What Is a Courier and How Do Their Services Work?

While many people assume that their only options for delivery are big organizations like USPS, UPS, and FedEx, this simply isn’t the case. The global courier market is estimated to worth more than $300 billion and it continues to grow. But what is a courier? 

A courier service is one that’s responsible for the delivery of mail, documents, and packages between two parties. Unlike post offices that are run by the government, a courier service is usually privately-owned and they offer more competitive services. Essentially, the job of a courier is to make a speedy and secure delivery. 

If you need an important package delivered across town by the end of the day, or want to ship a box across the country and need online tracking, a courier service may be just what you’re looking for. 

Are you interested in learning more? If so, then continue reading and we’ll walk you through everything you need to know!

What Is a Courier?

A courier offers door-to-door delivery services for a variety of customers. These include individuals, banks, hospitals, and law offices. Many couriers specialize in local deliveries, especially in big cities.

If you need a document delivered across town before the end of the business day, you’re going to want to contact a courier. The major delivery corporations simply can’t operate as flexibly. Some courier services will even guarantee one-hour delivery.

Couriers often find themselves entrusted with delivering important financial and legal documents, medical samples, and passports that senders won’t trust with other kinds of delivery services. 

What Does a Courier Do?

The main task of a courier is to pick up and deliver packages to their final destination. They’ll also have to verify delivery information, such as telephone numbers, addresses, and names. 

A skilled courier will be able to plan out the most efficient route in order to deliver a package as soon as possible. They will also most likely record important delivery information, such as the name of the recipient and the time that the package was delivered. 

Couriers usually get their instructions either in person or via cell phone. And some couriers will only carry items for specific clients. 

How Does a Courier Service Work?

A courier service might have an account with a company or it may simply have clients that call them for a one-time delivery “on the spot.” If a client uses a courier service often, they’ll typically set up an account with the service. That courier service will then bill the client according to the terms of a contract. 

A courier service will usually have several drivers on call at any given time. When a delivery is called in, the task will be assigned to the next available driver.

Sometimes, a courier service will hire employees who own their own vehicles. When this is the case, the courier service is usually not responsible for maintaining the vehicle. There are also independent couriers – who act like contractors – and work completely on their own. 

If it’s an intracity delivery, then the courier may walk, ride a bicycle, or take a motorcycle. 

Benefits of Using a Courier Service

Perhaps the biggest benefit of using a courier service is speed. Most people would probably agree that even though FedEx, UPS, and USPS offer fast delivery times, there’s always the chance that your package will be delayed for one reason or another.

This is just simply what happens when you have such a big business. There’s no way to properly keep track of every little package that goes through the system. 

Courier services are much smaller and are able to take care of every item that comes into their possession. With many services, you’ll be able to track the courier throughout the day and keep up on their progress. And there are a lot of couriers who only take one delivery at a time, making it nearly impossible to lose your package. 

Another major benefit that you get from a courier service is price. While bigger delivery companies can sometimes offer better rates in general, you can usually get more affordable prices on larger items with courier services. That’s because couriers tend to be more concerned about distance rather than weight. 

It’s also easier to negotiate with smaller courier companies. Good luck trying to negotiate with the post office! 

Factors to Consider

When you’re dealing with extremely sensitive materials, the courier service that you choose should utilize insurance, delivery guarantee, and tracking services. When you send off a package, the courier service should give you a label with a tracking number on it. As the package moves between places, the number will be scanned and you’ll be able to track it. 

You also want to make sure that the service offers “white glove” services when handling extremely fragile items. 

Also, some couriers operate all day, every day. Other services only work normal business hours. If you don’t need 24/7 services, you can probably save money by going with a company that only does standard business hours. 

The Importance of Knowing About Couriers 

Hopefully, after reading the above article, you now have the answer to the question, “what is a courier?” As we can see, a courier service can be of great use to small businesses and individuals who need to make speedy and affordable deliveries. Before choosing a courier service, you should check out their reviews online to make sure that they are reputable and trustworthy.

Are you looking for other helpful business articles like this one? If so, then make sure to check out the rest of our blog today for more!