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What Are Courier Services & Parcel Delivery Services

Wednesday, 7 March 2018 at 13:31

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Courier Services

Couriers are distinguished from ordinary delivery services by features such as speed, security, tracking, signature, specialisation of express services, and express delivery times, which are optional for most everyday delivery services. As a premium service, couriers are usually more expensive than standard delivery services, and their use is normally limited to packages where one or more of these features are considered important enough to warrant the cost.

Courier services operate on all scales, within towns or cities, to regional, national and global services. Large courier companies include DHL, FedEx, TNT, UPS, and Aramex.

Types Of Courier Services

In cities, there are often motorbike couriers but for consignments requiring delivery over greater distance networks, this may often include vans, trucks and articulated lorries.

There are many large companies offering next-day courier services, including DX Group, UKMail and UK divisions of worldwide couriers such as FedEx, DHL, UPS and TNT City Sprint.

There are many 'specialist' same day courier services usually for the transportation of items such as freight/pallets, sensitive documents and liquids.

The 'Man & Van'/Freelance courier business model, is highly popular in the United Kingdom, with thousands upon thousands of independent couriers and localised companies, offering next-day and same day services. This is likely to be so popular because of the low business requirements (a vehicle) and the lucrative number of items sent within the UK every day. However, since the dawn of the electronic age, the way in which businesses use couriers has changed dramatically. Prior to email and the ability to create PDFs, documents represented a significant proportion of the business. However, over the past 5 years, documentation revenues have decreased by 50 percent. In addition, customers are also demanding more from their courier partners. Therefore, a shift where, more and more, organisations prefer to use the services of larger organisations who are able to provide more flexibility and levels of service is being witnessed which has led to another level of the courier company, the regional couriers. This is usually one of the local companies who has expanded to more than one office to cover an area.

Royal Mail was up until recently a reasonable competitor of most of the large couriers; offering next day and special delivery services. This has however changed, with higher costs, strike action and a lowering public perception of the company. With companies like Royal Mail, it can be difficult to draw a clear-cut line between postal services and couriers.

Some UK couriers offer next-day services to other European countries. FedEx offers next-day air delivery to many EU countries. Cheaper 'By-Road' options are also available, varying from 2 days delivery time (such as France), to up to a week (former USSR countries).

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