How much to charge for courier services

People often ask: “What should I charge?”

The main thing which affects this, is what everyone else in your area is charging. There’ll be a range, and you have to find your place in that range.

It’s important that customers feel they can get what they really want at a price they regard as fair. Don’t undersell yourself, and don’t try to be the cheapest, as most people know that if something is cheap it’s likely to be disappointing. You have to let them know it’s not the cheapest, but that it is good value for what they are getting.

The price is an important part of your image and will tell people a lot about you, so long as it is in line with the rest of your image. It has to be not too far from what your competitors are charging, so you’ll need to know their pricing in detail. You can do this by asking them (just phone them up and ask for a quote) or by asking their customers, or by looking at their website. You’ll be surprised how easily this information is obtainable.

People often make two mistakes about prices:

One is that they think they have to be the cheapest to get the work. This is not true. Some buyers actually reject the cheapest, on the basis that the cheapest is likely to be the lowest quality. Generally, customers who choose a courier company solely on the basis of lowest price, are the customers you want your competitor to have.

The second common mistake is to assume you have to make a great secret of your prices, and hide them from your competitors. Following on from the first mistake, this is not necessarily the case. Just because your competitor knows your prices it doesn’t follow that he’ll be able to take the work from you. Your customer chooses you, and stays with you for a variety of reasons, one of which (usually) is that your prices are not higher than he is comfortable with. As long as you are looking after your customer, and your prices are not extreme, you don’t need to worry too much about keeping them secret.

In 2011, prices outside London range from 60p per loaded mile, to £1.10 per loaded mile for a small van, depending on region, so you will have to do some research in your area.

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2 Responses to “ “How much to charge for courier services”

  1. MrsMeikle says:

    the thing I dont get is when I find out about a job like on a freight exchange how much to quote?

  2. Tim Gilbert says:

    Hi Mrs Meikle, thanks for your question.

    The main thing is to work out what is the minimum you would be prepared to do the job for, so you need to work out what your costs are per mile to start with.

    The reason this is useful is that most controllers putting work on exchanges know much they can or want to pay for a particular job. So the easiest way to work out how much to charge is to ask them how much they want to pay.

    You then compare this with your minimum, and if it looks ok, accept the job. You can even ask them how many miles they make it, if that helps.

    As you get more experienced, you’ll get more of a feel for what each job is worth, but this is a good way to start, without worrying about rates per mile and minimum charges etc.

    Hope this helps.

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