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Courier Through Time

Aug 17, 2007
The invention of writing as a form of communication has paved the way for the exchange of written documents. Ancient rulers, government officials, and even religious leaders used different methods of exchanging and distributing important documents.

This new form of communication required the use of an effective intermediary, called a courier, to deliver the written documents and ensure their safety. The courier acts as an agent between parties involved in the exchange of documents.

Throughout history, other forms of communication advanced, and the fundamental need for a courier has taught man to use different methods and approaches to transport valuable documents and other resources from one place to another.

Birds such as pigeons and dogs were used as couriers to transport messages from one place to another because of their homing qualities. Later on, other transport methods such as rockets, balloons, and even submarines were also used in developing a better mail system using effective couriers.

Couriers are believed to have existed long before the invention of the current worldwide postal system. The pharaohs of Egypt used couriers to distribute important decrees within their state territories.

It is believed that even before the invention of writing, couriers were used to send the pharaoh's messages in oral form. China has the oldest operating postal system in the world, dating back to the Qin Dynasty, when couriers were used to spread news throughout the country. This system was further developed during the Han Dynasty.

In Rome, the mode of transportation for couriers carrying government correspondences set the classification between what can now be called express mail and regular mail. For faster transportation, carriages pulled by high-speed horses.

Another slower service was available, where oxen pulled two-wheel carts. With the arrival of globalization to the world, a more efficient and effective courier system has been developed.

Today, a courier is literally a person delivering mail or packages that can contain documents, letters, and other valuables such as money. They move from one place to another riding bicycles, motorbikes, and vans to make their deliveries faster and easier.

These people represent bigger companies which are paid by consignees to deliver their items in shorter periods of time than by regular post.

Existing courier companies are usually formed by a group of different international and local units, who work together to perform their common goal of fast delivery. They own large facilities called hubs, where packages are sorted before they are forwarded to their respective destinations.

They use different modes of transportation such as aircrafts and delivery trucks to move the packages which were entrusted to them by their customers. It is also common for these companies to hold their own aircraft fleets to facilitate their customers' demands.

Their services include overnight package deliveries, ground deliveries, air freight, and heavy freight. They transport hazardous materials using their trucks. They also provide mass media services such as printing and copying, wherein potential customers can go to one of the courier hubs and have their documents reproduced for later delivery.

These companies also own other businesses and services which are related to forwarding such as trucking and marketing. As operators of large fleets of aircrafts, these powerful machines are also available to people who need to charter an aircraft for a fee.

Beyond doubt, the mail system has evolved through time. It has been perfected by the needs and demands of the people who use them. New approaches to delivering packages are being developed to further enhance this service, to make the communication system better and faster.
About the Author
James Monahan is the owner and Senior Editor of
CourierQuest.com and writes expert
articles about courier
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