What is a Courier Service? Types and Benefits for Medium to Large Businesses

HUSEIN NATHOO Jun 21, 2024 • 6 Min read
What is a Courier Service

In 2023, 48% of consumers wanted delivery to be faster compared to 43% who wanted it to be cheaper. For online businesses, this highlights the importance of dependable and fast couriers in order to keep up with market trends and consumer expectations. 

Couriers are vital for eCommerce success as they provide services with a range of delivery speeds such as same-day and next-day delivery, ensuring your customers are happy. 

In this blog, we’re going to dive into what a courier service is, it functions and benefits, and how you can choose the right partner for your eCommerce business.

Courier vs. Postal Service

What is a Courier Service?

A courier is simply a company (or employee of a company) that transports commercial packages and documents. Common ones here in Canada include FedEx and UPS. 

However, unlike the old-fashioned mail service (aka, the post office), couriers offer many different ways to send your packages and a range of courier service benefits, alongside fast and reliable delivery. 

So when should you choose a courier over other services? Here are some situations where opting for a courier will likely be the best fit: 

Fast delivery is crucial : Couriers prioritize speed, often offering same-day or next-day delivery options.
You are shipping easily damaged goods : Couriers often have specialized services for fragile goods.
You are shipping items that require special care during transport : Couriers offer tailored services to meet specific needs, such as temperature-controlled shipping for perishable items.
Your packages vary in size : You frequently ship non-standard packages.
Courier vs. Postal Service
Courier vs. Postal Service

While both couriers and postal services deliver packages, there are significant differences between the two.

Postal services are typically government-run, such as Canada Post, and handle a vast volume of mail, leading to longer delivery times and less personalized service. Conversely, couriers are private businesses that prioritize getting your packages delivered quickly and dependably. They also make customer service a top priority.

With offerings like express shipping, courier companies help eCommerce stores keep up with demanding timelines and customer expectations.

Courier vs. Postal Service
Courier vs. Parcel Carrier

Courier services differ from parcel carriers in several ways, despite both being involved in the transport and delivery of goods. 

When it comes to shipping timeframes, parcel carriers are suitable for standard deliveries;, however, they won’t be suitable for faster timeframes (such as same-day and next-day delivery). 

Courier services also offer personalized services and extra care for your goods, unlike parcel carriers that are more generalized and with which there may be a higher risk of damage. 

Courier vs. Postal Service

Types of Courier Services

Couriers offer a range of services that cater to your specific business needs. Here are the main services they offer: 

Types of Courier Services

Local Courier Services

Local courier services focus on short-distance deliveries within a specific area or city. If your business needs to deliver products quickly within the same city, these services are just what you need.

International Courier Services

International courier services help businesses connect with customers no matter where they are in the world. They take care of the customs paperwork for you and keep tabs on your package's journey to guarantee it gets to where it's going without a hitch or delay.

Standard Delivery Services

Standard delivery services offer a balance between cost and speed. While not as fast as same-day or overnight options, standard delivery is reliable and cost-effective, making it suitable for non-urgent shipments.

Same-Day Couriers

Same-day courier services are the fastest option available, ensuring that packages are delivered within the same day they are sent. This service is ideal for businesses that need to meet urgent customer demands or provide expedited service.

Overnight Courier Services

Overnight couriers guarantee delivery by the next business day. This service is slightly slower than same-day delivery but is still incredibly fast, providing a reliable option for urgent shipments.

Rush and On-Ddemand Courier Services

Rush and on-demand courier services give businesses the freedom to get things delivered right away, even if it's outside normal working hours. These services are always on standby, ready to handle last-minute deliveries and emergencies at any hour of the day or night (but these definitely come with a cost!). 

Courier vs. Postal Service

Courier Service Benefits

There is a range of courier service benefits that will help you grow your eCommerce business. These include:

  • Efficiency: Couriers streamline the delivery process, reducing the time it takes for products to reach customers.
  • Reliability: With advanced tracking and secure handling, businesses can trust that their shipments will arrive safely and on time.
  • Customer Satisfaction: Fast and reliable delivery enhances the customer experience, leading to increased satisfaction and repeated business.
Courier vs. Postal Service
Courier Service Costs

Courier service costs depend on a few things, like how fast you need the package delivered, how far it has to travel, and its size. Ultimately, it is going to be more expensive than a regular postal service like Canada Post – but you are getting more for your money.

A cost-benefit analysis typically shows that the advantages of using a courier service outweigh the expenses, particularly for businesses that rely on timely deliveries.

Courier vs. Postal Service

Choosing the Right Courier Partner

When choosing the right courier partner, here are some factors to keep in mind:

  • Reliability and Speed: Ensure the courier has a track record of fast and reliable delivery of goods! Their level of service will be reflected in your business. 
  • Coverage Area: Choose a courier that can deliver to all the locations your business serves.
  • Cost and Value for Money: Compare prices and services to find the best value for your products – sometimes the cost of insurance outweighs the higher price if you are shipping expensive goods. 
  • Customer Support and Additional Features: Look for couriers that offer excellent customer service and additional features like tracking and insurance.
Courier vs. Postal Service

Let eShipper Help

Here at eShipper, we take the complexity out of shipping. With our platform, you can compare discounted shipping rates and transit times from all major carriers for your courier services in one click. 

With 23+ years of shipping experience, we can help tailor your shipping services no matter your needs. We continue to grow our relationships with the most reliable carriers in the world to give you the best shipping rates, including UPS and FedEx.

Reach out to us today and let’s get your courier services set up together,at preferred rates we’ve negotiated on your behalf. 

Courier vs. Postal Service

For any eCommerce business aiming to thrive, choosing the right courier partner is extremely important. These services guarantee swift and secure deliveries that keep customers coming back. 

You can count on us here at eShipper for reliable support in navigating the world of couriers and fast, reliable shipping. 

Courier vs. Postal Service

Frequently Asking Questions (FAQ)

Q: What is a courier?

A: A courier service is a company that transports commercial packages and documents swiftly and securely. Couriers, unlike traditional postal services, offer fast and reliable delivery with various options like same-day and next-day delivery, ensuring your packages arrive intact and on time.

Q: What are the benefits of using courier services for my business?

A: Courier service benefits include efficiency, reliability, and customer satisfaction. Couriers streamline the delivery process, reducing transit times. With advanced tracking and secure handling, you can trust that your shipments will arrive safely, enhancing the overall customer experience and encouraging repeat business.

Q: How do I choose the right courier partner for my eCommerce business?

A: Choosing the right courier partner involves evaluating several factors:

  • Reliability and Speed: Ensure the courier offers fast and reliable delivery.
  • Coverage Area: The courier should cover all your business locations.
  • Cost and Value: Compare prices and services for the best value.
  • Customer Support: Look for excellent customer service and additional features like tracking and insurance.
Q: Express vs. Standard Shipping: What Is the Difference?

A: Express shipping prioritizes speed, offering same-day or next-day delivery options for urgent shipments. Standard shipping is more cost-effective, perfect for non-urgent deliveries, balancing cost and delivery time.

Q: What are the types of courier services available?

A: Types of courier services include:

  • Local Courier Services: For short-distance, same-city deliveries.
  • International Courier Services: For global deliveries, handling customs paperwork.
  • Standard Delivery Services: Cost-effective, non-urgent shipments.
  • Same-day Couriers: Delivery within the same day.
  • Overnight Courier Services: Delivery by the next business day.
  • Rush and On-demand Courier Services: For last-minute deliveries outside normal working hours.
Q: How do courier service costs compare to other shipping options?

A: Courier service costs are typically higher than traditional postal services but offer more in terms of speed, reliability, and security. A cost-benefit analysis often shows that the advantages of using a courier service outweigh the expenses, especially for businesses that rely on timely deliveries.

Q: How can international courier services benefit my business?

A: International courier services enable businesses to reach customers worldwide, handling customs paperwork and tracking packages to ensure smooth and timely delivery. This service helps expand your market reach without the hassle of dealing with the complexities of international shipping.

Q: What are the benefits of same-day and next-day delivery services?

A: Same-day and next-day delivery services offer unparalleled speed, meeting urgent customer demands and enhancing satisfaction. These services are ideal for businesses that need to provide expedited delivery to stay competitive and maintain customer loyalty.

Q: How does courier vs. parcel carrier affect shipping timeframes?

A: Courier services are designed for fast deliveries, often offering same-day and next-day options, which makes them suitable for time-sensitive shipments. Parcel carriers, on the other hand, are generally used for less urgent deliveries with longer transit times.

FAQ Section
Get the inside scoop.

We'll send more eCommerce insights, tips, and inspiration straight to your inbox.