Many reasons people choose to work as couriers. Many people prefer to be on the go rather than being based in one place. Others may like the opportunity of being self-employed or working towards becoming an owner-driver. Many couriers are just people with a vehicle and extra hours to supplement their income.
No matter what reason you have for wanting to do courier work, these are some tips to help you get started.
What you’ll need
Before you look into courier work, make sure you have the right vehicle and certification. Most couriers prefer small vans and motorcycles to transport goods because a van can carry a reasonable-sized load but is small enough to maneuver residential streets, whereas a motorcycle can be used for urgent deliveries because it is able to navigate traffic and narrow roads at high speed.
To drive the vehicle, you will need to have insurance and a license. Experience operating a vehicle is an advantage. A highly skilled rider is a must if you plan to use a motorcycle. Courier work in large cities can pose a danger to novice riders.
You will also need a copy of your ‘Goods in Transit insurance certificate. This is required to establish a working relationship between you and a courier company.
Relevant experience, just like any other job, is the most important thing you need to get the work done. It can be challenging to get your foot in the door, but perseverance and the right attitude can help. You can start by calling courier companies and then drop by to see them in person on Friday mornings when they are most in demand. You can offer your services for regular work as well as casual work during peak times. While everyday work may not be enough to pay the bills, it is essential to establish a relationship with companies early on.
Call them back in a few days if they are interested but not committed over the phone. You may need to call them five to six times before you get a positive response. Be persistent but polite. You should aim to be on the books of multiple companies to ensure steady work. However, don’t overextend yourself or accept jobs that you don’t want.
Notes on Appearance
It is essential to present a professional image when you are a courier. A well-maintained van and bright clothing (e.g., dark trousers, polo shirt, or white shirt) will make a lasting impression. It can be expensive to keep a van clean and in top shape. Many new drivers choose to hire a vehicle over buying one. Be sure to consider the financial benefits of this option. Consider wearing a name badge and keeping any company identification.
Courier work can be difficult at first, but persistence and a professional attitude will get you where you want to be in your career.
Norman Dulwich works as a correspondent at Courier Exchange. Courier Exchange is the largest neutral trading platform for same-day courier work in the express freight industry. Their website connects over 4,000 transport exchange companies, allowing them to trade jobs and increase their capacity in a safe “wholesale” environment.