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Published on: Logistics

What is the difference between a courier and haulage service?

With the advancement in logistics, businesses now have the capability to reach their customers no matter where they are located in the world. Gone are the days when shipping goods were taken through the long-winded approach. We can attribute this smooth journey to the effective and efficient measures put in place to ensure a smooth supply chain, order distribution, shipment and delivery options. 

To keep their customers satisfied, companies are now taking advantage of the best options available to them: courier and haulage services.

Although courier and haulage service both involve the transport of goods, there is a major difference between the two. If you want to know which service is right for you, read on and we’ll tell you what you need to know. 

To start with, haulage companies often have regular customers that need their services on a continuous basis. The customers often have pre-booked service appointments which involve the transportation of specific goods on a specific date and time. Usually, the size of the goods transported by haulage companies are on a large scale, usually involving numerous pallets of commodities for delivery within the same country or abroad. Because of the scale of delivery, haulage companies utilise large vehicles to keep up with the in-demand for delivery.

Courier companies, on the other hand are hired to carry out the delivery of small goods and parcels to specific individuals or businesses. This is their speciality. The major courier companies even tend to advertise their capability of doing next-day delivery without fail.They will have regular customers such as online shops as well as one off customers. 

As you can see, these are just some of the differences between courier and haulage service. We can still take a closer look at each service and find out more dissimilarities.

Courier Service. As a whole, courier service involves the transport of parcels within the country, but some may go abroad. Here in the United Kingdom, there are thousands of registered courier companies and most of them are offering similar services such as next day delivery, same-day deliveries, domestic courier service and business courier service. 

One of the major disadvantages of hiring courier companies is the expense of the service. They usually charge per parcel that you send. However, if you need to send specific hand-carry items in a timely fashion and you want the capability to track the parcel as it is being delivered, hiring a courier company will give you the peace of mind that you are looking for.


  • A simple and effortless way of sending small goods
  • Advanced parcel tracking systems
  • Quick turnover.


  • Courier companies offer the same service to numerous individuals and enterprises
  • Service is paid per package instead of per shipment which can be expensive in the long run
  • The delivery of your goods is in the hands of unknown drivers. 

Haulage Service. Haulage companies transport goods on a much heavier and larger scale. They usually distribute numerous pallets or containers of commodities.

Whenever a service is booked, it usually involves the transportation of items from the point of origin to the destination indicated by the customer. Every step of the way is being scheduled and both the haulage company and customer are aware of it. 

Unlike a courier company which may hire multiple people to deliver the parcel, a haulage company only carries out minimal stops and the task will be assigned to a specific person in their company. 

Haulage services offer competitive pricing, and tend to be priced per load/pallet not per item like a courier service. So if you are in the business of delivering items in bulk, choosing this service over a courier service makes much more financial sense.

In general, haulage companies specialise in transporting large vehicles, large amounts of commodities, container shipping and warehousing. In simple terms, couriers transport hand-carried items while haulage companies haul freight. 


  • The service is very efficient in transporting large loads.
  • It is a reliable way of transporting stock to a large supplier.
  • Good reliability of delivery and knowledge of handling the route.
  • Advanced delivery tracking systems are available.
  • The service is geared towards fulfilling your individual needs.


  • Delivery must be carried out in bulk to make economic sense
  • Delays in delivery could be caused by traffic delays or extreme weather conditions.

Now that you have an idea what each company is capable of doing, let’s take a closer look at which one is best applied to your business needs.

The Bulk of Orders. This is the major difference between the two services. This is the first consideration you have to look at before deciding which service is best suited to you. For instance, if you need to transport 40 pallets of body lotion to a local supplier, you will  require a haulage service, but if you are only needing to transport a few bottles of body lotion to a house in Swindon, you would be best suited to a courier company. 

Business Arrangement. Haulage companies work through set contracts which means they will serve a specific customer and transport their goods over a certain route on a specific schedule. Courier companies, on the other hand, work per transaction basis. Items from a single customer are often combined with items for another customer before they send out the items for shipment to a specific area.

Financial Worth. There is a dramatic difference between the two companies when it comes to cost.  With haulage companies delivering larger loads, the cost is usually paid upfront per shipment, whereas with courier service they charge per item sent. 

Are you looking for a reliable and trusted company who can offer the following services?

  • Urgent Deliveries (nationwide)
  • Dedicated Deliveries (Same Day/Next Day/Overnight)
  • Business Relocation (VIP Service)
  • White Glove Service(Above & Beyond)
  • 2 Man Service (Tailored to you)
  • Specialist Installation (Including Removals)
  • Warehousing (Distribution Services)
  • Project Management (Full End to End)

Call on KT ALB Transport! We specialise in urgent, same-day dedicated deliveries and we can arrange a vehicle to collect your goods anywhere in the UK within one hour from approval to booking. If you are looking to deliver your goods immediately, we can do the job for you!

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