The difference between a courier and a messenger service?

In the shipping and distribution world, the terms courier and messenger can be confusing.

So what is a courier service, what is a messenger service and what is the difference?

Aside from the national/international carriers, there are the three major categories of  expedited, ground based,  domestic shipping in the business world , messenger, courier and express freight services.

Messenger Companies specialize in same day pick up and delivery service.  They have a dispatch office that receives the service requests and that office then dispatches a messenger, either from the dispatch office or from a a designated staging location to the customer.  Messengers offer three to four levels of service which generally fall in to the categories of ‘Immediate’, ‘Two Hour’, ‘Four Hour’ or ‘Six Hour’ services.

Couriers specialize in next day or overnight delivery.  Most courier also provide scheduled same day service.  While most messenger service is ‘on-call’ or ‘on demand’, couriers traditionally provide scheduled service.  For instance, pickup and delivery between a companies branches or stores, bank runs, residential or business-to-business delivery of goods and products.

Express freight shipping service is performed by a variety of types of shipping companies, from trucking companies to freight forwarders, courier companies and ltl (less than a truckload), shipping providers.  Express Freight usually denotes a larger shipment than a typical courier or messenger shipment.  Express freight can range from a box to a group of pallets and everything in-between.

For expedited delivery service, courier service and express freight services, throughout California and the western states, HB Express provide timely and confidential shipping quotes.  With offices in the San Francisco Oakland Bay Area, Sacramento, San Diego.

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About HB Express

HB Express Transportation, LLC is a Northern California based distribution and expedited delivery service, providing both 'On-Call' and 'Pre-Scheduled' courier, messenger and trucking services.

What People Are Saying

When our supply chain gets overloaded, we call HB Express. They get our shipments back on schedule in minutes. They really come through for us every time.
Michael Wright - Polyair, Inc., West Sacramento