Interesting Facts About The History of Courier Services

Posted on September 21, 2019

If you’ve ever sat back and thought about courier services, you may realize that most people don’t know much about the history. Believe it or not, couriers go back hundreds of years. Here at Fleet Couriers, we take pride in our rich past and culture. Without the past, we wouldn’t be where we are today. Our team thought it would be fun to share a few interesting facts that you may not know!

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  • Courier services originated in Persia around the year 400 BC.

  • The first couriers included homing pigeons and men on horseback.

  • Romans made courier by horse and chariot the most popular method of communication.

  • The Boston Marathon is 26 miles long because of the ancient Greek courier, Pheidippides.

  • Pheidippides ran from Marathon, Greece to Athens, spreading the news of the war’s ending.

  • It was not until the Middle Ages that couriers were paid for their services.

  • 1852 was the first year that the United States had an established package delivery company, Wells Fargo.

  • Wells Fargo specialized in transporting gold, packages, and newspapers on the West coast.

  • Modern-day courier services are based on the revolutionary Pony Express.

  • Advertisements for work at The Pony Express read, “Wanted: Young, skinny, wiry fellows not over eighteen. Must be expert riders, willing to risk death daily. Orphans preferred.”

  • One of the most famous riders is William Cody, otherwise known as Buffalo Bill.

  • During the Civil War, it took couriers ten days to travel between the East and West coasts.

  • Founded in 1907, UPS is now one of the largest courier companies.

  • In 1973, FedEx starting overnight shipping with 14 small aircraft traveling the East coast.

  • In the United States alone, there are approximately 7,500 companies that provide an array of courier services.

  • Services range from package delivery to medical couriers

  • Annual revenue from courier companies today account for nearly 60 billion dollars

  • Types of services today include; truck couriers, vans, ground fleets, airplanes, and ships.

  • Every day there are approximately 15 million packages delivered to over 6 million recipients.


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For more information on superior courier services in and around Boston, contact our team at Fleet Couriers. We provide the latest technology and resources to get your deliveries where they should be when they should be. Contact us today to find out more (800) 734-9309.