Courier services, logistics services, courier driver, carrier. All these terms are so interconnected that they are usually defined with respect to each other.

The meanings are intricate and so are the types of shipping services, especially for someone who is not familiar with the notations and services in the logistics realm. In this article, we are going to give you more information on this topic in order to make it easier for your understanding.

Courier services

They are usually a bit pricier than the standard postal services. There are many types of courier services, depending on the speed of the delivery and the type of consignments.

Standard courier services involve the collection of small and medium sized parcels and their transfer to the delivery point. There is an estimated time of delivery which means that there is no exact date or time when the parcel will be delivered. This service is usually the least expensive one from the entire array of courier services.

Same-day courier services translate into the collection of parcel on the exact same day when the order was received. This is usually a faster service and if combined with an express delivery, it becomes one of the most expensive options.

Overnight service – the package is delivered the next day of its collection. However, the service is not always available for some international routes located at a great distance from each other. Given its nature, the service price can be quite high.

International or national courier services – the prices vary depending on the distance between the point of collection and point of delivery.

Courier services for pallet delivery – the prices for this kind of delivery are affordable and both the pick-up and delivery time are strictly defined.

Means of transport

Courier companies usually transport the goods by road. This means that they use trucks, vans, motorcycles and bicycles (mostly for local, last mile and fast deliveries) to transport the parcels.

Courier Services are the standard services for the delivery of portable goods, shipments of smaller dimensions and lighter shipments, documents and mail. The parcels transported through courier services can be easily handled and lifted by a person given their small dimensions and weight.

Logistics services

Sometimes is referred to as the general field of transportation services, which encompasses courier services too.

Logistics refer to the process of managing the flow of operations between the point of collection to the point of delivery. This includes all the mechanisms, warehouses, people and resources that are involved throughout the entire delivery process.

People refer to logistics services when talking about the transport of heavy goods and bulk loads. Sometimes, the term is used to refer to cargo and freight transport.

Following this idea, the transport of bigger consignments and of shipments that need special care come under the umbrella of logistics services. Compared to courier services, logistics services are considered to be a more secure option when it comes to shipping valuable goods because it can accommodate the transport of pallets and containers. Packages and items that are placed on a pallet are usually handled mechanically with forklifts.

The provider of the logistics services handles the processes such as inventory, shipping, packaging, warehousing and security functions for shipments.

Means of transport

Logistics services transport the goods by trains, trucks, ships or airplanes.

Ships – used for stacked pallets

Aircraft – used for perishable goods because it is the fastest means of transportation; it is also the means of transportation for livestock, using specially designed stables.

Train – mostly used for mining products because of its large capacity and easier way of making secure transport for this kind of products

Trucks – used to transport heavy and big consignments such as the ones which fall into the freight/cargo category; trucks are also used for livestock.

Most courier companies are also cargo companies, which means they have integrated services and they can accommodate both big and small shipments.

The definitions of courier and logistics services are not completely different and one service is usually explained by implying the other term too.  Even though it is hard to define the separation line, as explained above, there are some things that distinguish them from one another.