While it may not have the same cache in the U.S. like some other carriers, DHL is without a doubt a worldwide powerhouse in the shipping industry. E-commerce businesses shipping with DHL can attest to its speed, reliability, and global reach.
DHL was the first shipping carrier to introduce international air express deliveries and has since built off of that service.
E-commerce merchants who are looking to tap into international shipping, are shipping large items, many items at once, or just want competitive rates for domestic shipping should consider using DHL.
We’ll walk you through some of the most popular DHL services for e-commerce businesses along with talking about the benefits and brief history of the company.
Benefits Of DHL Shipping For E-commerce Businesses
E-commerce businesses have an abundance of choices when it comes to shipping nowadays. But, when comparing carriers, you may find that DHL can serve your specific needs better than others.
Some of the benefits of DHL shipping for ecommerce businesses includes:
- Giant International Presence – DHL can help your business reach its customers in over 220 countries across the world. DHL has over 400,000 employees around the globe working to get your packages across borders and on to your customer’s doorstep. Plus they have some of the most competitive international rates.
- Largest Weight Limits For Individual Parcels – DHL sets its cap to 154.3 pounds for individual parcels before adding any oversize limit fees. This is the highest cap among leading national carriers.
- Free DHL Express Pickups – Running an e-commerce business can be time consuming and merchants often don’t have the time or equipment to deliver products to a retail location. Getting free DHL Express pickups can save you time so you can focus on other business goals.
- Shipping high volume of products – DHL is aimed directly at high volume shippers who are sending out 100 packages or more a day. If your e-commerce business has reached that level, look to DHL for competitive rates.
There are other advantages to using DHL such as a Bonus Program that allows you to collect and save points which can then be converted into free postage or shopping coupons.
There is also an international help desk available to answer your questions and concerns when shipping out of the country.
What is DHL eCommerce?
DHL eCommerce is a shipping solution for online sellers that are primarily shipping domestically and occasionally overseas.
Online sellers who are primarily shipping lightweight packages domestically and want a 3-day level service at a price they can afford should look to use the services of DHL eCommerce.
DHL eCommerce can ship anywhere in the U.S. but will often have the final mile taken care of by the USPS. Their international services under the eCommerce umbrella are also worth checking out for online sellers who need additional support and flexibility in this area.
DHL eCommerce Services
There are many variations of services that are available through DHL eCommerce. But, they can be split between domestic and international services:
DHL eCommerce Domestic Services:
|Service||DHL SmartMail Parcel||DHL SmartMail Parcel Plus||DHL SmartMail Parcel Return||DHL SmartMail Bound Printed Matter||DHL SmartMail Flats|
|Weight Limit||1 lbs||25 lbs||1-70 lbs||15 lbs||1 lbs|
|Dimension Max||27”/17”/17”||27”/17”/17”||27”/17”/17”||27”/17”/17”||15” / 12” / 0.75”|
For DHL SmartMail Parcel and DHL SmartMail Parcel Plus, you can get them in three different variations each based on transit time. Those options are:
- Ground – Least expensive option with an estimated transit time of 3-8 days.
- Expedited – A slightly more costly option, but with an estimated transit time of 2-5 days.
- Expedited Max – This the fastest domestic shipping option with an estimated transit time of just 2-3 days.
Each service comes with full tracking capabilities, no residential surcharge, zip code validation, and scheduled pick-ups. Expedited Max is the only option to come with a $100 Shipment Value Protection.
DHL eCommerce International Services:
|Service||DHL Packet International||DHL Parcel International Standard||DHL Parcel International Direct|
|Maximum Weight Limit||4.4 lbs.||44 lbs||44 lbs|
|Maximum Dimension||Length+Width+Height=36” / Each side=24”||Length plus Girth must be less than or equal to 118”||Length plus Girth must be less than or equal to 79”|
|Minimum Dimension||Up to 6” in length and 4” in width||Up to 6” in length and 4” in width||No Minimum|
|Transit Days||4-8 days||4-8 days to Canada and Europe/ 8-14 days for everywhere else||3-10 days|
|Duty and Taxes paid by||Receiver||Receiver||Receiver or Shipper|
|Shipment Value Protection||No||Yes||Yes|
What Is DHL Express?
DHL Express is similar to DHL e-commerce in that there are services for both domestic and international shipments. However, services under DHL Express serve faster and more time-sensitive needs. DHL Express international shipping also tends to be more favorable, so those who are primarily shipping overseas should consider using it.
DHL Express Services
To make things a little easier to understand, we’ll separate these service levels again from domestic to international.
DHL Express Domestic Services
- DHL Same Day Sprintline – For regional shipments that will be delivered within the same day via the next available van or truck.
- DHL Express Domestic – Parcels are delivered on the next possible day by the end of the day. Comes with door to door courier delivered, Proactive delivery notifications, and delivery management. Does not come with costumes clearance or a money back guarantee.
DHL Express International Services:
- DHL Same Day Jetline – Parcels will be delivered within the same day globally via the next available flight out.
If your packages need to be delivered as soon as possible but need to arrive at a specific time, these service levels will be your best bet.
- DHL Express 9:00 AM
- DHL Express 10:30 AM
- DHL Express 12:00 PM
For deliveries that are on a more specific time crunch, these DHL Express services will be ideal. Parcels will be delivered at those specific times on the next possible day.
Each of them comes with door to door deliveries, end-to-end tracking visibility, proactive delivery notifications (upon request for DHL Express 12:00 PM), customs clearance, delivery management, and a money back guarantee.
- Express Worldwide – Parcels will be shipped worldwide and arrive at their destination by the end of the day the next business day. Shippo users who are shipping products from the U.S. to other countries can get massive discounts on this service level in particular.
- Express Envelope – Envelopes with a maximum weight of 10 ounces will arrive at their destination by the next possible day.
DHL Express services tend to be more costly than most services so you’ll want to take that into account when considering offering it to your customers.
DHL Germany (DHL Packet)
Even though DHL was originally founded in the U.S., the company is now headquartered in Germany after it was bought out by the German carrier Deutsche Post in 2002. Because of this, DHL has shipping service levels unique to Germany. Some of those services include:
- Paket International
- Paket Sameday
- Paket Connect
All of these DHL Germany services are supported by Shippo so you can tap into this international market with ease.
Brief History of DHL
While many now think of DHL as a European shipping giant, the company was originally founded in the U.S. and has a rich history of pioneering in the shipping industry.
Some highlights include the following:
- Founded in 1969 by Adrian Dalsey, Larry Hillblom, and Robert Lynn, the company began by delivering shipping documents between San Francisco and Honolulu, Hawaii. DHL (which derives its initials from the first letter of the last names of its founders) was the first to introduce international air express delivery.
- Within a decade in 1979, they became the first international air express company to operate in Latin America. They also began operating in Nigeria, their first African territory along with countries from every continent across the globe. They also introduced Worldwide Parcel Express which was the company’s first small parcel express service.
- The 80s were a time of even more rapid growth as they doubled their customer base in just three years. The company also introduced WorldMai in 1986.
- The 90s saw the introduction of internet tracking of shipments as well as an internet-based shipping solution, DHL Connect. Deutsche Post AG also became a stakeholder in the company in the late 90’s.
- By the early 2000s DHL became the first shipping company to offer SMS tracking updates so that customers could receive updates on their shipments via text message. Deutsche Post also became a majority shareholder in the company and has worked to continuously expand DHL services for e-commerce merchants and retailers all over the world.
DHL Shipping With Shippo
Shippo aims to help e-commerce merchants grow their business through shipping. Part of that goal means giving our users access to one of the best international shipping options available.
Users can bring their own DHL Express account to Shippo and have access to all the services listed above. On top of that, users can get discounted shipping labels of up to 75% for packages shipped out of the U.S. and to other countries using DHL Express Worldwide.
With Shippo you’ll also have the option to schedule package pickups with DHL along with pre-fill customs forms so that your shipping with DHL runs as smoothly as possible. Shippo’s DHL API can also integrate into your current tech stack for an even more seamless shipping process.
To learn more about the top carriers in the shipping industry, along with in-depth shipping topics relevant to e-commerce merchants, visit our information center at Shippopedia.
To start comparing rates between the shipping industry’s leading carriers, sign up to Shippo for free today.