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Express Delivery and the Difference with Regular Post

We would like to explain what express delivery is and how it differs from regular postal services.

What is Express Delivery?

Express delivery is a fast shipping service offered by courier companies like DHL, DPD, TNT, and FedEx. With express delivery, packages or documents are often delivered within 24 hours, 48 hours, or 72 hours, depending on the destination and available options.

A courier service operates using its own network, including a customs department to ensure swift delivery. They use their own vehicles (vans, trucks), airplanes, and personnel, forming their network to expedite package delivery. For instance, a document to America can be delivered within 24 hours. The same applies to an import shipment from Hong Kong, which can be delivered in the Netherlands within 24 hours. So, when sending a business package, you might prefer to choose Express delivery.

How Can You Send a Package?

  • By regular postal service (the most familiar way of sending)

  • By courier (less familiar but the fastest method of shipping)

  • By sea container (the most economical and slowest method, often used for bulk goods)

  • By air freight (the most economical method of shipping bulk goods by air)

What is the Difference Between Regular Post and Express?

The main difference between regular post and express lies in the speed, reliability, and level of service provided when shipping packages or documents.

Regular post refers to traditional postal services, such as national postal services like PostNL in the Netherlands and bpost in Belgium. Post services are often cheaper than express services and usually offer standard delivery options, such as normal delivery and registered mail. Post services have lower priority and may take longer to deliver, depending on the destination and local postal services.

On the other hand, express is a term used to describe faster services often provided by courier companies like DHL, UPS, and FedEx. Express services usually offer faster delivery options, such as 24-hour, 48-hour, or 72-hour delivery, and typically provide additional services like real-time tracking, insurance, and signature upon delivery. Express services are usually more expensive than regular post services due to the higher level of service and faster delivery times they offer.

In general, regular post is suitable for less urgent shipments, while express is better suited for packages or documents that need to be sent quickly and reliably, with additional services like real-time tracking and insurance.

Summary: Differences Between Post and Express

  • Post uses other postal networks / Express uses its own networks

  • Post is dropped off at the post office or collection point / Express is picked up

  • Post has longer delivery times / Express offers speed and very short delivery times

  • Post may change the tracking number of your shipment due to different postal networks / Express always uses its own tracking numbers within its own network

Sending via Regular Post

If, for example, you send a package to America by regular post, it can take as long as 14-21 days before your package is delivered. Sometimes, you can perfectly trace your package via Track & Trace, but this might be less reliable or not available for further destinations.

A postal network is often a national network. Therefore, you can send a shipment by regular post within the Netherlands without any issues. In general, it will be delivered within 1-2 days, as your package remains within the same postal network. In the Netherlands, this network is managed by PostNL.

However, if you want to send a package to America, once your package is sent abroad, the local network, in this example, PostNL, will send your shipment to another postal network.

Once the shipment leaves the country and crosses the border, PostNL will no longer handle the delivery in America. Instead, your package destined for America will be handed over to, for example, RoyalMail in the United Kingdom. There, the tracking number will be adjusted, and your shipment will be transported in large bags to America. Upon arrival in America, your package will be assigned another tracking number and will be delivered by the local postal service USPS. As you can see, your package will go through multiple networks, and the traceability might not always be certain until it is eventually delivered in America.

Want more Information?

We are happy to assist you with sending your package and provide advice as needed. Every day, we handle shipments worldwide and always seek the best solution for your package, pallet, or document. ParcelParcel is the specialist in Express shipments!


Document, Parcel, or Pallet?

You can both export (e.g., Netherlands/Belgium to ) or import ( to Netherlands/Belgium) via ParcelParcel.


  • Send documents up to 0.5 kg
  • Have your shipment picked up for free
  • Insure your documents up to €400
  • You can both import and export documents
  • Delivered with acknowledgment


  • Send 1 or multiple parcels per shipment
  • Insure your parcel up to €100,000
  • Ship small, large, or heavy parcels
  • You can both import and export parcels
  • Delivered with acknowledgment


  • Send items on europallets or block pallets
  • Your pallets are picked up for free
  • You can both import and export pallets
  • Always delivered with acknowledgment
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