Difference between Courier and Cargo

Key difference: Courier is suited for sending letters, documents and small parcels. Cargo is usually bulk cargo, or materials that need special handling and care.

The basic concept of courier and cargo is the same. They deliver objects from one place to another. However, the instances when one will use a courier or a cargo service differ.

A courier delivers messages, packages, and mail. It offers the advantage of speed, security, tracking, signature and specialization over ordinary mail services. However, due to this, they tend to be more expensive than the ordinary mail services. Couriers have varying distance scales that they operate on, some operate within specific towns or cities; some are regional, national or global. Usually, one would use a courier when factors such as speed, security, or distance offset the cost.

Some couriers also offer cargo or freight services. Cargo mainly refers to a large consignment of goods or products. Most people usually do not require the use of cargo services, unless they need to transport something that is either bulky and huge, or large in numbers. Cargo services are mainly used by businesses, such as manufactures or exporters. The goods are transported in containers via ship, aircraft, train, van and/or truck.

Comparatively, cargo is slower, transports large consignments of goods, and guarantees the safety of the products. Courier, on the other hand, usually delivers smaller parcels like documents faster than a cargo would, but it does not tend to ensure the occurrence of wear and tear to the package, as it is usually not a huge concern for envelopes.

While transporting a large consignment of goods, a cargo service will tend to give a better price than a courier. This is due to the fact that a freighter (the cargo service) gets economies of scale, which means that since it transports a large number of goods of a large number of companies together, the total cost of transport gets distributed among the goods. So, the cost per product or for each goods is much less than what it would be for a courier.

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