Couriers R Us - What is a Courier and what do Couriers do?

Couriers R Us - What is a Courier and what do Couriers do?

Bike Messenger


Definition of a Courier – an individual or company providing a delivery service that  picks up and delivers documents and packages by hand.

Couriers R Us – What is a Courier and what do Couriers do?

We often receive and send letters, parcels or packages and important documents through post or delivery services but have you ever wonder how did it all start?

The history of couriers can be traced hundreds of years ago and has transformed as time goes by from pigeons to a simple horse drawn cart to air mail that is being delivered by international freight forwarders via commercial airlines.

In early times, people relied on horses for messages and goods to be delivered safely and efficiently. Construction of railways changed the mode of delivering parcels and letters as well as goods. Trains became the primary way of delivery thus making delivery faster and easier compared to a horse drawn cart. In the advent of technology ways or mode of courier services has also improved.

In modern days, there are various ways on how to deliver letters, small packages, important documents and even organs for transplant. Delivery services provide many options to customers demanding needs.

Couriers R Us – What is a Courier and what do Couriers do?

Bicycle messengers deliver documents from one establishment to another with same city delivery on busy streets of big cities such as New York (USA), London (England), Sydney (Australia), and Vancouver (Canada). This is a risky job because riders have to deal with heavy traffic, zooming cars and rushing pedestrians.

Bicycle messengers must equip themselves with riding skills as well as safety gear that will keep them safe and aware whilst riding for a living on the road.

Motorcycle couriers are somewhat similar to bike messengers or riders because they cannot deliver large volume of goods at one time due to lack of space and weight limits.

Motorcycle couriers can be utilized for a variety of purposes like fast mail delivery, food delivery or document exchanges as well as small parcel deliveries.

Advantages of motorcycle couriers is that they can move through heavy traffic easier than motor vehicles therefore getting small parcels or important documents delivered as fast and as efficiently as possible.

Fuel cost is a lot less for motorcycles when compared to van couriers. In cities, you will often see bike messengers or motorcycle couriers but most delivery companies today use vans.

Aircraft is widely used by international freight forwarding companies which is the on-demand type of delivery covering greater distances in shorter periods of time and can also carry large volumes of goods ranging from letters to large packages and even vehicles etc. This form of courier covers wide areas across countries and continents catering to increasing courier service demand.

Air courier is preferred and most reliable method for sending parcels overseas and can arrive to any part of the world in a specified time.

Many global logistics leaders have established themselves globally in the courier industry, UPS (united parcel service), FedEx (federal express), DHL (named after founders Dalsley, Hillblom, Lynn) are some of the leading courier and logistical services around the globe.

Many courier companies offer various delivery options depending on the urgency or needs to ship the goods. Most popular are overnight and same day delivery.

Cost is often a factor when choosing a courier service as same day delivery service costs more than overnight and 1 hour, 2 hour or 3 hour express vip door to door being the most expensive.

Mode of transporting goods metamorphoses from a simple horse drawn cart to a lightning fast aircraft and will continue to change as time goes by with the increasing public demand of a courier service.

Author of ‘Couriers R Us – What is a Courier and what do Couriers do?’: Maria Pallorina – Sales and Marketing Manager at

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