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Besides having the right product and the right marketing for the respective target group, fulfillment is a decisive factor for the success of e-commerce companies. On the one hand, it influences costs for shipping (up to 60% according to Markus Hamer, Managing Director of the German Institute for Service and Quality) and storage, and on the other hand, fast and reliable shipping has a significant influence on customer satisfaction and repurchase probability.

Diving into shipping options can feel like a global adventure, especially with customers from everywhere, including Germany, each with their delivery likes and dislikes. That's why we've put together a quick guide to Germany's go-to delivery giants, packed with info on fast shipping, green options, and handy pick-up spots. Plus, we've got the lowdown on what makes each service tick – all to help you cut costs, offer more choices, and make your customers way happier. Picking the right shipping partner? Big decision, big impact. Let's make it a good one.

Guide for Cross-Border E-Commerce in the European Union

Expectations of Online Shoppers in Germany regarding parcel delivery companies

The importance of the above-mentioned features of parcel delivery companies is shown by the following facts and figures on parcel shipping:
  • 12% of Germans use pick-up points.
  • 23% of German consumers say they would abandon the purchase process after a negative experience with a shipping service provider. 
  • 62% of German consumers leave an online shop because the shipping costs are too high 
  • 78% of Germans expect a delivery time of 2-3 days for standard shipping
  • 35% of German consumers are willing to pay extra for environmentally friendly delivery
  • 48% of German consumers consider online customer reviews to be highly beneficial.
  • 83% of online shoppers value getting their parcels delivered by a shipping company with which they have already had good experiences.


German Parcel Delivery Market

The German CEP (courier, express, and parcel service) market has experienced strong growth in recent years due to booming e-commerce and is mainly driven by online trade in Germany. 

In Germany, B2C sales now dominate parcel shipments, comprising around two-thirds of the total. This shift highlights the growing importance of direct sales between businesses and customers. A 2021 study projects the German CEP market to exceed 32 billion euros by 2025, considering the impact of the coronavirus


According to the Market Parcel Report, the parcel market, in Germany, in terms of domestic and international shipments is largely dominated by six key players: Amazon, DPD, Deutsche Post DHL (DP DHL), GLS, Hermes, and UPS. These industry giants collectively handle a staggering 98% of all parcels.

DP DHL continues to maintain a market share of over 40% in terms of parcel volumes, establishing a significant lead over its competitors, all of whom hold market shares in the 5% to 15% range. Amazon, active in the market as a parcel service provider with its delivery infrastructure since 2017, has experienced particularly robust growth within this 5% to 15% range.

Top 5 delivery companies in Germany

  • Deutsche Post DHL
  • Hermes
  • DPD
  • GLS
  • UPS


The delivery companies listed above are the most important parcel couriers in Germany, both in terms of popularity and actual use. Nevertheless, this overview list is by no means exhaustive. Furthermore, it is not a ranking, so the order is not a valuation. Each of these parcel shipping providers has its own advantages and disadvantages for e-commerce companies, depending on shipping volume, size of parcels, preferences of the target group, and other relevant factors.

Deutsche Post DHL

Founded in San Francisco and wholly owned by Deutsche Post AG in 2002, the parcel delivery company dominates the German parcel market in many areas. In 2022, Deutsche Post DHL transported approximately 1.67 billion parcels in Germany, showing a slight decline from the 1.82 billion parcels handled in 2021. Nonetheless, it remains the leading parcel delivery company in Germany in terms of usage. By 2023, the number of parcel lockers increased from about 7,000 in 2021 to 15,000.

Express delivery
With DHL Express, which is particularly suitable for international parcel shipping, the German courier offers its business division for faster-than-average shipping.

CO2 Neutral Options
The parcel delivery service provider aims to achieve zero-emissions logistics by 2050. Among other things, the Go Green environmental protection program offsets the greenhouse gases produced.

  • Climate-neutral shipping within Germany: no additional costs
  • Climate-neutral shipping in the EU: 20 cents surcharge per parcel
  • Climate-neutral shipping worldwide: 70 cent surcharge per parcel

Pick-up points
29,000 locations in Germany Packstation, post office branch, DHL Paketshop or “Paketbox”.

International focus
Strong international focus and global expertise.


  • Wide range of services
  • Every parcel is insured up to €500
  • Shipment tracking
  • Choice between:
    • slow & cheap
    • fast & expensive
  • Attractive for fast-growing and internationally active companies, according to DHL.
  • “Warenpost” has been part of DHL's service since last year. This allows small goods (max. 5cm x 25cm x 35.3cm) to be sent quickly (usually next-day delivery) and efficiently.
  • Assistance with problems and individual cases is often lengthy and slow
  • Prices often complicated
Delivery methods and services
Among others:
  • DHL International Express
  • DHL Euro Plus
  • DHL Sameday Jetline
  • DHL Sameday Sprintline
  • DHL Express 9:00/10:30/12:00
  • DHL Express Worldwide
  • DHL Express Easy
  • DHL Warenpost



The Hamburg-based parcel delivery company was founded in 1972 and is owned by the German retail company Otto GmbH. In 2019, the number of employees was 15,500 people, which contributed to the turnover of €3.5 billion. Currently, the company employs more than 18,000 employees worldwide. In just five years, Hermes increased its absolute revenue level by around EUR 860 million and successfully delivered over 250 million parcels. About 817 million parcels per year are shipped in Europe and up to 1.5 million home deliveries per day.

CO2 Neutral Options An initiative to act in an environmentally friendly way was launched in 2010 under the name "Hermes - WE DO!

International focus
Shipping to countries outside the EU (except the UK) is not possible with Hermes, but the parcel carrier is one of the most popular delivery companies in the UK. It is, therefore, true that Hermes is a strong player within Europe, while there are no offers beyond that area.

Pick-up points
16,000 parcel shops in Germany.


  • 95% of all incoming packages are delivered in the domestic market on the very next day
  • Every parcel is insured up to an amount of €500
  • Shipment tracking
  • B2B service from 300 shipments p.a. at attractive prices
  • Especially attractive for smaller online retailers
  • 1st place in the price-performance category for courier, express, and parcel service providers 
  • Parcels are relatively often returned without successful delivery
  • Only EU-wide shipping + the UK
  • Not the optimal shipping solution for large internationally active e-commerce companies
  • Bringing up the rear in climate-neutral shipping

Delivery methods and services
Among others:

  • Hermes NextDay
  • Hermes International
  • Hermes BorderGuru (cross-border e-commerce)



DPD Germany, based in Aschaffenburg, is part of the international DPD group, which operates under the wing of the French La Poste, the best-known logistics company in France. Incidentally, the company is one of the top parcel delivery companies in France.  DPDgroup recently reported exceptional annual results, with a remarkable 14.8% increase in revenues. The company also achieved a milestone of delivering more than 2 billion parcels worldwide, while achieving an operating profit of over €1 billion for the first time in its history.

Express delivery
National and international express services.

CO2 Neutral Options
Under the name "Driving Change" DPD has established a group-wide strategy for sustainable development within the company. Since 2012, DPD has been shipping
100% climate-neutral.

Pick-up points
7,000 parcel shops in Germany.

International focus
With DPD it is possible to ship to certain countries outside the EU, such as the USA, still, the focus is clearly on shipping within Europe.


  • Simple pricing policy (5 price classes depending on the longest and shortest side of the parcel, but not on weight).
  • Each parcel is insured up to €520
  • Shipment tracking
  • Comparatively fast delivery for standard shipping
  • The front-runner in climate-neutral shipping
  • High additional costs for delivery on Saturdays
Delivery methods and services
Among others:
  • DPD Air Classic
  • DPD Air Express
  • DPD PickUp 24
  • DPD PickUp Express
  • DPD PickUp Classic



General Logistics Systems B.V. (GLS) was founded in 1989,  as German Parcel back then. Today it is headquartered in Amsterdam and belongs to the British delivery company Royal Mail. The so-called GLS Beteiligungs GmbH, consisting of the markets in Germany, Austria, and Hungary, contributes €1.12 billion to 50% of the total worldwide turnover. This is made possible by more than 8,000 employees in Germany. GLS is thus the third largest courier in Germany.

Express delivery
Customers can use the ExpressParcel service to send parcels in the fastest way possible.

CO2 Neutral Options
Since 2019, GLS Germany has been delivering all parcels 100% climate-neutrally, both nationally and internationally. Further measures are being taken as part of the GLS KlimaProtect initiative.

Pick-up points
5.500 parcel shops in Germany.

International focus
Not the best international network (delivery to "only" 23 countries in the EU + the USA and Canada).


  • Simple pricing policy (depending on the longest and shortest side of the parcel, but not on weight).
  • Each parcel is insured up to €750 (€250 more than most competitors)
  • Shipment tracking
  • Reliable shipping
  • Fast shipping (usually under 24h in Germany & 24h - 96h within the EU)
  • Saturday delivery only in a few metropolitan areas
  • Not an optimal solution for e-commerce retailers with large shipping volumes
  • Comparatively few pick-up points
Delivery methods and services
Among others:
  • GLS BusinessParcel
  • GLS EuroBusinessParcel
  • GLS ExpressParcel
  • GLS FlexDeliveryService



United Parcel Service of America, Inc. (UPS), is a global package and shipping services provider. Nearly 495,000 employees deliver about 5.5 billion packages a year worldwide, helping to make UPS the largest shipping company in the world. Throughout the year 2022, UPS daily average package deliveries reached an impressive 24.3 million, reaching a total of 6.2 billion packages delivered. Significantly, their revenue in the same year amounted to an impressive US$100.3 billion.

Express delivery
Fast solution with UPS Express.

CO2 Neutral Options
Like almost all companies in this sector, UPS is also increasingly focusing on climate neutrality. For this purpose, the UPS Foundation was established, however, the company is still lagging behind its competitors. UPS’s climate-neutral shipping comes with a flat rate surcharge of 12 cents.

Pick-up points
Approx. 5,000 parcel shops in Germany

International focus
With 807 different airports served, UPS has a strong network around the world. Especially for exports to the USA, the parcel delivery company is ahead of its competitors. However, as their focus lies on the American market, their shipping services within Europe are not as compelling as some of the competitors’ offerings.


  • Fast delivery
  • Reliable delivery
  • Shipment tracking
  • Each package is insured up to €510
  • Additional costs for delivery on Saturdays
  • Focus on US market
  • Comparatively few pick-up points
Delivery methods and services
Among others:
  • UPS Express Critical – International
  • UPS Worldwide Express Plus
  • UPS Worldwide Express Shipping
  • UPS Worldwide Saver, UPS Next Day Air
  • UPS Worldwide Expedited
  • UPS 2nd Day Air
  • UPS Standard



In this compact overview of the best parcel delivery companies in Germany, you can quickly and easily identify the differences between the various providers. You can best decide which features of the couriers are most important for your webshop and your customers. Whether the market leadership of DHL, the price-performance ratio of Hermes, the speed and customer focus of DPD, the expertise in e-commerce of GLS, or the experience of UPS are the decisive factors, we wish you every possible success with your decision.

Sustainable e-commerce supply chain e-book

3PL and order fulfillment as an alternative solution

For companies with several hundred shipments per month or more, it is oftentimes feasible to outsource their logistics to a 3PL (third party logistics) partner, to reduce the logistic efforts and optimize their international growth.

Partnering up with companies like byrd is, in many cases, the best solution to simplify and automate the order fulfillment processes. How this works in practice is that the online shop system is directly connected to the warehouse network via proprietary software, rendering a centralized all-in-one tool that enables automatic data transfer and order management in real-time.

Furthermore, by joining the scalable fulfillment network, you can benefit from advantageous conditions from multiple carriers and reduced shipping rates due to aggregated volumes shipped by the 3PL partner. Last but not least, having a resilient and flexible warehouse network at the reach of your hand, will help you significantly during the peak season (Christmas time, for example) as it enables you to easily avoid supply-chain bottlenecks by effortlessly relocating your inventory across the warehouse network and flexibly switching between a variety of shipping carriers available to you.

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