We have always relied on trusted people to get messages or goods from A to B, from the deliveries on foot in Ancient Greece to the rise of multinational companies like UPS. Communication and transport have long been an essential part of human culture. Here is some fascinating backstory about the history of the courier industry:
Couriers were vitally important in ancient Greece and the very concept of a marathon comes from the 26 miles that a courier ran from Marathon, Greece to Athens to celebrate and bring news of the Greek victory over Persia in the Greco-Persian war.
Therefore, what we know of as a modern courier today actually originated in approximately 400 BC in Persia. The prince hired runners, homing pigeons and male horse riders to send important messages and packages across Greece and beyond.
Under the Romans and Greeks, the horse and chariot were the most popular methods of transporting goods between places. To be a courier in those days was a respected profession and the Middle Ages, couriers were being paid by the crown to deliver their parcels. Do your business a favour and outsource the stress of customer deliveries to a professional courier. For Same Day Courier Services, visit allaboutfreight.co.uk/same-day-courier-service
Official courier companies didn’t spring to life until the mid-19th century on the U.S. The very first courier business began in 1852 and was set up by Wells Fargo. Of course, it wasn’t particularly efficient, timely or reliable.
The package delivery industry was revolutionised by The Pony Express. This was a courier service operating around the time of the start of the American Civil War and California Gold Rush. The Pony Express drastically improved the speed and reliability of post and package delivery from the east to the west coast, with couriers doing this massive journey in just 10 days on horseback.
One of the biggest companies today is UPS which was founded in 1907 by two teenage boys in Seattle. They mostly delivered packages on their bikes and on foot.
As they grew and became more successful, they were able to open a second office in 1912. In 1913, they merged with another company and purchased their first vehicle – a converted Model T Ford.
When a third person joined them in 1916, it was this chap named Charles Soderstrom, who suggested the company delivery trucks be painted brown. In 1919, business expanded to Oakland, California and the company used the name United Parcel Service for the first time. Los Angeles followed in 1922 and by 1925 the whole company was known as UPS.