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Courier Shipping vs. Freight: What You Need to Know

There is a lot to consider when picking a shipping method. Time to the destination, your priority, and shipment security are all a part of the puzzle. If the idea of using a courier is new to you, understanding what is courier delivery may be spinning in your mind. 

The fact is there are many advantages to one or the other when it comes to shipments. Figuring out what is best for you depends on a few factors. 

Here at A-Express Delivery, we’re all about premier shipping service for less. We’re here to help you focus on the critical points that will assist you in making the decision. 

What Is Courier Delivery?

Private companies that specialize in shipping small packages and documents are called couriers. Some couriers specialize based on geographic locations, while others will send to any destination around the world. Some businesses restrict shipments to smaller packages, but others will ship larger parcels for an extra fee. 

Sometimes, even with a large order, a courier shipping service may be right. Your client may ask for expedited delivery, and courier services can ensure that your client gets the shipment on time. There are other situations where a courier is an excellent choice. 

Related: What Are the Different Shipping Methods?

Most courier services offer some of the following options:

Express Shipments 

Delivering anywhere in the world within a precise time (such as 1-3 business days) and primarily within specific daytime hours (for example, 8-10 AM) is the goal. Courier companies that are examples of this type of service include DHL Shipping and FedEx.

Local Shipments

Some businesses offer their services within a specific metro area focused on speedy services same-day delivery. Law firms often use these kinds of services to get their essential documents to their clients or other firms on time. 

International Shipments 

Another specialty service provided by some couriers is international shipments. They often include frequent tracking or tax and duty handling at an extra cost to ensure parcels get through customs quickly and reliably. A-Express in New York City is an example of this kind of service.

What Is Freight Shipping? 

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Large packages are often shipped using a freight courier. If your parcel weighs over 150 pounds, a freight shipment is the best way to go. Truck, train, air, and ocean are the primary modes a freight courier uses to convey parcels. 

Two terms commonly used for truck shipments are LTL (less than a truckload) and FTL (full truckload). LTL shipments are usually less than ten pallets and under 15,000 pounds. When your load exceeds this, it is generally cost-effective to pay for a whole truck with an FTL shipment.

Factors to Consider 

There are many factors to consider when it comes to shipping. From how soon it needs to be delivered to the security of the shipment point to point, each element determines the choice of courier or freight. Some of the primary factors include:


When does it need to be there? Speed can be a primary factor in the decision of type and mode of shipment. Transport to the destination on time can be critical, and when it is, you need a provider that can deliver.


Where is the shipment going? Local, Domestic, or International are all points that will determine the type of shipment and mode. 

Weight of Delivery

How big is the shipment? Is it one box, part of a pallet or full pallet? How much does it weigh? Freight or courier can only be decided based on these facts. 


Sensitive or confidential materials could mean a courier shipment, no matter if it is a bigger or weightier shipment. Reviewing your business shipping history is how to begin a shipping provider search. 

Which Is Right for You? 

When you have a shipment and aren’t sure about how to send it, consider the size and weight along with the priority and reliability factors already mentioned. These will generally guide you to the right mode for your shipment. Compare costs, because most companies look to make money from the fees they charge for shipping, so should you. 

It’s probably logical to choose a courier if you are sending individual items to customers. With bulk shipments, a freight shipper would be ideal. However, if reliability is a concern, then you may need a courier even if it’s a bulk shipment. 

How to Find a Courier or Freight Service?

An excellent way to begin looking for a courier or freight service is to consider all the types of shipments your business makes on a weekly, month, or annual basis. Then add in where your shipments go. Your provider should be able to service all locations you need, whether the bulk of your deliveries are international, local, or inner-city destinations. 

Are your shipments large or small most of the time? If it is large bulk shipments, then you look for a freight service provider unless there are other factors. For instance, delicate or sensitive items might need a specialized service provider.   

Depending on the averages will help you sift through some of the providers. Courier or freight service can be a simple decision if your shipments are small and simple. If your business is diverse, then it’s best to look for a provider that can offer you all the options you may need at the right price, like A-Express Delivery

Now It’s Up to You

Filtering through shipping options can be a challenge, but finding the right shipping partner is critical. Finding a shipper is simple, but partnering with the right one that can provide all the services you need and can help you grow your business is complicated. Review the advantages of potential providers, read through the terms and conditions thoroughly to make sure there are no surprises later. 

Since money is a significant consideration, ask for the pricing schemes and run them through actual orders to see how much shipping will cost you. Now that you know what is courier delivery, you can decide with confidence, what is the best option for your business. If you still have questions, contact A-Express Delivery’s experts for help. Related: Different Types of Delivery Businesses in Manhattan

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