Do you need a haulier or a courier?

22nd March, 2021

Road haulage, or road freight, is the movement of items by road. Often in large vehicles, over long distances. An important industry within the UK economy: the fifth biggest employer in the country.

A road haulage company differs from a courier company. If you are looking to transport goods, a good starting point is to understand the difference between a road haulier and a courier.

A Haulage company:

  • Often work with specific contracts providing regular transport
  • Often transporting the same goods between the same locations on a routine basis
  • Transport tends to be planned and booked in advance
  • Pallets are often used to transport items
  • Vehicles loads may be shared between different clients to minimise cost
  • Vehicle size ranges but tends to be Articulated and Rigid vehicles
  • Forklifts are used to place items on and off vehicles
  • Goods will often be transported from A to B without stopping for other deliveries
  • Delivery of several items to a single location


A courier company:

  • Tend to work on an ad-hoc, one-off basis
  • May not be aware of the item or items they are transporting
  • Vehicles tend to be smaller, often a van
  • Parcel delivery services, nationwide, often next day delivery
  • Cost tends to be based on the speed of delivery and/or weight, not the size of goods being transported
  • Most couriers give a time of delivery which is a contractual commitment
  • Couriers deal with goods that can be lifted and moved by hand
  • Can be used for personal or business use
  • Delivery tends to be on a “multi-drop” basis where there is a route where parcels are dropped at different points out of one vehicle

What do you need?

If you have just started a business, or your business is growing and you need goods moving you need to decide whether you need a courier company or haulage company.  Look at the number and type of items you need to be delivered.  If you are selling clothing items direct to your customers, a courier is likely to be best. If you are selling furniture to retailers or hotels, a haulage company would be needed to be able to move heavy, multiple items.

How can Magnus Group help?

If in doubt, give us a call for a chat and we can point you in the right direction.

We have been providing reliable haulage services for nearly 50 years.  We offer full trailer loads, part load distribution, container and European trailer haulage giving you the flexibility you need. With 225,000 square feet of state-of-the-art warehousing, with 20,000 racked spaces, we can manage your warehousing and storage needs, freight forwarding and pallet distribution as well as road haulage.

We pride ourselves on being a family business with a team of industry experts heading up each division. We aim to provide transparent, excellent customer service, working in partnership with our clients. Our long-standing relationships, several over 16 years, reflects our ability to support our clients. We would love to invite you to have a look around our site, based at Great Blakenham, just outside Ipswich, and discuss how we can work together. If you would like to learn more or have a chat, please call us on +44 (0) 1473836600 or email


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