From the Royal Post of 15th-century England to the 19th-century American Pony Express, courier services have transported essential messages, goods and supplies. Modern-day courier services have the benefit of technology to make faster deliveries and keep track of scheduling.
A courier service representative picks up an item at your location and takes it to your recipient. A courier by definition is someone who carries a message, but most modern couriers carry almost anything from blueprints to lab specimens.
Some couriers specialize in particular delivery items, such as legal documents or inter-library materials. Many smaller courier services limit their scope to a specific geographic region. Other couriers offer local and nationwide delivery of any item within legal limits.
Full-service couriers have a full menu of time-frame options. Same-day local delivery, next-day air, and emergency service are some of them. Just like any other delivery service, from the U.S. Mail to FedEx, couriers are especially busy during holiday times, and often their regular customers get priority during the crunch. By prescheduling daily or weekly pickups, you can ensure service during busy times.
A bicycle courier can usually navigate downtown traffic much quicker than you can, and any reputable courier will be licensed and bonded in case of accidents. If an emergency order comes in when you are minding the store solo, a courier is invaluable in helping you take care of business.
Courier services cater to individuals as well as businesses. Couriers in many cities will pick up and deliver groceries or prescriptions to homebound seniors. A courier can deliver restaurant takeout food or dry cleaning when you are too busy or unable. While courier services prefer advance notice, many strive to be responsive to unexpected requests.
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