On this site, we often discuss shipping carriers, but most of the time we focus on UPS, USPS, and FedEx. We donât frequently mention DHL, an alternative shipping carrier specializing in international shipping. This article is here to remedy that.
DHL offers services for domestic and international shipping, including pickup, delivery, and return. The company was founded in San Francisco in 1969 by three partners: Adrian Dalsey, Larry Hillblom, and Robert Lynn. The name âDHLâ is a compilation of the initials of their last names. Since its founding, the company has grown to employ over 350,000 individuals and serve over 220 countries and territories.
DHL is now based in Bonn, Germany with regional offices in US and Singapore. They offer logistics and fulfillment services for some markets in the Americas, Asia Pacific, the Middle East, and Africa.
Along with their regular services, DHL includes a specific set of services for online sellers: DHL eCommerce. Keep reading for a quick breakdown of what DHL eCommerce could offer your business.
Who Can Use DHL eCommerce?
As DHL is a worldwide shipping service, merchants from many different countries can take advantage of the service.
However, it is important to note that DHL eCommerce is intended only for high volume shippers. In order to use DHL eCommerce, you must meet the minimum shipping requirements. These requirements are as follows:
- 50 Items Per Day For International Shipping Services
- 100 Items Per Day For Domestic Shipping Services
What Does DHL eCommerce Include?
DHL eCommerce lets you take advantage of a few valuable shipping tools and services. Hereâs what you can expect as an online seller:
Affordable International Shipping Options
- Affordable Cross-Border Shipping With Returns
- Choose Your Service Level & Features
- B2C Customs Clearance
- Start-To-Finish Delivery & Returns
- Network Of Drop-Off & Pick-Up Locations
- Global Fulfillment Network
- B2C & B2B Fulfillment
- Connect To Domestic Delivery Networks
- Cash On Delivery (COD)
- E-Wallet Payment Options
- Multiple Delivery Options
- Six Delivery Days Per Week
- Green Delivery Options
Integrate With Your Other Services
- Integrated Tracking From Start To Finish
- Integration Options
- APIs, Web Portals, Major Marketplaces, eCommerce Platforms
- Email & SMS Tracking Updates
For a full breakdown of the services included in DHL eCommerce, take a look at this pdf from DHL.
Shipping Services & Pricing
DHL breaks services into two main categories: International and Domestic. Pricing varies between these two types of shipping. As you might imagine, international shipping typically comes with more fees than domestic shipping.
Beyond that, pricing will vary between each package. As with any other shipping carrier, pricing depends upon a packageâs size and weight, as well as the distance over which the package is shipped.
Take a look below at the services that DHL offers within each category.
International Shipping With DHL eCommerce
In order to figure out the cost of shipping for your packages, youâll need to get a quote from DHL. Take a look at the table below (taken from DHLâs website) to see which international services you should consider:
Then you can contact a DHL eCommerce representative to get a quote for your products.
International DHL ICart Software
International shipping services also include DHLâs ICart Software, which should make processing online shipping expenses a bit easier.
This software integrates with your shopping cart (via APIs) to make shipping calculations simpler. Youâll be able to provide customers with the full cost of delivery in their own currency, including expenses related to taxes, duties, and shipping costs.
For more information about DHL ICart, take a look at this pdf.
DHL partners with local postal services (like the USPS) to offer their domestic shipping services. In the States, USPS handles the final mile and return pickups, and DHL manages the initial pickup and sorting of the packages. Take a look at the tables below to view DHLâs domestic options:
As with DHLâs international shipping options, youâll need to contact a representative to get a quote for your storeâs shipping.
Additional Information & Services
For more information on DHLâs additional fees and surcharges, direct your browsers to this page on DHLâs site. Youâll find information on DHL eCommerce tracking, calculating chargeable weight (and understanding that pesky dimensional weight), fuel surcharges, and information on what DHL will and will not ship.
You can also view information on shipment insurance, which is available through U-PIC Insurance Services. You can insure up to $100 USD per package, and additional coverage is available.
Here are a few more services you can take advantage of:
Web Portal To Manage Your Shipments
DHL customers all gain access to DHLâs customer web portal. You can use this web-based admin to manage and monitor a variety of important aspects of your shipping. Hereâs a quick list of available features:
- View Shipment Data & Reports
- Print Labels & Create Tracking Numbers
- Batch Upload Feature
- Access To Invoice & Shipment Rates
- Delivery Performance Rates
- Advanced Warning Reports
- Package Delay Reports
- Schedule Pickups & Create Bills Of Lading
- Create & Track Return Labels
Warehousing & Fulfillment Options
Outsourcing your fulfillment has huge benefits for merchants. First and most notably, by letting someone else store your products and pick, pack, and ship your orders, you free up loads of time in your day.
Whatâs more, storing products in multiple warehouses across the country will bring your merchandise closer to customers, shortening delivery times.
DHL currently has two warehouses in the states. One is located in the oh-so-central Columbus, OH and the other is in Riverside, CA. In addition, a new warehouse is coming to New Jersey soon. To learn more about DHLâs fulfillment services, take a look at their FAQs.
If you often deliver packages internationally and you ship over 50-100 items per day, DHL may be the way to go.
However, as you consider DHL, you should keep in mind that both UPS and FedEx also offer start-to-finish international shipping options. Take a look at our comparison of USPS, UPS, and FedEx to learn more.
No matter what, you’ll want to contact DHL to get a quote for your business’s shipping needs. Having a dollar estimate in mind will help you greatly as you continue to compare shipping carriers.
Best of luck!
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