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What does a Courier do?

By Felicia Dye
Updated Mar 02, 2024
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A courier is an individual employed to make deliveries. The types of things that such an individual delivers can vary from messages to large packages. His means of transportation can also vary, ranging from roller skates to airplanes.

There are numerous types of courier jobs. The one thing that they have in common is that they involve making deliveries. A courier can be employed for various types of transactions.

Some are used to deliver documents between businesses. Others are used to deliver goods between merchants and consumers. Some couriers specialize in certain types of deliveries such as legal documents or large parcels.

These people sometimes are employees of a courier service. In some cases, they may be employed by a corporation for internal deliveries. There also are freelance couriers who provide delivery services.

A courier typically has at least two clients. One is the sender, who generally wants to make sure that an item is delivered in-tact within a certain time frame. The other client is the receiver, who usually expects to receive an item without damage within a certain time frame.

Courier jobs are not new. Delivery services have been used for centuries. The way that these businesses operate is, of course, much more sophisticated today. A courier often uses various types of innovative techniques to make his or her services attractive, such as text-message delivery confirmation.

In many cities, couriers can be found making deliveries by way of various modes of transportation. Some couriers skate or ride bicycles. Others, especially those delivering large packages, drive cars and trucks. There even are couriers who are enlisted to fly with an item from one place to another.

The benefit of a courier is that he usually can deliver an item faster than it would have been if sent by other means. For example, a person may need to send a document to another person. She could do this by sending it through the mail. If the two parties are in the same city, this transaction is likely to take at least one day. Couriers, however, usually can make it happen within hours.

Another benefit that couriers generally offer is a recording of information that can make their clients feel more secure. Postal services generally are not as efficient in this regard. Even text messages and e-mails may not be comparable. In many cases, without types of delivery confirmation, it can be confirmed that something was sent, but there is no confirmation as to whether it was received or when it was received.

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Discussion Comments
By Ivan83 — On May 15, 2012

If you are flexible, have a clean driving record and are willing to go long distance or transport odd objects you can make a lot of money as a courier. The logistics industry is huge and there is a lot of bargaining power on the part of the courier.

I own a small transport company and we do everything from documents to products to construction materials. If you need it moved we can move it, that is our motto. It has made a nice living for myself and my family. I am glad I am not on the road as much as I used to be though.

By gravois — On May 14, 2012

We will occasionally hire bike couriers to take documents between buildings. In our experience it is a lot faster than trying to hire a courier who travels by car. Anyone who has been to NYC has seen the bike messengers weaving in an out of traffic almost as if they had a sixth sense.

By truman12 — On May 14, 2012

I currently work as a medical courier. I drive around to different hospitals, clinics and health departments and pick up medical laboratory samples that need to go to other places.

It is mostly just blood and urine and other fluids. When I tell people that I am a medical courier they tend to assume that I transport organs to the hospital. It is nothing so dramatic.

I actually love the job. It gives me a lot of time to think and I don't have to sit behind a desk in front of a computer all day. Plus, in my own small way, I am contributing to the care that a person receives.

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