It’s a smart idea to work as a delivery or courier.
There are many solid reasons to adore becoming a courier, whether you want to leave behind a desk, have a job with lots of variety, or enjoy driving (or all of the above). Drivers, whether full- or part-time, are in high demand, and it appears that this trend will continue in many nations.
You probably have some queries if you’re just starting out as a courier or if you’re having trouble as a delivery driver. We’re prepared to assist.
This manual on how to work as a courier will respond to some of those crucial questions, including:
- Can a courier earn a good living?
- Getting started as a courier.
- How do I launch my own courier company?
- Where to get courier jobs.
Read on if you’re new to the multi-stop delivery driver industry or if you want to learn more about how to start a courier delivery business. We’ll provide you advice on how to become a proficient delivery driver, what the job entails, how to make more money, and how to lessen stress and enjoy your work more.
Can a courier earn a good living?
More light truck drivers should be required to meet the demand as e-commerce, meal delivery, supermarket delivery, and other courier services continue to expand.
As a result, becoming a delivery driver offers the chance to make a respectable living. Pay varies from one nation to the next. So, how much do delivery drivers make, you ask?
Here are some statistics to complete the numbers.
The typical yearly wage in the United States is between $34,000 and $37,000 USD, or $16 to 18 USD per hour.
The average annual wage in the UK is £30,000, or £15.50 per hour.
If $38,000 USD is an average or estimate, that equates to 50,800 Australian dollars, 47,325 Canadian dollars, and 32,036 Euros (conversion as of July 2021).
In certain nations, being a courier is regarded as a service job, hence drivers frequently receive tips as additional compensation. A delivery driver may also be eligible for perks including health insurance, a business discount, a stock purchase plan, and mileage reimbursement, depending on the employer.
However, there are also instances where delivery drivers are not compensated on an hourly basis.
For example, some businesses that employ drivers to deliver restaurant meals have a separate system for compensating their employees. Your pay is determined on the number of orders you complete, the driving and waiting time, as well as the distance, and all tips go to the drivers. Others determine remuneration by offering a base salary as well as reimbursement for transportation and waiting time.
Although you can work as an employee for a firm, there are other possibilities. You can operate for yourself and find your own clients, or you can subcontract with a courier service like FedEx.
Here are a few of the variations.
Working for a delivery service
Most likely, if you drive a corporate car, you won’t have to worry about gasoline or maintenance costs as an employee. You could also get advantages from your job. You won’t have to worry about obtaining clients because you’ll probably be paid by the hour. Every day you arrive to the warehouse, pick up your load of deliveries, and leave for the road.
Since you are an independent contractor and not an employee, you might need to utilize your own vehicle while working. You’ll need to budget for the price of buying and maintaining your car, paying for insurance and license plates, making sure you have enough gasoline for your routes, and taking care of any other potential problems. You might get compensated per drop-off, per mile, or according to another formula. Although you probably won’t have to worry about obtaining clients, you still need to maintain FedEx’s satisfaction with your work.
Having a solo business
To ensure that you are busy enough to pay the charges listed above that are your responsibility, you must acquire a sufficient number of clients that require deliveries on a regular basis. For instance, hiring you to handle deliveries rather than handling them themselves may be more cost-effective for florists, pharmacists, law offices, and other organizations. The price you charge customers for the service will depend on your costs and time.
The good news is that whether you decide to work as an employee, subcontractor, or independently, there should be enough of work available.
This is due to the fact that delivery driver shortages still exist or are beginning to worsen. The career may become even more appealing as a result, and drivers may earn more money overall.
For instance, Tesco, the largest grocery chain in the UK, announced it will reward drivers who sign on by the end of September a £1,000 signing fee. Numerous causes, including as Brexit, the Covid-19 outbreak, and tax reforms, have contributed to a scarcity of drivers.
Tesco announced that drivers would “play an important role for our customers and communities, representing Tesco on the roads and byways of the UK” due to the lack of workers leaving supermarket shelves vacant. A lack of drivers is anticipated by Logistics UK as well, thus rising demand may result in higher wages. The third-largest supermarket in the UK, Asda, asserted that driver costs had increased by 12% in some regions.
Not just drivers are in short supply; there is also a rising demand for delivery services in general. The overall employment of delivery truck drivers and driver/sales workers is predicted to increase by 5% between 2019 and 2029, faster than the average for all occupations, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.
According to the government’s employment projection, there may be 76,700 delivery drivers in Australia by 2024, up from 66,100 in 2019.
Therefore, future salary increases may be influenced by growing demand.
What credentials are required of delivery drivers?
You’ve decided to work as a delivery driver, so you must now learn how to work as a courier. Exist any unique training or qualifications? The procedures to become a delivery driver vary by nation and are not too challenging.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the United States, specialized education or training is not really required. Instead, having a current driver’s license, a spotless driving record, and occasionally on-the-job training are requirements. A high school diploma or its equivalent is typically also preferred but not necessarily required. A commercial driver’s license must be obtained if you plan to operate a heavy vehicle (one that weighs more than 13 tons) or transport hazardous commodities (CDL).
You must have a good driving record and a valid driver’s license for the car you will be operating in the UK. A Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) license, also known as a Large Goods Vehicle license, is required to operate heavier vehicles and to work in the freight transportation industry.
In the UK, there is a definite shortage in the field. In fact, there are 25,000 applications for trucker driving licenses on hold, and estimates place the need for HGV drivers at up to 90,000. As a result, there is discussion about “fast-tracking” the process for UK drivers to obtain their HGV license.
One of the biggest trade groups in the UK, Logistics UK, represents the logistics industry. The group applauds the addition of a new apprenticeship category with an incentive scheme and the opportunity to “earn while you learn” for HGV drivers. Delivery drivers in the UK now have more opportunities as a result.
In Canada, it’s common to also need a driver’s license that is appropriate for the type of vehicle you’re driving, a clean driving record, and the completion of secondary school. You must obtain a Transportation of Risky Products (TGD) certification if you are moving dangerous goods. In some circumstances, you’ll require a professional license from a regulating body.
In Australia, you don’t need a degree to work as a delivery driver, although the government does suggest getting a certificate II or III in driving operations.
Keep in mind that you will also need to work physically and manage stress. As a delivery driver, you spend the entire day in a car, frequently navigating heavy traffic and looking for drop-off locations. Then you have to lift, carry, and walk while loading and unloading items.
Best vehicle for courier work
You may be asking what kind of vehicle is preferable as you learn more about how to drive a courier. You will need to utilize or buy your own automobile if your employer does not provide one. Let’s look at some of the factors since there isn’t a clear optimum solution to this query.
Motorbikes or bicycles
If you’re thinking of starting a courier service in the city center, they would work. A bicycle is inexpensive or free to register, does not require fuel, is simple to manage in traffic, and is straightforward to park. Similar benefits apply to motorcycles as well, such as inexpensive fuel and license costs, ease of parking, and greater range than a bicycle. The limited area you could deliver to and the limited number and size of products you could ship are these alternatives’ major drawbacks.
This is a wonderful place to start for your courier business if you already have a car. You can transport more and larger packages while covering a broader area. You’ll have to worry about the price of fuel, maintenance, and licensing. However, compared to the alternatives, cars should be less expensive to fuel and easier to park.
Vans or trucks
You can greatly grow and diversify your courier service by using a pickup truck, SUV, van, or panel van. You can handle multi-stop deliveries, handle deliveries of any size, and cover wider territories. The drawbacks include higher purchasing and gasoline costs as well as trouble parking when you need to stop.
The type of business you intend to launch will probably influence your ultimate choice, but keep in mind that you may always scale up as you become successful.
Best delivery company to work for
There are a few options available to you if you wish to work for a delivery service firm. You might work for companies like UPS, FedEx, or Amazon depending on where you reside. What are the benefits and drawbacks of each business? Which delivery company is the greatest to work for?
Online discussion boards are rife with opinions from current and former drivers, and you can find both positive and negative feedback on any business.
One decision can be whether you want to contract or be an employee. If you want to contract, Amazon might be the best option because it outsources the majority of its deliveries.
Before choosing, research each employer as much as you can. Here are some things to think about:
- What you’ll be paid, how much you’ll be paid, etc.
- What kind of benefits are provided, such as medical, vision, and dental care for you and your family, as well as whether or not you will receive a salary or pay on an hourly or salary basis?
- Will you be reimbursed for your vacation time?
- Are there any additional benefits, such as employee discounts?
- Do you receive a car?
- What is the area’s radius that you need to cover?
You may work for a meal delivery business if you’d like something a little different. Again, according on your location, you might deliver for a restaurant or a grocery store. Deliver goods to Roadie or Instacart, or prepare meals for GrubHub or DoorDash. Depending on the business, specifics of the work and income will change. The majority of these employ drivers as independent contractors and operate as apps.
How to launch your own courier company
There are a few things to keep in mind before you start accepting gigs delivering packages in your own automobile if you’re ready to make the leap.
In any industry, starting and managing your own business may be challenging, and the courier industry is particularly broad and diverse. Here are some tips on how to launch your own courier company.
Find out firsthand what kind of service is required in your community. Here are a few instances:
The need for next-day courier services has increased along with online purchasing, so there may be competition in this market or a need that you can fill.
Same-day courier service: You could cooperate with several shops who make this claim. Alternately, you can come across clients like law firms and other businesses that require the urgent delivery of crucial documents and supplies.
Specialized courier service: You might focus on sending products that require ongoing supervision and are ensured to arrive safely. This comprises important manufacturing components, prototypes, or things that require special handling, such as temperature-controlled foods, medicinal or pharmaceutical products, hazardous chemicals, or fragile goods. It also includes urgent and confidential documents.
If you require finance for your start-up, you could then need to create a business plan. If not, you must decide what kind of car, if any, you require and obtain the necessary licenses and insurance. Finally, you’ll need to track down those clients. This leads to the following section of our tutorial on how to be a courier.
How to locate work as a courier
You are now prepared to look for courier employment. If you started your own courier company, you may already be familiar with several clients who require your services. You can target your search for clients who require this unique service if you’ve created a distinct specialty, such as temperature-controlled items.
Otherwise, contact nearby companies and ask how you might use your courier service to benefit them. Learn what they require and how you may assist. Leave a business card with your contact details. For further information, get in touch with your neighborhood Chamber of Commerce, a downtown business association, or a similar organization.
You can also look for work on websites. For instance, Courier Exchange links businesses and drivers in the United Kingdom. There are many platforms, including Indeed, SimplyHired, ZipRecruiter, and others, in the United States. In Australia, there are two options: Indeed and Seek. Workopolis, Indeed, and the Government of Canada’s Job Bank are all accessible in Canada.
Ask for suggestions or referrals once you have customers. After that, make sure to provide excellent service, including prompt delivery and careful handling of products. The easiest approach to guarantee repeat business and attract new clients through encouraging “word of mouth” in the neighborhood is to do that.