Do I Need an OBC? 5 Reasons to Hire On-Board Courier Services for Your Next Shipment

On-board couriers (OBCs) help transport high-value shipments around the world when factors like speed, security, and chain of custody are all of great importance. In this post, we look at when and why it makes sense to enlist an experienced OBC service provider.

In the world of logistics, OBC service is the premier choice for ensuring high-value shipments reach their intended destinations with unparalleled precision – but not all premium logistics companies offer this service. If you want to use an OBC for your shipment, you’ll need to partner with the best of the best – a premium logistics company that has already vetted, hired and trained OBCs. In this blog, we’ll define what OBC services are and go over the top five reasons you should choose an OBC service provider for your next luxury shipment.

What Is an On-Board Courier?

An OBC is a dedicated courier who personally transports urgent or valuable items, accompanying them all the way to their destination. The courier accompanies your shipment on commercial flights, hand-carrying the cargo as a passenger to ensure its secure and expedited delivery to its destination.

OBCs provide an unparalleled level of service and ensure your valuable shipments are delivered swiftly and securely to their destinations. They go beyond conventional delivery methods, providing a unique and personalized experience based on project specifications. When you have an urgent deadline for a critical event or occasion, OBCs are the people who get your items there on time.

Top 5 Reasons to Choose OBC Over Anything Else

So, why should you hire an OBC? When does the extra layer of surety make the biggest difference for a given shipment? Let’s look at the biggest factors.

#1 – Speed to Delivery & Chain of Custody

OBC services address both speed to delivery and chain of custody thanks to the special status that passengers are granted on flights versus unaccompanied cargo. To ensure seamless and expedited transportation, all OBC luggage is appropriately prioritized as baggage. This translates to an unparalleled advantage – it mitigates common cargo delays and allows OBCs to accompany your shipment in person or monitor it closely if it is checked as baggage.

#2 – Regulatory Documentation

When you utilize OBC services offered by an experienced and trusted premium logistics company, you receive invaluable guidance in preparing and securing necessary documentation such as commercial invoices, navigating CITES, help with U.S. Fish and Wildlife,  ATA Carnets and more. While the preparation of these documents might be time-consuming, fashion-oriented premium logistics companies know how to handle all necessary legal and Customs formalities and have a deep understanding of these complex import and export regulations. So, before anything else, a dedicated logistics team will evaluate your shipment and begin the steps for all required paperwork. Once this step is complete, the OBC can effectuate their part of the transportation process.

#3 – Global Coverage

The obstacles that come with international shipping are no match for a well-located network of trained OBCs. If your shipping partner’s OBC network spans the globe, particularly in fashion and entertainment capitals, your shipment’s geographical requirements will be served skillfully and on time. Whether your shipment requires communication with TSA or Customs, needs to get on the next flight to Paris, or needs paperwork to get into another country, OBC services provide comprehensive international coverage to get the job done.

#4 – Personalized Communication

As you can see, OBC services go beyond traditional logistics in many ways – and personalized communication is one of them. OBCs know that certain shipments require real-time updates, which is why they will provide customers with manual texts and emails during each pivotal step in the transportation journey. For example, when your shipment is processed through security, loaded onto the plane and then processed through security at its destination, you will know. You can also request more specific real-time updates depending on your shipment’s specific journey. With OBC, transparency and engagement fuse, allowing you to remain deeply connected and well-informed at every juncture.

#5 – Unmatched Fashion & Luxury Expertise

When it comes to handling fashion and luxury shipments, OBC services are the number one solution. If your shipping partner is armed with extensive experience in these exclusive industries, then their OBCs possess an intimate understanding of the intricate nuances surrounding such shipments. From haute couture ensembles to exquisite jewelry pieces, OBCs adeptly navigate the terrain to ensure your fashion and luxury items have the secure and prestigious transportation they need.

When DON’T You Need an OBC?

Every shipment is unique and OBCs aren’t always the right answer. While we encourage you to follow the advice of your logistics partner, here are a few reasons an OBC could be overkill.

Non-urgent shipments

If your shipment doesn’t require immediate or expedited delivery, or if there’s no strict deadline, standard “premium” shipping methods will be more cost-effective.

Cost constraints

If your budget is limited or the urgency of your shipment does not warrant the additional expense, then shipping services of a lower priority can still potentially get the job done.

Too large or too bulky goods

While experienced on-board couriers are used to hand-carrying all kinds of shipments, not every item can be easily handled or maneuvered on its way to a destination. If a shipment is impractically large, heavy, or bulky – and also not extremely urgent or of irreplaceable value – then an OBC may not be the best solution.

Well-planned shipments

If you have enough lead time to plan and organize, you might be able to use a lower-cost shipping option that can still provide reliable delivery within your timeframe. That said, an OBC might still be the best option if the item in question is of critical importance or value.

Unnecessary security

If your shipment does not contain sensitive or valuable items that require constant supervision and accompaniment, you might not need an OBC.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, the decision to hire an on-board courier should be based on the specific needs of your shipment. Assess urgency, value, size, chain of custody and other factors to determine whether an OBC service is the best solution. That said, if you’re after the absolute best, OBC services are it. There is no other service that will treat your cargo with such care and prioritization – especially if you partner with a premium logistics company that employs its own couriers.

Need an experienced OBC for your next luxury shipment? Contact Worldnet today to get started.