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The Main Differences Between a Mail Courier and the Post Office

March 11, 2020 last milemailroom management

You know the dread you feel when you’ve sent a package but you’re gambling about whether it will arrive before the big event? Have you ever sat and checked delivery status over and over, only to find the same “out for delivery” message?

If this sounds like you, then you’re ready to explore how a courier service ups the game. When you need to deliver something, you need to ensure it gets there in time.

The differences between a mail courier and a postal service help you determine the best way to deliver your important package. Here are some of the ways the two vary in service, price, and other details.

Who Runs the Company

One of the biggest differences between a mail courier service and a postal service is the people in charge. In general, governments run postal services as a national program. Courier services aren’t subject to the same regulations because they aren’t run by a government office.

Private businesses and corporations don’t have as many restrictions or red tape. They’re free to offer more services and charge more for them. Be sure to ask the right questions before you hire a courier to make sure they’re the right choice for your shipping needs.

How Much It Costs

Another chief difference between a postal service and a mail courier service is the price. While postal services offer shipping at a cheaper rate, they also have longer delivery times and aren’t as organized. Tracking your package may lead to problems, and they don’t always deliver on time.

With a courier service, you’ll pay more but you’ll get supreme service and better shipping guarantees. If you’re paying for next-day service, you should get next-day service without any hiccups.

Who Handles the Shipment

Sometimes one postal service doesn’t handle the delivery during the entire trip. That means you’re subject to two different countries’ regulations and delays, instead of only one. There may end up being trouble with tracking and communications between the countries and their postal services.

With a courier service, the same company takes your package the entire way. You’re sure of having a line of communication with the company and knowing where your shipment is at all times. You also have the peace of mind that your items aren’t lost or taking forever because of the transfer between services.

Specific Times of Delivery

Often courier services can offer a specific window of time for delivery, like 12-2 p.m., whereas a postal service can only specify a day. Because they know the details of your package, they can be more specific about their estimates. They service its delivery the entire journey.

Postal services handle a larger volume at a much lower rate, so they aren’t able to provide as many details. While they do offer tracking, the system doesn’t always work like it’s supposed to. Instead, you’re left with vague details and packages that get lost (and sometimes they never get found).

Using a Mail Courier vs. Postal Service for International Shipping

Besides the use of two separate postal services, international shipping brings a host of other complications. Packages and shipments have to go through customs and extra red tape when coming from or going to another country.

Customs can delay a package indefinitely because they require the recipient to pay a fee. If the other country’s officials can’t reach the intended recipient, the package stays in limbo until someone comes to pay the taxes and fees.

Courier services offer prepaid taxes and fees for international shipping. They avoid the red tape and avoid having to rely on the recipient for a timely delivery. Instead, they deliver the package right to the recipient, without extra headaches and problems.

Extra Services Offered

Postal services can’t offer as wide an array of special services that courier companies can. They’re limited by the sheer volume of shipments, as well as their budget restrictions.

Couriers don’t have the same problems, so they can offer extra services like refrigeration. If you have something that needs to stay cold during shipping, courier companies can ensure this.

Couriers also work to improve the final mile distribution. This is the part of your package’s journey where it reaches the recipient’s door. While this can take the longest out of the entire process, couriers have better solutions to making this a fast and easy leg of the trip.

A courier company can hire more drivers and delivery members by outsourcing the job. The same way people can drive for Lyft, they can pick up packages and deliver them for couriers.

This takes the burden off the company to have so many in-house employees. It means fewer packages on each truck and faster delivery times.

More distribution centers also help with final mile delivery, and private firms can add these a lot easier than government agencies. Postal services are closing more and more of their branches, an estimated 200 in 2019. At the same time, courier services continue adding brick-and-mortar warehouses to serve as distribution centers and make the final mile easier, faster, and cheaper.

The Clear Choice

With the above differences between a mail courier and a postal service, it’s easy to see which one works best. Especially in the case of specialized deliveries and time-sensitive parcels and documents, couriers have better service.

For more information about ASAP Courier, a Need It Now Company, and our services, check out the rest of our website. Get a quote today for your courier service needs!