Guide to French Poste Office - La Poste

  1. Introduction to La Poste
  2. French Postal Tariffs and Services
  3. La Poste Parcel Delivery
  4. Private Parcel Delivery
  5. Parcel Delivery Problems
  6. French Postcodes
  7. La Banque Postale
  8. Complaints Procedure
  9. Glossary of French Postal Terms

4. Private Parcel Delivery

As an alternative to La Poste it is possible to use a private company such as TNT, DHL, GLS, or UPS. There are also a number of other smaller companies in France, such as Geodis (Calberson), Mory Ducros, and France Express.

These companies use delivery points in shops around France, as well as delivery to your home.

Although we do not review their rates in these pages there is a useful website at Tarif-Colis, where you can compare tariffs offered by La Poste and the main private delivery companies, for both national and international delivery.

In practice, the distinction between La Poste and these companies is not so clear-cut, as some private delivery companies do use La Poste as a partner in the delivery of international parcels in France.

In general, Chronopost have comparable delivery times and frequently better prices for national delivery, although their international delivery rates are often higher than those of the private companies.

One of the most popular parcel delivery services within France is Mondial Relay, a point to point/drop off service so you need to send to/recover from a point relai. There are over 9,000 collection points located in small retailers and tabacs, a very substantial network.

The prices from MR are very competitive, but views are mixed about the quality of the service , although such is the level of on-line fraud that takes place between private sellers an alleged lack of delivery cannot always be attributed to a failure of MR. It should also be stated that the Colissimo service also has its critics.

When sending particularly valuable goods it is possible to take out insurance, and armed with the delivery parcel reference number you are able to monitor the progress of delivery on-line.

In tests we carried out, although delivery was a bit slow, all parcels were received.

They do offer international delivery, but their network is not the most reliable, so the service probably best used only in France.

Most private companies, as well as Chronopost, also offer a 'payment on delivery' service, called contre-remboursement , so if you buy or sell an item for which payment on delivery is agreed this service is a suitable option.

France also has a strong car sharing network and it is possible to deliver a parcel this way. One operator specialising is Colis Voiturage.

Next: Private Delivery Problems

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