Medical Courier Service Rates In 2024

Medical Courier Service Rates & Fees

The healthcare industry is evolving rapidly and the need for efficient delivery of medical supplies and equipment is expanding. Medical courier service rates continue to increase, which has resulted in a new business model for courier services that can help hospitals reduce their costs of delivering medical supplies.

What Is A Medical Courier?

A medical courier is a person who delivers medical supplies and equipment. They may also be responsible for picking up and delivering lab samples. Medical couriers usually work for hospitals or medical laboratories. They may also be responsible for keeping track of inventory levels and ensuring that supplies are delivered to the correct location.

Moreover, a chunk of medical couriers’ day-to-day tasks is heavily involved in the process of medicine shipping

Medical Courier Market Size and Trends in 2024

The global medical courier services market, valued at USD 4.8 billion in 2023, is poised to experience steady growth, with an estimated compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 6.1% during the forecast period from 2024 to 2030. 

This significant growth trajectory reflects a dynamic landscape characterized by rising demand for tailored transportation and logistics solutions within the healthcare sector. As the importance of timely and effective delivery of medical specimens, samples, pharmaceuticals, and equipment continues to escalate, the market is undergoing substantial expansion.

A Closer Look at Medical Courier Service Rates

A closer look at medical courier service charges

Whether you’re a starting healthcare business or a medical brand looking to expand your current operations, logistics, and charges can catch you by surprise. To assist you with this, we’ve compiled the medical courier service rates for 2024.

a. Standard Service Charges 

For reference, most standard courier services can be segmented into a few options. In this article, as most medical deliveries are time-urgent at best, we will focus on same-day courier service rates: regular service, 4-hour service, 2-hour service, 90-minute service, and hotshot service. We have gathered the following courier costs from a recent article from Step by Step Business.

1. Regular Service 

  • 0-10 miles: $26.00
  • 11-15 miles: $36.00
  • 16-20 miles: $41.00
  • 21-25 miles: $46.00

2. 4-Hour Service 

  • 0-10 miles: $31.00
  • 11-15 miles: $36.00
  • 16-20 miles: $41.00
  • 21-25 miles: $46.00

3. 2-Hour Service 

  • 0-10 miles: $36.00
  • 11-15 miles: $41.00
  • 16-20 miles: $46.00
  • 21-25 miles: $51.00

4. 90-Minute Service 

  • 0-10 miles: $41.00
  • 11-15 miles: $46.00
  • 16-20 miles: $51.00
  • 21-25 miles: $56.00

5. Hotshot Service

  • 0-10 miles: $46.00
  • 11-15 miles: $51.00
  • 16-20 miles: $56.00
  • 21-25 miles: $61.00

b. Other Charges

Most medical courier service rates are based on a fixed base zone rate and supplemented with an additional zone rate. The base zone typically refers to the pick-up point. In this case, we have gathered the following courier rates from Breakaway Courier‘s courier service rate sheet for extra charges according to zones. Please note that the zones would depend on the areas your logistics partner covers.

Base Zone: $24.00

Each Additional Zone: $3.40

  • Waiting Time: $1.05 per minute (After 10 min. grace period)
  • No Pickup: $12.80
  • Wrong Address: $12.80
  • Additional Stops in the Same Building: $11.15 per stop
  • Oversize/Overweight: $9.70 (Packages larger than 30×24” or between 10-15 lbs.)
  • Overtime = 1.5X Regular Rate (Orders scheduled for pickup or delivery after 5:30 PM)
  • Saturday / Sunday = 1.5x Regular Rate
  • Hourly Rate: $58.60 per hour

c. Charges According To Routes 

Most routine medical deliveries may involve more than 1 stop. The following information was gathered from Central Courier

  • Starting at $32.50 per stop per day.
  • For example, a route with 1 stop per weekday (Monday to Friday) in Ventura would be $32.50 x 21.65 days = $703 per month.

d. Fuel Surcharges

Changes in fuel prices lead to varying expenses for the transportation sector, necessitating a flexible fuel surcharge that can adjust accordingly, either increasing or decreasing in alignment with fuel price changes. 

Here’s a sample of an index-based surcharge system from OSM Worldwide to help you prepare for other potential fees. The matrix is computed per gallon of diesel fuel

At Least But Less Than Surcharge

$3.64 $3.73 7.50%

$3.73 $3.82 7.75%

$3.82 $3.91 8.00%

$3.91 $4.00 8.25%

$4.00 $4.09 8.50%

Average Charges for Medical Courier Service Rates

Medical courier services can vary greatly in cost, depending on the company you use and the distance you need to travel. For example, a local medical courier service may charge $50 for same-day delivery, while a national company may charge $200 or more for a cross-country delivery. 

Other factors may also include the size and weight of the items being transported and the urgency of the delivery. Ultimately, the cost of medical courier services will depend on your specific needs.

Factors Medical Couriers Consider When Pricing Your Delivery

A medical courier considering their pricing

Here are some of the most important factors medical couriers consider when deciding on same-day courier rates. 

1. How Much Competitors Charge 

Deciding on courier delivery rates can be tricky for medical couriers. They want to make sure they are charging a fair price, but they also don’t want to price themselves out of the market. One of the most important factors to consider is how much competitors charge. This information can help determine what price point is feasible for their services. 

2. Hourly Charge 

Many medical courier services charge by the hour. This rate can vary depending on the company, but it is typically around $50 per hour. This rate includes the time it takes to pick up the medical specimen from the doctor’s office and deliver it to the lab. It also includes any stops that need to be made along the way. The hourly rate is generally a flat fee, so there are no additional charges for fuel or other expenses.

3. After-Hours Orders & Rush Orders

Medical couriers typically charge more for rush orders and orders placed outside of normal business hours. This is because these orders require special accommodations, such as hiring additional staff or making arrangements with hospitals or other medical facilities. Rush orders may also need to be delivered by a certain deadline, which can add to the pressure and cost of the delivery.

Most courier companies charge a small fee for additional services. For instance, if a customer would like an after-hours delivery, such as after 5 p.m., or before 8 a.m., there will be a $15 surcharge. If they order between 8 p.m. and 5 am, the surcharge is $20. Likewise, the surcharge on weekends and holidays is $15.

With Dropoff’s medical courier services, you can be certain that your medical samples are transported with care.

4. Waiting Charge 

The waiting charge is the fee that a courier charges for waiting at a pick-up location. This charge is typically based on the courier’s time waiting at the pick-up location. If a courier spends a lot of time waiting at a pick-up location, they may charge a higher rate to cover their time.

For example, if a medical courier is waiting for a package at a hospital or other medical facility, they will charge an additional fee. The amount of the fee will vary depending on the company, but it is typically a per-hour charge.

5. Size Of Packages 

One of the key considerations medical courier services have to make when deciding on courier prices is the size of the packages they will be delivering. The bigger the package, the more it will cost to deliver. This is because the courier will have to use a larger vehicle to transport the package, and it will take longer to make the delivery. Additionally, medical couriers must be sure that their vehicles can accommodate the size of the packages they will be carrying.

For example, many companies implement a standard shipping charge that applies to items that are less than 50 pounds. Items over 50 pounds will be charged an additional $10 for every pound that the package weighs.

Please note that medical courier services may charge bigger for higher-value cargo such as the transportation of blood samples

6. Delivery Location & Duration 

One major factor that medical couriers take into consideration when calculating their average courier cost per mile is the distance that they will be traveling. The further the distance, the higher the rate will be. 

For example, some medical courier companies charge $1.50 per mile for a car, and $2.00 for a pickup truck or cargo van. This means that the total cost depends on the number of miles driven from start to finish.

7. Delivery Speed

The speed of delivery will also have a significant impact on courier service costs. If a customer wants a time-sensitive delivery of medical supplies to his or her job site, medical couriers need to attain this request. 

Check out our article on why delivery speed directly impacts patient care.

8. Route Optimization:

Medical couriers meticulously analyze and refine their delivery routes to optimize efficiency, aiming to minimize both time and fuel consumption. By streamlining routes, they mitigate costs linked to travel distance and ensure punctual deliveries. 
As of this writing, Circuit, one of the top route optimization software platforms, charges $750 per month. In addition to this, the logistics provider is also expected to implement such route optimization through robust delivery orchestration.

Why You Should Partner with a Nationwide Medical Courier Service Instead of a Local Medical Courier Service

National medical courier vs local medical courier

Nationwide medical courier services like Dropoff offer more efficiency and technological advances than local medical courier services. To learn more, check out our top tips for choosing the right medical courier

Here are a few things national medical courier services provide for customers:

  • Warehousing, fleet management, and nationwide shipping solutions
  • Advancements in courier technology
  • Time efficiency during deliveries 
  • Real-time tracking 
  • 24/7 customer service
  • 24/7 service
  • Cargo transportation made easy
  • Arrival delays and claims management 
  • A network of drivers, warehouses, and vehicles
  • Ability to cover further location

Additionally, Dropoff offers same-day delivery services that highly benefit medical lab businesses that want to accommodate customers’ time-urgent needs. If you’re a medical lab business owner, check out our guide on how to launch same-day delivery for your medical lab business

Own a pharmacy instead? Check out our alternative guide on how to start same-day medicine delivery in your pharmacy.

Premium Pricing For Medical Courier Services

Many medical courier service companies offer premium pricing on their courier services. These services typically have an edge over their standard-priced services that allow customers to experience a higher quality delivery.

  • Customer Service – Customers can expect live 24/7 support from the customer service team who are ready to resolve any concerns they may have. 
  • Medical Adherence – Extra safety precautions are taken to ensure delivery items are undamaged during transport.
  • National Coverage – Express deliveries are offered for nationwide locations.

Driver Professionalism – Premium pricing or not, customers can expect to interact with only professional and well-behaved drivers who take pride in delivering high-value cargo.

A dropoff courier offering premium services. 24/7 Customer Service. Medical Adherence. National Coverage. Professional Drivers.

Final Thought

The main factor you want to focus on when considering which medical courier service you want to partner with based on their medical courier service rates is their same-day delivery and express delivery services. If these services aren’t being offered, then you need to look for a new medical courier service.


1. Do you have temperature control procedures?

Yes, we have gel packs and dry ice, and our drivers are trained on correct cold-chain standards. We can also keep track of your shipments using a variety of temperature monitoring equipment and reporting.

2. Are your drivers certified to handle multiple types of specimens?

Our drivers carry HIPAA and bloodborne pathogen certifications.

3. What type of reporting do you have for your customers?

Our web interface includes fully exportable data and it can be customized to include any information your team needs at a glance. For the pickup or delivery of your order, we also provide real-time tracking and email notifications.

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