We use APC Direct Logistics, have done for over 18 months now with not one parcel missing and only two out of all this time delivered late, and we knew in advance so we could warn our customers because APc called to tell us. It helps that one of the founding directors is based in our local office, but I haven't ever heard anybody else complain aboutthem, and we deal with hundreds of customers and companies that use their service. However, that said, they are only fantastic for UK deliveries, because they cannot compete on price to Europe at the moment, and for that we tend to use parcel force. You can get through to a "real person" to make a booking, but in our area aren't 100% reliable for collection, so we always make allowances for this when we quote time frames to the customer. Anyone wanting anything urgent to Europe will more than likely be willing to pay extra anyway. We try not to touch Royal Mail with a barge pole, they are so unprofessional it causes more customer hassle than is worth, so cheapest is definitely not best. Whatever you decide to do, its best to shop around, make friends with any of the collection drivers, and those on the ground will be likely to recommend the people they think are best as a lot work freelance for more than one company, such as Fed Ex drivers who also collect for local companies for their area.