Courier services encompass the delivery of messages, packages, and mail, and are distinguished from ordinary mail services by features such as speed, security, tracking, signature, specialization and individualization of express services, and swift delivery times. In the U.S., the courier service industry is dominated by FedEx, DHL, United Parcel Service and USA Couriers. As a premium service, couriers are usually more expensive than standard mail services.
Express services, available in both domestic and international, offer faster mail delivery services. In the U.S., Priority Mail Express is the accelerated domestic mail delivery service operated by the United States Postal Service (USPS). In 2018, the total mail volume for USPS amounted to around 146.4 billion and the company had around 497,000 employees. Some private couriers own their own aircraft for long distance deliveries and run their own delivery networks through firms, such as FedEx Express or DHL Express. In the 2019 financial year , FedEx Express recorded freight revenue amounting to over 7.5 billion U.S. dollars.
Parcel (or package) service providers deliver mail that is too heavy for normal letter post service. United Parcel Service (UPS) is the largest and most commonly used package delivery company in the U.S., according to a Statista survey. In 2018 alone, UPS generated over 71.8 billion in annual revenue. Ground transportation forms a larger share of the overall market for parcel delivery in the United States.