They’re speedy, secure and cost effective. So why are courier service providers so often overlooked? If you’re looking to outsource your company’s delivery operations and you aren’t sure how courier services differ from standard parcel delivery, here’s how:

What’s the difference between a courier service and standard delivery service?

Standard delivery service

Think USPS or UPS. These folks offer carrier services for shippers whose delivery needs are standard and non-urgent. E-commerce goods and care packages from Grandma routinely see this kind of transport. Standard delivery services make many of our worlds go around, so there’s no reason to ruin a good thing. That is, if your shipping needs don’t reach beyond 3-5 business days or the occasional overnight delivery. But, more than likely, your business’s functions are a bit more complex. In that case, courier service providers may be able to accommodate your company’s supply chain needs in ways that standard delivery service can’t.

Courier services

Not all courier providers offer the same services because they don’t all invest in the same capabilities. In most cases, a courier company is a private firm that specializes in one or more segments in the shipping process, with capabilities ranging from same-day local delivery all the way to international services. They typically have multiple means of transportation, which ensures timeliness because sometimes Billy the Biker can move an envelope across the city quicker than a car. Overall, courier companies have flexibility in creating solutions to your particular shipping challenges.

If you’re looking for a provider that can enhance your delivery operations, check out logistics providers (we talked about logistics, here). Because of their expertise, logistics providers are known for playing a larger role in companies’ supply chain management and typically offer custom courier services.

The key differences

  • Speed: Couriers work orders individually and in real time (read about why real time is the new standard, here) so on-demand and rushed jobs are possible, whereas standard services are typically done by a driver with a full truck making their way through a route.
  • Availability: Many courier services are 24/7/365. And because of the nature of shipping services, quality customer service is a must. When you use courier and logistics providers, you can count on readily available and knowledgeable customer service.
  • Security: Courier services offer chain of command, so you know the who, where and what of your order. Logistics providers use industry-specific technology that feature transparency beyond standard carrier tracking. Couriers can also be trained for particular needs – like HIPPA certification for medical transport.
  • Easy access: You can find courier companies or logistics providers almost anywhere. There are also plenty of companies that have drivers to deploy nationwide, like us- RTD Logistics. Putting in an order with a quick call, email or online portal makes all the difference to folks with frequent, time-dependent delivery needs. Standard shipping is often a lot more laborious for you, the shipper.
  • Cost: Businesses can cut costs when they team up with courier companies because service providers don’t necessarily need to assign set costs to their services. Because your company has unique operations, you can expect unique solutions.
  • Free up your resources: Standard parcel delivery services don’t completely alleviate the in-house resources you may be using to handle your shipping functions. Courier service providers are capable of managing operations from origin to destination. This way, your company can focus its resources, like time and labor, on its core competencies. That’s just a savvy business decision.

Should you be using a courier service?

If your business’s shipping needs are more complex than a standard parcel delivery – then, yes, probably. From e-commerce to bank deposit routes, courier companies and logistics providers offer unique solutions that can make your life a lot easier.


Want to know more about courier services? SKYCOM Courier, a service of RTD Logistics, is known for their courier solutions. Whatever your shipping challenges are, let us know how. We can solve them.

Email us at info@skycomcourier.com

Or visit us at RTDLogistics.com