How Courier Companies Price Your Delivery

Delivery services use a variety of ways to price their customer’s deliveries, but there are normally just a few things to consider.  The distance traveled, how quickly you need it delivered, and the size & weight of your shipment.  Time is a factor, and that is determined in the distance, but if you have excessive loading or waiting time, that will be considered as well.

Distance and Time

Courier companies look at the distance to determine the cost of fuel and how much time it will take to do the delivery.  Deliveries are usually charged by the mile, or by zones and their corresponding distance.  That is the (Base Rate), and it is determined by how quickly you need it delivered.  How quickly you need it delivered will determine how much time the courier company has available to consolidate your shipment with someone else’s going in a similar direction.  The more time we have available to consolidate, the better the price.  In other words, the Base Rate will be higher for rush service than it will be for a 4-hour service.  At Business Express we offer our customers four speeds of service they can choose from.  Our 4-hour service is our most popular, but we do offer a less expensive service for same-day delivery.  We also provide rush delivery with our Express 2-hour Service and our Non-stop Service for direct delivery.

Size and Weight

The size and weight of your shipment will determine if the delivery can be made with a car or if you need a larger vehicle like a cargo van or a box-truck.  Most courier companies will include 50 pounds in their base rate, then charge a small fee per pound for the additional weight.  Business Express includes 50 pounds in our base rate and 5 cents per each additional pound.  More weight is included in the Base Rate for box-trucks.  The larger vehicles cost more to operate and usually have a surcharge to cover the added expense associated with these deliveries.  Business Express currently charges an extra $10 for mini-vans, $20 for cargo vans, and $80 for box-trucks.  The box-trucks have a slightly higher mileage rate than the cars and vans to compensate for the additional fuel expense, but then we discount the weight and loading time in our Base Rate.  For example, Business Express includes the first two pallets or 1000 pounds in our standard box-truck rate.

Special Pricing and Volume Discounts

Special pricing and volume discounts are common in the courier industry.  The software we use makes this process easier and more accurate than before.  We can now tailor our pricing and our order entry screen for the individual customer.  This assures the proper selection of service by presenting only the options and special pricing that has been arranged for them.  This simple system also makes is easy for customers with special pricing to place their orders online.


Surcharges are generally applied for after-hours, weekends and holidays, and they are sometimes applied to reduce the cost for the customer.  For example, for a customer that has multiple deliveries going to the same office building would be charged for the extra floor stops rather than as individual deliveries.

Most courier companies will provide you a rate sheet for your location or allow you to get a price for your delivery online.  You can always go to to get a free rate quote for your delivery or contact us for more information.

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