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The Major Differences Between Courier and Trucking Companies

You often do not find many people pondering the differences between courier and trucking companies. After all, both services involve the transport of goods and materials from one point to the next.

However, good knowledge of these differences can help you in your business. For one, you get to use the service most appropriate to your needs. With this, there is better service delivery and increased profit. Even if it’s for personal needs, you will be better served and satisfied.

In this article, we will pit courier companies against shipping companies. We will also make it clear how to choose between them for the best experience.

How does a Courier Service Operate?

The differences between courier services and trucking companies start in the way they operate. A courier service delivers mail, packages or documents; generally small packages. These packages are often little in size and volume, and relatively easier to transport. That is characteristic of the courier.

Typically, courier services may range from local deliveries to international transactions. Also, they have many means of transportation to provide the desired quality of service.

Courier services often compare with the traditional mail service. The courier service provides a leaner and faster way of moving items from place to place. There also exists the advantage of easily customized delivery needs to suit specific needs.

Depending on the company, courier services may also engage in same-day delivery. You don’t often see this kind of efficiency with the regular mail service.

The Trucking Company is a Little Different

What is a trucking service? In almost direct contrast, trucking companies deal with the transport of larger items. As the name suggests, trucks are the primary means of transportation.

The United States Labour Department estimates the majority of most household commodities move through trucking and freight delivery services in the USA. Also, it points to the raw materials used to manufacture these items as being carried by trucking companies.

The stats are the result of the range of services a trucking company provides. It is apparent trucking companies are crucial to supply chains across different sectors. It may range from household items to military hardware and even heavy factory machinery. 

With trucking services, you can get varied options that cater to different needs. Some common types of trucking services available in Canada and the USA include:

  • LTL shipping 
  • FTL shipping 
  • Warehousing solutions 
  • Temperature-controlled services 
  • Cross border shipping 
  • Air shipments 
  • Ocean freight 

Courier Vs Trucking Companies: The Important Differences

Since you now understand how each system works, you are better able to choose. Some of the differences between courier and trucking companies are readily apparent in their descriptions. 

We will, however, highlight them to make a choice more comfortable and more straightforward for you.

Size of orders

This is a critical difference between courier and trucking companies. Courier services are light. Often, they only deal with small items. Some have even pegged their threshold at about 150lbs. Essentially, it is unsuitable if you are moving heavier items.

On the other hand, you can imagine how easy an item like furniture will be for a trucking company to move. Some trucking services even specialize in carrying a particular type of product, within a range. The rule is, if you are thinking big, think of choosing a trucking company. If otherwise, the alternative is also evident.

The services also differ in the number of orders. Courier services often deal with clients per transaction. Therefore, quite usually, it is only one item a client moves at a time.

Contrarily, a trucking company can move more than one item at a single time. Supposing, for example, you want to fill a warehouse with products, your choice is clear. A trucking and freight delivery service is your go-to answer.

Incurred costs

Because of the differences between courier and trucking companies, costs will also differ. On absolute terms, trucking services cost more than a courier, mostly for two reasons.

Trucking companies often deliver on a contractual basis. They strike deals with set clients for continued patronage. A trucking company can have a contract with you to move products over a specified period. 

Such contracts, of course, are based on a mutual understanding of the needs of the business. But it, however, comes at considerable costs. Conversely, because couriers often deal with only one item per time, the prices are relatively lesser. 

However, you should know that the cost of trucking services in Canada and the USA are worth it. With the flexibility and zero limitations on size, a trucking service is the best way to move important cargo securely. 

Costs also differ based on the scale of operations. With a courier moving single units per time, it may be significantly less expensive to use. However, courier services are more expensive compared to the traditional mail service. Not unexpected since you get faster and more secure delivery than with the conventional means.

The time it takes

Another major difference between courier and trucking companies is timing. You can never predict when you will need urgent delivery.

One of the most widely touted advantages of using a courier is fast service. The characteristic style of single orders per time is the reason for this. They also work in real-time. This makes it possible to rush delivery if there is a need for such.

With a courier, you likely have the option of customizing delivery times. Since they’re usually available all day, all year round, you can get stuff delivered even overnight.

For trucking companies, there usually is a standard time slot for delivery. However, trucking services offer expedited shipping services. With expedited shipping, you can get your cargo to its destination speedily. 


All other differences between courier and trucking companies taken together point to something – the flexibility of the courier service. A courier service often has a variety of vehicles for transportation. The one in use would depend on your unique needs. 

The customizable delivery timing also suggests courier services can adjust as quickly as you wish. Furthermore, courier services may come to you to retrieve the package. It differs from typical trucking operations that have drop-off points for cargo collection.

Comparatively, trucking companies offer variety in their special way. Temperature controlled delivery and expedited shipping are options you may explore.  Some companies may also have different pricing templates – per-mile or per pound – to help reduce costs. Multilevel service is another reason to patronize trucking companies

Final Take

Understanding the differences between couriers and trucking companies serve majorly one purpose. It is to help make the more efficient decision for yourself or your business. 

All Freight Shipping is the leading provider of trucking services in Canada. We provide freight delivery services in Canada and the USA at industry-competitive rates. We’ve also been in the business for multiple years. Therefore, we have the experience to provide you with reliable trucking and freight delivery services. Contact us today!