August 30 2013.

The cost of postage continues to rise alarmingly and, in April 2012, Royal Mail raised eyebrows by increasing its postal charges by 30 per cent. This last April saw prices rise again following a revamp of the parcels part of the organisation.

But Royal Mail no longer has a monopoly on delivery services - so what are the various options?

Commercial users can make savings by investing in a franking machine, the use of which brings a first-class letter stamp down from 60p to 47p, second-class down from 50p to 33p, but there are hidden costs to be aware of.

There are countless couriers and parcel companies that may be better suited to the smaller volume business. Some will collect from the premises while others require a drop-off. MyHermes, as an example, offers both and for small businesses the firm provides a drop-off service with delivery in two days from £2.50 or a collect service with delivery in three days from £2.75.

Collect+ offers a simple two-day service where a parcel weighing up to 2kg costs £5.59, up to 5kg is £7.19 and up to 10kg is £9.29. There are discounts for volume, starting at five per cent for 50 or more parcels in a month, and may lower these prices too.

To find out more about how to save on carriage, turn to Business Journal on page 42 of the September issue of Motorcycle Trader.