Couriers are by no means a new profession. The Cambridge Dictionary defines the label as “ a company, an employee of that company or a person who delivers a message, package or letter from one place or person to another place or person”.
So couriers are, and have been, living and working all over the globe – present in various points throughout our societies. The process of hiring an individual to deliver a good or service is a well-established transaction in a plethora of economies.
Hiring a delivery service may initially seem like an exclusive service for affluent individuals and companies to utilize, but industries and consumer demands shift with time. It isn’t too shocking that in an era of Doordash and amazon drones, couriers are becoming more popular and accessible to the masses. Taking these tech-era conveniences into account makes sense – but add in the sky-rocketing rate of porch theft along with the unpredictable nature of a stressed and struggling supply chain, well, let’s just say that more and more people consider courier delivery to be a worthy, and sometimes necessary, investment. But how does it work?
The Courier Delivery Process
Before hiring a courier service yourself, you want to have a clear understanding of what to expect and how the process will work. While each specific couriering company will have its own variations, here are some basic steps to expect:
1. Place On Order
Do research on courier services in your area and familiarize yourself with which company will be a good fit for your needs. Price points, various services, and delivery zones will vary between companies. A little bit of research on the front end can save time, money, and hassle for the long term. Once you’ve found the right service for your needs, place an order.
2. Pack Up Your Items
Most courier services do not pack and package your deliverable items for you. Making sure you have your items secure within the packaging is an important preliminary step that greatly assists a courier, speeds up the process, and helps ensure that your deliverable items arrive safely to their destination. Famously, Cleopatra rolled herself up into a rug and had couriers deliver her into Ceasar’s inner palace chambers in order to gain an audience with him in a time of war. This is a legendary example of couriership – but you will probably want to do slightly more than wrap your precious items in nothing but fabric.
3. Hand Off To Courier
The courier will arrive at your home, business, or designated location to pick up your items. Have your package ready to go and make yourself available so that the handoff can go smoothly. Depending on the situation, this can mean being in a place where you can hear the doorbell or doorknock. It may mean keeping your phone on or giving the courier information to notify you at the office. If there is a smart locker at your office, apartment building, or community center, this can be an extremely efficient and reliable way to ensure that your items are immediately available to a courier.
4. Tracking Your Parcel
Most courier delivery services provide tracking technology for your items – and this can provide peace of mind as well as information as to the whereabouts of your package and its estimated arrival.
We are all well aware at this point that the supply chains are under considerable strain due to the global pandemic and interruptions in the transfer of goods – locally but especially international trade. These massive societal challenges are not the fault of delivery professionals and couriers. Luckily, they provide a service that can smooth out this process between individuals and companies for the time being.
5. Package Delivery
The final, most satisfactory step in the process is, of course, your deliverable items arriving at their destination, in a timely manner, under the safeguard of a courier. There are so many reasons why people send mail – some critical to survival (such as prescriptions, or important documents) and others important to our connections (such as an important birthday or a beloved elder unable to leave their assisted living accommodations). Couriers deliver items to people – and to smart lockers if instructed – no matter where your needs fall on the spectrum.
Couriers In A Time Of Supply Chain Stress
Courier delivery is a service that has found its way through innumerable societies throughout our species progress through time. Where there’s a need, there’s often a courier. Egyptian pharaohs, the Holy Roman Empire, ships across the Atlantic, on horseback, on a bike, and on foot.
Couriers are different from regular government-funded post services in that there is a person-to-person interaction that promotes speed, efficiency, tracking, signatures, and specialization in the delivery process. It looks different today than it may have manifested in other eras and in other places – but lucky for us, this service continues to adapt with the times and with the available technology.