What Are The Different Types of Courier Services?

Were you aware that it’s estimated that more than 20 billion parcels are shipped and couriered annually in the United States? Many types of courier services ship packages from one location to another. 

Yet, with so many parcels shipped yearly by companies like Pillow Logistics, you’re likely wondering about the differences between types of courier services. After all, how will you know which type of delivery service matches your needs and preferences if you don’t know more about your options? 

What Are The Types Of Courier Services? (How They Ship)

The first thing you need to know before choosing a courier service is how couriers ship goods.

  1. International Couriers

An international courier is perfect for those looking to ship an item internationally to a different country. Besides helping you ship your items, an international courier can help you determine the governmental jurisdiction restrictions. They can also help you learn the size and weight regulations and restricted items so that you don’t get in trouble with customs. 

Unlike the postal service, a private international courier service has no jurisdiction and can handle your delivery from beginning to end. An international courier service is usually a safer and more reliable shipping method. 

  1. On Demand Couriers

When you need a delivery made faster than a same-day delivery service, you must use an on-demand courier like Pillow Logistics. On-demand couriers are less restrictive and more accommodating to people’s shipping needs. For example, depending on the courier you use, you can get a package delivered within three hours or less, regardless of the time of day when you placed the order. 

When you choose an on-demand courier delivery service, you will have a dedicated courier. This courier will go directly to a customer’s location to pick up and deliver a package without performing other deliveries. Usually, this service is more expensive, but there are many advantages:

  • You can choose the delivery vehicle. 
  • You will benefit from rapid package delivery. 
  • You can track the driver using a map feature. 
  • You will receive impeccable security and benefit from a low risk of damage. 
  • You can choose to send more packages to many addresses simultaneously. 
  • You can choose the delivery time. 

These are just some of the benefits. Speak with an on-demand delivery service like Pillow Logistics to find out how else an on-demand courier can be of assistance. 

on-demand courier service
  1. Routed Delivery Couriers

A routed delivery courier is one of the most popular types of courier because of its convenience and reliability. Routed delivery couriers are also known as scheduled delivery couriers, and the best example of this type of courier is paper route delivery companies. 

Many small businesses benefit from routed delivery couriers if they have many subscribers that they need to deliver to routinely. For example, if you operate a bakery service that caters for weddings at many venues in your local area, you could use a routed delivery courier.

  1. Overnight Shipping Couriers

As their name implies, overnight shipping couriers will ship your goods overnight for next-day delivery. This is typically the best option for those who can’t or won’t wait two to three days for standard delivery. 

Yet, why are overnight shipping couriers faster? Simple. An overnight courier can achieve faster delivery times because they can ignore regular business hours by taking an overnight trip to deliver your packages. 

Additionally, you should note that when using overnight shipping as one of the types of courier services, deliveries to a depot are usually made between 9 am and 11 pm. Deliveries from a depot to your home or customers are often made after 5 pm and at night. There are many advantages to overnight shipping: 

  • Goods are kept safely inside a courier vehicle that isn’t stuck in traffic. 
  • Less damage is likely to occur because of the heat. 
  • A faster and more predictable timeline is guaranteed. 
  1. Standard Shipping Couriers

Should you have time to wait and not need anything delivered the same day, choose a standard shipping courier. This delivery service will courier your regular packages similarly to the postal service. Usually, a standard shipping courier will deliver goods within two to three business days. 

  1. Same Day Couriers

Those who need packages delivered on the same day need a same-day courier service. With this type of courier service, a package that needs to be delivered is picked up before noon and delivered by the afternoon of the same day. 

For same-day delivery couriers, route optimization is one of the most challenging aspects because of how little time there is to make bulk deliveries. Yet, one of the most significant advantages is that same-day courier services are not overly expensive, and they often deliver packages within six hours. 

forklift unloading freight from a trailer

What Are The Types Of Courier Services? (What They Ship)

Now that you know the types of courier services as it relates to shipping methods, we want to discuss what courier services ship, which includes almost anything that isn’t illegal. Have a quick look below to learn more about what is shipped by a courier company like Pillow Logistics. 

  1. The Delivery Of Freight

One of the special services some courier companies offer is freight delivery, usually large or abnormally shaped orders. This includes machinery, tools, mechanical equipment, and other store items. If you don’t need to deliver large or abnormally shaped goods often, you might not want to choose a freight courier as it can become expensive. 

  1. The Delivery of Parcels

The most common type of courier service is the delivery of parcels. Most courier companies will offer parcel delivery, but some will only offer special courier services like freight shipping. 

Unsurprisingly, since parcel delivery is the most common, it is also the most competitive and cheapest option. However, it’s important to always research before choosing a courier to deliver parcels, as you should only trust reliable courier companies. 

  1. The Delivery Of Hazardous Materials

Not every courier service will deliver hazardous materials, but some specialize in this mode of transportation. Typically, dangerous materials are oxidizers, flammables, gasses, explosives, and corrosives. 

Often, a courier will deliver hazardous materials that the post office won’t. You should also note that couriers won’t deliver or transport toxic waste as part of their hazardous materials service offerings. 

  1. The Delivery Of Perishables

Many courier companies now offer to deliver perishable goods. Specific refrigerated trucks allow couriers to transport certain items that have to stay at a certain temperature, like foods, flowers, and medicines. 

Courier delivery services also deliver hot food by keeping orders insulated and delivering food within a certain time frame. For example, DoorDash and Uber Eat. 

  1. The Delivery of Medical And Healthcare Supplies

Some courier companies offer a medical courier service that specializes in the timely delivery of crucial medical equipment and healthcare supplies. 

After all, a courier company can deliver medical equipment and healthcare supplies to ensure people have access to healthcare services. Delivering this type of goods can be dangerous and the couriers that deliver them have the equipment to do so safely. 

Are There Any Additional Services Provided By Couriers?

There is a range of additional services couriers provide depending on the courier you choose to make your deliveries. Below, we have briefly touched on a few of the more popular additional services some couriers offer clients. 

  • Pallet Deliveries: Some courier companies will deliver goods packaged on pallets. This makes it easier for warehouses to offload and unload, and it helps customers meet strict delivery requirements without costing a fortune. 
  • Insurance: Many courier companies offer an additional insurance service. If you add insurance to your deliveries, you will get a predetermined reimbursement amount for lost and damaged items. How much you’re reimbursed and what items are covered will vary between couriers. 
  • Warehousing services: If you often need to make large deliveries, choose a courier that offers warehousing services. These services help business owners have greater control over their goods and business. Warehousing services can involve picking and packing, cross-docking processes, storage solutions, storage reporting, and dispatch services. 

Speak With An Expert At Pillow Logistics To Arrange A Courier Service For Your Goods

Now you know what the different types of courier services are and have a better understanding of what you need. If you need on-demand delivery, routed services, freight, medical delivery, or warehouse services, speak with the experts at Pillow Logistics

Our courier services are custom tailored to our client’s needs. You can trust that we will get your goods on time from point A to point B. Contact us, and one of our representatives will be in touch to find out your exact courier needs.