Common courier FAQs

What is a courier, why do we hear the term so much these days, and what does being a courier actually entail? Read on for the the answers to all your courier-related questions.

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What is a courier?

The word “courier” comes for the Latin “currere”, which means “to run”. Couriers or runners were first used in Roman times to deliver messages by relay running. Nowadays, a courier is a word to describe any individual or any company delivering parcels or letters between people who are not part of a nationalised postal system like Royal Mail. Couriers may operate in vans, cars or on bikes. The recent boom in internet shopping has meant that courier services in the UK are in higher demand than ever before. Whether you want to buy engine parts, a book, some make-up or clothes, many people choose to shop online and then have their product couriered across the country to them instead of heading to the shops in person.

How to choose a courier

With so many courier services available, it may be hard to choose which is the best for you. Look out for services such as online tracking, which can help you determine where your parcel is at any given time. You should also look out for couriers that operate their own fleet to ensure goods are always kept in the same van from beginning to end.

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Local courier services are also good as you can depend on recommendations from friends or local businesses. If you’re looking for speedy couriers in Reading, opt for an established name such as, who offer same-day delivery services.

Can I be a courier?

Probably. These days, many couriers are self-employed and use their own vehicle to get around. Others are employed by the courier company and use the company’s vehicle to take parcels to houses or business. To be a courier, you normally need to be able to work flexible hours, have a clean driving licence, be relatively fit and healthy, and be able to work on tight schedules. You’ll also need to have good road sense, know your local area well and be good at map reading. This means you’ll need a good level of English and Maths.

As you can see, couriers are just as useful in modern life as they were in the Roman times!