Types of Delivery Vehicles

by Dennis Hartman
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With more service providers than ever offering delivery of parcels to homes and commercial locations, there are a multitude of delivery vehicles on the roads today. Each company may employ different vehicles in its fleet, using the type best-suited for the job.

Walk-In Trucks

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One of the most common types of delivery vehicle is the walk-in truck. This is the type used by major delivery companies like UPS and FedEx for local drop-offs and pick-ups. As the name implies, walk-in trucks are tell enough for an adult of average height to walk through the cargo compartment. A rear doorway, as well as a smaller door open to the driver's cab, provide access to the cargo area. Walk-in trucks are tall, increasing the amount of space available for storing parcels.

Cargo Vans

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Cargo vans are smaller than walk-in trucks, both in terms of height and length. They are more useful in areas where large trucks are too big to travel conveniently or when delivering a smaller volume of parcels. Some smaller or regional delivery services use cargo vans exclusively. Businesses that offer a delivery service of their products may also use a cargo van. Cargo vans are actually produced by many of the major automakers, such as Ford and Chrysler, and sold to the public.

Box Trucks

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Box trucks, also known as cube trucks because of their square shape, resemble shorter walk-in trucks. The other difference involves the passenger cabin, which is separate from the cargo area in a box truck. Box trucks are used by some regional delivery services as well as moving companies like U-Haul and Ryder. Box trucks come in a variety of sizes. They are often based on the engine and suspension configuration of a production truck from an automaker with a commercial truck division.


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For delivery to areas that may be difficult to access, Jeeps and other off-road capable vehicles are sometimes used for deliveries of all kinds. The U.S. Postal Service employs a Jeep fleet for delivery to many rural customers, especially in regions where extreme weather is common. While these vehicles are usually smaller, they are useful in delivering a small amount of cargo, such as mail deliveries, to a small number of otherwise difficult-to-reach customers.

Long-distance Delivery

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While the most common types of delivery vehicles are those seen in residential neighborhoods everyday, other vehicles are used to deliver items between shipping hubs or for delivery directly to commercial customers that place large orders. Tractor-trailers and semi-trailers are used to transport most commercial goods between ports or production centers and distribution centers or retail outlets. Cargo ships and cargo planes are also an essential link for all intercontinental deliveries.

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