If we take a moment to think about the courier industry of today, phrases such as ‘Internet shopping.’ ‘click and collect,’ and ‘same day deliveries’ will probably spring to mind. With recent rapid advances in technology, terms such as these roll off the tongue so effortlessly that it can be difficult to imagine a world where the process of transporting parcels, packages, consignments and commodities could ever be initiated by anything other than the instantaneous press of a button.
Couriers are renowned for innovation
The courier and logistics industry is a prime example of innovation and forward thinking at its best. As the word ‘courier’ derives from the Latin ‘currere’ meaning to run, the vision of messages being delivered by individuals on foot gives an indication as to just how far the courier industry has evolved over the centuries. The concept of transporting goods from one place to another will always form the backbone of the courier industry’s services, yet the methodologies involved in doing so have needed to react, adapt and cope with not only increasing consumer demand, but governmental rules, regulations and industry standards.
How does today’s courier industry really work? We’ve put together 10 facts about how the courier and logistics industry operates. These will help you to better understand the sector, dispel any myths and tell you everything you need to know when considering whether to use a courier service.
Definition of a courier
To clear up any misconceptions, let’s start with what a courier service actually is. A courier is a company which offers special deliveries of packages, documents, shipping consignments, etc. Operating independently of nationalised services, they can provide both faster delivery times and an extensive range of services, primarily designed for business needs.
There are different types of courier services
There really isn’t a one-size fits all approach when it comes to delivering parcels, packages and special consignments. Services vary according to speed of delivery required and the type of shipment. Consolidated services involve co-loading parcels with others and an estimated delivery date is given. For an extra fee, same day deliveries or a next-day service gives a faster option.
Consolidated delivery services aren’t suitable for some types of consignments
Whilst the vast majority of goods can be dispatched and transported easily and effortlessly, consolidated delivery services may not be the best option for your specific item.
Is it a time critical medical delivery?
Are your goods destined for a construction site where there may be a penalty clause for late arrival?
It pays to not only check whether the nature of your goods requires a guaranteed delivery time, but also whether bespoke options are required such as temperature controlled vans or drivers who are trained to carry dangerous goods.
Couriers can tailor regular deliveries
Courier companies don’t just deliver one-off parcels for clients, but regularly schedule daily, weekly or monthly collections and deliveries to respond to customer demand. This provides a simple, yet extremely effective operating method for manufacturers as they can rely on the constant movement of goods.
Not all items can actually be transported
Following on from checking whether consolidated or bespoke options are more suited to your individual transportation needs, it’s also worth bearing in mind that there may be restrictions on the items courier services can carry.
These include flammable materials, human and animal remains, live animals, firearms, explosive and illegal items (amongst others).
Couriers have to comply to standards, rules and regulations and will refuse to carry items which fall outside the remit of such rules.
Packing assistance isn’t normally included
Courier drivers handle, load, transport and deliver packages efficiently and effectively, but do not offer professional packing assistance or packaging. Senders are always responsible for packing and protecting their items and must ensure that fragile items are appropriately packaged for the type of courier service which they have chosen. However, professional courier services will always be available to give advice on this matter so as to comply with freight regulations.
Poor packaging may affect the shipping process
Courier companies may not accept goods which are poorly or inappropriately packaged. This may be for health and safety or confidentiality requirements, or purely for the reason that they may be prone to damage in transit. Again, it is the sender’s responsibility to ensure their packages are adequately packaged and sealed.
Couriers can operate internationally
Gone are the days of courier services being limited to local or national boundaries.
You can now send a parcel or consignment anywhere in the world.
However, it’s important to understand weight limits, rules on shipping and regulations in force in the country you’re dispatching to, but experienced courier firms will be happy to advise and help you with this.
Couriers have specialist insurance cover
Rest assured that courier and haulage companies are legally required to take out specialist insurance cover to reflect the goods in which they are carrying. Goods in transit cover, theft, public liability, breakdown cover, UK and European cover are examples that are generally taken out, but check terms and conditions of carriage when entrusting valuable, sentimental or confidential items to any courier provider.
As can be seen, there’s far more to a courier service than perhaps you may have originally thought.Day in, day out, courier services such as Same Day Couriers Direct deliver the vital spare parts, components, medicines, supplies and documentation to keep the wheels of industry turning.
To discover how Same Day Couriers Direct can play an important role in ensuring your deliveries are delivered safely, securely and on time, give us a call on 0333 772 1010