You may place an order on the best online store in India but your experience will be defined by the courier company that ships your order. Online stores don’t really allow you to pick a courier company for your order. The best you can do is pick priority shipping which is likely to pick one of the best courier companies in the country.

Some courier companies are great while others make an otherwise great online buying experience terrible in its true sense. They tend to delay deliveries, lose packages, and hire the worst kind of people. I’ll tell you everything I know about the best and worst of these courier companies from my good experience in dealing with them personally.

Our goal here is to give you a sense of what to expect when you’re dealing with a particular company. We’ll also tell you how you can resolve your issues with these courier companies, in case anything goes wrong.

The Best Courier Companies in India

1. ATS (Amazon Transportation Services)

One of the many perks of buying on Amazon India is that it runs its own logistics company. Most of the Prime orders are fulfilled by Amazon itself, using its own courier company. There are times when your Prime or Amazon Fulfilled order would be delivered via another courier company, but that’s just 2% of all orders. ATS mainly uses the aerial route via several transportation partners to ship couriers across the country. Tracking packages is easier, and you get Amazon’s world-class support. You can ask for your packages to be left with your neighbour’s. Amazon has ATS delivery guys carry mobile point-of-sale machines which allow users to pay with a card on delivery.

2. Ekart

Just like Amazon, Flipkart has its own courier company called EKart which handles most, if not all, of orders placed on its site. With Ekart, Flipkart has an end-to-end control over its entire operations. Ekart packages can be tracked directly on the Flipkart website. In case of delays or anything else you may directly get in touch with Flipkart’s support on Twitter or e-mail.

3. GoJavas

GoJavas was previously a courier company started by online fashion retailer Jabong. Since then the company has seen its ups and downs, and is currently independent from Jabong (which is now owned by Flipkart). GoJavas has one of the best surface delivery options, especially in north India. Their tracking systems may not be at par with major courier companies in India, but they’re the ones who can actually deliver a package without a fail. There’s that one odd chance that your package might get delayed once in a while, but that’s still acceptable.

4. FedEx

If you’re buying from small to medium online retailers, chances are that your order would be shipped via FedEx. Some eBay sellers also use FedEx. There are two things I love about them: quicker delivery options, and a customer care that works. FedEx may not be super quick in delivering a package, but they just work. In my experience, they handle packages really well. There’s little to no chance your order will arrive in a bad shape. You can each out to their customer support via phone, e-mail or directly on Twitter.

5. Aramex

If there’s one courier company you could rely on, that wasn’t a popular logistics company or owned by an e-commerce giant, Aramex would be the one. Aramex has a pretty impressive network across the country. Their tracking services are spot on, and a customer care system that just works. Amazon orders shipped from US to India, with standard shipping, are also delivered via Aramex. A bunch of Indian online marketplaces also have tie-ups with Aramex. The company also runs the popular Shop And Ship service that allows you to buy products from stores that don’t directly ship to India.

The Worst Courier Companies in India

1. BlueDart

The list of worst courier companies in India would deserve a complete blog post of its own. But let’s just take the bottom five for now. BlueDart certainly tops that list for now. The courier company practically invented a large number of excuses for not being able to deliver packages. Sources in the company reveal that when the e-commerce boom hit India, BlueDart lost a lot of its talent, from top managers to local delivery guys, to logistics companies owned by online marketplaces. Reaching BlueDart’s customer care is a sort of a pain too. But from the tracking page, select the airway bill, and click on send feedback. From there fill up the form that opens on the next page. Your request will be sent to their main office in Delhi, which is likely to help in getting your package delivered sooner.

2. FirstFlight

FirstFlight is another one of my personal favorites in the worst courier companies’ list. If your order was shipped via FirstFlight, you can chill out, and probably go on a vacation. They never deliver a package on time, and if by any chance you order something valuable, you’re more likely to end up with a stone or a big fat brinjal in your package. The good news is that most online marketplaces avoid using FirstFlight. Some eBay sellers still use it, so you should just check it up with them before placing an order (eBay lets you ask questions to a seller before making a purchase).

3. DTDC

DTDC is in the same league as FirstFlight, probably even worse. For one, their tracking is completely insane. Second, they use an affiliate method for building their courier network which means it’s very difficult to hold anyone accountable. The last mile affiliate won’t listen to you, and the customer care can’t force them to, so you end up in a big bad bowl of soup if your package gets delayed or lost.

4. GATI

GATI offers surface delivery for major online marketplaces. If you are ordering something that is prohibited for air transport, chances are your package will be handled by GATI. On a scale of 1 to Donald Trump, GATI will beat Trump at his game. Since they deliver most of their packages via surface, your packages will take ages to arrive at the destination. They are then supposed to sit at the local courier centre for another couple of days, as if they’re being dried like potatoes for chips. After all that, if you still manage to get the package on a delivery vehicle, the delivery guy will make the experience even worse.

5. Delhivery

Delhivery has a Delhi in its name, and that just about explains its services. Even though they started out pretty good, they have gone from average to worse in the last 8-9 months. The packages almost never arrive on time, and the delivery guys act like they’re doing you a personal favour by delivering your package. In most, if not all, cases they make the packages sit at the local fulfillment center for a day or two before they’re sent out for delivery. Their tracking system is the absolute worse. If you’re looking for customer support, look elsewhere.