Difference Between Courier vs Mail

Courier vs mail: which is better?

Compare the shipping rates and differences between courier and postal services before you decide which of them to choose. In this guide, we have compiled the differences and advantages of courier and mailing services. Find out which one is cheaper and faster for your route, and check how much it would cost to ship with Eurosender instead.

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What is the difference between courier and mail?

Regular mail is delivered by government-managed postal services while courier services are provided by private companies. Knowing the differences between mail and courier services can help you choose the right option for your particular needs.

Comparing courier vs postal service: which is cheaper?

In general, regular post is cheaper than couriers for sending letters or even small packages of up to 2 kg. However, for sending slightly larger packages, couriers offer cheaper and faster solutions than post offices.

To find out which option is cheaper – mail or courier – we have gathered some examples offered by both for parcel deliveries in different countries.


Courier vs mail domestic shipping rates in Germany

Mail and courier rates for sending a 2 kg package in Germany

Shipping servicePriceDelivery time
Postal service€4.991-2 working days
Courier service€11.991-2 working days
Courier service via Eurosender€8.421-2 working days
Compare courier and postage rates for sending a 30 kg package in Germany
Shipping servicePriceDelivery time
Postal serviceNot availableNot available
Courier service€45.741-3 working days
Courier service via Eurosender€13.231-2 working days

Courier vs mail international shipping from Ireland to Germany

To make it easier for you to compare services offered by postal and courier companies, we have gathered information about the most common services. Check the dimension limits and average delivery times when shipping from Ireland to Germany by mail or courier

ServiceMaximum dimensionsDelivery time
Envelope – Postal service40 x 30 cm3-5 working days
Envelope – Eurosender35 x 28 cm24h
Parcel – Postal serviceMax length of 150 cm, up to 20 kg3-5 working days
Parcel – Courier serviceMax length 175 cm, up to 30 kg3-4 working days
Parcel – EurosenderMax length 175 cm, up to 30 kg3 working days
Express – Postal serviceMax length of 150 cm, up to 20 kg2-3 working days
Express – Courier serviceMax length 120 cm, up to 70 kg24h
Express – EurosenderMax length 120 cm, up to 70 kg24h
Note: The courier vs mail international shipping services presented above may not be available for all locations. The information above is the result of online research conducted in April 2023.

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Differences between courier vs mail: which is faster?

Both couriers and mail services offer fast shipping solutions with similar transit times for domestic shipments. Express services guarantee delivery on the next working day. Other standard solutions offer lower prices but longer delivery times.

However, courier mailing services normally have faster delivery times than postal services for international shipments since courier companies transport the shipment for the entire journey. On the other hand, shipping internationally with postal services takes more time because items are transferred to the postal services of each transit country and processed according to local standards.

Do couriers deliver mail to post offices?

In some specific cases, courier companies may deliver to post offices when there is a last mile delivery agreement between these entities. However, this is not common practice. In most cases, if home delivery is not possible, the packages are taken to a warehouse or courier collection point. For greater convenience, the customer has the possibility of collecting orders at these locations.


Differences between postal and courier services. Which is better?

Compare the differences between courier and mail to help you decide which one is the best fit for your shipping needs:

FeatureCourierPostal serviceEurosender
Express solutions
Service dedicated to envelopesDepends on the company
Free door-to-door deliveryFor some servicesFor some services
Free address changesXX
Instant online quotes Depends on the routeDepends on the route
Free signature upon deliveryFor some services
Real-time tracking For some services
Freight solutions for individualsFor some services X

Courier vs mail: which is better for e-commerce?

Consider the following factors before deciding whether the products sold through your e-commerce business should be delivered by mail or courier.

Postage rate and dimensions

While post office delivery costs are usually cheaper than couriers for envelopes and items under 2 kg, the same may not be true for larger orders. You should take into consideration the type of product your e-commerce is selling to decide whether a courier or mailing service would be better for your needs. If you sell items that require a bulkier box, delivery by courier may turn out to be cheaper than the mail.

Distance and volume

Postage rates offered by the post office are usually cheaper than courier services for occasional domestic deliveries. If you have a large volume of regular shipments, you will need to make a specific contract with your local post office to benefit from reduced delivery rates.

If you have a high volume of deliveries, organising your shipments through courier services can be the most cost-effective solution as you can choose from different large parcel delivery services to match your needs. Depending on availability in your area, you can even reserve a dedicated van service for your delivery. By booking with Eurosender, you can schedule your e-commerce deliveries on a regular or occasional basis without any binding contract.

Delivery time

It is important to take into account whether the courier is faster than the mailing service (or vice versa) in your main area of operation. In other words, if your audience is based in a specific city or region, it is important that the company you choose performs well in that locality. Alternatively, if you have national and international customers, a courier may be a better option for you than postal services since couriers can cover more distances in shorter timeframes through collaboration with other partners.

Payment and invoicing

When comparing couriers vs mail for the payment methods they offer, most of them accept a wide variety of payment methods, including credit cards.

Invoicing, on the other hand, is essential to streamline your company’s internal processes. Post offices offer monthly billing solutions only for customers with a special contract. Otherwise, you have to pregay for each delivery individually – which can become a headache for your company’s accounting team. Similarly, the vast majority of couriers offer different billing options to their business customers.

With Eurosender, you can opt for single, weekly or monthly invoicing regardless of the volume of deliveries you organise every month. Create an account with Eurosender to start saving time and money on your future shipments!


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Courier vs mail comparison summary

To determine whether courier or post would be better for your shipping needs, you should identify the types of services you require.

Companies that ship internationally mostly prefer courier companies over mail. When compared to postal services, courier companies offer certain useful advantages such as real-time tracking systems, expedited worldwide deliveries and global brand recognition in the logistics industry. On the other hand, businesses that send small packages and envelopes domestically usually prefer to collaborate with their local postal services. In this way, they can benefit from lower prices for express domestic shipments and other postal services that are more tailored to local needs. Additionally, post offices are more physically accessible because they have many branches nationwide.

But why choose one single courier company if you have the option of using multiple providers based on the price/quality they offer for each route? At Eurosender, we work with a vast network of global couriers, and we make sure to match you with the best fit for each shipping request. Get a quote online or sign up for additional discounts and benefits.

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Disclaimer: The information is the result of online research conducted in April 2022. For more up-to-date information about price differences or delivery times offered by mail and courier services, we strongly recommend checking the official websites of the logistics companies and local postal services.