Common Questions About Courier Jobs

There are a number of frequently asked questions about typical courier tasks. Here, we've attempted to answer a few; remember though that the answers may vary, depending upon your individual state or nation.

What's the distinction between a courier and a freight company?

That's a fantastic question and sometimes the lines between the two may be a little blurred.

Typically, the former specialize in point-to-point state collection and shipping. Of course, some haulage may involve a single full load also going point-to-point and a few delivery drivers may transship. It's also often (although not always) the case that the former specialize in smaller parcels taken via van, motorcycle or even bike - perhaps with air transport between. You won't often hear a motorcycle shipping guy describing themselves as cargo haulage specialists or a trucker saying that they do courier tasks!

Can you get international couriers?

Yes, absolutely, though that may mean slightly different things depending upon where you are. Some companies may offer international delivery solutions that involve a fast motorcycle to the airport, airfreight then a fast bicycle at the other finish amassing the parcel for shipping.

Sometimes, if the consignment is of sufficient value to make it cheap to do so, it might be accompanied door-to-door all the way - even around the world. Where companies are near an international boundary, cross-border accompanied courier jobs may be more commonplace than they are in, say, areas of the central USA.

Are there certain types of products that will not be carried?

Some may also refuse to carry materials they regard as being offensive - e.g. possibly tobacco, alcohol or adult material etc..

Why is special packaging sometimes required?

This is a tricky and sometimes controversial issue however, it has its origins in logic. Many courier jobs have got into problems (spoilages, losses etc) because of the shipper using poor and inappropriate packing or packaging materials. A related issue sometimes arises because of a shipper failing to accurately declare the measurements of the object they're shipping.

These types of problems (and others like them) may cause severe difficulties not only in terms of safety but also in handling. Examples include vans arriving only to discover that the object is too long to fit safely indoors, or cartons being used that are so tiny that they are easily lost if transshipment is called for at a depot handling center. To try and eliminate at the courier guy of these, some companies may insist that customers use standard packing cartons.