It is not easy to find an international courier service that will meet your expectations. The features and services that most people should look for and need are:-
1, A simple and easy to use online quoting system.
Obviously you need to supply accurate box measurements and weight. Along with you collection and delivery details and a range of services and prices should be clear.
2, A simple online booking system, to confirm the order, schedule a collection and make your payment.
3, A customer service support team that are available by telephone, email and chat.
4, An online tracking system so that you can monitor your shipment from collection through to delivery. You should be able to print out a bar coded label that you can apply to the outside of the box and enclose a copy inside your box. This way it is able to be scanned every time it moves and if it comes off and box has to be opened then the carrier can easily identify who the shipment is from and where it should be delivered to.
5, I would suggest that the large international courier brands such as DHL and FedEx usually operate their own staff in both the collection and delivering Countries to putting work through one of these networks is usually the most reliable and fastest way of delivering goods. However buying directly from them can be expensive. This is where authorised resellers such as Courierpiont.com who get bulk discounts due to the volume of work that they buy can offer branded reliable services at some of the cheapest online prices. Therefore if you need to send a parcel to USA that I would recommend using an authorised reseller of branded courier services to get the best combination of price and service for your international courier work.
7, Information on what items you can send. You want your shipment to arrive in good condition. You have to understand that a parcel that moves through an international courier service, will be handled by many people and will be placed on different sides and have other parcels knocked against it. So you need to ensure that you are only sending goods that can withstand this. For example fragile china and glass items are not a good idea to send as they are easily damaged in transit. You should also check the carriers prohibited and restricted goods lists, to make sure that the items you are sending are permitted.
8, You also need check if you shipment is going outside of the E.U. if you goods will incur import duty and taxes at the destination. You can usually look this up online or speak to a local Embassy who can advise you. You will need to advise, the reason for shipment and the value of the goods to get a answer. If you are sending high value goods it is a good idea to find out the classification number for your goods and have this on your proforma or commercial invoice to ensure that it is identified correctly by destination customs correctly.
In addition to ensuring that you are sending suitable contents, you need to always use new packaging material for strength and lots of internal packaging to ensure your contents are protected and cannot move around inside your box.
You can always tell a reliable service by the quality of the customer reviews on independent websites. Courierpoint uses Trustpilot to collect their client reviews and they have over 1000 5 star reviews so you know that clients can trust the services that they provide and are highly recommended.