Why is it important to package your consignment securely for transport?

Packaging Guidancepeace-of-mindGuidelines For Packaging Items Safely and Securely For Transport

Whether you are sending a package for business or personal reasons, domestic or international, whether it arrives on time shouldn’t be your main or only concern. Making sure it arrives in one piece with no or minimal damage to the packaging should be something high on your priority list.

There are a number of issues that could arise from an incorrectly packaged parcel. The contents could be damaged, an item may become lost from the packaging breaking open, or the package may not be deliverable at all. Remember, your package gets handled by multiple people, arriving at several depots along the way, and although great care will be taken in handling your parcel, taking a few extra minutes to think about and plan the packaging of your item can make a huge difference.

Pick a box strong enough for your item and whenever possible, try to use a new box. Used boxes may have already been compromised and weakened on their previous journeys. Also, try to get a box that fits the item comfortably, but doesn’t leave too much space surrounding it. Ensure any space in the box is filled with an appropriate packing material such as bubble wrap or foam. If you are sending multiple items, make sure there is plenty of padding between each item and whenever possible, try to put heavier items in the base of the box and lighter ones towards the top. Again, make sure all voids are filled with appropriate packing materials. Be sure to seal your box fully along all joins, seams and edges with strong parcel tape or similar. Display delivery address labels and other documentation clearly and in a prominent position on the box.

Always read any instructions or guidelines given to you by your chosen carrier carefully, but here is a handy list of packaging Do’s and Don’ts to help you out

Packaging Do’s

Use a new, strong box

Use plenty of internal packaging

Use strong parcel tape

Print the address clearly

Print two delivery labels when needed and place one inside the box

Weigh and measure your parcel after packing it to avoid additional costs

Attach any customs documents to the outside of the box

Remove any old or unnecessary labels from the box


Packaging Don’ts

Attach multiple parcels together

Use household sellotape

Use old or damaged boxes

Use packaging that cannot handle your load

Substitute ‘Fragile’ or ‘Handle with Care’ for good packaging

Write the value on the box – just include it on the booking

Why would you choose Apollo?


You’ve seen the advert – Man with van! – What more could you want?

It has taken a lot of hard work to produce your consignments for your clients. All you need is it to be delivered in one piece, safe, dry, intact and on time. Well, if your consignments are important to you, if your deadlines need to be respected, it’s worth using the services of a well-respected, reputable provider that has been in the market place for over 22 years.

Take a look at some of the considerations – all of which we have covered here at Apollo Distribution Solutions:

Our vehicles are

    • Safe and suitable for the roads
    • Regularly serviced up to date models
    • Fuel efficient for more cost effective journeys
    • Clean, professional with experienced drivers
    • Dedicated vehicles only carrying your consignments
    • Automatic goods in transit cover up to £30,000 per vehicle
    • On call 24/7, 365 days a year

We’ve enjoyed long standing partnerships with various different firms from printers, solicitors, exhibition companies to hospitals and would be happy to let you talk to them if you need to check us out.

When you’re choosing to send your goods by same day courier, you don’t want to wait as you need to hit a specific deadline. Only a courier company with a large fleet has the capacity and flexibility to respond quickly, with the right size vehicle, when you call. Not only do we have vehicles on standby for your consignments from letters to artics, we also have vehicles that we can call on should demand increase unexpectedly.

Beware – not all same day services are the same. Some services may be same day, but consignments are often collected and delivered in groups so whilst your parcel may be on its way at 9.30, it may not reach its destination until much later in the day. When checking prices for same day services, make sure you are comparing like for like. At Apollo our dedicated service means that we only carry your goods which ensures delivery at the earliest possible time and reduces the likelihood of damage during transit.

Why not visit Apollo www.apollodistributionsolutions.co.uk to see how we can best deliver your items.STORIES (4)

Why is it important to have the correct tariff classification on Export and Imports?


All goods imported and exported are subject to taxes and duties, although harmonisation codes are not requied for items shipped within the EU at the moment. All items outside the EU are required to be classified in accordance with the harmonized schedule of the UK and each tariff number has a corresponding rate of duty. These rates will vary depending on the country of origin. Based on the goods you are importing or exporting customs determines which harmonization schedule to apply to your goods which will determine the applicable duty rate.

The tariff database is an interactive data base that will enable you to get an approximate idea of the duty rate of the product before it is sent. You can check this number via http://www.gov.uk/trade-tariff, although it can be extremely difficult to determine the correct code.


Having the correct classification is a legal responsibility. Failure to attach these codes can mean shipment delays, increased inspections, storage costs, fines and other administrative penalties.

Classification depends on various factors – full and complete description of the goods, together with component materials.These are important factors to determine the correct tariff codes.

What service does Apollo provide?

Apollo obtains all commodity codes and completes all customs invoices to ensure fast and efficient movement between borders, countries paperwork, trade laws and customs duties. The items will be tracked and any mediation or additional information will be provided to ensure the safe delivery of goods.



Tel: 02920796100 (24/7)

Uncertainty – why take risks?

We are all facing uncertain times with Brexit, a new American President, fluctuating currency markets and poor business confidence is there anything we can be sure of anymore?

Commercial properties, especially in London are on the decline , caution may well spread throughout commerce and industry, which means we should all do what we can to be prepared.

One way is to take a look at overheads. Apollo could provide driver cover on a part-time, full-time or ad hoc basis, urgent deliveries. It saves employers the cost of employing a driver (pensions, paye, holiday paye, sick paye etc) together with the cost of a vehicle.

What do customers get if they order a same day courier? At Apollo, a driver in a modern, clean, well maintained van with a wealth of experience delivering throughout the Country. If the driver is on holidays they are replaced without disrupting deliveries.

The beauty of a courier service is that client’s only pay for the services when they are being used, so it is flexible according to their busy and quiet times. There are no wasted resources and customers enjoy complete control over their delivery costs.

However, care must be taken when deciding on the right courier for your business, as not all courier drivers are the same! Some believe that if you have your own van that they are by default a courier. When it’s your consignments and urgent documents that are in transit, you will want to know that they are in safe hands.

Drivers at Apollo Distribution Solutions Cardiff are vetted, trained with full goods in transit insurance from the moment of collection to delivery therefore ensuring that consignments are safe and protected from damage. We take our client’s deliveries seriously; we understand that a failure on our part reflects badly on the relationship with your client’s. With thorough vehicle checks, regular maintenance schedules and tracking we can be relied upon to meet your delivery schedules, and any last minute orders. Whether your parcel is a strange size or shape, a document containing sensitive confidential information or full pallets we can send the most appropriate and efficient vehicle for its journey.

Whatever challenge you’d like to give us, we’d gladly accept! We’re experienced and knowledgeable and will always best fit your circumstance to ensure that your items are delivered on time every time.

Written by: Emma Dyer


Christmas Opening Times


Same Day Dedicated

Open 24/7 365 days a year from Small Van – Artic

Overnight Deliveries

Last Collection Friday 23rd December for delivery Wednesday 28th December
Collection Wednesday 28th December for delivery 30th December
Collection Tuesday 3rd January for delivery Wednesday 4th January

International Deliveries

Contact Apollo for transit times as they vary depending on Country destination

Emma Dyer – 02920796100




Are you ready for Christmas?

Its 6 weeks before Christmas and it is essential to get your planning right for the festive period, to ensure stock levels and make the most of your marketing campaigns. There is usually an influx of sales orders online and through the market place, so you must ensure a good system is in place to handle the extra demand. You need to forecast your needs in advance, update figures and re-stock so that levels do not dwindle. This can be achieved with a stringent system in place, historic usage and clear and up to date supplier lead times together with a precise delivery date and time.
Many companies have either been stock piling items ready for Christmas or have a system in place to ensure that the item is on their shelf to sell. However, many fail to check how the items are being delivered together with a contingency plan in place should the unexpected happen.
Why not ask your logistics company for help and advice before the rush on how your items will be delivered when requested. Often companies leave this until the last minute which can result in disappointment due to the volumes that are being shipped at this time of the year. What plan do you have in place if there are poor weather conditions or additional demand that you had not expected? Often the lead times depend on the country of origin and the delivery country.
It is important that customer service comes top of your list of priorities as you would like their return custom at other times of the year other than Christmas and you wouldn’t like to miss that very important deadline day.
There are many ways of getting your item to your client, whether it is an overnight carrier next day for parcels, pallet delivery for volume items, international shipments via road, air and sea or dedicated vehicles same day for the more valuable items that need to maintain a specific time slot. Wouldn’t it be easier for you to concentrate on selling your products, provide excellent customer service and build client relationships, whilst your courier company organises volumes, completes paperwork, tracks items and ensures delivery on time, every time.
Written by:
Emma Dyer




Many businesses spend thousands of pounds trying to make, import and sell their products without considering how they will get these items delivered to their clients and the overall customer experience. Every business tries to control the customers experience via ads, websites and services – However, do you know what happens to the goods once they leave the warehouse? Do you know how the items are protected?

Many companies don’t understand the basic facts of packaging, tracking, paperwork and profitability.

So be Careful! Choosing the wrong shipper can mean your customer may suffer a poor experience, resulting in the cancellation of an order! This can reduce repeat business and generate negative reviews and comments on social media platforms.

Packaging and Marketing 

With the increase in online purchases companies have to ensure that their items arrive in one piece, on time and with additional aftercare to ensure repeat business. Companies are going above and beyond to exceed expectations by including a voucher, thank you note, branding on the delivery box or delivering the item before it is expected.

Packaging is another effective way to increase your brand awareness and make sure that the items don’t get damaged in transit. How often have you received a (personal?) delivery of a small item in a huge box with an excessive amount of packaging with nothing to illustrate where it’s from?

Why not think about the following items to ensure repeat business and reduce the amount of items being damaged in transit:

  • Name and website printed on box or on a leaflet inside
  • Discount offer for future purchases
  • Suggest alternative purchases
  • Discounts for sharing experience on social media
  • Use packaging as an extension of the quality of your brand

Packaging Options

There are hundreds of options to ship items depending on the nature of your consignments from bulk cargo on pallets, light weight boxes, wooden crates and padded envelopes. There are new innovative ideas being introduced to the market place which can reduce your courier costs, especially when sending large volumes out daily, so be sure to always review your packaging! Do not make the mistake of using inappropriate packaging for the item being shipped resulting in the package being damaged and the inability to claim on the insurance.

 Courier Service

Remember! Not all couriers are the same! It’s not as easy as using one man and their van as your default driver assuming that your parcels will be delivered on time, every time. Care must be taken to choose the correct courier by ensuring that the drivers are vetted and trained to ensure that your items are in safe hands. Most couriers will provide goods in transit insurance cover as standard which will cover articles that are being shipped.

What other services do you expect from your courier?

Here are a few services that Apollo can provide:

      • 24 hours a day 365 days a year
      • Same day dedicated vehicles from small vans to artics
      • Nationwide couriers with other offices based throughout the country
      • Experienced staff and well trained drivers providing an efficient service
      • Overnight services from parcels to pallets
      • International services – Worldwide via economy or express service
      • Dedicated vehicle cover of £10,000.00 per vehicle as standard!

Your goods are important to you, so why not ensure that you get the best services with a courier company that will look after your interest’s at the most cost effective way. As a family run business in the market place for 21 years, we know how hard it is to be competitive and provide the best service to your client’s. Apollo will always ensure that we treat your customer’s the same as you like to be treated yourself. What lengths will you go to ensure you have the best courier available?

Written by: Emma Dyer

Apollo Distribution Solutions – Cardiff



How can International Freight Forwarders save you money and time?

Companies always stick to the same carrier they have always used, but as the market is so volatile these days how would a specialist freight forwarder save you time, hassle and cost to export?

When you contact a specialist forwarder they provide you with specific knowledge that no call centre can provide. Before the shipment is sent, each client is aware of what information is needed to facilitate the smooth delivery of each consignment.  As a freight forwarder, Apollo would complete all relevant paperwork and commodity codes to reduce clearance times and often can utilise their accounts through a brokerage service to pay any duties for shipper or receiver to get the items released immediately.

Most carriers expect their clients to book all shipments and have full knowledge of each countries entry rules together with the hassle of completing all the relevant paperwork. Apollo completes all relevant paperwork and tracks each consignment until a recipient’s signature is obtained.

When Apollo provides a price for international shipments worldwide we view the full market place for every single shipment that is sent to ensure that the optimum cost is secured and any discounts are passed onto our clients. This give our clients the flexibility of knowing that they are sending their shipments at the most cost effective price each time and they do not have to stick to one carrier and a fixed price. The market place is searched using all the major carriers, so the quickest transit time is provided and the client has greater flexibility depending on how urgent the shipment is.

Why not contact Apollo today on 0292796100 or email info@apollodistributioncardiff.co.uk to see if we can reduce your costs and improve your service to your clients.

Written By: Emma Dyer


Why would you pick Apollo?

Apollo header

Established in 1995, we have demonstrated 21 years of expertise in the logistics field. We provide a bespoke and robust logistics plan to suit your every need, from same day dedicated vehicles through to international shipments Worldwide. We can also help you to archive any files with our secure Cardiff storage facility.

Available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year we can guarantee a time-definite and dedicated service to ensure that your items are delivered “on time every time”. From small vans to artics we have a vast range of vehicles available to our clients.

Apollo also considers more cost effective way of sending less urgent items with our combined fleet and chosen partners. From overnight door to door deliveries to international Worldwide shipments via air, sea and road, we pass on our volume discounts to our clients to provide the fastest transit times.
We’ll always go above and beyond what your current courier service does for you. The size of our team means that nothing will get lost in translation meaning the safe and secure delivery of your items. There’s nothing worse than uncertainty when you trust a distribution company with your goods, which is why we make sure to provide you with real-time updates and always secure proof of delivery for you.

Most companies operate utilising a call centre system; at Apollo there are dedicated highly experienced staff who will advise you on the best and most cost effective way of sending consignments depending on the stipulations you have to comply to.

Where vehicles are used to provide a service, route consolidation and strategic load planning are utilised to minimise vehicle miles and “empty running”. It is company policy to maintain vehicles in an efficient condition.

The van and its driver are vital to the UK economy with more than 4 million on the road. That’s the view of the FTA Logistics Report 2016, which shows the dramatic shift in the way the public shops; by the end of 2015, retailers predicted they would be delivering more than 860 million parcels to UK homes – thanks to the e-commerce explosion.

Written by: Emma Dyer

Apollo Distribution Solutions Ltd


Misconceptions of the Logistics Industry

Logistics is one of the most dynamic industries in the world, whether you are a service provider or a client that uses the service. There are various categories and ways to move goods from a one man band to a multi national corporation. It is plain to see that even large providers rely on numerous suppliers to move goods and this requires co-ordination between the buyer, supplier and carrier. Buyers are concerned with their delivery, the carrier is juggling other customer’s loads from bulk consignments all over the world to ensure delivery to the end recipient.

All companies operate across multiple supply chains and how they operate can vary enormously, but the end result must be to deliver the consignment “on time every time”. The logistics industry communicates at varies levels, but it would be foolish to think that any one company can do it alone.

It is imperative to understand that the success of any logistics company is due to flexibility, collaboration and the ability to share information.

For the buyer to understand how the suppliers operate they must understand the various services that are available to them.

Same Day Dedicated Vehicle

When a client books a dedicated vehicle it is usually for urgent items that have to be delivered the same day for a particular deadline. As such that vehicle will only carry that client’s items, follow the quickest route and allow enough time to deliver to the destination on time. Sometimes this process can breakdown if the courier provided carries more than one client’s goods in a bid to reduce their costs. This can result in the items not being delivered on time. Some would say that this increases the carbon foot print, but it does ensure the client’s ability to hit their deadlines and service to their end user. Courier firms are working hard to ensure that the vehicle does not return empty by picking up a backload therefore reducing congestion in urban areas. This type of delivery does come at a cost and often client’s are surprised how much. Often we see tenders going on a cheaper overnight service that are worth hundreds of thousands of pounds and being eliminated before the process has began as they were not prepared to pay for a dedicated service to ensure the delivery.

Overnight Door to Door Deliveries

There are many multi national companies that provide a cheaper overnight door to door service for next day, 48 hour or even timed services. Most of these carriers will guarantee delivery or money back. Often client’s are not aware of what this guarantee means! If the carrier fails to deliver, the item is then pushed to the next day therefore missing the deadline which affects services to its client. Overnight packages go through a sortation system and can pass through many pairs of hand’s before it is delivered. It stands to reason that it is open to more human error and can be sorted incorrectly at a main hub that deals with thousands of packages a night. During busy periods such as Christmas, many carriers struggle to keep up with the demand which can result in hundreds of packages sitting in warehouses while they figure out how to deliver them all. I would therefore stress that the overnight service should be used for non urgent items.

International Services

When companies or individuals try to export or import goods within the EU or Worldwide they must consider individual country restrictions, paperwork and taxes and duties. It can be a minefield to work out what is required when sending or receiving any items, but in general if you follow this guide you won’t go far wrong.

  1. Provide a full company name, contact name, address with zip code and telephone number (Various countries often ring ahead to arrange a delivery time).
  2. Measure each item to provide full dimensions i.e L x W x H. (Large items can be volume depending on the carrier which will affect the price).
  3. Weight of the item as this will affect the price.
  4. Provide a full list and description of what is being sent together with their value.

Commodity codes have to be obtained outside of the EU with a value of the goods. You can obtain commodity codes from HMRC online. Each item that is sent outside the EU must be accompanied by a customs invoice.

Although larger carriers supply a more automated service they can often fail on customer services. Smaller companies provide a more personal service, i.e items are tracked on the client’s behalf and any paperwork is completed by the carrier to ensure that the items are delivered on time.  This gives many clients the flexibility to concentrate on other aspects of their job role, safe in the knowledge that the items are being tracked and paperwork completed which will help with the smooth passage through customs.

Article written by Emma Dyer

Director at Apollo Distribution Solutions