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Historically, the demise of messenger and courier jobs has been expected and predicted following the popular acceptance of every large technological advance such as the telephone, the fax machine, personal computers and now smart phones. Yet, messenger jobs continue to be necessary for a variety of reasons and for a number of different types of companies, including banks, real estate firms, hospitals and law firms. Along similar lines, some private document delivery companies were thought at their inceptions to be an unnecessary duplication of services already provided by the national postal delivery service, yet these companies have prospered by providing faster, more reliable or specialized services. Messenger jobs remain necessary as they continue to fill needs unmet by traditional postal or package delivery services. Different types of messenger jobs reflect their niche specialty and include time-related services, shipment product services and value-related services.
Time-related messenger jobs are among the most commonly known and used by both the general public and the business world. The messenger company hired for such assignments usually depends upon the distance the document or item must travel. Overnight delivery that requires transportation over a long distance often requires the use of a national or international firm to ensure delivery within the allotted time frame. Same day delivery — such as medical test samples to clinical laboratories — are often completed by car or van. Bike messengers are most often used by banks and legal firms in urban areas for delivery within the hour.
Delivery of special products often necessitates messenger companies with special licenses, certifications or approvals. These types of messenger jobs include delivery of tissues, organs or laboratory samples or other items that could be considered biohazardous. As noted, most health systems use car or van transportation of medical samples to area laboratories. Some architectural firms utilize same-city car messengers to deliver oversized drafting plans or building models. Law firms and financial institutions often use bike messengers to deliver documents when signed or original documents are required for legal purposes.
Messenger jobs also include those involving special shipments of valuable items or anything that requires documented delivery. National postal services as well as national and international delivery services offer delivery documentation and content insurance as one of their valuable selling points. Messenger jobs for particularly valuable items or information might be kept in-house to ensure safety. Some urban jewel merchants utilize trusted messengers to discretely pick up and deliver valuables as needed. Due to inherent risk of delivering valuable items, most of these messenger jobs require employers to be bonded and insured.
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