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What is parcel courier service

Parcel courier service

Parcel courier services are those services that help deliver small packages, or important documents, and help businesses deliver products to their customers. Parcel courier services have been a popular alternative for the postal service, offering several benefits such as speed, tracking and reliable delivery. They transport parcels within a country, known as domestic couriers and to other countries, which is known as international couriers.

The growth of courier parcel services is led by the e-commerce segment

Parcel courier services have seen exponential growth in current times, due to the growth in e-commerce and the COVID-19 pandemic. With consumers making purchases online, these companies use parcel courier services to deliver products. The large volumes through e-commerce helped reduce the costs of shipping for small packages, making international purchases possible. Technological advances in tracking, communications and logistics have also been a key driver for this conducive market.  Accordingly, over the past few years, there has been a rise in the need for parcel courier services.  The global couriers and messengers market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 11% from 2021 and reach $722 billion in 2023.

Differences between parcel courier services and postal services

Although there are similarities in the type of services provided by the postal service and courier services, the two should not be confused with each other. The main difference is that postal services are usually government-run, while parcel courier services are privately held. Other differences

Courier Postal Services
Speed Faster Slower compared to courier
Security Reliable and safe Not as safe
Tracking Available Not available in most cases
Service Customer oriented Not as customer oriented
Ownership Privately owned Run by government


Types of parcel courier services

A company or individual can provide their orders to a local warehouse where these are picked by courier services and delivered, or they can arrange for the courier services to pick up the products directly from their place of business. To save time and cost, courier services usually pick up multiple orders to deliver to a specific region.

The following type of courier services are offered by most companies today:

  • International courier services
  • Express couriers service
  • Standard courier service
  • Overnight courier services 

Benefits of parcel courier services

Parcel courier services offer a variety of features and benefits, including speed, reliability, tracking and visibility of the package en route, and confirmation of delivery.


The operational mechanisms of a courier service are customer-focused and fine-tuned to deliver a smooth, clean, and hassle-free experience. Factors such as the processes, the supply chain network, the route mapping network all work in tandem to deliver the courier on time and to the destination.

Trustworthy and secure

Nowadays, courier companies incorporate the latest technology available to make the courier service safe and ensure the safety of the package. Be it via barcode or GPS enabled tracking, they also provide web or smartphone applications to track the shipment.


Today, with an efficient transport network in place, and incoming volumes driven by e-commerce, couriers offer a cost-effective service. This allows companies to rely on third party parcel courier services rather than set up their own logistics and delivery teams.

Enhanced services

Parcel courier services have evolved to offer various additional value-added services and can offer end-to-end supply chain services including warehousing and inventory. Courier services take responsibility for the last mile customer experience of e-commerce, ensuring the product is delivered safely and also handle returns.

Domestic and international reach

Courier services allow customers and businesses access both the domestic and international markets. This not only helps businesses with entry into global markets but facilitates trade between two countries and boosts the economy.

Easier compliance with logistics documentation and customs

Courier services also have taken a load of businesses in terms of customs, taxes, documentation, and international custom rules by managing these for businesses. Along with these, they offer safe delivery of the shipment which has been a boon to companies.

Parcel courier services: An enabler for e-commerce and a boon for customers

The recent COVID-19 pandemic has encouraged businesses to invest in a digital mode of operation, especially with frequent lockdowns and work from home being deployed by most employers. Home delivery has become the standard, rather than the exception. The growth in the e-commerce industry relies heavily on efficient, effective, and reliable courier services. As commerce and industry grows, the need for courier services will only increase. Innovations in logistics, supply chain management, and technology are progressing at a rapid pace. Along with this, consumer behaviour has changed significantly with customers preferring online shopping for their everyday needs as well as for one time purchases. Digital payments have made this easier and it is getting easier and more accessible. These factors indicate that e-commerce is likely to grow exponentially, and with it, courier parcel services will also have an optimistic future.

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