Couriers are people or companies who are specifically employed to deliver packages, messages and items of mail. Most couriers are generally distinguished from everyday mail and post services, by such features as security, item tracking, speed, signature, individualization and specialization of services and dependable delivery timetables. These services differ from those of ordinary post services which are usually everyday optional mail/post services.
Because couriers run this type of service as a premium service, they are usually more expensive than the more usual available post/mail services, and their use is restricted to parcels, packages and items of mail where one or more of the above features are considered important enough to warrant the extra costs.
There are many different courier services such as Stevenage Couriers for example who operate on many different levels and scales from within specific regions, towns and cities, and even national and global services.
The types of courier which are used in towns and busy cities very often make use of bicycle or motorcycles for delivering small important consignments. Bicycles and motorcycles are ideal for use in heavily populated areas such as London etc., as they can quickly manoeuvre and negotiate any heavy traffic, which may often be at a standstill.
Consignments which require delivering over long distances and larger networks very often make use of automobiles, motor cycles, trucks, railways and even aircraft.
Some companies operate by a JIT inventory or Just in Time method and these methods make use of on board couriers. An on board courier is an individual who will travel at a moments notice anywhere in the world by using commercial airlines, and while this type of service is extremely costly, general aviation charters are a lot more expensive.
Speciality couriers exist, and are usually for the transportation of articles such as sensitive documents, liquids and freight/palettes.
Sameday couriers are companies that will deliver in less than twenty four hours. In the United Kingdom, many of the couriers or despatch riders were motorcyclists when the sameday delivery service got started in London.
In the 1980s bicycle couriers were used for economical shorter distance deliveries, and started to replace motorcycle couriers in many cities.
In today’s economical climate the trend has been for companies to use next day deliveries as they are less expensive.