8 Reasons To Choose NI Parcels

8 reasons to choose NI Parcels

At NI Parcels, we provide a fast, reliable and affordable parcel delivery service.

We strive to simplify the shipping process, resulting in both businesses & individuals saving valuable time and money. Whether you’re sending a gift to loved ones or a package to a customer, our service is perfect.

Listed below are the 8 reasons why you should choose NI Parcels:

1 – Competitive Prices

Offering you competitive prices by comparing multiple couriers. 

Competitive Prices | NI Parcels

2 – Local & Worldwide Shipping

Whether you’re shipping from Bangor to Brisbane, or somewhere in between, we ship to over 200 countries worldwide.

Local & Worldwide Shipping | NI Parcels

3 – Quote & Book Online

Our website allows you to Quote & Book instantly 24 hours a day,  7 days a week.

Quote & Book | NI Parcels

4 – Pay-as-you-go service

For your convenience, we’re a pay-as-you-go service. Our secure online payment system allows you to pay by credit/debit card with no additional billing or invoicing required.

Pay-as-you-go | NI Parcels

5 – Door to Door Service

Once you book, we’ll collect your parcel and deliver it. Providing an estimated delivery time frame.

Door to Door Delivery Service | NI Parcels

6 – Full Online Tracking

You can monitor the progress of your parcel with our full online tracking.

Full Online Tracking | NI Parcels

7 – Belfast-based Customer Support

As well as our extensive support section online, our Belfast-based customer support team is available should you require assistance. You can contact us via phone, email or online chat.

Belfast-based Customer Support | NI Parcels

8 – A brand you can trust

At NI Parcels, we’ve been trusted by thousands of businesses and individuals across Northern Ireland, and currently, we are rated EXCELLENT 4.8 out of 5 with TrustPilot.

A brand you can trust | NI Parcels

Get an instant quote here.

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Top 5 Most Instagrammed Spots In NI

Top 5 Most Instagrammed Spots In NI

We have endless Instagram picture opportunities in our wee country, with our beautiful coastline, our natural landscapes, and of course, our vibrant, and up-and-coming cities. It’s amazing to think that people travel thousands of miles every year to see our part of the world, and we get to enjoy it every day. 

Listed below are the top five Instagrammed spots in Northern Ireland, in order of popularity.

Giants Causeway
327K posts

Giants Causeway | NI Parcels

The basalt rocks formed by volcanic activity some 50 million years ago, this UNESCO World Heritage Site attracts millions of visitors to Northern Ireland, and it’s no surprise that it’s the top Instagrammed spot.

Mourne Mountains
146K posts

Mourne Mountains | NI Parcels

In the Mourne Mountains, sweeping peaks meet the shores of Strangford Lough. As a haven for nature lovers, outdoor adventurers, and keen photographers, it’s no surprise that the Mournes have inspired many writers, artists and filmmakers.

Dark Hedges
70.5K posts

Dark Hedges | NI Parcels

If you’re a Game of Thrones fan, you’ll recognise the Dark Hedges, which represent “Kingsroad”. The original purpose was to impress guests visiting Gracehill House, a Georgian mansion. Today, they are one of Northern Ireland’s most popular and photographed sights.

Cavehill
55.8K posts

Cavehill Belfast | NI Parcels

There’s no better place to get all-encompassing views of Belfast than Cavehill. The country park is complete with picnic areas along with various walking and cycling trails. 

Carrick-a-Rede
52.9K post

Carrick-a-Rede | NI Parcels

The Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, elevated 100ft above the ocean, was erected in 1755. The rope bridge is connected between 2 cliffs, providing access to Carrick-a-Rede Island, which is home to just a single cottage built by a fisherman.

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How Cost Of Living Is Affecting Shipping Costs For Businesses

Over the last four or five years, businesses, both big and small, have seen themselves facing challenge after challenge as they struggle to survive. The Coronavirus pandemic had an impact on businesses around the globe, and this impact is still being felt now, even as we begin to emerge from the other side of the pandemic.

More than this, the implications of Brexit, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a global shipping container shortage and, of course, the ever-rising cost of living are also having an impact on businesses and their customers.

Many are trying to adapt, but with rapidly rising costs to contend with, this is not easy. And there is one area, in particular, that is suffering right now, and that is shipping and logistics. The soaring cost of shipping is having an effect on supply chains.

And let’s face it, you can offer the best product in the world, but it’s no good if you can’t get it to your customers. It’s also no good if rising shipping costs are putting a huge dent in your profit margins and making it even harder to stay afloat.

Below, we’re going to take a look at how all of the above is affecting businesses and shipping costs right now. Particularly as the cost of living continues to rise and large parts of the Western world appear to be heading towards a recession.

The Coronavirus pandemic

During the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, consumers had to rely on online shopping and having goods delivered directly to their homes. This included everything from food to computers and clothes to gym equipment.

This placed unprecedented levels of demand on global and domestic supply chains. With labour shortages as a result of the virus, shipping providers both dockside and at sea were buckling under the pressure.

Not only this, but on the roads, truck drivers were not able to cross borders, and large numbers of drivers were becoming ill as a result of the virus. This meant delivery via the roads was suffering too. The increased demand on supply chains, particularly the demand for freight transport, saw costs begins to surge across most shipping routes.

The Suez Canal accident 

Then, in March 2021, a huge shipping vessel got stuck in the Suez Canal. This blocked the entire waterway – an important shipping route – for a whole week. Given that 12% of the world’s trade passes through that canal, this accident once again caused shipping charges to shoot up even further.

Despite clearing the canal after a week and getting operations back up and running, the blockage caused delays that took weeks, even months, to correct.

Brexit negotiations

Meanwhile, back on the roads, Brexit and the subsequent negotiations contributed to a huge shortage of HGV drivers. This led to shipping providers offering huge salaries in a bid to attract new drivers.

This placed further tension on the supply chains, not to mention businesses were having to fork out more money to attract skilled workers. So once again, shipping prices were on the rise.

The war on Ukraine

Then, just as we began to adjust to life in a post-pandemic world and governments across the globe recognised the need to do more to address the rising cost of living crisis, Russia invaded Ukraine.

The move shocked the world, and once again, the shipping industry was rocked. Freight companies and their customers were now dealing with the soaring cost of Russian oil and gas. Plus, with so many countries boycotting Russian produce, rapid price rises in fuel, food and manufactured goods only skyrocketed the cost of living even further.

The war has caused widespread disruption to the shipping industry and has only exacerbated ongoing supply chain disruptions. As of April 2022, there were numerous merchant vessels still trapped in Ukrainian ports along the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.

The cost of living crisis

As we’ve already said above, the cost of living is rising rapidly as a result of Brexit, the war on Ukraine and the knock-on effect of the Coronavirus pandemic. This is affecting both consumers and businesses alike.

Businesses are already facing rising costs of shipping, couple this with the fact that the current cost of living means many shoppers are cutting back, and it’s not looking good.

Spending £2.99 on shipping is no longer just taken as a given. Consumers have begun to weigh up the cost of their goods in comparison to shipping to determine if this is the right way to be spending their money.

In many cases, this has forced businesses to offer free shipping to counteract this and continue to drive sales. This is only increasing the cost of shipping for themselves and creating a dip in their profit margins which ultimately comes at a much higher cost to the business.

Final thoughts

It’s a turbulent time for both businesses and consumers right now, and this doesn’t look like it will be resolved any time soon. The cost of living continues to rise, as does the cost of shipping, and so many businesses must do all they can to offset this and stay afloat until a resolution is found.

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A Guide To B2B E-commerce

B2B Ecommerce

When we think about e-commerce, our minds tend to turn immediately towards B2C brands, that is, the selling of goods to everyday consumers. However, selling your goods or services to other businesses online can also be very lucrative.

The problem is e-commerce B2B businesses models can feel a lot more overwhelming than B2C models with tried and tested methods.

But there is good news if you’re considering starting up a B2B e-commerce venture or moving your existing B2B business online. The more you learn, prepare and take action, the more successful your B2B initiatives will be.

Below, we’re going to take you through the B2B e-commerce model and some common misconceptions, as well as discussing whether B2B e-commerce is right for your business (spoiler – it probably is!).

What is B2B e-commerce?

B2B stands for business to business; therefore, B2B e-commerce models are those which provide goods or services to other businesses through online sales channels.

Because this centres around the supplying of goods or services from one enterprise to another, product prices tend to be a lot more flexible, and order volumes can be much larger depending on your offering.

Not only this, but since it’s businesses buying from one another, B2B e-commerce transactions are usually more logical, need-based and are far less impulsive than those made by individual consumers.

Some examples of well-recognised B2B e-commerce businesses include Amazon, Alibaba, Salesforce, Hootsuite and Microsoft.

The key benefits of setting up a B2B e-commerce store

There are a number of reasons why selling through B2B e-commerce can be very advantageous, and the key benefits for both you and your customers include:

  • Being able to offer better customer service, as well as improved efficiency and productivity
  • Opening your business up to a much wider customer base
  • Increasing your brand awareness
  • The ability to grow and scale up the business easily to meet market demand and customer needs
  • Access to more data and analytics than ever before, making it easier to assess the effectiveness of marketing strategies, sales effectiveness, product mix, etc.
  • The possibility to increase your sales engagement with customers
  • Providing an omnichannel sales and communication experience to your customers

But despite these many benefits, some brands are still reluctant or worried about embracing this business model – and this is often down to a number of misconceptions.

What are some common misconceptions about B2B e-commerce?

Whether already running a business or considering getting started, there are some common misconceptions that hold lots of people back from selling B2B online; these are believing:

  1. That the traditional B2B method is absolutely fine as it is and needs no updating
  2. B2B customers don’t want to buy things online; they all want to speak with a sales rep in person or over the phone before purchasing
  3. B2B pricing is too complex for an e-commerce website
  4. Good customer service and business interaction don’t translate well online
  5. B2B products are not suitable for online sales
  6. E-commerce sites can’t comprehend more complicated payment methods such as monthly instalments
  7. B2B websites don’t need to be fancy or cleverly designed
  8. E-commerce sites are costly and take up a lot of your precious time

Of course, none of this is correct. In today’s digital world, as Millennials and younger generations are increasingly in decision-making roles, more and more people prefer to buy goods and services for their business online.

Not only this, but B2B e-commerce does not have to be costly, labour-intensive or complicated. There are plenty of tools and platforms out there that make creating and maintaining a well-designed, engaging website quick and easy.

What features and capabilities should a B2B e-commerce site have?

If you’re ready to get your e-commerce site set up, you might be wondering how to get started and what key features your website is going to need. The good news is there are certain features and capabilities that every good B2B e-commerce site should have, so tick these boxes, and you’ll be on the path to success:

Customer accounts

Firstly, you need to make sure your clients can buy goods, monitor orders and reorder as quickly and simply as possible. It’s a good idea to allow customers to create an account they can log into and quickly reorder or access past orders.

This should include solo and multiple user accounts, and you could even allow them to set up permissions and user authority levels for making purchases.

Order and pricing features

Where required, it’s important to indicate minimum and maximum order quantities, as well as fixed price lists or volume-based discounts.

If you don’t offer fixed prices and instead offer tailored packages, ensure that contacting the relevant sales reps is as simple and easy as possible, pop up chat windows can be very helpful for this.

Payment options

Flexible payment options and portals such as buy now, pay later (BNPL) are great for customers as they offer them a range of ways to pay. As such, it’s a good idea to offer a variety of portals and ways to pay, carefully displaying all options on your e-commerce site.

Courier and shipping options

As well as offering different payment options, it’s a good idea to offer a range of different shipping options. This can be particularly important for businesses who need swift deliveries or special courier services for heavier, larger or more fragile goods.

Administrative features

These features should also benefit the business by synchronising orders, inventory and client profiles with the administrative office. Your site should also integrate helpful business systems such as bulk pricing, quote management and inventory handling.

Data and privacy

Finally, you need to make sure that you follow all data privacy and other cybersecurity protocols to keep your business and customers safe. Remember, when using your website, businesses will be sharing a lot of sensitive information with you, and this needs to be protected.

So should you be selling B2B through e-commerce?

For the most part, yes, you should be selling B2B through e-commerce. That being said, depending on your goods or services, there will always be some exceptions, and ultimately you need to determine this for yourself.

However, as we move further into a digital world, consumers and businesses are increasingly looking for quick, simple and more efficient ways to get the goods and services they need.

Not to mention e-commerce opens you up to a much bigger audience, which is so important in today’s competitive market.

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Small Business’s Guide To Financial Planning For The New Year

Finance sheet

While lots of people are focusing on the festive season, getting ahead of their Christmas shopping and organising holiday celebrations for small businesses, the upcoming new year is a time for reflection and financial planning.

Ultimately, the sooner you get started with your business financial planning, the better prepared your business will be for the year ahead. However, as this is a busy (and exciting) time of year, it can be tricky to know how to get started with your finances.

But, if you want to set your small business up for success, this guide is for you. Below, we’ll give you a rundown of the financial planning tasks you need to take care of head of the new year.

1. Prepare all your key end-of-year financial documents

One of the most important parts of reviewing your finances and forecasting for the future is ensuring you have all the key financial documents at your disposal. Plus, these will be important for settling any outstanding payments as you move forward into the new year. The key financial documents you should gather include:

  • Balance sheet  (statement of financial position)
  • Profit and loss account (income statement)
  • Cash flow statement

Having these statements is an important part of monitoring and analysing the overall performance of your small business. These help to show whether you’re running a healthy business or not, if you do need some adjustment or if funding, expansion or mentorship could be a possibility in the future.

Not only that but from these documents, you will be able to calculate your current assets and liabilities, any debt you owe and any profit you’ve made. Having all this information to hand can help you to not only see what you’re doing well or possibly where your business is suffering, but it is vital for planning your finances and budgets for the new year.

2. Start preparing your tax documents

Following on from our first point, although the end of the year might not be the end of the tax year, it is a good time to start getting your tax documents in order.

The types of records you keep will vary depending on the nature of your business, but it’s a good idea to keep as much as possible until the end of the tax year when you know your return has been filed correctly. These key documents could include:

  • Bank statements
  • Cheque stubs
  • Certificates of loan interest paid by you
  • Receipts
  • Invoices
  • Forms EIS3 or EIS5 if you were issued them
  • Gift Aid payments
  • Pension plan certificate

Once you’ve gathered all the documents and details that are relevant to your business, you can start the new year feeling more prepared and with some idea of what your tax bill might be that year. Not only this, but you’ll be able to look back at where you’ve been spending your money and where your key earners are, making it much easier to plan for the future with real data and insights.

3. Start planning your goals for the new year

Armed with all the relevant documents, information and insights, you can review your goals from the past year. This will highlight areas of strength and weakness, helping to give you a clearer picture of your business goals for the new year.

At this stage, you can start writing down your goals for the new year based on your findings. For example, is your goal to increase sales? Hire new employees? Cut business costs? Or perhaps to make the move from retail to online and open up another source of revenue?

Of course, these are just a few ideas, but at this point, you should write down each business goal you hope to achieve over the coming 12 months, including as much detail as possible about each one.

4. Develop action plans based on your financial goals

Once you’ve begun writing down your goals, it’s time to think about which are going to be your key priorities and get an action plan in place for each of these. It can be very helpful to use the SMART method by setting goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based.

In order to get the most effective action plan in place, you should break each goal down into smaller objectives, making these more specific. You can then outline the key metrics with which you’ll measure your goals, ensuring your goals and targets are relevant to the overall success of your business.

Finally, you can set a deadline for each of your goals, making sure these are realistic and attainable.

This is because if you set goals that are too hard to reach or that you will not reasonably achieve by your set deadline, this can become very disheartening. So, to help you stay on track and feel as if your business is driving forward, set SMART financial goals.

An example of one such goal could be:

  • Specific – I want to hire a new employee to enable a delivery service
  • Measurable – I will measure their success by how much sales and profits increase
  • Attainable – I have money in my budget to hire a new employee
  • Relevant – I can offer training that will boost their sales and marketing skills, which will contribute to their success within the business
  • Time-based – I hope to have a new employee by the end of Q1 and see sales increasing by the end of Q3

5. Create a strategic financial plan

Now you’ve got all your documents together and have outlined the goals you hope to achieve, the final stage is to get a strategic plan in place.

Look at your goals and plug in the costs needed to achieve them; you can then compare this with your current financial situation and determine the funds you’ll need to achieve your goals. Creating financial projections in this way ensures you have enough money in your budget to reach the goals you’ve set for yourself.

What’s more, based on your SMART goals, you can determine whether you will need more staff, equipment, etc., to drive your business forward. This will again help you to set budgets and get a strategic financial plan in place to ensure success in the new year.

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How Retailers Can Move Online With Amazon

In recent years, lots of retailers have chosen to make the move from traditional retail models to e-commerce. This is largely as a result of the boom in e-commerce and online shopping.

This move to the digital world was accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, with lots of businesses having to close their brick and mortar stores, therefore relying on making sales via the internet. In fact, the e-commerce industry grew by a staggering 46% in 2020.

However, if you’re yet to make the move online, but you’re hoping to do so in the near future, you might be unsure of your best options.

And one giant retailer that isn’t going anywhere is Amazon. As such, you might be considering opening an Amazon e-commerce store.

But how do you go about doing this?

Well, that’s exactly what this guide is here to teach you. Below, we’ll take a look at how retailers can move their business online with Amazon.

What are the benefits of moving your business online with Amazon?

Before we begin, let’s take a quick look at some of the key benefits of using Amazon to move your retail business online. If you’re still not sure why this is the best option for you, you should consider choosing Amazon because:

• Your products are much easier to find and will be visible to literally millions of online shoppers
• You know you’re listing your products with a trusted and established brand
• Your products will be protected by Amazon’s security and fraud protection policies
• You can sell to people nationwide and across Europe in five marketplaces
• There are no listing fees; you only pay when you make a sale
• You have the option to let Amazon fulfil your orders, so you don’t have to deal with the packaging or shipping of your goods if you don’t want to

Another great reason for choosing Amazon Marketplace is that it is simple to get started and won’t require you to have a huge amount of budget behind you. To explain just how easy it is to list, sell, ship and get paid for your products through Amazon, we’ve put together a step by step guide to opening up your online Amazon store.

So, in this next section, we’ll take you through each stage of the process so you can get your Amazon retail store up and running in no time!

1. Decide what type of seller you are

Amazon Marketplace allows retailers to sell their goods using Amazon’s infrastructure in exchange for a fee.

So first and foremost, you need to determine what type of seller you are because Amazon charges different fees depending on the nature of your business. Sellers are split into two key categories; these are casual and professional.

Casual sellers are those who sell 35 items or less per month. Because of this, they are only asked to pay a small completion and referral fee per item.

However, if you plan on selling a larger quantity of items, you’ll need to sign up for a professional account. And this requires a monthly subscription fee in addition to the individual completion and referral fees.

So before you get started, decide whether you’re going to need a casual or professional account.

2. Upload your products

Once you’ve signed up for the most relevant account, you then need to get your products on your Amazon Marketplace page.

Thanks to Amazon’s easy to use interface, it doesn’t take too much time or effort to do this.

If your products already exist on the Amazon catalogue, then you can list these individually by simply adding the name, price and available stock. Alternatively, you can use Amazon’s bulk listing tools if you have the product barcodes.

However, if your product does not exist in the catalogue, you can create them by adding all the relevant product information. This includes the EAN, UPC, or ISBN code, names, descriptions, prices, etc.

3. Add images to your products

Then, once you’ve got your products on your Amazon Marketplace page, you need to add pictures. These can be the difference between making a sale or not. In fact, a recent study found that 60% of digital shoppers said they needed to see an average of three to four images when shopping online. And a further 13% said they needed five or more.

So you need to be sure you’ve got some strong images of your products ready that really show their quality. Just be sure that the images you use are in a tif or jpeg format. Image file names must also consist of the product identifier.

4. Choose how you want to fulfil and ship your orders

When moving your business online with Amazon, you need to determine who will manage the fulfilment and shipping of your orders. And all orders are managed via the Seller Central account, which every seller has full access to at all times.

When you sell an item through your page, you will receive an email notifying you of payment from the customer. You must then dispatch the item within 48 hours to comply with Amazon’s regulations. However, if you don’t want to manage the product delivery process yourself, Amazon can do this for you.

This is done through the Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) feature. Though there are no extra fees for adding this service to your account, you will have to pay fulfilment and storage fees.

Because of this, you need to determine your budget, whether you would prefer to store and send your goods yourself or whether it’s better to let Amazon do the hard work.

If you need help with parcel delivery to Northern Ireland you know who to contact, it is us, NI Parcels!

5. Get paid

The final step in moving your business online is getting paid for your products. Through Amazon Marketplace, buyers are paid every 14 days from the day they register as a seller. It’s a good idea to keep this in mind as the money takes a few weeks to reach you.

However, you will be sent a notification by e-mail each time your payment has been processed and sent to you.

 

Some More Information:

Shipping to Northern Ireland

Selling Online

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NEW: Smell of the Twelfth Candle

12th Candle

Want to avoid the crowds or just an early night to prepare for the main day? Now you can celebrate the 12th safely at home this year with our woodsy-essenced Smell of the Twelfth Candle.

Each candle is lovingly hand-made in Belfast and has smokey woody scents that will transport you back to being beside the bonfire at an 11th night celebration.

Simply light this candle on the 11th of July and enjoy!

If you are unable to attend any of the July celebrations, due to covid, or travel restrictions this candle is perfect for you. It also makes a super gift for family and friends abroad. 

For those of you who may also miss the classic 11th-night sight of pallets, we are also running a special offer! We will send you a free mini pallet along with your candle, burning of the mini pallet is optional. This is while stock last, limited mini pallets. These can be used to set the candle on or even as a coaster. 

Mini Pallet

 

Reviews

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I am not able to travel into Belfast for this year’s 12th July celebrations so this candle is perfect, cannot wait to light it.

Sarah, Belfast.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Got this for my mate as a laugh, looks great and will make a great present!

Peter, Ballymena.

 

 

You may be interested in:

Line of Duty Virtual Tour of Belfast

Sending Parcels to Northern Ireland

Posted in Northern Ireland | Comments Off on NEW: Smell of the Twelfth Candle

2021 NI Pint Census

Pubs are finally open!!

The restriction that everyone was waiting for has finally been lifted! But after a couple weeks of hospitality being open again who’s quickly remembering how expensive life is?! We sure have!

So we’ve made a funky infographic to show exactly where the cheapest AND the most expensive pint of Guinness is in and around Belfast. Can you guess where is on the list?

Could you have guessed?! Looks like we’ll be heading down to Raven Social Club for a few cheap pints!

 

All information collected by @BrendanJHarkin

 

New to NI Parcels? Learn more about our low cost courier services…

Get Quote NI Parcels

 

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Top 50 Northern Irish Foods

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Learn more:

Parcel Delivery Northern Ireland

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Line of Duty Virtual Tour

If you are an avid Line of Duty fan and have been to Northern Ireland before you’ll have spotted some key Belfast locations.

While AC-12 are on the hunt for bent coppers we’ve been on the hunt to stake out the main locations they’ve used in and around Belfast – let’s take a virtual tour of the Line of Duty filming locations!

 

⚠️SPOILERS ALERT ⚠️

Do not scroll if you aren’t up to date with Season 6!

 

The Subway, Queens Square 

This is one of DI Fleming and DS Arnotts favourite places to meet for a top-secret conversation. This very recognisable location goes from Belfast’s High Street to the Albert Clock. (Notice the power-washed floors too!😂)

 

Ambush, Corporation Street

One of the most dramatic scenes in Season 6 when DC Bishop and Ds Arnott were caught in the middle of an intense shoot-out after retrieving Jimmy Lakewell from prison. This was shot on Corporation Street, under the M3. (This is also where Kate picked up the burner phone!)

 

AC12 Headquarters,  Bedford Street

Jesus, Mary and Joseph and the wee donkey who would have guessed Invest NI on Bedford Street was the Headquarters for AC-12.

 

Kingsgate Printing Services,  North Street

Used as a base by the OCG and for Jo to hide important evidence, Kingsgate Printing Services is actually G.E. Fabrics & Fashions on North Street.

 

Hillside Lane Police Station,  Beechmount Parade

The main police station that is used throughout Series 6 is Corpus Christi College located in West Belfast. 

 

Steve & Nicola’s Coffee meeting, Cafe Nero Fountain Centre

Steve and Nicola met for a chat at the Cafe Nero in the Fountain Center in the middle of town, just around the corner from City Hall. (and next to my hairdressers!)

 

Shoot out between Kate and Ryan, North St

One of the most dramatic scenes in season 6 is when DCI Davidson lured DI Fleming to an abandoned car park and was joined by bent copper PC Pilkington. This was more of a tricky location to find, luckily Brennan’s fish and chips across the road was easy to locate! 

 

That’s it for our virtual Line of Duty tour, did you spot any other key locations in Belfast?

If you need to ship anything to Northern Ireland, be sure to check out NI Parcels!

 

New to NI Parcels? Learn more about our low cost courier services…

Get Quote NI Parcels

 

More Blog Posts:

15 Amazing Beauty Products That Are Actually Made In Northern Ireland

40 Things Only Northern Irish People Do

Learn more:

Parcel Delivery Northern Ireland

Import Services To UK

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7 Things To Look For In A Courier Partner For Your Business

Courier Van

Whether you’ve recently started a business or you’re just looking to make some changes, a reliable courier service is important for your shipping and logistics.

Not only can the right courier partner save you money, but your delivery service also contributes towards the customer experience and your reputation.

So you really need to get this right.

However, finding the perfect courier service can be tricky and is not a decision to take lightly. That’s where we come in.

To help you get this right, we’ve pulled together a list of the things you need to look for when choosing a courier partner for your business. These are:

1. Reliability

One of the most important things you need to consider when choosing a courier service is how reliable they are. An unreliable courier partner could not only cost your business money but could negatively impact your reputation.

The good news is there are several ways you can find out about the reliability of a courier and these include:

  • The company website
  • Testimonials from other clients
  • Online reviews and feedback from customers
  • Review sites such as Trustpilot

So before you settle on a provider, be sure to do thorough research and check out the reliability of each provider you’re considering. Then you can make an informed decision and ensure you choose the most reliable service provider.

2. Professionalism and communication

Another important consideration is how professional the service providers are and whether they’re good at communicating when you need them.

After all, you want working with them to be as easy and enjoyable as possible.

So before you choose a courier, you need to determine important aspects such as how they communicate with clients, how they do their invoicing and how you go about arranging bookings with them.

Look for a courier service that is going to make the process as seamless as possible and who are always (within reason) on hand to help should you encounter any issues.

You also want them to be professional in terms of the service they provide to your customers. This means you want couriers with clean, tidy vans and well-presented delivery drivers. This is because the professionalism of their employees will also reflect on your business.

3. Speed of delivery

In a world where same-day delivery is possible, consumers are increasingly expecting faster delivery times. As such, the speed of delivery is important and is something you need to consider when choosing a courier.

You want to choose a courier who can offer express shipping and rush orders when required. You might also wish to choose a provider that offers same-day, next-day or overnight delivery as these options are very well received by consumers.

So look at the company website and speak with the couriers before deciding. They will be able to advise you on the types of delivery options they have on offer. At NI Parcels we specialise in postage to Northern Ireland.

4. The range of services on offer

We’ve briefly touched on some of the services you might want. but before you settle on any courier partner, you need to make sure they offer all the services you need or might need in the future.

So take a careful look at the variety of services on offer. And remember, you might be a small business only offering local delivery right now, but if you plan to expand in the future, you want a courier partner that can handle the logistics and shipping of your growth.

Plus, if you already ship internationally or you hope to do this in the future, you’ll need a service provider that offers this service.

Some of the services that a good courier partner should provide and therefore the things you should look out for include:

  • Same-day delivery
  • Next-day delivery
  • UK overnight shipping
  • International shipping
  • Freight and cargo shipping
  • Office solutions such as digital print and postal services
  • Specialist services (such as warehouse storage and pick and pack)
  • No Remote area surcharges (Shipping to Northern Ireland can sometimes be extra)

5. Security

We are hearing a lot more about security these days, whether online or offline, as people are sharing more of their data than ever before. And security is something you also need to consider when choosing a courier.

Depending on the nature of your business, your courier could be shipping packages containing sensitive information or items. This means you want a courier that provides multiple ways of keeping your packages safe.

Not only this, but you want a service provider that is going to require proof of ID where necessary and that will ensure they are not taking any unnecessary risks with your packages.

A good way to check the security of a courier is to find out whether they offer any of the following:

  • Real-time GPS tracking
  • Secure parcel deliveries
  • Full audit trails
  • Transparency throughout the chain of custody
  • Employees who are trained about security practices

You should be able to find out or ask about these on the company website or by getting in touch with the customer service team.

6. Environmental considerations

People are increasingly becoming aware of their environmental footprint and as such, they are making more environmentally friendly choices. And businesses are no exception.

If you’re hoping to reduce your carbon footprint, you should look for a courier service that works with eco-conscious suppliers and has systems in place to reduce emissions. For example, some couriers now use bikes for local deliveries, while others use electric eco-vans.

So if this is something that is important to you and you think it can have a positive impact on your brand, speak to couriers about what they’re doing to be more eco-conscious.

7. Price

Last but by no means least, you need to consider the price of your courier service. While you want a courier service that is going to offer all the services, security and customer service you want, you also need to consider the costs.

You need to find a balance to ensure you get everything you need from your new courier partner but at an affordable price that suits your budget.

The great news is there are plenty of courier services out there that offer both; it’s just about shopping around and doing your research until you find the right one.

Posted in Small Business Tips | Comments Off on 7 Things To Look For In A Courier Partner For Your Business