Since the very beginnings of civilisation, regardless what you believe that to have been, mankind has been involved in the movement of things, in their various shapes and forms, from one place to another. Such as rocks for building property, deer and other animal for food right up to the present day where you can pretty much have anything you want with just a few clicks on a tablet or computer.
It is interesting to note that although we are used to seeing bike various forms of couriers in London, whether its van couriers or bike couriers. London was not where it all began. In fact, the oldest known recorded example of couriers was in Egyptians who had to move materials for, you’ve guessed it, the building work on the pyramids.
As time rolled along, there were more advanced methods of transportation devised to transport goods and other items. This included such techniques as employing messengers who just ran from one place to another, delivering oral messages. Then there was horses and carts and pigeons who were used to carry messages either in written form strapped under the saddle or in packages in the cart or rolled up and placed on the bird, usually attached to their feet.
How did we get from such rudimentary and seemingly backward forms of courier service to the multidrop couriers London is full of? Let’s take a quick and brief look at the evolution of courier services.
Camels were using in Australia to carry all kinds of post, packages and parcels over great distances. That might sound like something from the turn of the last millennium, but that type of delivery only stopped being used in 1929, once railroads were created.
Dogs were used in colder climates as a delivery network. We are talking about places like colder parts of Australia, along with Alaska and Canada. Sleds were pulled by dogs and contained parcels and post, and this was used from around 1890 to 1963. Some of the biggest loads could exceed the 700lb mark!
Horses are obviously a lot more familiar as a form of courier and have been used extensively from everything to delivering messages by early empires to the Pony Express in America that relayed parcels from the east to the west. Horses are actually still used in China, Tibet and around the Grand Canyon.
The courier industry really evolved with the industrial revolution and the invention of main roads, railways and cars. There is now in place a strong and (mostly) reliable network of couriers and carriers operating across the world. With modern transportation it became possible to send out parcels from one part of the globe to the other in just a single day.
The internet had its own part to play in the evolution too, which isn’t surprising really as it has infiltrated into most parts of our daily lives. With online services, you don’t even need to speak to an actual human at any point when booking London couriers.
The speed at which the evolution of couriers in London as well as everywhere else occurred increased during the last century. From 1907 through to 1930, Jim Cassey borrowed some money ($100) from a friend in order to invest in the establishment of a Seattle-based messenger service. That went on to be UPS. Then in 1946, Ken Thomas formed the business known as K.W. Transport which transformed over the course of 12 years into TNT.
1969 saw the founding of DHL which handled the specialist courier services of delivering documents to customs and excise officers in advance of the freight goods so they could pass through with little to no delay. After which, most of the courier services in London and everywhere else used this practice.
1974 was when FedEx was formed and delivered a whopping 186 packages during the first night. Things continued to progress with TNT eventually opening in the UK and offering a door to door service that offered to get packages and parcels to their destination by the following day.
In modern times, due to the success of the bigger firms, the internet and the gig economy, more and more little companies are setting up London courier services offering competitive prices that their rivals can’t compete with. After all, rather than investing in the cost of a large multidrop couriers business, many people will opt for van couriers or bike couriers in London who know their way around the city.