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Haulier vs Courier: What’s the Difference? 

15th July 2023 | by Sam Nardi

Haulier vs Courier: What’s the Difference? 
In the logistics industry, we know that there can be confusing jargon around vehicles and services! From couriers to cargo; haulage to logistics, many new clients can find themselves confused by industry terms and unable to successfully navigate and find the services they need. So, what the freight does it all mean? In this blog, we’re looking at the difference between a haulier and a courier. If you’ve ever found yourself unsure about the difference between the two, we’re here to explain these elusive terms to help you understand what you’re dealing with when you book your haulier and courier services, and which is most suitable for your needs. 


Haulier vs Courier 

Organising your logistics services for your company typically involves engaging a haulier service or courier service for the transportation and movement of goods from A to B. Understanding the difference between the two is key in ensuring you’re booking the right service for your needs.

Haulier and courier are two terms that are often used in the transportation and logistics industry to describe different types of services and providers. While both involve the movement of goods from one place to another, there are some key differences between hauliers and couriers. 

What is a Haulier? 

A haulier specialises in transporting large quantities of goods over long distances. Hauliers typically operate heavy-duty vehicles such as trucks, lorries, or trailers to transport goods in bulk. They are often involved in transporting goods between cities, states, or even countries. 

Haulage services are commonly used for shipping goods that are too large, heavy, or numerous to be handled by other means of transportation. Haulage is commonly used for transportation of large stock orders and is also a good option for wide-scale product distribution, where pallets of stock rather than individual orders, i.e. parcels or smaller individual packages are concerned. 

What is a Courier? 

A courier typically specialises in the delivery of smaller parcels, documents, or packages but some offer pallets and ‘ugly freight’ courier services. Couriers typically operate smaller vehicles, such as vans, but some, like
Speedy Freight, offer a wider range of vehicles, including specialist vehicles like hi-abs, moffetts and flat beds to support industries such as construction- the main goal is speed. They focus on providing fast and direct point-to-point delivery services within a specific region or locality.  

Couriers are commonly used for time-sensitive deliveries, such as same day delivery services, offering tracking and proof of delivery, ensuring that the sender and recipient have visibility and confirmation of the package's journey.  

What’s The Difference Between a Haulier and a Courier? 

The main difference between hauliers and couriers lies in the scale and type of goods they transport.

Hauliers specialise in large-scale transportation of bulk goods over long distances, while couriers focus on smaller, time-sensitive deliveries or difficult to handle and fragile goods, within a specific region.  

Both play important roles in the transportation and logistics industry, catering to different needs and requirements.  

You’ll likely find both courier and haulage services being offered by most logistics companies. 

What is Logistics? 

The term logistics covers the entire process of transporting goods from initial enquiry to delivery of the item or items - including the packaging, shipment, and transportation of your goods! Logistics is an umbrella term that refers to the management and coordination of the flow of goods throughout the supply chain. 

A logistics provider, such as Speedy Freight, will offer a range of haulage and courier services, and full logistics services from warehousing and fulfilment to final-mile delivery. 

Let’s look at what industries might use logistics services.   

Which Industries Need Logistics Services?  

The simple answer is - all of them! When you think about it, it’s clear that all industries rely on the movement of something - for instance, moving goods from the manufacturing sector to the retail sector would be a key example.

However, just about every industry uses logistics at some stage - whether that’s moving papers or documents for print and marketing; moving raw materials and equipment for construction; to moving aeroplane equipment for the aviation industry - no industry is left untouched by the need for logistics and transportation at some stage.  

Below are just some of the industries that we help with our logistics services here at Speedy Freight:  

  • Manufacturing  
  • Construction  
  • Aviation  
  • Pharmaceutical & Medical  
  • Marketing  
  • Events  
  • Hospitality  
  • Retail & E-Commerce  
  • Publishing  
  • Professional services, such as solicitors & accountants  

Right through to other logistics companies and hauliers in need of additional support during peak season. 

Booking Your Haulage & Courier Services  

Booking your logistics through Speedy Freight is a quick and simple process.

Our booking process has been designed to be a seamless process to support the movement of your consignments, no matter when or where you might need us.  

Our same day and next day courier services take care of your urgent and pre-booked logistics needs, while our specialist haulage services can transport your large, bulky shipments to wherever they need to be.  

We operate around the clock, so for 24/7 haulage and courier services here in the UK and Europe, you know you’re in good hands all the time. 

Use our branch locator to get started. 

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Dedicated, swift and bespoke – three key cornerstones of our end-to-end logistics service. With everything from white glove to temperature-controlled solutions on offer, Speedy Freight have the answers to your logistical problems. Our courier service operates 24/7, 365 days a year and covers the length and breadth of the nation. Whatever you need, whenever you need it, we’re there.

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