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The Key Differences Between Courier Mail Services vs Postal Services

October 1, 2020 mail deliverymailroom management

Many people have attempted to ship themselves, but no one has ever succeeded.

While you probably just want to ship a product, you need to use the right service.

Courier mail can handle some things that the postal service can’t (though a living human isn’t one of them). However, you should understand the differences between the two services, and that starts with learning the basics of each.

Basics of Courier Mail

Since most people only have experience with regular mail, you might be asking, what is a courier?

A mail courier delivers packages and traditional mail, but it’s separate from the postal service.

There are standard courier services that offer deliveries for small and medium-sized packages. Typically, these deliveries are within the same country, but international couriers services are available.

A courier can also help deliver packages more quickly than the postal service. If you need to ship a package and get it to the destination within a day, courier mail is a great option.

You might also want to use courier mail if you ship packages in bulk. Courier services can handle bulk shipments more easily than postal mail.

Some couriers also offer luggage delivery. You might also be able to get extra insurance when you ship with a courier.

Basics of Postal Services

Postal services are typically public services, and they’re great for shipping personal mail and packages. A government runs postal services, and so they can be a cheap option.

The United States government runs the U.S. Postal Service, also known as USPS. You can send letters, pay bills by mail, or ship small to medium-sized packages.

USPS can send mail and ship packages within the United States. You can ship packages from a USPS store. If you need to send a letter, you can leave it in your mailbox or put it in a USPS dropbox.

For international mail, the USPS works with the Universal Postal Union (UPU). The UPU helps distribute mail across international borders.

A postal service is the basic method to use when sending and receiving personal mail. However, it’s not as great as courier mail when it comes to shipping packages for your business.

How They Differ

If you’re trying to decide to use courier mail or postal mail to send a package, you should understand the differences. While both options can get your package to its destination, the methods involved aren’t the same.

Multiple factors differ between the two shipping methods. Of course, some of those factors will also differ from courier to courier.

No two companies work exactly the same. Also, certain factors can change based on the size of your package, the weather, or other unrelated factors.

However, you should understand the basic differences. Then, if you need to send a package, you can decide which shipping method is best for you.

Everything from cost to delivery speed can vary when using courier mail or postal mail. Consider what factors are the most important to you so that you can determine whether a method is worth it.


No matter which shipping option you choose, you should look at how much it will cost. In general, larger packages are more expensive to ship than smaller ones.

If you have a small letter to send, you can buy a stamp for less than a dollar and ship it through the postal service. For other small packages that you send to family, the postal service is also probably your best bet.

However, while courier mail can be more expensive, it might be worth it. If you own an online business and ship a lot of packages, you can afford to pay more.

Unfortunately, USPS can only handle so many packages and letters in a day. On the other hand, you can spend a bit more money on courier mail to get faster, more accurate deliveries.

Not everyone will need the “upgrades” that come with a courier service. Still, you should consider your budget when choosing how to ship something.

Delivery Time

The growth of e-commerce and companies like Amazon has brought with it the expectation of rapid shipping and same-day delivery. If you need or want to send a package quickly, you need a service that can handle that.

While you can save money with the basic postal service, courier mail can help you improve shipping for you and the recipient. Fast shipping can be essential for some customers.

If you own an online business, you need to offer fast shipping to be competitive. Unless you have a unique product, people will want to choose the item with either faster or less expensive shipping.

Another thing to consider is if a courier service offers a specific delivery window. The USPS rarely offers more than the expected date of delivery.

However, if you have a package that the recipient needs to sign for, you might need a shorter timeframe. Then, you can coordinate with your recipient to make sure they can be home to sign for the package.


Almost nothing is worse than sending a package than having it get stuck somewhere. If you send a lot of packages, you need to choose a courier mail service that you can trust.

If you have issues with a courier, you should switch to another one. The same is true if you have problems with a postal service.

The right courier service should offer help with your packages. Ideally, you would get a tracking number so that you and the recipient can track the shipment.

If you plan to offer returns to customers, you need a courier service that can work with that. You should also look for a courier that follows its own rules regarding customer support.


Another thing to consider is how much convenience matters to you. If you plan to ship a package, you often need to go to the post office to do so.

However, some courier mail companies offer more than that. In some cases, you can package a shipment and have someone pick it up from your home or office.

You can save time going to the post office or another site to send off packages.

Pack. Ship. Relax.

Shipping packages can be stressful, especially if you have a lot of them to do. You should compare and contrast courier mail and postal mail to choose the best option for you.

Courier services can take some of the stress off of shipping a ton of packages. Then, you can focus on other things instead.

Want to start shipping with a courier? Fill out our shipping form!