The history of the courier service

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Courier services have changed significantly since they first began and the technological advances we’ve made to date have completely changed how we deliver messages. Silver Bullet Express Couriers have put together a small breakdown on how delivery services have changed over the years:

The Ancient Greeks

One of the first uses of courier servicing that has developed into the advanced system we have today comes from the Ancient Greeks. The most famous courier runner is known for his historic run from Marathon to Athens. He fought tirelessly in the Battle of Marathon against the Persians to stop their invasion, and, once the Persians were defeated, he ran 26 miles to Athens to let them know of their victory; he collapsed upon arrival and died of exhaustion. In his memory, the Olympic Marathon was created and is now a 26-mile competitive run.


Animals have been renowned for their use within courier services in the past – camels, horses, pigeons and dogs have all worked to deliver messages. In Australia, camels were known to deliver goods from Oodnadatta to Alice Springs until 1929. During the late 1800s, dogs and reindeers were used to transport mail and parcels in northern parts of the world such as Alaska and Canada. Horses have famously been used to deliver mail around the world due to their endurance. In ancient empires, relay rider networks were heavily used for governmental purposes, whilst pigeons have been trained for courier service within the military.


The international delivery services we use today date back to 1907 when a young entrepreneur borrowed $100 to start a courier service; this developed into the well-known UPS courier service. The UK same-day service stems from London Taxis, however this soon expanded to independent motorbike riders which then prompted London Taxis to find new ways to keep up. Technology has advanced so much that text-based news is sent with a simple iMessage and letters are more commonly used for professional delivery.

Fortunately, courier services have improved significantly in both cost and accessibility. If you’re based in Northampton, Luton, Milton Keynes, Bedford, and Aylesbury and looking for cheap couriers and same day delivery, call the team at Silver Bullet Express Couriers today on 0800 907 0016 for a quick quote.

Chris Baron

Chris Baron

Chris Baron is Director of Silver Bullet Express. Chris started Silver Bullet Express to provide a professional, efficient and reliable courier service to businesses of all sizes.

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