The difference between an ordinary and a dedicated courier service is easiest to understand when you are queuing to deal with some admin stuff in the office. Time is passing, you are nervously checking the time, checking the number in your hand and waiting until it finally appears on the light board. You may feel similar emotions while queuing to enter a concert hall or a football pitch. In such situations anyone would like to be a VIP, who will pass through the priority gate. A dedicated courier is similar to a ‘VIP option’, i.e. tailored package delivery which saves you the wait.
It is not always completely obvious that the time of transport on its own is only one of many components of the total delivery time.
Packing, pickup, sorting, delivery
When you place an order in an online store or order a courier service, your goods must first be packed. Then you have to wait for pickup by courier, who delivers the package to the local terminal from where it goes to the sorting facility. Sorted packages are distributed to the warehouses (terminals) closest to the place of delivery. From there, they are picked up by couriers and delivered to the final recipient or to a parcel shop.
The delivery time is the sum of the duration of all the above stages. You can shorten it if you enter same-day shipping while placing your order (in the shop or at the courier), i.e. preferably in the morning, by noon or by the specific time. It ensures that your shipment will arrive at the sorting facility on the same day and hit the road (usually at night) to the destination warehouse. However, a much better solution to shorten delivery time is to use a dedicated courier service.
The idea of dedicated courier services is to skip some stages of the delivery process and just transport the parcel. In this type of service, the package never goes to the sorting facility or the warehouse – after the pickup the courier goes directly to the recipient. Thanks to this, it takes only hours or a day to deliver a parcel. If a parcel is to be delivered by road transport cross-country or over a distance of several hundred kilometers, the courier delivers the package on the same day it was sent. If the parcel is to cross borders or is to be shipped by air, you may choose next-day delivery.
VIP service – VIP fee
You have to pay a lot for the delivery of a package in the door-to-door system within such a short period of time. This is not surprising: instead of a pile of parcels, the courier carries only one. The difference is similar to that between the price for a group room in a mountain hostel and an alpine chalet for exclusive use. Higher comfort means a higher price.
In the case of a dedicated courier, the mileage matters for delivery price, i.e. you will be charged for each kilometer/mile of the round trip. There is no point in giving examples of the rates the carriers use – you have to compare the tariffs before ordering the service on the couriers’ websites. You have to check them according to your parcel’s weight.
Finally, there is still one more advantage of ordering a dedicated courier service – you can be in a constant contact with the courier. Some companies also offer more tailored dedicated services, for example you may order a special purpose vehicle, e.g. a temperature controlled vehicle suitable for transporting frozen food. This way, you may mitigate the risk of damage to your goods during transport or a failed delivery attempt.