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How to choose the right courier company

Author:

choice

The history of the industry

The same day courier industry is a relatively new phenomenon born in the wake of the postal strikes in the seventies. It continues to grow despite developments in modern technology such as email and ADSL, not only because of the importance of hard copy, but also because of the increased need for expedited delivery of 3D items. 

Same day courier offers an incomparable efficiency and credibility in dispatch.  Clients are finding that – in order to set themselves apart from their competition – the ability to fulfil immediately consumer demand is key. Only the same day courier can provide this immediate fulfilment without clients incurring the substantial cost of running an internal fleet.

The industry comprises of everything from a man and a van to multi-national conglomerates.  Its up to you to choose whether you want a cheap service, a national solution from a very large provider or the perhaps the best option, a personalised yet professional service from a medium sized provider.

The question is how do you choose the right courier company?

Essential Requirements

  • Goods In Transit Insurance

A good same day courier company will provide you with goods in transit insurance free of charge up to £15000 on same day deliveries.  Check details for insurance on your overnight consignments – it changes dependant on what carrier your courier company is uses.

  • Drivers Standards

Look for uniformed drivers, holding identification badges – drivers that you’d be happy to represent your company. 

  • Mobile Communication

The minimum requirement has to be mobile phones and radios.  The next step up is satellite navigation, mapping, vehicle tracking and traffic management – all meant to get your consignment to its destination as quickly as possible.

  • Trade association membership

In the same way you wouldn’t buy a holiday from an unregistered holiday broker, do not trade with companies unaffiliated with either (if not both) of the courier trade associations – the National Courier Association (NCA) or the Despatch Association (DA).

  • Client References and Testimonials

Any credible courier company should have referees available. 

Same Day? Overnight?

Deciding the nature of your delivery is essential.  Urgency and value of goods transported are essential in differentiating between overnight and same day.

Overnight is a consolidated service that passed through many hands, and depots before it is delivered.  This by it very nature means the margin for error is greater – even the best overnight carrier has a .4% error – which means in every 1000 packages, 4 can be misdelivered, damaged etc.  The benefit of this service is relative cheapness, with a pricing structure based on delivery slots rather that distance.

A same day courier will pick up your goods and deliver them directly.  This means one driver collects, drives the goods direct to the destination and gets an immediate proof of delivery.  By nature the collection and delivery time is flexible and far more predictable.   It’s simply the best way to get goods delivered although the cost is usually based on distance and is relatively expensive.

Vehicle Size

Motorcycle?  Small Van?  Important things to remember include consignment size and distance.  Motorcycles can take a consignment up to the size of a ream of paper – and are best utilised in London and to destinations within 120 miles.  Small vans can take from 10 boxes up to 350 kilos.  Transits can take up to 3 pallets.  Ask for advice if you are ever in doubt.

Now book your courier….

Things to remember:

               Define service required

               Confirm size of consignment

               Confirm collection time and delivery deadline

               Give a reference – to help you recognise the job when the invoice comes in.