Besides a website and a suitable payment system, efficient and reliable delivery service is one of the most important pillars of an e-commerce business. Of course, you can always deliver your customers’ orders yourself by either utilising public transportation or your vehicles. However, at the end of the day, many e-commerce businesses—especially those which are just starting—discover that it is much easier to let a professional delivery company take care of order deliveries so that they can focus on the more unique aspects of their businesses. I have therefore compiled a handy list of some Zimbabwean delivery companies which can be used by any e-commerce operation which needs to send out moderately sized parcels. This list can also benefit anyone else who is looking for similar information even if it is for a different purpose.
This may come as a surprise to you or not but Zimbabwe’s national mail carrier is still alive and kicking. Like most postal carriers around the world, the company delivers parcels in addition to the mail which it is mostly associated with in Zimbabwe. Zimpost’s Parcel Service can handle deliveries which weigh up to 30kgs. Both collection and door-to-door services are available within the country. The company has over 220 outlets which should make its postal delivery network unrivalled but I would strongly recommend that you try to use your Town or City’s main post office when submitting deliveries.
The first kilogram of your parcel should cost you around 4 United States dollars while each additional kg will cost you a dollar.
Courier Connect is closely affiliated with Zimpost and it also utilises the same postal network in addition to its independent branches in Bulawayo and Harare. ZIMPOST’s countrywide network of branches which exceed 220 also serves as Courier Connect’s collection and delivery points. The service can handle deliveries of up to 100kgs. Deliveries destined for the country’s major centres arrive by 9:00 am the following day. A premium domestic service is also available which can deliver parcels to addresses within the same city, within a 40km radius and a few hours. Similar to Zimpost above, if you don’t live in Bulawayo or Harare, try to use your town’s main post office instead of smaller branches.
DHL is a multinational freight company and it provides one of the most trusted delivery services in the country.
The DHL website has a handy cost calculator which I tried out with an imaginary package weighing 5kg and is also a cube with 30cm sides. For its delivery from Bulawayo to Harare, the cost totalled ZWL2560 which is just under 31USD using the official exchange rate as of the time of writing.
Swift is a major Zimbabwean freight company which has been in operation for over 60 years. It has a total of 34 depots throughout the country. While the company offers services which carter for everything from the delivery of bulk goods to documents, e-commerce business owners will likely be more interested in its Swift Courier Express product.
The Swift website also features a cost calculator which I fed the same delivery specifics as to the DHL one: a cubic box with 30cm sides, weighing 5kg and sent from Bulawayo to Harare. The result was a cost of ZWD1991 which is about 24USD using the official exchange rate as of the time of writing.
Vaya is one of Econet’s subsidiaries. It offers on-demand transportation and delivery services which can be accessed through an app or a website. Vaya offers you two options for delivering packages. The first of these is called Vaya Express and uses vehicles such as motorbikes to deliver your packages from door-to-door. There is a limit to how much a motorbike can carry and that is where Vaya Van delivery comes in. As the name implies, vans are used instead of the deliveries. This allows the delivery of larger parcels and goods which cannot be delivered by the smaller utility bikes and motorbikes used by Vaya Express.
Hwindi is an online platform modelled after Uber which offers several services, one of which happens to be the delivery of packages.
Just like Vaya and Hwindi above, Merchant Couriers is an on-demand delivery service (startup) which is more or less also modelled after Uber. The company uses light vehicles and motorcycles for deliveries and pickups within Zimbabwe and it is currently based in Harare. The company doesn’t own any of the vehicles which are used by the service nor does it employ the drivers but they and their vehicles are presumably rigorously vetted. You can order a pickup and delivery through their website or mobile app.
When the details were fed into the company’s platform, I was charged 10USD for the delivery from Bulawayo to Harare of my imaginary package.