How Much Does a Courier Cost?

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A courier carrying boxes from a cargo van

If you have a shipment that requires special care or needs to be delivered fast, you may turn to a courier service to make your delivery. Although typical postal services are fine for routine deliveries, couriers provide specialized shipping services to meet specific needs.  

Let’s take a look at what a courier is, the benefits of courier services, and how much it can cost. 

Couriers—Who They Are and What They Do

To put it simply, a courier is someone contracted for transporting parcels, packages, and documents from point A to point B. They differ from standard mail services by offering quicker delivery times and an extra level of care.  

Some benefits of using a courier can include:

  • Enhanced tracking: Couriers typically offer real-time tracking and accurate delivery times
  • Specialized shipping: This can include important documents, sensitive packages, and medical samples
  • Better customer service: If you need additional information about the delivery, courier customer service reps are better equipped for assisting you
  • Deliveries outside of normal business hours: This can include overnight, same-day, over the weekend, and during holidays

In general, if you are worried about the timeliness and care of your deliveries, you may want to opt for a courier service. 

The benefits of a courier includes cheap shipping costs

Who Does a Courier Work For?

Some couriers work independently, but most will work for a courier firm. Courier firms are privately owned and are responsible for handling logistics and delivery operations. Some of the biggest couriers in the US are Fedex and UPS.

What Can a Courier Deliver?

Generally, couriers will deliver small packages, documents, and lightweight consumer goods. Some businesses trust couriers to carry sensitive items such as medical supplies and lab samples. 

Most courier firms will have weight restrictions on the products that they deliver. This can vary by company, but the weight limit is often set at 50-100 lbs. If you require heavy hauling, you should consider working with a less-than-truckload (LTL) shipping company. 

Open Road is an LTL shipping company that can handle a wide variety of hauling needs, and can deliver products up to 10,000 lbs. 

Want to learn more on what qualifies as LTL? Check out our article, How to Determine LTL Freight Class, for a comprehensive guide on when you should use LTL shipping. 

How Much Can a Courier Cost?

The answer to how much a courier can cost is not so simple. Courier rates will vary depending on the location and firm. The biggest factor that affects price is the distance of the delivery.

If it’s a local delivery, most couriers will charge by the job. The job price is determined by an hourly rate set by the courier firm. For example, if a courier firm charges $50/hr, a 30 minute delivery will cost $25. If it’s a long-distance delivery, then most firms will charge by the mile. The price per mile can vary, but most firms charge $1.50-$3 per mile.

In addition to service rates, there are a handful of courier service fees that can be added to the cost depending on the delivery. Some of the most common service fees that a courier will charge include:

  • Speed: An additional fee is usually added if you need express shipping. This could be same-day, overnight, and weekend deliveries
  • Cargo Size: Deliveries that requires a larger vehicle, like a van, will often incur additional costs
  • Wait Fees: If the delivery driver has to spend time waiting at the pickup or drop off location, a firm may charge for every extra minute that a driver has to wait
  • Specialized Cargo: Some firms may include a charge if your parcel requires special handling, this can include medical equipment, lab samples, or temperature sensitive items

Courier shipping is a premium service for specialized shipping, and it comes with a premium price. Although you probably shouldn’t use a courier for every delivery, They’re the perfect option

 when your delivery requires special attention. 

courier pricing is mostly affected by delivery distance

Minimizing Your Costs

There are shipping strategies that you can take to minimize shipping fees. Some of these strategies include:

  • Consolidating shipments
  • Use lightweight packaging
  • Shipping before it gets urgent
  • Use independent hotshot drivers for LTL deliveries

For a more in-depth look at cutting shipping expenses, our blog on How to Reduce Shipping Costs will give you the tools you need to cut costs on every delivery. 

A great strategy to cut shipping costs is partnering with the right shipping company. For infrequent and single-item deliveries, a courier may work for you. If you have frequent shipments or ship heavier items like pallets, appliances, or vehicles, then Open Road is the best option for you. 

save on B2B shipping costs by

Cut Costs With Open Road

The cost of shipping can really add up when you take into account shipping rates and all of the various service fees. On top of that, you always have to keep an eye out for hidden fees that can be tacked on without you knowing. 

Open Road eliminates the unnecessary fees normally associated with shipping. When you ship with Open Road, you can take advantage of free quotes, upfront and competitive pricing, and the flexibility to customize your shipments. 

Choose Open Road and start enjoying the affordable shipping solution that fits your needs. Sign up and start shipping.

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