CourierA courier is someone who delivers a message, mail, or even a package from one location to another. Most people are familiar with the larger courier companies, such as DHL, Federal Express, and UPS. However, many companies, especially those based in large metropolitan areas, employ their own couriers, or use local courier services. Many of these couriers use bicycles, motorcycles, or even small cars to navigate the often crowded city streets.
Couriers may work for large companies, especially if they have several branches in the same city. Items that cannot be sent electronically or items requiring a traditional signature ("wet" signature) are often given to a courier. The courier may be required to make a same-day delivery, but in some cases the item will be kept until it can be delivered according to the company's scheduled delivery day.
The London taxi companies played a large role in the development of courier services. Finding they could make money from things as well as people, the taxis soon began transporting information and material around town for a fee. And so the London courier service was born.
Couriers have been used as long as people have gathered in societies. Original couriers were people who often walked or ran between locations, carrying with them messages or supplies. Horses, homing pigeons, and even donkeys have been used to help carry items along with the courier and lighten the load for the human. In some cities, Segway Personal Transporters are used, with the courier and his or her bag gliding to their destination.
Today, bicycles or motorised transportation often replaces human foot power. Bicycle courier services are particularly popular in large, congested cities. A cyclist can often arrive at a destination much faster than a car, and doesn't require a parking space. Of course, bicycles are limited as to the cargo they can carry, both in size and weight.
Motorcycles are an often-used alternative because of their ability to carry heavier loads. Saddlebags for a motorcycle can allow couriers to transport very heavy items; some larger motorcycles are rated to carry upwards of 180 kilos! A bicycle courier wouldn't make it up a medium incline with that weightónor would the bicycle tyres.
For smaller companies who can't afford to employ a full-time courier, many cities have courier services available on an as-needed basis. Many of them also offer delivery verification, insurance, package tracking and signature receipt for items. Look for couriers who offer the services with the most benefit to you. For instance, a solicitor who regularly sends legal documents via couriers might want signature verification for each delivery. On the other hand, a company that has customers overseas will probably prefer a courier service that specialises in delivering to those countries.
Couriers have expanded their services as their popularity as grown, and with a little bit of time and research, you'll find one that will help your business grow. Consider reliability as well as cost when comparing couriersóremember, your reputation will be riding along with the message.