Difference Between Speed Post and Courier

Communication services have drastically evolved. Initially, messengers were appointed to carry letters and messages.


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Eventually, communication services such as postal services came into existence that became important for the transfer of letters.

However, the digitalization of communication has made letters obsolete as internet expansion has evolved across the globe. What hasn’t changed completely is people’s dependence on postal services to deliver goods and items.

Products, gifts, and documents are packed and shipped through such services to our homes regularly.

Key Takeaways

  1. Speed post is a time-bound postal service provided by government-run postal departments, offering fast delivery of letters, documents, and parcels. In contrast, courier services are provided by private companies specializing in the rapid delivery of goods.
  2. Courier services usually offer additional features, such as door-to-door delivery, package tracking, and express delivery options, while speed post services may have more limited options and delivery times.
  3. Speed post services are generally more affordable than courier services, but courier services may provide higher reliability, speed, and customer service.

Speed Post vs Courier

The difference between speed post and courier is that speed post is a specialized service provided by the Postal Services Department of a country, while private companies run courier services.

Speed post vs Courier

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Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonSpeed PostCourier
DefinitionSpeed post is a high-speed delivery service provided by the postal department.Courier service is a transportation and delivery service run by employees or individuals of a company.
SpreadServices are provided across nations.Spread depends on the network of the company. It might be more minor or even more significant than postal services.
OwnershipThe government of a country runs postal services. It comes under the central/federal government.Courier services are either privately or publicly owned.
AvailabilityNot available on SundaysAvailable throughout the year, including Sundays.
Tracking serviceExcellent tracking service is provided on all parcels.Some companies provide them.


What is Speed Post?

Speed post service is a specialised delivery service provided by the postal department of several countries. It is one of the department’s multiple types of delivery services.

Speed post provides timely smooth delivery of parcels up to approximately 35kg. This service is exceptionally cheap, with tariff rates usually many folds lower than other delivery services.

Postal agencies also provide insurance on their packages up to an upper limit which usually varies from country to country.

Speed posts are usually considered safer and have a more transparent delivery system. Additionally, the postal departments often have provisions for compensation in case of delay, loss or damage of the parcel.

Speed post services are not only used by individuals but are often the first choice of companies and organisations. Corporate bodies get additional benefits such as delivery pick-up services in case of bulk or routine consignments.

Such organisations may also be entitled to volume-based discounts and benefits.  Some e-commerce websites have permanently shifted to speed post services for their package deliveries.

The department has extended cash-on-delivery service for such companies.

An overarching benefit of the speed post service is the extensive area of coverage it caters to. Speed post services have a vast network that often reaches locations, especially rural spaces, where most private organisations are disconnected.

People can track their speed post consignments online as the department has enabled real-time tracking services of parcels.

Speed Post

What is Courier?

Courier services are privately owned transportation and delivery services. Courier services specialise in timely and quick deliveries.

Any individual or organisation can book a consignment with a courier company. There are several courier companies, both local and multinational, that deliver parcels from one location to another.

Courier service providers offer pick-up services to all customers at nominal charges. The parcel can also be dropped off at the nearest courier office.

Courier services initially gained popularity for their high-speed deliveries and state-of-the-art tracking facilities.

However, since one organisation does not own courier services, services may vary from company to company. Courier services are usually costlier than postal services.

However, the expanding market has enabled companies to provide services at much cheaper rates. A majority of online shopping services rely on courier services for their consignments.

Many companies have permanent tie-ups with certain delivery companies.

The courier network is usually limited to urban and suburban areas.  However, courier services are available around the year 24*7. Some courier services provide international consignment as well.


Main Differences Between Speed Post and Courier

  1. Speed Post is a high-speed delivery service provided by the country’s Postal Department, while courier services are transportation and delivery services offered by private companies.
  2. Speed post services have an expansive network with extensive grassroots as well as international coverage, while courier services highly depend o the reach of the specific company.
  3. The Department of Post owns speed post services, usually run by a country’s federal or central government. In contrast, companies and individuals privately own Courier services.
  4. Speed posts have centralized tracking systems that provide real-time tracking, while the tracking services offered by courier services vary according to the specific company you choose.
Difference Between Speed Post and Courier
  1. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-94-010-2847-9_8
  2. https://www.jstor.org/stable/40276920
  3. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1005888507600454
  4. https://www.ssb.no/a/en/static/publikasjoner/pdf/doc_201131_en/doc_201131_en.pdf
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