In the world of online shopping, consumers often have a plethora of options when it comes to choosing products and suppliers. One of the most attractive options is free shipping. Sounds like a fantastic deal, right? But free shipping is not always as promising as it seems.

In this blog post, we delve deeper into the dark side of free delivery, and the reasons why we at Dilmah do not offer free shipping and believe in fair rewards for honest work. We will also shed light on the exploitation of migrant labour, and on various malpractices in the delivery sector.

Fair Rewards for Honest Work

At Dilmah, we stand for fair rewards for honest work. We believe that all stakeholders in the delivery process, from our warehouse workers to couriers, deserve fair compensation for their efforts. Free shipping may seem like an enticing way to attract customers, but it can lead to unfair practices and exploitation of the people who make the service possible.

The Dark Path of Free Shipping

Free shipping is not as straightforward as it sounds. Companies offering this service still need to cover their costs, and these costs are often passed back to the consumer by inflating costs elsewhere in the transaction. Here are some of the dark sides of free shipping:

1. Increasing Pressure on Fulfilment Companies

To offer free shipping, fulfilment companies are under immense pressure to work more efficiently and deliver faster, which can lead to excessive workloads and exploitation of migrant labour. These workers are sometimes forced to work long hours under deplorable conditions for only minimal wages.

man doing his job at night, sorting out packages in a dark warehouse

2. Unrealistic Targets

Large delivery companies like PostNL are notorious for imposing strict targets on their couriers. These targets do not account for traffic, weather conditions, or even basic needs such as a break for restroom visits. Couriers are compelled to put themselves in risky situations to meet their employers' demands.

3. Hidden Costs to Society

Free shipping can also result in hidden costs to society. It increases the pressure on the environment through excess use of packaging material and increased fuel consumption, leading to a larger ecological footprint. Furthermore, taxpayers may ultimately bear the social costs of poor working conditions in the supply chain, such as healthcare for exhausted workers.

Rewards for Larger Orders

At Dilmah , we recognise the importance of our valued customers, and are keen to reward their loyalty. Instead of offering free shipping, we are more than willing to reward larger orders with a gift equal in value to the delivery cost. This allows us to appreciate our customers, and provide fair compensation to the individuals contributing to the delivery process.

Why We Choose Not to Promote 'Free Delivery'

The idea of 'free delivery' may be attractive, but it is essential to understand its broader consequences. Free shipping is rarely genuinely 'free,' and it often places unreasonable pressure on workers and the environment. If consumers are willing to pay a fair price for the products they purchase, we can promote a chain of fair rewards and fair working conditions.

We, at Dilmah, believe that awareness is the key to change, so we strive to make our customers aware of the consequences of free shipping, and the necessity of fair rewards for honest labour. We invite our customers to be part of this positive change by making conscious choices when shopping online.

Shipping Methods at Dilmah Europe

In line with our ethos, Dilmah Europe's shipping methods are chosen with care for social and environmental sustainability. Our primary courier in the Netherlands is DPD, known for their commitment to reducing emissions and eco-friendly practices. For areas beyond DPD's reach, we utilise GLS, another courier with a strong focus on sustainability. Finally, our logistics partner, Dimass , handles warehousing and order packing, aligning with our values of efficiency and sustainability.

This conscious selection of partners reflects our dedication to a responsible supply chain, ensuring that each step in delivering your tea is ethically sound and environmentally conscious.


Free shipping might appear attractive, but it often masks exploitation and unfair labour practices. At Dilmah, we're dedicated to fair rewards for honest work and strive to enlighten our customers about the true costs of 'free' shipping. We're proud to offer gifts with larger orders instead of free delivery, promoting fairness and responsibility.

As consumers, choosing companies that prioritise fair labour and sustainability can help us build a more equitable and sustainable future.