Andréa Novais

Andréa Novais

The Brazil Business


Motoboys and Courier Services in Brazil

Andréa Novais

Andréa Novais

The Brazil Business


Brazilians have a particular way to deal with last-minute deliveries: they hire motoboys. This article will provide an overview of this service, pointing its benefits and disadvantages.


A motoboy is a professional who delivers several types of items, from food to documents. Usually hired through a motoboy agency, the service provided by them is similar to the one of a courier, with the difference that it is not restricted to the mere deliver of an item.

This profession emerged in the 80's from the need to transport small items, especially documents, across major downtown areas. As they ride motorcycles, motoboys are able to move much faster than regular cars.

Services Provided

There is a difference between the kind of service a motoboy provides and the one provided by regular couriers. You can hire a motoboy to go to the bank for you and pay your bills, or to take a document to be signed at the notary's office, or even to collect material for medical tests, such as blood samples. The main advantages of this service are its flexibility and commodity.

The range of services provided can be divided into three major categories: administrative/banks; laboratory analysis; and graphical services.

Administrative / Banks

  • Express mail
  • Contracts
  • Checkbooks delivery
  • Credit cards delivery
  • Payment of bills

Laboratory Analysis

  • Express mail
  • Collection of material for medical tests
  • Delivery of reports
  • Transportation of material for laboratory analysis

Graphical Services

  • Collection and delivery of express mail
  • Transportation of promotional material
  • Mailing
  • Distribution of samples and magazines
  • Delivery of invitations

Advantages and Disadvantages

The main pro regarding motoboy services is the flexibility and commodity. If you need to mail an item using Correios, you actually have to go to the closer post office, wait in line (and the line sometimes can be very long as many Brazilians pay their bills at the post office) and wait at least one business day to have your item delivered.

To that extent, when compared to the national post office, motoboy services have the advantage of being available for last minute calls, while Correios would take at least one business day to make a delivery.

If you have a document that needs to be signed by one of your clients, a motoboy can take care of it within a couple of hours, while the post office would take at least three business to do the same and in some cases, the cost would be the same.

On the other hand, there is always the risk that important documents or even money may be compromised. Motoboys often work as free lancers and many times have no bond with the company they work for, so there is no guarantee.

Also, depending on the distance, they can be much more expensive than regular post office. The average price per stop is of BRL 14,00. So let's say that I need a motoboy to come to my office, take a document to be signed at the bank and bring it back to me. The entire route had 3 stops, so the price will be of BRL 42,00 and it does not matter if the bank is located one block away from the office, as the service is not charged according to the distance, but to the number of stops.

There is also the option of hiring a motoboy to work for your company on a regular basis, as a regular employee. This option costs in average BRL 2600,00, so unless you have a high demand for this service, it is not recommended.

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