How to ship with DHL - DHL Guide (2022)

Export and Import Services

Our broad range of services are designed to provide the right shipping option for you. All our export and import services offer secure door-to-door delivery with full tracking visibility online.

Export Services
DHL Express Worldwide offers deliveries by the end of the next possible working day.

Need it earlier? Our Express 9:00, 10:30, 12:00 will ensure your shipment arrives before these designated times of the next possible working day.

Economy Select is perfect for less urgent or heavier deliveries which can be shipped via out road service to Europe.

Import Services
Our import services enable you to bring shipments into the UK from 214 countries and still be billed in the UK. Upfront pricing in British Pounds is standard so you’ll avoid uncertainty from fluctuating exchange rates.

Express Worldwide Import will be delivered by the end of the next working day. The same DHL Express 9:00, 10:30, 12:00 service is offered ensuring your shipment arrives before these designated times of the next possible working day.

Further details are available within the DHL Service Guide.

Optional Services

We also offer a number of optional services to help you tailor a service that matches your needs:

Duties and taxes paid

Allows the international recipient to receive goods without paying additional customs charges.

Shipment insurance

Covers you in the unlikely event of loss or damage in transit.


Allows you to asses and offset the carbon emissions generated through sending your shipments.

Saturday Delivery

Delivering on a Saturday, when Saturday is not a standard working day.

You can find more detailed information about all of our optional services here.


We are upfront with you about all costs associated with your account. Sometimes there will be extra charges, for example when you’re sending a shipment to a remote area or when approved shippers send Dangerous Goods.

These surcharges reflect the costs associated with offering these activities and we strive to ensure they remain fair.

Full details can be found here.

Shipping Tools

All of our shipping, tracking and billing functionality will soon be available via our brand new shipping tool MyDHL+.

MyDHL+ has an intuitive interface from which you will be able to import, export, schedule a pickup, track shipment and pay bills easier and quicker than ever before – all in one visit with one password.

Currently we have a number of tools available:

MyDHL is our online portal which allows you to ship and track your shipments, as well as view and pay your invoices all in one place.

Within MyDHL you’ll have access to the following shipping tools:

Prepare my shipments
Send international and UK shipments, save addresses and view shipment history.

Monitor my shipments
DHL ProView allows you to track and monitor all of your shipments in one place. Set up proactive notifications for key shipping events such as delivery, Customs clearance and shipment on hold.

Import Express
Control all of your imports in one place. Allow import and third country shipments without disclosing your account number, or give trusted shippers authority to send on your import account to one or multiple addresses whilst keeping your account number hidden.

DHL E-Billing
Access your invoices, copies of shipment and Customs paperwork, download invoice reports and make payments.

On Demand Delivery

DHL’s On Demand Delivery (ODD) service lets the receiver know when a shipment is due to arrive and offers a number of different delivery options.

Within an hour of a shipment being collected, ODD informs the receiver of the estimated date of delivery via email and text message. The receiver can then choose how to receive their delivery if the original date or address is no longer suitable.

TIP:46% of online shoppers want the option to change their delivery preference after placing an online order.

Weight and Dimensions

We offer a range of Express services for exporting and importing, the details of which, including weight and dimension limits can be found in our DHL Service Guide.

Volumetric Weight
When sending large packages that take up a lot of space but weigh very little – a small but valuable item surrounded by lots of protective packaging for example – volumetric weight would be used to calculate the cost of the package.

How to Calculate Volumetric Weight
The volumetric weight of your shipment can be calculated by simply multiplying the length (cm) x height (cm) x width (cm) and dividing the result by 5,000.

For example:
You are sending a package that weighs 8kg, but the dimensions are 40cm x 30cm x 50cm.
40cm x 30cm x 50cm / 5,000 = 12kg

The package would be charged at the volumetric weight.

If you are sending multiple packages, calculate each weight separately and this is the ‘total chargeable weight’. The chargeable weight is always the greater of the actual or volumetric weight.

Network Limits
For our Time Definite products, the limit we can accept on the Network from 1 September 2018 is 300cm in length and 300kg actual weight per shipment. 

Sending Restrictions

Prohibited Commodities

It is important that you familiarise yourself with the rules and regulations regarding what you can and can’t ship. DHL prohibits the shipping of certain goods. Check the complete list for account holders here.

You should also be aware of county-specific regulations, which are controlled by Customs. These range from the mundane to the weird and wonderful. Our shipping tools will guide you on this, or you can contact Customer Service for advice.

Restricted Commodities

There are certain items that are restricted on the DHL network and you will need to discuss what is possible with your account manager. These items include antiques, cigarettes, high value jewellery and dangerous/hazardous goods.

You can find the full list for account holders here.

For dangerous/hazardous goods these are accepted in limited quantities subject to approval from the DHL Restricted Commodities Group to ensure the correct training and procedures are in place.

Lithium Batteries (present in most consumer electronic devices such as smart phones, tablets and laptops) are classed as a restricted commodity. They can be highly flammable when under pressure, and burn at very high temperatures; for this reason, there are regulations governing the type and number of batteries that can be carried in a single shipment. Shipping of a single electronic device containing a lithium battery is still classed as a restricted commodity, therefore needs to be shipped in a rigid outer package and protected against significant movement and accidental activation.

You can find out more about Dangerous Goods here.

Packing Advice

Parcels could travel thousands of miles through DHL’s global network to reach their destinations. To ensure that your shipments reach their destination in the same condition as they left and that they don’t damage anyone else’s shipments, it is important to ensure they are correctly packaged.

As a DHL Express account holder, you can receive free DHL packaging. You can order packaging online, with delivery in 2-3 working days. Order your packaging here.

Use cardboard envelopes for lightweight documents. Use cushioned, padded or bubble envelopes to carry more fragile objects and small electronic parts.

Use strong cardboard boxes free from old stickers or address labels as this can cause confusion when parcels are scanned. Boxes should be adequately filled: under-filled boxes may collapse when stacked.

Use appropriate cushioning material to protect the contents, such as: Styrofoam chips, bubble wrap, newspaper etc.

Flyer Bags
DHL flyer bags are available in two sizes: standard for small documents up to 2kg, and large for documents, ring binders or small boxes up to 3kg. Flyer bags should always be used when the shipment is smaller than the shipping label; the bag has space to fit the shipping label.

If an item isn’t properly packed, our couriers won’t be able to collect it. This usually only applies to large and unusual shaped items. If you’re sending an item that fits this description, view our advice in our Large and Palletised Packing Guide here.

Find more comprehensive advice on packaging your shipment here.

Tracking Your Parcel

Track your shipments online and access the real-time status of you package as it speeds through the DHL network.

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