Many people use courier and postal office services but seldom know the difference between the two. The companies run courier services to deliver the customers’ parcels whereas the postal office is a department of government responsible for delivering mail. Here are 10 interesting facts about couriers and parcels that you will enjoy learning. 

1. The first courier service was created in 2000 BC

Yes, the courier service is not something new; it was present in 2000 BC in ancient Egypt. In this ancient courier service, the letters were placed inside a box that used to flow in the Nile river and was then escorted by a guard. Further, the first post came into existence in 521 BC, created by Cyrus The Great who used roads to transport the posts between the neighbouring cities and the citizens of the kingdom.

2. Marathon refers to a Greek messenger

Previously, people used to communicate via mail, which also consisted of carrier pigeons. The word courier has its roots in the Latin word ‘currere’, meaning ‘to run’. In fact, the word marathon pays tribute to a Greek messenger who ran 26 miles who died on arrival; therefore, marathons are 26 miles long.

3. FedEx have placed themselves on silver screen many times

For advertising, FedEx has marketed itself in many famous movies like Castaway. In the movie, the actor Tom Hanks has been seen using a FedEx package to contain all the items that he needs to survive on an island. Similarly, a FedEx van helped Julia Roberts in Runaway Bride. 

4. Customers have shipped children, an entire building and even a cat

When the parcel system came into existence, the rules and regulations were not clearly stated and it was even hard to access it, which allowed few customers to ship weird things. In 1913, a couple shipped a 5kg baby boy to his grandparents using a low-cost shipping service. Three years later, in 1916, a business shipped 80,000 bricks in crates for use in a building. Also, to mark the anniversary of introducing pneumatic tubes in packaging, a cat was shipped.

5. World’s highest post office is present in India

In a village named Hikkim of India, lies the highest post office in the world at an altitude of 15,500 feet above sea level. The post office was opened in 1983 to serve the 150 villagers of Hikkim. This shows the sincerity of India Post to serve the citizens of the country. 

6. A courier service named Pony Express required a daring delivery boy

Pony Express served the US during the Civil War, and its criteria for a courier boy delivery package was pretty high. In an advertisement for the job, it said that it wanted “young, skinny, wiry fellows not over eighteen. Must be expert riders, willing to risk death daily. Orphans preferred”. It provided a wage of $25 per week for the job.

7. Mail was spelt as Male

Before the 17th century, mail was spelt male, and in fact, the word mail is also derived from the male. However, there are no hidden gender aspects in it. Previously, the word male also meant travelling bag; hence they used the word male instead of mail. 

8. UPS was created by two teenage boys

United Parcel Service, also known as UPS is one of the world’s largest courier companies which was founded by two teenage boys in 1907. During the early days, the founders used to deliver the packages either on foot or by bike. UPS is now serving as an example for many other successful courier companies like Saia

9. Postal Index Number for Indian Army post offices start with 9

India uses PIN codes instead of ZIP codes. Each city and district has their own PIN code. However, the PIN codes that start with 9 are specifically reserved for the post offices designated to serve the Indian Army.

10. There is a floating post office in India

India has a floating post office in Dal Lake which was introduced in August 2011. It is one of a kind post office that lies on the western edge of a lake in a maroon coloured houseboat. Due to its unique placement, it has become a tourist spot too, where travellers use the post office to send postcards to their loved ones.

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