We don’t need horses yet

Posted on April 10, 2016

Couple Horse-drawn carts waiting for tourists at the main gate to Hofburg Palace in Vienna, Austria

Couple Horse-drawn carts waiting for tourists at the main gate to Hofburg Palace in Vienna, Austria

Courier services in Boston work daily amongst the crowds of pedestrians and other drivers. In cars, on bikes and on foot couriers work rain or shine to ensure that their sensitive deliveries make it to their destinations on time. Thankfully for the couriers none of the delivery forms have been banned yet. Cyclists can still deliver on their bikes and those of us who drive in vans for sensitive materials like Fleet Couriers can still utilize anyone of our fleet. Last year in a city in China however, things got interesting.

So, imagine being a courier in China for a moment. The country with the world’s largest population, you need to maneuver around hundreds of people every day and insane traffic that seems to never stop. These couriers used electric trikes to get around the traffic and deliver their packages on time and safely. However, in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia, north China, “the government decided that three-wheeled electric tricycles…should be removed from the streets” according to the daily mail.

Now, these trikes were the perfect mode of transportation for the couriers. They were fast, small and efficient. So when they had to be removed from the streets, the couriers were at a loss. With the biggest day of the year for deliveries in China, Singles Day, the couriers got creative. The solution they had was to rent nearly a dozen horses and put them to work in the busy city. They brought in horses to navigate the city. Branded with banner and rucksack that state their delivery services that they were providing.

Having been tradition in the past, it wasn’t very new to have horses start delivering again in China. The courier lifestyle utilized horses for years before the invention of automobiles and easier modes of delivering. It is interesting to see a whole city revert back to horses for delivery systems. Looks like they are a real present day pony express, except a lot faster. Whether the ban is still enacted or not, we weren’t able to find out, but if it is, it is definitely a sight to see couriers on horseback today.

In the United States, the Pony Express ceased its existence on October 24, 1861 with the invention of the Pacific Telegraph line. With 100 stations and 80 riders with 400-500 horses according to The Pony Express National Museum only one package was ever lost. It would take a total of almost 10 days to head west and 22 to head east; A long time for package delivery by today’s standards in the US. Despite the time frame, it seems that horse transportation was extremely reliable back in the day so it’s no wonder why horses were the first thought after the ban. Fast and efficient.

Considering the congestion in Boston, it would be interesting to see if something like the Hohhot tricycle ban would change the way of the courier here. If it does, we can hope that we will have just as an inventive idea. There are already Mounties at the Public Garden and carriage rides around the city so it wouldn’t be too bad to add a few dozens more horses to the city.

However, until that time comes, we are able to allow our couriers to ride in the safety of a labeled car. This will allow them the proper requirements to meet the blood borne pathogen standards as well as HIPPAA. While we aren’t thrown back to 1860, we will gladly move forward and continue to be a courier service in Massachusetts for those we have served for years. With many important delivery days coming up like Mother’s Day, courier services in Boston will be on point with their delivery.

Call Fleet Couriers today to schedule your delivery. Available 24 hours at 800-734-9309 and at fleetcouriers.com.