Courier Service vs. Postal Service — Understanding the Difference

admin-9 June 2020

eCommerce business is gradually having a significant impact on the world of business. However, one of the biggest challenges for eCommerce start-ups is in choosing a third-party logistics service provider (3PL) to fulfill both their national and international deliveries.

In a country like China, there are lots of 3PL entering the eCommerce market. Hence, merchants are left with a volume of choices. However, choosing the right one will give a boost to your brand as it will increase customer satisfaction through speedy deliveries at a low cost.

To know which type to go for, it’s vital first to understand the basics and the difference between courier service and postal service.

Courier Service vs. Postal Service — Understanding the Difference

What is Courier Service?

A courier service is a firm, most times a private firm, that sees to the shipping of parcels and essential documents. It is crucial to know that courier service providers differ in terms of their packages and destinations. Some are focused on a specific type of shipping that covers some particular destinations, which is more of a local shipping or regional shipping. In contrast, others cover an expanse of shipping services with more of an international reach.

Types of Courier Service

The courier service you choose has a lot to do about all issues surrounding shipping and delivery. It touches the aspect of delays, holdup at borders, or items missing. Hence, the courier device you opt for ought to cover speed and security for your brand. Find below the types of courier service there are;

Time-sensitive Shipping

There are courier service providers that aim at delivering items within a specific timeframe. It’s good to clear it up in your mind that this in no way works for international shipping. It’s strictly for local deliveries within a city, state, or some specific part of the nation.

It is under this category that we find;

  • Same-day Delivery: when a deadline is tight or tomorrow seems too late, opting for this courier service the best. However, they are limited and only available in some particular locations. But it will surely give your brand a competitive edge even as a small business.
  • Next-day Delivery: the higher percentages of those making online purchases are millennials. To have them coming back to your store, settling for this kind of courier service might be the best decision for your brand. Real-time tracking and updates will make this courier service more effective and increase customer loyalty for your business.

Intelligent Routing

It takes an experienced courier company to know about this and follow through it. Intelligent routing is basically about choosing the best route for your shipments. It’s about viewing the custom factor, geography, and weather condition and bringing to shipping consideration.

Several courier providers do not adopt this because of the brainwork behind it. However, it has a lot of benefits it can bring to your business.

Onboard Courier

For items that require extra care and attention, or are very confidential, this is the best courier service for them. This service sees to it that packages do not leave the sight of the courier as the shipping and the delivery ate very paramount.

Also, only a courier company on an expert level can fulfill this because they know all it takes to ensure goods are smoothly gone through and safely delivered.

International Shipping

International shipping has to deal with delivery with a global view. That is, customers from different countries can have their orders delivered to them. However, this courier services are usually more expensive than standard mail services, but varies in pricing depending on the location and the speed at which it ought to be delivered.

Courier Service vs. Postal Service

Courier vs. Postal

What is the Postal Service?

A postal service is a shipping company, owned by the government, to handle delivery service. It is used for the delivery of essential parcels and documents. However, due to unforeseen delays that occur often, many companies prefer to use them to send non-urgent shipments to customers and partners.

Examples of postal services include SingPost, Hong Kong Post, Australia Post, and China Post.

Differences Between Courier Service and Postal Service

Having looked at what courier and postal services are, it is vital to look into the differences between them.


When it comes to affordability, postal service tops the rank. However, issues like delay and missing items may occur, which might deter your brand’s customer relationship.

With courier services, there is a flexibility that comes with it. This flexibility comes at a high-end price; however, it will enhance customers’ relationships and increase the retention rate.

Real-time Tracking

Both courier and postal service offer tracking services. However, when it comes to international shipping, tracking is done by different postal services. This is ineffective as it will be hard to know the particular location of a package, which can lead to losing a packet.

Courier service offers real-time tracking, which helps both the customers and the companies have a specific location where a packet is.

Service Quality

The service quality of postal service is as cheap as its price. And it’s vital to note that not all postal services are of the same integrity — some are more reliable than the other.

Courier service, due to its high-end pricing, has the best quality when it comes to their services. It comes with the confidence that your product will be well handled.

The Role of NextSmartShip in Logistic Service Provision

In the world of logistics, NextSmartShip is partnered with the biggest names and professionals to ensuring that your customers get their packages quickly and in a satisfactory condition.

Every eCommerce business wants the fastest and best shipping option for their customers. To ensure that this is possible, we provide multiple shipping options, so as to settle for the one that best suits your itinerary. With the ability to use different routes, couriers, and handle any size, shape, or weight packages, NextSmartShip can help you minimize your cost, yet, make a premium delivery.

Hence, think about your shipping and delivery goals and what you aim to achieve through them. At NextSmartShip, we can make your goals come to pass, either as a small business or a large organization.

Get Custom Solutions
Scroll to Top