What is a Courier? - Courier vs Postal Service

Oct 10, 2021

‘As long as they deliver my goods from A to B’, right? … Hardly. 

There are concise contrasts between couriers and postal services. Understanding these differences and how to combine both services could save you or your business thousands of dollars and precious hours spent in postal limbo wondering where your items are. You choose the correct service or combination of services, and you could streamline productivity and maximise efficiency.

Couriers and Freight operate in freight management. We create solutions to the dilemmas you face or the problems that you don’t have time to solve. By connecting our 100 courier and postal service partnerships, we can create the fastest and most affordable options.
Let’s discuss a few common misconceptions in the shipping and mailing industry, like courier address vs mailing address, courier vs delivery, and what is courier delivery? 

What is a Courier?

Courier - from the old french language, translates ‘ to run’. The term has evolved - quite dramatically - over the last 200 years. A courier service manages and facilitates deliveries coordinating many forms of shipment by road, air, and sea.

There are many facets to the definition of a courier; this is why most courier companies tend to emphasise specifications pigeonholing them into a niche service. There are three main types of courier services that companies target.

  • Time-Sensitive Shipping
  • Local Shipping
  • International Shipping

Couriers and Freight consolidate shipments and inject them into the receiving country last-mile provider. We use Last mile couriers and postal services depending on the service they require. This drives down costs for low-value items.
Contact Couriers and Freight for a quote.

What is a Postal Service?

In contrast to a courier service usually owned and operated by an independent company, postal services are typically run by national governments, for instance, Australia Post or USPS in America.

Focusing on routine frequented mail, such as bank statements, fines, polls and surveys, public announcements and services as well as E-commerce. For larger shipments and domestic parcels, postal services often team up with couriers to manage all uncatered aspects. 

Courier vs Postal Service

The are many apparent differences between couriers vs postal services. Some aspects have been outlined in this article already, and other details are a little more subtle. Nonetheless, all comparisons are essential and could save your business significant expenses and fees that are bound to stack up over a long period of time.
What are the comparisons between courier vs postal delivery?

Service Quality

There is certainly nothing wrong with using government-run postal services. Still, with such a large service that is currently trying to refine budget and cut costs to keep taxpayers’ dollars down and coincide with COVID regulations, there are functions and perks that they don’t provide compared to a privately owned service.

Courier services provide extra customer care as part of their service. There may not be as much ‘TLC’ with government post, as the budget doesn’t allow for that extra spend on customer satisfaction.


Courier companies allow for intricate tracking systems, whereas in postal services, there is less transparency in where your package may be at any given time. 


With the recent surge in E-commerce, Executive General Manager Rob Barnes explains in regards to the reductions of staff due to COVID-19, “effectively we lose a lot of production." The Australia Post website went from 3 million visitors in 2018 to 7.5 million visitors per month in 2021. (Reference)
Delays are expected using postal services, whereas independently owned courier companies allocate budget to guarantee reduced wait times. 


This is where postal delivery services far exceed the comparison. Courier services often include surcharges and extra fees that aren’t found using postal services. This very reason can be reason enough for millions of the general public and businesses to use post. 

FAQ’s Related to Courier and Postal Services

What is the difference between your postal and courier address?

Your postal mail address will show a post box number and pin code, whereas courier mail will show your physical address and personal identification details. 

‘Delivery to local courier’... meaning? 

‘Delivery to local courier’ means that your package has arrived at its second last destination (your location being the last), which is the courier depot in your local area (or close to it). 

Does Australia Post have a courier service?

Australia Post uses StarTrack for all of its courier related services.

How long does it take for a courier to deliver?

Unfortunately, there is no one simple answer to this question. The wait time will vary according to the distance required for shipping, the size and weight of your package, and the courier service providers you’re using.

What is a local courier?

A local courier works strictly and exclusively in domestic delivery. The benefits of using local couriers dramatically reduce costs in double handling.  Couriers and Freight work with a collection of local couriers around Australia to provide personalised postal care whilst maintaining low service and delivery fees. 

Couriers and Freight

Couriers and Freight is an end to end freight solution that connects businesses with a number of first mile and last mile shipping services that cover both international and domestic routes. By using our cloud-based software, companies can track their goods at any point during the journey. Integrating a high level of customer service, execution, and an expanded network of small-scale and large-scale couriers and postal services, we find that our clients achieve faster and more affordable outcomes. Contact Couriers and Freight for a Quote.

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