History of the Courier Services Industry is very aged and interesting. Present Courier Services industry faced many challenges in their history.
Now we are using them to make our life more comfortable. Present beautiful and earning face of any industry was so gloomy and poor that can shake us.
Courier Industry is as old as our first civilization. In ancient times, courier and important messages were delivered with the help of animals and birds respectively.
In ancient history, messages and parcel were hand-delivered using runners, homing pigeons and riders with horses, camels and bullock carts, stagecoaches, trains, bicycles, automobiles and finally an airplane.
On induction of cycles and vehicles, courier services got boosted. Time-consuming method got the obsolete and new era of quick and fast courier services started.
First recorded movement of goods is in Egypt while making Great Pyramids. They used many methods of transportation to carry their construction goods from long distances.
As per ancient records, as per documented records, first organized courier services was done in Egypt in 2400BC. In this courier services, runners carried carved stones as the message from one point to another.
In the present time, in the US in 1775, Revere rode through Lexington to pass the message to the residents. Another example is in the revolutionary war when Ann Hennis Trotter Bailey (Mad Ann) rode 100 miles from Fort Clendenin to Fort Savannah to bring gunpowder.
Next Courier services were seen in 1852 in the US when Well Fargo was built. In this expedition, Gold and other items were moved to newly established territories by a well-known company.
In 1860, Pony Express was build to provide courier services of mails and small packages in St. Joseph, Missouri and Sacramento, California. Pony Express cover approx 2000 miles routes in a period of 10 days. But the company got sacked on the invention of telegraphic services in 1861.
In ancient times, delivering parcels or packets wasn’t an easy task as we see it in present times. We were depended on animals and birds to deliver mail. Main animals to send parcel and important message were Horses, Camels, Bullock carts, Dogs etc.
In Australia, Camels were used to deliver parcels as well as mail. Camels have the ability to cover long distances with a load.
Courier services with the help of camels were given in Gulf countries, many Asian countries and Australia. With the invention of railway far and wide, use of camels lost their importance.
Dogs were exclusively used in Australia, Alaska, and Canada for courier services. Dog sleds were used to deliver mail and parcels from 1890 to 1963. One such cart having ten dogs carries a load weighing up to 700 lbs!
In olden times, a traveling bag which was called Portmanteau Mail Bag was used as a mailbag. In the 18th-19th Century, courier services of letter and newspapers were transported in these leather mailbags. These types of bags were opened into two sections.
Portmanteau Mail Bag
Horses had great importance in ancient empires both in the battlefield and messaging services. They were used as relay networks to deliver mail and parcels.
The Hanseatic League was documented as having regular courier services by the horse in 1274 and it was run between the principal towns and castles.
By the end of the 16th century, the horse courier services network had stretched out to cover Europe and Asia completely. In 1860 (USA), the Pony Express delivered mail and parcels on a relay network from East to West across North America.
Horses are still used to deliver mail and parcels today in remote parts of Tibet, China and also at the bottom of the Grand Canyon in Arizona, USA.
The bicycles were used for courier services by Bicycle messengers (Cycle Courier) to deliver parcel, message and couriers packets. It is still in vogue in the rural area of many under developing countries and crowded cities.
Courier services with Bicycle messengers are also found in metropolitan areas. Courier companies use the bike and cycle messengers because it is convenient to carry/pickup in traffic jams area.
The most advantage it is economical, speedy in populous localities, and pollution free. Parking limitations, fee or fines also makes the bicycle more convenient and helpful to courier services.
Courier services Industry has experienced lots of changes since 2400 BC till today. With innovations in technologies, the industry has also changed its courier delivery vehicles, speed, area, and policies with time.
Now it is led by expert carrier and fleets to carry its international load and packages.
With new inventions in the automobile industry, the Courier industry also stepped together with more speed since 1907 and parcels can now send all over the world in as little as one day.
The latest development of the Internet opened its gateway international parcel delivery with tracking and allowed the sender and receiver with the current status of their courier.
Brief timeline developments of modern courier companies are given below for your information.
Jim Cassey is known as the Big Four Carrier. He started courier services in 1907 at Seattle in the US.
He borrowed $100 from his friend and created a courier services company which is now known as UPS today. In 1907, the company began its courier services with just one vehicle on West Coast of US.
Jim Cassey started focusing on delivery package for retailers in 1913 on acquiring a car and soon merged with other competitors. In 1916, he joined hands with Charlie Soderstrom and acquired more vehicles to grow their business.
With his partners, Jim Cassey renamed his company i.e. United Parcel Services (UPS) expended their courier services operation throughout Pacific Cost. By 1930, UPS started offering daily pick-ups and streamlined their business properly.
In 1930, it expanded its operation to East Coast and started expansion to already grown business. They also introduced conveyor belt technology to handle packages.
In 1953, UPS started their air courier services between the West and East coasts (US). In 1977, UPS started air services to all states in the USA.
UPS started their own aircraft and became an airliner officially in 1988. By 1989, UPS expended their courier services to more than 175 countries. In 1992, UPS introduced electronic tracking for ground parcels.
In 1994, launched their official website and in 1996, launched online tracking software providing a real-time image of the recipient’s signature of the courier.
In 1946, TNT started their courier services as KW Transport with a single truck. The company founded by Mr. Ken Thomas and started his services in Australia. 12 years later, KW Transport changed their name as TNT in 1958.
In 1978, TNT started their courier services in the UK and became Britain’s first ever door-to-door next day delivery service. To fasten their courier services, in 1982, TNT started “Sameday Delivery” courier services in Britain.
In 1997, TNT launched Electronic Proof of Delivery of their courier. They also started to collect parcels within 30 minutes of a customer’s request which further became a trend line for other courier services companies.
TNT launched an advanced track and trace system in 2002. This facility enabled customer’s to track parcels through the web and also with mobiles by WAP, SMS, and email.
DHL founded in 1969 as first international courier services provider company. The company provided great services by carrying documents to the customs office for Customs clearance before reaching of flight and provided grounds to pass goods without delay. DHL opened territories in far East in 1969.
In 1972, DHL established their office in Hongkong, Japan, and Australia and expended their business overseas. In 1974, the company extended its services in UK, New Zealand, Fiji, Thailand and Malaysia with 500000 shipments daily.
DHL opened express courier services in Europe initially. DHL started SMS Services Information initially and later adopted by other courier services companies.
FedEx founded on 18 June 1971 at Little Rock, Arkansas, United States by Frederick W. Smith. FedEx initially took delivery of 186 packages in the first night and showed their great presence into the industry.
By the end of 2000, FedEx became a global brand of courier services and extended their courier services throughout the globe.
Summary of Courier Industry
Today, the courier industry is flourishing daily with double-digit growth and fulfilling their customer’s daily needs.
Starting a Courier Services is a good business idea with low investment and high profit and E-commerce industry has also added good potential to courier industry and thus created plenty of options for your delivery needs.
It is just a matter of a day or two to deliver any shipment around the world. Businesses and individuals can ship documents and packages to recipients within one business day and within the same business day if sent out by a certain time and the destination is within a certain distance.
Courier resellers in the market have made courier services much speedier and customer’s oriented. Now the Small businessman and individuals get competitive rates and easy access to a vast network.
The Internet revolution has facilitated the courier industry and reduced paperwork at a reduced cost of shipping. You can see cheaper costing of courier agencies in comparison of national postal services.
In modern times, courier industry has extended its delivery network than ever and widening its wings to remote locations of the world. The present facilities are developing day by day at a rapid rate and making life more convenient than ever before.