A Quick History of the Courier Industry 

The courier industry has been around for hundreds of years, yet many people don’t realize it’s history. The courier industry is often confused with regular mail service because both industries provide customers with delivery services. There is a big difference between the two, however, and that is the individualization of services clients can take advantage of when using a courier service. Here is a quick history of the courier industry.

When the courier service began thousands of years ago, in earnest, the method of delivery came via running. People would be given messages to deliver and have to run them to their destination. This eventually evolved into using homing pigeons, horses, stagecoaches, trains, bicycles and finally automobiles.

Couriers have a special place in the history of the United States, dating back to Paul Revere in 1775. Revere is known for his Midnight Ride, when he rode through the towns of Lexington and Concord on horseback to warn the residents of the approach of the British militia. Also from the Revolutionary War, Ann Hennis Trotter Bailey (Mad Ann), rode 100 miles to bring gunpowder from Fort Clendenin to Fort Savannah.

The courier service saw its first major expansion in the year 1852 in the United States when Wells Fargo was formed. The well-known company became the first in the country to provide package delivery service to customers. The company helped move gold and other items to newly established territories, especially in the Western portion of the expanding country.

Just eight years later the Pony Express was formed to send mail and other small packages between St. Joseph, Missouri and Sacramento, California. Multiple riders on horses were utilized to cover the 2,000-mile route in a period of 10 days. The Pony Express didn’t last too long as the invention of the telegraph made it irrelevant in 1861.

The first member of what is now known as the big four came into existence back in 1907 when Jim Cassey borrowed $100 from a friend to create the company that is known today as UPS. The company began operations with one vehicle and on the West Coast. It didn’t expand operations to the East Coast until 1930.

TNT opened its doors in 1946 as K.W. Transport. DHL began providing delivery services in 1969. FedEx started operations in 1973 and even delivered 186 packages on its first night in operation. By 1989 UPS expanded its delivery service to more than 175 countries.

The courier industry today is flush with plenty of options for your delivery needs. You can ship just about any item these days, including medicine, electronics, mail, documents, time-sensitive materials and much more. Businesses and individuals can ship documents and packages to recipients within one business day and within the same business day if sent out by a certain time and the destination is within a certain distance.

Is your business in need of a trusted courier? Contact Econo-Courier today to speak with a friendly member of the staff about your delivery needs. The office can be reached at 800-526-9094.