Currently Browsing: Courier Operations Manual

Making yourself available for courier work

As an owner-driver courier, you are free to make yourself available at times to suit yourself. This can mean that you can work full time or part time. However, if your customer (the courier company) is relying on you to be available to enable him to service his customer, some kind of arrangement and commitment between you and the courier company may well help everyone. Basically, a controller will always favours someone who can always say “yes” to a job when offered. Obviously this isn’t always possible, but it’s a reputation you need to work towards. There is however a real...
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Behaviour and care as a courier

It goes without saying that courier companies expect all couriers to behave reasonably and to take care in actually doing the job. Your actions, good or bad, will be seen as representative of the courier company as a whole and of course will be representative of their customer at the delivery point. Most of what follows will be obvious to anyone who has had any kind of customer-facing job in the past, but just in case it helps, let me spell it out: Behaviour You should remain polite and helpful when dealing with customers at all times, even when under stress. For example, you might arrive at a...
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Courier waiting or loading time

Always let the courier company’s controller know as soon as possible if you are being kept waiting anywhere. The customer is not usually charged for waiting until you have been waiting/loading for at least 15 minutes, although this varies from company to company, to avoid lots of charges on their invoice for trivial amounts of time. If you are kept waiting for longer, then they are usually charged for that first 15 minutes and for each subsequent minute. Make sure you know what your company’s policy is on this. It helps the courier company’s controllers plan for your next job, if you keep...
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Using mtvan to help get courier work

Once you’ve got the hang of working for one courier company, you may want to see whether working for several courier companies will help you make more money. You make yourself available on one of the courier work exchanges, such as, and bid for work from other courier members and from end-users. Obviously, you have to avoid any risk of messing up work for one courier company because of work you’re doing for another. You need also to be very careful to look after the commercial secrets of all the courier companies you deliver for. This obviously means not talking about customers and...
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Tim Gilbert (Courier Industry).

Tim Gilbert has been in the courier business since 1979, and ran courier businesses for nearly 30 years. He was a founder member of the Despatch Association, the trade body for the UK courier industry, serving on the committee for several years and designing the code of practise. Tim is now an independent consultant, and has helped many people get started in the courier industry, both as owner drivers, and in setting up their own courier business. For many years he ran a series of training seminars entitled “How to get started as a courier”, and this gave him the idea of starting...
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