Here in South Somerset I find all of the parcel delivery services OK -
even Hermes who seem to be the most complained about generally.
A recent experience with one particular retailer and Yodel was
interesting. The retailer split the delivery into two parcels and I
got "dispatched" notices from them on two days with Yodel tracking
numbers. In neither case did the tracking number show up on Yodel
until at least 24 hours had passed and I got two deliveries on two
days. I suspect that the communication between the two may not be on a
"real time" basis and that there is batch processing somewhere along
the line. It may be the retailer that keeps all their details until a
given time every day and then sends them as a batch or it might be
that the retailer sends them as they are created but Yodel only
processes them as a batch at a given time, I don't know.
I've recently purchased something from embay in the USA. The seller
used the "Global Shipping Program". That works by sending the item to
Pitney Bowes near Cincinnati from where it gets shipped to the UK
(East Midlands airport I believe) to be delivered by Hermes. The
tracking showed it moving via Fedex ground to PB where they told me
they were creating the documentation and then, a little later, that it
had been shipped. Five days later it has just appeared in the Hermes
system without an "arrived UK" element in the tracking; we both know
that the flight doesn't take 5 days. In this case I suspect PB crate
up lots of shipments into one and then present it for shipment and I
doubt they do that every day, another batch process. Of course, when
it gets here it has to go through customs and that adds more time.
I have used Fedex to ship things across the Atlantic from the USA.
Their tracking can be misleading. Quite often something will be
recorded as being in Memphis at the exact time the plane it's on
departs Memphis and the next tracking is at the moment that plane
touches down (rather than arriving at the gate). Their delivery timing
is simply "before 1800hrs" here (and it usually turns up about lunch
time) but in Slough, using the same service, it is "before 1200" hrs
(and will turn up between 0900-1000). That said, I can order a
shipment early Monday and it will arrive here Wednesday.
None of the systems are perfect. My preference, here in South
Somerset, is DPD with Yodel second. If I lived somewhere else I can
well believe my preference would be something else.