If you've ever tried to send a parcel, be that within one country or internationally, you have probably noticed that you have a few different options available to you on how to do it. One of the most popular ones is a courier service. But what is a courier service, and how does it work?
To understand what a courier service is, let's first talk about what courier even means. A courier is a term used to describe a person or a company that offers parcel delivery services from one location to another. In most cases, courier services are offered by privately-owned companies, but not always.
Most Popular Couriers
There are many companies that offer courier services - some of them operate only on the national level, while others deliver parcels both nationally and internationally. Some of the most popular ones include:
How Does a Courier Delivery Service Work?
The delivery process is actually very straightforward and consists of four steps:
- You prepare the parcel and either wait for the courier or take it to a drop-off point.
- The courier picks up the parcel.
- The parcel gets shipped - it can be via land, air, or water, depending on the courier and the parcel's final destination.
- The courier collects the parcel once it arrives in its final city and delivers the parcel to the recipient.
What Is the Difference Between a Postal Service and Courier Service?
You might be wondering - Why should I choose a courier service when I can just go to the post office? Well, there are a few different reasons, and we'll discuss all of them below.
The first difference between the two is convenience. If you want to send a parcel with a postal service, you need to go to the post office, which often has queues, meaning that you spend an hour or more just to drop off what you want to be delivered.
With a courier service, the courier can collect the parcel from a collection address you provide, whether that be your office, your home, or some other location. Of course, you can also decide to go to a drop-off point, which just further proves the convenience of the service, as you can decide which one you prefer.
The thing with postal service is that they don't deliver only parcels - they also deliver letters and important documents, among other things. Not to mention that the volume of packages they deliver every day is greater than probably any courier service. However, this can affect the speed with which your parcel gets delivered - and if fast delivery is something important to you, then there's no better option than using a courier service.
Courier services are known for their efficiency and speed, especially when you consider that they offer such services as next-day delivery that additionally provide the receiver with the option to choose the time slot during which you want your package to be delivered. With a postal service, you usually just get the day on which the parcel will be delivered.
When using a postal service, you usually have more restrictions on how big a parcel can be, which might discourage you from sending it. With a courier delivery service, you also have those restrictions - however, they aren't as strict. Usually, they allow much bigger parcels to be sent - of course, you'll have to pay a bit more, but that's still better than not being able to send a package at all.
Now, this isn't always the case, as some postal services do offer a tracking number. However, it definitely isn't the standard, contrary to courier delivery services - especially when it comes to international courier services and international shipping. Since you always receive a tracking number, you know exactly where your parcel is, whether it arrived at its destination, etc. This is very important when you're shipping overseas or when you're sending multiple parcels at once.
Postal services tend to be slightly cheaper than courier services. That's because, with courier delivery services, there are also other costs involved aside from the shipping cost - such as a parcel handling fee.
However, considering all the other advantages that come with a courier service, as well as the fact that the difference between the two is usually no more than a few pounds, we feel like it's better to pay a bit more but be sure that your parcel is delivered safe and sound.
Packlink - Parcel Courier Services in One Place
Courier services are an extremely convenient way of shipping packages, nationally and internationally - especially since you know exactly what is going on with your delivery, thanks to tracking.
However, with so many courier services, it might be hard to choose just one to deliver your package. With Packlink's comparison tool, this task becomes a lot easier. All you have to do is insert the weight and dimensions of your parcel, such as its height, length, and width (cm), and you'll be provided with an instant quote - you'll be able to see the price of your delivery through the most popular parcel delivery providers and choose the one that is best for you.
Whether you need to get your parcel delivered within the UK or to another country, Packlink provides you with the best rates - in fact, you can save up to 70%! And if you have a business, you'll be glad to hear about Packlink PRO - businesses love it not only because of competitive pricing but also the fact that they can track all of their parcels from one platform.
So, next time you need to send parcels, don't hesitate to use Packlink!