar on a regular basis, you’ll want to take part in our loyalty scheme. Every time you use ParcelFlow, you will be allocated loyalty points, which you can put towards the cost of handling and shipping to help you make even greater savings on parcel forwarding.
With so many benefits, it is no wonder that so many Qatar based British ex-pats use our parcel forwarding services. For more information, check out our FAQ page or get in touch with ParcelFlow today.
There was a time, not so long ago, when we were being told that the tablet was the device of the future. Analysts were forecasting sales of 375 million come 2016 but it seems they’ll be left eating their words.
The tablet sector recently saw its first drop in sales, with tech consultancy Canalys reporting a 12% decrease over the final three months of 2014, compared to the same period in 2013. Market leader Apple apparently sold 15% fewer iPads in 2014 compared to 2013 and Gartner is now reporting the sector’s growth will be limited to just 259 million next year. Despite tablets initially soaring in popularity, it seems that consumers are still very much attached to their PCs.
Many people are speculating that because the initial growth in tablet sales was steeper than for smartphones, it was believed that tablets would do much better than they have. Unfortunately this hasn’t been the case, with many consumers reluctant to buy something that offers the same functionality as their smartphones.
Consumers that did buy tablets when they first came out probably feel very little need to upgrade. The fact that phones are getting bigger and bigger (take a look at the iPhone 6 plus for example) and you can see why tablets are becoming far less appealing.
Manufacturers also seem to be focusing far more on their smartphone sales than tablets, as that’s what the money’s in. Companies like LG, Samsung and Sony all sell their smartphones for a much higher price than their tablets, which gives them reason to limit their marketing spend on the latter.
If you think about it, many of the features that entice consumers to buy new smartphones, such as better cameras, fingerprint sensors, touch and pay facilities and extended battery life, are pretty much irrelevant to the tablet. Seeing as most consumers use their tablets indoors, they don’t need to bother upgrading to something bigger, better and more powerful.
Whilst Microsoft, Apple and Google have all tried to convince consumers that their latest tablet models can be used to create spreadsheets, word documents and make music, the majority of people just want them to consume media instead. Even with a keyboard attachment, tablets still aren’t going to be users’ number one choice for creating a word document or configuring a spreadsheet, making these features irrelevant.
Whilst the future of tablet sales is looking pretty gloomy, that’s not to say they’re going to become extinct. In fact, many companies have been introducing them into the workplace and making use of business related apps. Tablets make perfect sense for employees working out in the field, whether they are updating the tracking for parcel deliveries or being used as a point of sale.
Education is another sector that is exploring the benefits of tablets. Many schools have introduced tablets into the classroom environment as a way of exciting children about learning and encouraging collaborative working.
Tablets also have the benefit of being more convenient than PCs. Providing companies have responsive websites, consumers often find it much easier to shop online and order parcels using their tablet devices.
It is believed that the launch of Windows 10 later this year may drive demand, as the new operating system has been designed with both PCs and tablets in mind, however it could still be argued that the days of rapid growth are well and truly over. The market is saturated and consumers are yet again waiting for the next big thing to impress them.