The courier industry has long held an important place in United States commerce and been involved in pivotal moments in the nation's history such as westward migration and the gold rushWells Fargo was founded in 1852 and rapidly became the preeminent package delivery company. The company specialised in shipping gold, packages and newspapers throughout the West, making a Wells Fargo office in every camp and settlement a necessity for commerce and connections to home. Shortly afterward, the Pony Express was established to move packages more quickly than the traditional stagecoach. It illustrated the demand for timely deliveries across the nation, a concept that continued to evolve with the railroads, automobiles and interstate highways and which has emerged into today's courier industry.

The courier industry in the United States is a $59 billion industry, with 90% in 2009 of the business shared by four companies, including DHLFedEx and UPS. On the other hand, local courier carrier and delivery services were highly diversified and tended to be smaller operations; the top 50 firms accounted for just a third of the sector's revenues.[2]