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Couriers are one of the most useful, time-saving and effective services for both the private individual and the business owner. Documents and parcels which have to be delivered securely and quickly are easily handled by these specialists, as are time-sensitive deliveries which cannot be sent through the normal mail channels. Couriers are able to handle both small paper documents as well as larger and bulkier items which need to be transported to local, national or international destinations. A major advantage of using a courier service is their ability to both collect and deliver goods in their care, often using a door-to-door service or the more economical door-to-dock or door-to-airport freight service.
A courier offers the facility of being able to deliver a wide variety of items world-wide, quickly and securely. Speed is often one of the most common reasons why courier services are requested, as well as the ability of both the sender and recipient to be able to track the delivery from start to finish. Couriers will transport heavy goods via air- or sea-freight, depending on the speed of delivery required and the economics involved. Whilst speed is often foremost in demand, safe and intact delivery of large or bulky items can be trusted to these specialists, and although sea-freight may be slower, the savings in cost are often worth the wait. Machinery, electronic equipment, sports equipment, TV’s, commercial and household items are crated by the courier prior to shipment. This may be a means of keeping customer-packed boxes together and secure during transit, or to protect delicate machinery and sports equipment. Your overseas goods will never be sent without being adequately packed and sealed by the courier.
The courier service will handle most import documentation for you when transporting goods across borders, but you have to be aware that the contents of boxes which you have packed yourself have to be carefully itemised and valued for customs purposes, and this documentation must be completed correctly and handed to the courier company on collection of the goods. You bear the final responsibility for the accuracy of this documentation and for paying customs import duties, which the courier company will advise you of prior to delivery of the goods.
Couriers are extremely useful in the medical, pharmaceutical and veterinary spheres. The job of a lab courier can be defined as “The pick-up and delivery of medical records, test results, images, specimens and pharmaceuticals among labs, clinics, hospitals and medical offices”.
Couriers can often be seen collecting blood and biological samples from hospitals, medical centres and doctors’ waiting rooms and ensuring their speedy and safe delivery to the pathology labs for analysis. These are specialised and extremely organised services which normally operate on a standard schedule which brings them to the same collection points at about the same time every day. Couriers are also used for deliveries of medicines to individuals at their home addresses. For instance, certain chemotherapy medicines which are not available through local pharmacies are despatched from centralised locations on a set schedule every week or month, as required by the prescribing doctor. In some countries, such as the UK, it is becoming common for courier services to deliver standard prescriptions to individuals who find it difficult or inconvenient to collect these personally from their local pharmacies.
Couriers’ vans can be seen everywhere on the roads these days. With the growing popularity of online shopping, courier companies are often used to transport goods to the buyer from warehouses and where online shops do not have their own premises or shopfronts. This is an ideal solution for smaller online companies, as they can be assured of safe and signed delivery of goods to their customers anywhere in the country without the need to have their own full-time transport staff. Amazon, one of the largest online shopping sites in the UK, despatches goods continuously through a network of couriers and is able to offer same- or next-day delivery in some cases because of this. It would be fair to say that, without couriers, online shopping would not be as convenient, fast, and popular as it is.
Courier service companies may be found very easily these days. The Yellow Pages is still a very good resource in this regard, second only to online searches. An internet search site such as Uptasker is an extremely helpful resource in this regard. One of the major advantages of Uptasker is its ‘one-click’ links to websites (if available) of those companies it lists, or other contact details. If you are looking for a courier for local deliveries only, Uptasker will also help in this respect, as it lists service providers in geographical areas, so you can quickly find one in your own area. Never forget to check their online ratings and customer reviews, as these will give you a good feel of the reliability, speed and pricing of the courier. If possible, try to obtain word of mouth referrals from people you know and who have had good experiences with particular courier services.
Don’t panic when you have important documents which have to be delivered to an address the next day. A courier pickup and delivery service will collect, track and deliver your documents door-to-door for you safely and quickly, and with proof of delivery, so there can be no questions as to its arrival. Moving large and bulky items, either locally or further afield, is a far less stressful task when you employ the services of a courier, particularly as you will be able to relax in the knowledge that they will arrive safely and in good condition at their intended destination. For more tips, see our courier pickup and delivery service articles.
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