The strangest items ever handled by delivery services

Millions of packages are transported by delivery services each year, but every so often something rather out of the ordinary comes along.

Delivery services around the world handle billions of packages every year, shifting goods via transport networks to every corner of the globe. Most of the consignments are manufactured goods, paperwork or household items, but every now and then something catches the eye of the delivery drivers.

We asked a selection of delivery service drivers what strange packages they had come across and here’s some of the weirdest and most wonderful responses we got:

1.    A brown bear’s head – a routine x-ray scan at a delivery company sorting office revealed the contents of an inconspicuous looking carton to be the stuffed head of a brown bear. Apparently, a gentleman in New Jersey wanted to send the item to his Grandad in Sydney.

2.    An elephant’s foot – the strange-shaped package caught the eye of one of the drivers from a large multinational delivery company who had gone to collect the parcel from an antique shop. Turns out the foot had been made into a rather untasteful umbrella stand.

3.    A house brick – as a cash on delivery item, the recipient was asked to pay the not insignificant cost of a same day delivery. After paying up, the man unwrapped the delivery only to find it was a house brick sent by his ex he’d split up acrimoniously with a couple of weeks ago.

4.    A not so fresh salmon – delivery services have strict lists of goods they can’t carry, but this didn’t stop one proud amateur fisherman who’d caught a salmon popping it into a freezer bag and trying to send it to his friend. Needless to say he was himself caught out when the smell alerted workers to the scaly consignment.

5.    A prosthetic leg – medical items are often transported by delivery services, but this leg was still attached to its owner when the driver turned up to collect it. The patient who was wearing it had a technical problem and couldn’t lean down far enough to take it off. In the end the delivery driver managed to detach the leg and parcel it up.

When asked what items they feared handling most during their working day, the answer was unanimous – live consignments. It seems this a very popular niche market for the delivery services companies is the speedy delivery of live animals, in particular insects and reptiles. These can be packed into insulated hot or cold packs and sent around the world. Fine, as long they are well-packaged. No-one wants a lizard running around their delivery van!

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Notes for editors:
This survey was carried by online transport marketplace website Delivery Quote Compare, contacting delivery services firms registered on their website for anecdotes concerning the strangest items they’ve ever carried or heard about being transported.

This and other PR can be viewed here:

About was set up to provide transport companies with an opening to make quotes and win delivery work from customers who need any type of goods delivering to national, European and international destinations.

All types of delivery service companies are registered with the site, from home removals companies to international sea freight services. All types of goods are quoted for and handled, from eBay seller deliveries to boat deliveries and furniture shipments throughout the UK, in Europe and beyond.

Customers with goods that need to be delivered simply register and post the job details on the Delivery Quote Compare website and the details are then sent on to relevant transport companies who can provide the service required. The companies then look at the details and work out a bespoke price for that delivery job.

The customer then receives email alerts to let them know quotes are coming in. If the ‘auction format’ is chosen, the transport companies can see all quotes being posted and how competitive they need to be to win the job.

For customers using Delivery Quote Compare, the service is completely free.

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