The History of Couriers

The History of Couriers

If you fancy a history lesson on London Couriers, here’s one for you to ponder over during your Thursday morning coffee break.

The world of logistics, transport and delivery has evolved immensely over the last decade. There are many aspects to logistics from supply chain, to storage, business to business and business to consumer. Mark Bowring, Director and Co-Owner of Mission Despatch has extensive knowledge of Couriers London and in this article shares his expertise, both past and present, and also his vision for the future of London Couriers.

If your think Couriers are a new invention then think again, the first documented use of such a service goes back to around 2400BC in Egypt where runners would carry messages carved into stone on foot. In fact in ancient history, messages were hand-delivered using a variety of methods, including homing pigeons and riders on horseback.

Roll forward, the 1900’s saw the emergence of labourers on bicycles delivering letters across our City’s, and to this day it’s still a very common practise. Back in the day organising such a delivery would not have been easy, it was a service used predominantly by the courts and public officials, so not a concept open to many businesses. With the power of the internet today, type Bike Couriers London into your search engine and any business can have one on their doorstep within a matter of minutes.

What does it take to run a Courier Company London? Forgetting all of the technology for a moment, fundamentally it boils down to providing a trustworthy and reliable service at a competitive price. Whilst there is a lot of competition, increased running costs and restrictions on driving into London, amongst many things, has forced many Couriers in London out of the market place. Some have maintained market share by way of mergers and acquisition, whilst for the rest it has been much a case of survival of the fittest. Mission Despatch’s Same Day Courier London service has been running strong since 2005. Our dedication to providing exceptional customer service has enabled fantastic organic growth by way of customer recommendation and referrals.


Some may be surprised just how many businesses rely on delivery companies on a daily basis. Some of the biggest users are banks and law firms, followed closely by broadcast companies and PR agencies. However, the biggest up and coming users of all are without doubt the in retail market. With online businesses overtaking the high street at a rapid rate, retailers have a huge reliance on their logistics partners to ensure customer satisfaction. Even just a few years ago it was acceptable to order something online and have it delivered within a few days, now it would almost be frowned upon. In fact the expectation has gone from a few days, to next day, even to the extent that a person ordering online up to midnight still expects their treasured item delivered by the following morning.

The sway towards online shopping presented a golden era of opportunity to overnight networks such as DPD and TNT, all of whom have seen unprecedented growth as a result, but even with their vast networks and capacity many overnight carriers have had some very turbulent times keeping up with demand.

Guess what? Online shoppers want delivery even quicker still! Bring on the latest craze, “on demand delivery”. That’s right, you can now order online, and if you live in the right area you can have your order delivered within an hour, quite simply staggering. This has seen a huge rise in Multi Drop Couriers providing urgent last mile delivery services. Van Couriers London are undoubtedly the ones under the highest pressure with huge volume, low density, and the most congested roads in the country. I guess you could say Courier Services London has taken on a whole new dimension. One thing is for sure, demand will continue to rise so the industry will need to maintain a high pace to meet expectation, and as this happens technology will play a major part in ensuring service and standards are kept.

Cheap Couriers is a search often used by companies to lure new customers, but as the saying goes, you get what you pay for. Whilst cost it is imperative for any business, always ensure you find a partner that not only provides good value, but one that also delivers exceptional service.