When it comes down to delivery, it can be tricky to know whether you should deliver via a courier service or postal service — and anyways, what’s the difference?
Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as flipping a coin and choosing between them; what you’re shipping, how big it is and where it’s going all play a factor in helping you choose the right service depending on your needs.
Naturally, you will be drawn to the cheaper option or the one that provides the better services, which is why I put together this quick guide on the differences between the two and when to choose which one.
But before we dive in, let’s first define what each one really means.
A courier service is a service that allows someone to send packages from one location to another, either domestically or internationally — that simple.
A courier service is generally a publicly owned company advertised as a quick, efficient and cost-effective way to ship your packages. Senders have the option to have their packages collected by a courier or drop them off at a nearby location to be picked up later by the courier.
Typically services include:
A Postal Service is very similar to a courier service but is owned and operated by the nation's government. They are used and function in the same way a courier service does.
Typically services include:
A courier service provides fast and reliable delivery on your shipments but at a premium.
It would be best if you took care to use this service when you need extra attention on your package's shipment(s). Since courier services are privately owned, they come with the added guarantee of excellent customer service, optimized shipping, and real-time tracking/analytics.
Example: If you’re looking to have a holistic approach to your shipping and fulfillment needs, definitely consider a courier service. They can provide you with added protection to store your inventory, expertise to deliver your packages, and the knowledge to make the whole operation run smoothly.
A postal service provides reliable and affordable shipment of your packages, accessible by both the public and private sectors, but at the cost of uncertainty. Because of the scale of postal services, packages are more often to get lost or damaged en route and could take longer to deliver. Take care not to use this service if you’re delivering high-value or time-sensitive packages/parcels.
Example: You are handling fragile parcels that need a white-glove touch to them, don’t use a postal service for that, instead checkout a private courier service as they have the proper technology and infrastructure in place to help get your package where it needs to go, safely.
When it comes down to it, what's important to pay attention to are the methods of delivery between the two services.
Of course, it’s also important to remember that many factors contribute to shipping and no two courier services are alike either; it really comes down to your research and your needs.
That being said, here is a general list of factors that differentiate the two services:
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