Difference Between Courier and Cargo

Logistics, a commercial organization that deals with the activity of transporting goods to customers. And in this organization, one major department is the distribution logistics.

The main work of distribution logistics is to deliver finished products to the customer. Courier and cargo come under this category. Both are ways to send parcels to another address. Even then, courier and cargo are a completely different concept.

Courier vs Cargo

The difference between Cargo and Cargo is that courier service is used to deliver messages, packages, and such small products. Cargo services are used for the delivery of heavier goods and products.

Courier vs Cargo

A courier can be defined as a company or a person whose work is to deliver a message, packages from one place or person to another place or person.

Cargoes, on the other hand, are the services used to transport a larger quantity of goods and produce by water, air, or rail.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonCourierCargo
DefinitionCourier service is a company or an organization that aims to carry and deliver mails, messages, or packages.Cargo is the goods or items that need to be delivered. It can also be a company that deals with the delivery of items and products.
Delivery TimeThe delivery time taken by courier service is very fast. Courier parcels clear within 24 hours.The delivery time taken by Cargo is usually slow. Cargo clearance takes weeks to clear from customs.
WeightCourier parcels are usually small in quantity. They weigh between 0.5 to 30 kg.For the transportation of bulky materials, cargo service comes to the rescue.
UsageCourier is used by common people etc for sending documents, gifts, small packages, etc.Cargoes service is mainly used by businesses such as manufacturers and exporters for transportation of bulky materials.
PricingCourier services are a bit pricey as the goods to be transported very light.In cargo, the cost per product is much less as compared to the courier services.
Safety EnsuredCourier service does not guarantee the non-occurrences of wear and tear.Cargo keeps into consideration the safety of goods and products.

What is Courier?

Courier is a service that allows an individual to send consignment or packages/parcels from one person to another. They offer superior speed and tracking systems.

Features such as fast delivery timing, security, specialization, and individualization of services make it stand out from other such types of services.

Courier services are most probably useful for people who sell products online and want a shipping solution for multiple parcels. It offers both national and international shipping services.

On a general basis, a courier company is a private firm. It specializes in one or more segments in the shipping process. The parcel is received, ranging from same-day delivery to international delivery.

When the deliveries ought to be made in the city itself, the bicycle couriers or motorcycle couriers come to the rescue. When larger distances are to be covered: trucks, aircraft, and railroads are used.

Courier services also provide real time-tracking to know exactly where the shipments are. You also have an option to make a phone call and know about the updates.


What is Cargo?

Cargo refers to the goods and items that are to be transported. It also refers to a company that deals with the delivery of goods/items and products.

Cargos may include clothing, materials, wares, baggage, equipment, and livestock, etc.

They are carried from their current location to their desired location through a cargo company.

Cargo services are often used when the deliverable items are in bulk and need to be handled with care. Services charge may vary. It depends on the quantity of goods carried.

Transportation types for Cargo Service

  1. Marine- Seaports deal with a wide variety of cargo transportation. Bulk cargo/goods like salt, oil, scrap metal, etc. transported through this.
  2. Air Cargo- Also known as air freight, these are very popular. Aircrafts such as Boeing 747 and An-124 are made for this purpose.
  3. Rail- Trains are capable of transporting a larger number of goods. They are used for the transportation of cement, grains, etc.

Main Differences Between Courier and Cargo

  1.  As mentioned in the table, a courier is a service, which collects and deals with the delivery of the shipments in a stipulated time period. Cargo refers to the freight or items that need to be delivered. It also refers to a company that helps in delivering items to the required destination.
  2. Courier companies deal with parcels, smaller shipments weighing between 0.5-30 kg. It could be mail, messages, documents, packages, etc. Cargo services deal with the handling of bulky parcels/shipments. Items such as wooden pallets, steels, mining products, and other such bulky materials.
  3. Well, in general, courier companies have emerged as a major cargo service. That is, they deliver small and big items as well. They usually make use of bicycles, motorcycles, trucks for carrying shipments. Cargo companies make use of ships, airplanes, and railway services to carry the deliverable items.
  4. In courier services, any wear or tear of the product is not covered under the service. Cargoes, on the other hand, ensure the safety of the things. Things do not become mutilated or disfigured.
  5.  Courier companies ensure that the shipments reach the delivery spot as soon as possible. It takes time between 24 hours to 2 days maximum. Cargo services take time. Usually between 1-2 weeks.
Difference Between Courier and Cargo


  1. http://ijqr.net/journal/v10-n2/8.pdf
  2. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Patrick_Jomini/publication/265496661_The_Regulation_of_International_Air_Cargo_Services/links/555d17df08ae6f4dcc8bd3d9.pdf
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