Freight Company vs. Courier Service: What Is the Difference?

Freight Company vs. Courier Service: What Is the Difference?

Both freight companies and courier services enable the shipment of products globally. Though their services may seem similar in nature, their processes and function are not the same. The difference lies in how they facilitate your parcels movement—which in turn affects the speed of delivery, how much it costs, and the quality of service, among others.

Many delivery companies fall into either one of two kinds: a freight forwarding company or a courier service. Each has distinct advantages over the other, and you may have more use for one more than the other based on these advantages.

What Does a Freight Forwarding Company Do?

Freight forwarders can facilitate the movement of your parcel to its final destination almost anywhere in the world. However, it does so as a middleman between the shipper and the transportation service.

Most of the time, freight forwarding companies do not have their own means of transporting packages. Instead, freight companies work with several carriers to increase their shipping capabilities. They also negotiate with these couriers to find the most economical, reliable, and fastest shipping route.

The United States Postal Service (USPS) essentially operates partially as a freight-forwarder because it liaises with private logistics solutions to augment its shipping capabilities. Perhaps the most ubiquitous freight forwarding company in the U.S. is the United Parcel Service (UPS), which works with several smaller local delivery companies to deliver parcels globally.

Sometimes, freight companies can be the less expensive option because they always look for the most economical way to ship parcels. However, this can sometimes result in fewer or longer shipping options, and more difficulty tracking your shipment. 

How Does a Courier Service Deliver Your Package?

Unlike freight forwarding companies, courier services invest in their transportation network and use their own logistics solutions to deliver packages. This enables them to achieve same-day local delivery and shorter international shipping times than most freight companies.

Courier services deliver their goods in real-time, which means on-demand and rushed delivery jobs are possible. Instead of waiting for a delivery company’s truck to get full, courier services can have specialized transport systems that expedite the delivery if need be.

Courier services also offer a logical chain of command and clear transportation processes, which facilitates easy tracking of your order. If your operation has special shipping needs, like medical transport, most courier companies have the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) certification required to make the delivery possible and legal.

Courier Services Take Care of You

Compared to freight services, a dedicated courier service can cost slightly more. However, if your business wants to offer expanded delivery options, or you want to be able to ensure that your packages arrive on time and in the best condition possible when it reaches your clients, then courier services are the way to go. Courier services provide superior customer service and will go the extra mile to ensure that your parcel is safely delivered.

Finding the Service You Need

Depending on the type of package you need to send, where it's going, and how quickly you need it to get there, either freight services or courier services will be the right choice for you. Hopefully our explanation of their differences has helped you be able to decide!

Comet Delivery Services

At Comet Delivery Services, we offer courier services through our dedicated team of drivers as well as freight forwarding services when you need it. We deliver around the world and can handle all of your business needs—whether it be trucking, logistics, warehousing, customized routes, home delivery, and more. Contact us today to learn more about we can help your business.

Call our 24 hour hotline: 1-888-266-3833 and find out how Comet can serve you and your customers.

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