In this day and age, it would seem impossible to think of a world without international courier services. The popular names in the International Logistics services industry are FedEx and UPS (from the USA), DHL (from Germany), Aramex (from the UAE), etc. Although the international shipping prices they offer are generally more expensive than normal email services, they rate higher in terms of speed, tracking parcels etc. International parcel delivery services are offered on a variety of scales due to the availability of logistics distribution; between cities and countries, by companies that specifically deal with just couriers and by companies that offer courier services which are supplementary services. So how did this idea of international delivery begin?
In the earliest of eras, there were runners (people who delivered packages on foot), pigeons and people on horseback. This was only within a limited distance and there was no clue of international shipping. In the middle ages, royalty employed their own messengers to deliver consignments. The ‘Freelancer’ courier model, a popular model came about which involved thousands of independent and localized companies offering express delivery services such as next-day or same-day options. Customers then started to demand more from their courier services in terms of flexibility and speed, and due to this regional couriers were set up. Soon, they expanded into employing motorcyclists to deliver parcels and creating separate wings in their company to specifically handle couriers. In the 1970s, small regional companies started coming up, that paved way for international parcel delivery services. This led to a slow expansion into international shipping. Moving to the modern era, the introduction of technology made the transfer of packages and messages easier. There was an improvement in all aspects which included – things as fragile as glass being shipped and flown to places (possibly even international delivery), the introduction of the tracking system that enabled customers to track their packages online, the use of all sorts of vehicles and trucking services to deliver these packages, and documentation of these transactions being made easier due to PDFs and email facilities. The introduction and development of technology and its integration into the international delivery system has changed the way sending messages and goods work. Gone are the days when one had to long for things in different countries due to the inability to obtain them. Now, one can relax and order whatever they feel like when they want to, be it a courier to Europe from USA or courier from the USA to India. Happy shopping!