​What to Look for in a Courier Service

Posted by

selecting a courier service

Many businesses rely on courier services to pick up and quickly deliver their products, important documents, or medical supplies. Often, these packages must be delivered same-day or overnight and handled with tight security. That’s why it’s so important for businesses to pick a reliable and professional courier provider.

Businesses have a range of courier service options. There are the national, corporate providers like UPS and FedEx, as well as local, regional, and specialty couriers. Which one is best for your company and the types of products you need to have delivered? Here are a few considerations to make:

How Large Is the Courier’s Network?

Nationwide and global courier services have massive networks that include thousands of employees, national and regional processing centers, and large customer service departments. Typically, if you will be sending a large volume of packages long distances throughout the country, a nationwide courier with a broad network would be the ideal partner. On the other hand, for local and regional deliveries, using a corporate freight service like FedEx might not fit your needs.

First, these organizations often do not do same-day local service, or they do at a premium price. And the chain of command – the number of people who handle the package, from pick-up, through processing, and drop-off – is very high. For local, regional, or sensitive document delivery, a small local or regional courier would be a better option.

Do They Do Same-Day or Overnight Delivery?

Whether you’re sending legal documents, or medical supplies, fast delivery is likely critical for your business. Be sure your courier has a number of options for speedy delivery: Same-day, overnight, intra-city delivery in 2 or 3 hours, and emergency options for rush shipping. Specialty couriers that are locally or regionally based often have a number of options for customers, while large corporate providers tend to work for 2-5 day deliveries. For example, if you shipped a package through FedEx regionally, it would first go to a national processing center, before being returned to the local area.

Is the Courier Service Reliable?

Lost and damaged packages reflect poorly on your business. That’s why it’s so important the courier service you choose has a strong track record of delivering packages on-time and in good condition. Before choosing a courier service, make sure that the company is licensed to operate in your area and that they’re bonded and ensured. Plus, a quick check of the company’s online ratings and BBB ratings can also help you ensure the provider's reliability.

What Types of Packages Do They Accept?

Most couriers have limits on what they will process. Some refuse packages that contain perishable or hazardous products. Others may not accept oversized packages. You should check a potential courier for the types of packages and goods they’re willing to handle. Some specialty options might include:

     - Sensitive documents

     - Oversized or freight shipments

     - Medical or hazardous products

     - Packages that require signature

Is the Company Professional?

A courier service is acting as an agent for your business, and as such, the way their drivers and employees conduct themselves reflects upon your company. To ensure your courier service holds their end of the bargain, choose a service that has professional looking drivers and vehicles. Also, a company with a solid customer service department is essential.

How Easy Is It To Send Parcels?

The majority of courier providers have easy methods for coordinating the logistics of sending a package. Some couriers have web or mobile applications that make this super simple, while others require a phone call. If you’re a small company, you may not have the time for drawn-out package processing. Find a courier that has a simple, easy-to-order system for pick-up, tracking, and drop-off.

Choosing a courier service can be difficult if you have specialty needs or you’re going to be processing a large volume of packages. These questions, though, can help you land on a provider that will make a good partner for your business.