How AK Transporters went from start-up to success in just three months


AK Transporters began with the Courier Exchange (CX) in May 2023. In just three months, their start-up has grown into a thriving business on CX.

Thanks to exposure to big-name logistic companies (and with the power to network their business) they’ve expanded their fleet. And they’ve made an ROI of 1054% in their short time on CX. That’s 10 times their initial investment.

Managing Director, Mohammed Khan, talks us through his business’s growth.

3 months

As a CX member


Loads completed


Return on investment last year


Starting as a small team, AK Transporters faced scaling challenges during the early stages of their business.

Mohammed explains, “As a new courier company it was very hard achieving our growth targets, reducing our cost per mile and being at the level that we would have liked.”

Joining the Exchange exposed AK Transporters to a broader client base. They built a robust network. And they got to build something they never had before: brand recognition.

“Some think of CX as just a job*, but it isn’t just that. It’s a place to build your company, grow your brand, and make a name for yourself in the transport industry, especially for those who are just starting out.” 

Mohammed Khan, Managing Director, AK Transporters

Mohammed adds, “CX exposed us to clients and helped us to reach big-name courier companies, big-name logistics companies. It just boosts your level up as well.”

“If you provide a good service, and invest in technology CX can make it easy to find new clients and grow partnerships.” 

Mohammed Khan, Managing Director, AK Transporters


Remarkably, AK Transporters made their money back in less than ten days – with just a single van and two drivers.

Since then, it’s been nothing but brilliant results.

“We’re more than happy on our ROI,” Mohammed reports. “I think in the last two months, with adding CX to our operations, we’ve almost doubled our revenue whilst cutting our costs.”

AK Transporters elevated their name by collaborating with top-end logistics companies. They were soon able to invest in efficiency-enhancing tracking software to keep score of their metrics.

“We really value technology and biometrics, So, we can see we’ve decreased our dead miles by over 80% whilst also decreasing our cost per mile. And also providing our customers with a more streamlined service.”

Mohammed Khan, Managing Director, AK Transporters

And with efficiency comes higher revenue. After starting their business just 6 months ago, 3 of which have been on CX, AK Transporters are already planning to open their office before the Christmas period this year.

“I’d say we’ve exceeded our goals. We’ve already ordered more vans and we’re already expanding our fleet. It’s just onwards and upwards for us.”

Mohammed Khan, Managing Director, AK Transporters


In just three months, AK Transporters have really made a name for themselves.

“The Exchange is an exceptional platform,” Mohammed states. “If you’ve got the people, willpower and are willing to spend a bit of money it’s very easy to make the money back on CX.”

Networking also played a pivotal role in AK Transporters’ success, reinforcing Mohammed’s ethos: “The more people you know, the more money you’ll make.”

“But you can’t have everything put on a plate,” he points out. “You have to put in the work. Persistency is key. So, keep bidding for jobs until you get one.”

When asked, Mohammed’s advice to new start-ups is simple. “If you want yourself to be a big courier company in the future, if you want to grow, CX is necessary.”

In just six months Mohammed and his partner Afaq have built their company from the ground up. For AK Transporters, this is just the beginning.

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Red Rocket Couriers began its journey seven years ago. Back then it was just Lee delivering loads in his trusty van.

7 years later, Lee’s transformed Red Rocket into a UK-wide courier empire.

With CX’s support, Red Rocket gained a new purpose – getting drivers loads. Earning accolades along the way, and consistently generating substantial revenue year after year.

In the past year they’ve made 16 times their initial investment.

Now the managing director, Lee talks us through his success story – one job at a time.

7 years

As a CX member


Positive feedback comments


Return on investment last year


In the early days, Lee started by using his van to find loads and expand his network. “To be honest with you,” he states, “when I first joined, I just needed the money.”

Then something shifted a few years on. And Lee began to get his friends jobs off the Exchange.

It started with people ringing me up. And me ringing some drivers up. One driver got in touch with me, and I got him a job. Another friend called me up for a job, and I got him one off CX too.

Managing Director, Red Rocket, Lee Gueller

Lee adds, “I set myself a target. If I could earn £50 from each driver each day, that’s £250 a week. When I got to 4 drivers, that’s when things got rolling. That’s when I started seeing the other side of CX.”


Lee’s proud to report that Red Rocket ranks among the “top 10 out of 4491 courier companies that offer jobs on the Exchange – and that’s in the past year.”

This comes as no surprise. Red Rocket has collaborated with big names like the BBC, NHS, ASOS, Boohoo, and more.

On our website, we claim we collect from anywhere in the UK in 60 minutes. To be honest, that’s because of CX. We get a job, put it on the platform and drivers bid. We go from there.

Managing director, Red Rocket, Lee Gueller

Feedback is another area where Red Rocket excels. They have an impressive 1667 positive comments for delivery feedback and 7653 positive comments for payment feedback.

We use the platform to build a list of contacts. We’ve also built enough trust on it to secure direct bookings and get feedback from our suppliers which boosts our business.

Managing director, Red Rocket, Lee Gueller

“Plus,” he adds, “the CX app is fantastic. Easy to use and find work. And we get to be one step ahead with the integration tracker. I wouldn’t use any other platform.”


Lee’s more than proud of how far he’s come. And we don’t blame him.

Without sounding like Jerry Springer at the end of his programme, I can only speak from my point of view. If you use the CX right, it can open that many opportunities.

Managing director, Red Rocket, Lee Gueller

And the opportunities are endless. Red Rocket currently sponsors three kids’ football teams, professional boxers, charity raves and churches.

“All the money we’re able to give back to the community diversifies from the courier work we’ve done,” Lee explains.  “Red Rocket Couriers is my baby. It’s mine. CX has given me complete independence. It’s given me my life. What you put in you get out.”

Much like the man himself, Lee’s business advice for all new couriers starting out on the Exchange is to-the-point and exceptionally encouraging.

Get your head down and put in the effort. That’s all it takes to make it on CX. Trust me: if I can do it, anyone can!

Managing director, Red Rocket, Lee Gueller

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Effective fleet management is crucial for securing courier contracts in an increasing competitive UK market. With the advent of digital platforms like Courier Exchange, managing your fleet and obtaining new courier contracts has become more streamlined and accessible. This article explores how you can optimise your fleet management practices on Courier Exchange to successfully secure courier contracts in the UK.

Learn more about how you can manage your Fleet on Courier Exchange in 6 easy steps: 

Register on Courier Exchange

The first step towards managing your fleet on Courier Exchange and accessing courier contracts in the UK is to register as a member. You can book a live demo and create an account. To create an account you will need to provide accurate details about your fleet, including vehicle types, capacities, and availability, so that we can recommend the right membership for you. This allows potential clients to find and engage your services based on their specific requirements. Learn more about our different memberships here.

Showcase your Fleet’s Capabilities

To attract clients and increase your chances of securing courier contracts, it is essential to highlight the capabilities and strengths of your fleet. Provide detailed information about your vehicles, such as their size, weight capacity, and any special features or certifications. Emphasise any unique selling points, such as eco-friendly vehicles or real-time tracking systems, which may set your fleet apart from competitors.

Maintain Accurate and Updated Fleet Information

To ensure smooth fleet management on Courier Exchange, it is crucial to keep your fleet information accurate and up to date. Regularly review and update vehicle availability, any changes in capacity or specifications, and your preferred service areas. This ensures that clients searching for courier services can rely on the information you provide, increasing the likelihood of securing contracts.

Use Courier Exchange’s Notifications and Alerts

Courier Exchange offers various notifications and alerts features that can help manage your fleet effectively. Set up alerts for new courier contract opportunities that match your fleet’s capabilities and preferred routes. Stay informed about any changes in delivery requirements, pickup locations, or cancellations to optimise your fleet’s scheduling and capacity utilisation. Learn more here.

Leverage the Feedback and Ratings System

Maintaining a positive reputation is crucial for securing courier contracts in the UK. Courier Exchange’s feedback and ratings system allows clients to provide reviews based on their experience with your fleet. Delivering exceptional service and prioritising customer satisfaction can help you build a strong reputation and attract more business through positive ratings and reviews. Learn more about hot to get positive feedback on our platform in this short video by Pete the Courier here.

Build Strong Relationships with Clients

Building and nurturing relationships with clients is key to long-term success in securing courier contracts. Foster open and clear communication channels, promptly address any concerns or issues, and strive to exceed client expectations. A satisfied client is more likely to offer repeat business and refer your services to others, further expanding your network and contract opportunities.

Efficient fleet management on Courier Exchange can significantly enhance your ability to secure courier contracts in the competitive UK market. By registering your fleet, showcasing its capabilities, maintaining accurate information, utilising notifications and alerts, leveraging feedback and ratings, and building strong client relationships, you can maximise your chances of success. Embrace the digital tools and resources provided by Courier Exchange to streamline your fleet management and unlock your fleet’s potential.

Book a demo with sales or register for a callback here.

During the course of the past year, we’ve written several posts on ‘smart professionalism’. Many of you will already be familiar with the phrase, but if you’re not, it’s one that sums up our vision for the future.

While we’re very passionate about technology, we don’t believe that machines will take over. Not any time soon. Perhaps not ever. Instead, we should think about how human beings and technology can work together collaboratively to achieve greater productivity and profit.

By utilising collaborative logistics, Quickline Couriers, which started trading in 2016 from a 16 by 18-foot makeshift office, now provides over 400 customers with a 24/7 dedicated same-day delivery service. So how has this winning combination – which blends human experience and know-how with next generation technology – helped them to compete and thrive in one of the most crowded and competitive sectors in the UK?

Co-founder Andy Martin explains, “To create a successful business you have to have a niche. Before starting the company, we had spoken to a range of different-sized businesses in the north west and discovered that most had grown tired of increasing prices and poor service.”

“In particular, companies fed back to us that a lack of communication was the biggest bugbear. It meant that they were losing money every day and, in the worst-case scenario, valuable customers. We realised very quickly that if we could solve this issue by providing them with greater transparency, there was scope and a clear gap in the market to create a very successful business.”

Prior to starting their own business, Andy and his business partner Stephen Doran had already amassed a powerful network of contacts. But with only three vans, the most pressing challenge was to find a way of scaling up their fleet before they could make good on their USP. They found the answer by joining Courier Exchange, the largest freight exchange platform in the UK.

Mr Doran recalls, “Courier Exchange gave us instant access to a skilled, experienced, and most crucially, a compliant fleet of over 6,000 drivers.”

Almost overnight we could satisfy customer demand. In the space of six months, our order book quadrupled in size.

With that barrier removed, the pair were able to put in place a customer-centric strategy for their business, which is woven deep into the fabric of Quickline’s DNA. But how did they succeed in making industry-leading customer service the central pillar of their business, and how do they maintain it?

Mr Martin says, “Again, it’s the combination of people and technology that’s the difference. When we post a load on Courier Exchange – which we do over 60 times a day every day – not only do we know that each driver on CX is compliant, but the online feedback system lets us see feedback on every job they’ve done. Therefore, we know that every job we post is carried out by an experienced and reputable courier company.”

But both believe that the feedback system, while exceptionally useful, needs to be used in “a more nuanced way to get the best out of drivers”.

“Behind every feedback entry, there’s a human being. While online feedback is very useful, we don’t use it in isolation. What do I mean? Well, it’s possible for someone to pick up one piece of bad feedback, which may be a one-off – or may actually not be their fault. Therefore, if a driver who we haven’t used before quotes on a load – and has a minor blot on their copybook, then we’ll give them an opportunity to prove themselves.”

“The Exchange’s direct booking system helps us in this way because it means that we can offer that driver an incentive. Our approach is very much if they do a great job for us transporting that first load, we’ll give them a much more lucrative load next time round, and do it through a direct booking.”

But driver selection aside, Mr Martin and Mr Doran recognised that offering a professional and timely service wasn’t enough. To really excel, they realised that they needed to provide real-time updates to their customers. Thankfully, the Exchange provided the solution.

Says Mr Martin, “As a rule of thumb, we believe that if a customer has to call us and ask where their load is, we’ve failed them. The vehicles in our private fleet are all fitted with hardwire trackers, so when they’re sent on a job, we know exactly where they are in real-time and can share instant updates with our customers. We wanted to offer our customers the same service for loads that are delivered via the Exchange too.”

“By using Freight Vision and integrated telematics, we can track every load we post on the Exchange in exactly the same way, and best of all, updates can be sent to our clients automatically. The Exchange’s e-quotation system has also saved us several hours each day, as managing 20 quotes digitally is far less time consuming than fielding 20 calls.”

The efficiency and cost savings that CX has brought about has enabled Mr Doran and Mr Martin to grow the company’s private fleet and introduce nine different services.

Mr Doran says, “We’re excited about the future. Last year we moved into a 1000-square foot facility in Liverpool. This year, we’ll be doubling the size of our fleet in the next three months, and will be taking on more drivers. We’re able to do this thanks to the Exchange. Not only has it provided us with the revenue and time to add to our fleet and grow our business, but CX has given us the peace of mind that our new vehicles will always be fully utilised, while at the same time allowing us to further develop and strengthen customer relationships.”

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Stephen Nicholson, on the challenges of juggling a successful courier business and fulfilling his ambition of becoming a professional cricket umpire – and how Courier Exchange is helping him achieve his dreams and a balance.

“Hi. I’m Stephen. I’ve been working as a courier for around five years now. I run my own same-day courier business, Salix Courier Solutions, from the south coast. During the last few years I’ve grown my customer base and now serve clients not just in the south east and west of the country, but in the Midlands, the north and Scotland too.

Before I go any further, some of you reading this may be wondering how I came up with the name Salix. Well, for any curious minds out there – it’s not an abbreviation, nor is it a product or material that I transport. It’s actually the Latin name for the willow tree, which as any cricket lover will tell you is the wood that’s used to make a cricket bat.

While I don’t specialise in transporting sporting equipment or even cricketing paraphernalia, I spend much of my spare time umpiring following many years playing the game, and am currently a member of the south coast umpiring panel. I’ve been officiating now for 15 years and really enjoy the challenge of doing so in one of England’s most traditional sports. For me though, cricket is more than a sport. The tradition and history of the game coupled with the continual development and new approaches to keep it current often make it the lifeblood of many a village. It’s where people congregate on a Saturday afternoon. They do it now and they’ve been doing it for hundreds of years. It also completely contrasts with our busy working lives – where everyone is connected to everyone by mobile technology. There’s something comforting and reassuring in knowing I can escape all that for a few hours on the weekend. That’s why on a Saturday – come rain or shine – you’ll always find me officiating on a cricket pitch somewhere.”

How mobile technology powers my business

“But that’s not to say that I’m not a fan of digital connectivity. I am.  But just not when I’m officiating. After all,  it’s real-time technology that has given me the opportunity to do what I love best.

Logistics, as we all know, never stops. Serving the just-in-time manufacturing sector is a 24/7 business. It’s very hard, therefore, to find a job in same-day couriering which doesn’t require you to work weekends in the summer.

But Courier Exchange, a freight exchange platform, which uses real-time smart matching technology to find me a constant supply of loads, has solved this problem. Once you have paid your subscription, you’re free to network and trade with the 6,000 plus professionals who are also members. CX sets no minimum monthly loads quotas too. So you have the power to decide to work for who you want, where you want. In short, it means that I can still pursue the things that I’m passionate about in my spare time. But more importantly, CX has given me the confidence to strike out alone and build a successful same-day courier business.”

How CX has helped my business

I joined CX in November 2017. During that time I’ve developed my business using CX. I use CX to build loads. On average, I get around 15 loads from CX each week. I’d like to tell you that my previous career as a sales manager has given me an edge over many of my rivals. After all, you’d think that a role that schooled me in advanced communication and negotiation skills, would give me a natural advantage. It hasn’t. The truth is that the Exchange’s technology is so effective that anyone using it only needs to know the answer to one question which is: “What’s the cost you are prepared to do a job for?”

CX has given me the confidence to strike out alone and build a successful same-day courier business.

Owner at Salix Courier Solutions, Stephen Nicholson

Of course, to come up with a baseline figure, you need to have calculated all of your overheads, which can differ from month to month. And if you have a small fleet of vehicles – each one a different type and size – you’ll need to work out the price per mile per vehicle. But this really isn’t rocket science, and once you know your bid price, you have full control over the quoting process. Why? Because there are so many loads to choose from, the likelihood is that there will always be one that matches your criteria.

But, as I say, CX’s smart load matching system, which I use on the Mobile App, does the rest for you. If you’re not familiar with the Mobile App, the best thing about it is that it’s very intuitive. It’s well laid out. The buttons are big and the system is very easy to navigate. So you don’t have to be an IT professional to operate it effectively (I’m certainly not).”

Industry-leading features

“I use several features on a regular basis, but for me, the best one is the ‘view on map’ feature because it provides me with all the information I need in real-time. It’s really handy when you’re close to delivering your current job. My aim, like every other driver, is to seamlessly pick up the next load without waiting. The ‘view on map’ makes this exceptionally easy. It tells me where I am in relation to a load match, how long it will take to arrive there, the number of miles from pick-up to drop-off, and how long the assignment will take to complete. This gives me all the intel I need to make an informed decision as to whether it’s a job worth quoting on. If it is, then I submit a quote for the job using either the ‘Quote Now’ facility or by phoning the customer directly. The final stage of the process is to cross my fingers and hope that my bid is successful.

There are so many loads to choose from, the likelihood is that there will always be one that matches your criteria.

Owner at Salix Courier Solutions, Stephen Nicholson

Of course, as CX is a community, I’ve gotten to know several drivers in the past two years, and we work together to secure work. So it might be that one of them will see my position on the LAM, and will offer me the job. But, to be honest, as everyone on the Exchange is a trusted trade-only business, I’m just as likely to receive a call from a contractor that I don’t know. To maximise opportunity, however, I use the future journeys tab. This enables me to post my status in real-time. The more information I provide, the greater the chance that someone will pick up the phone and provide me a direct booking.

Finally, like any cricket lover I’m a great fan of statistics. Last year, largely thanks to CX, I drove over 86,000 miles in my Renault Traffic short wheel base van. This year, with my business still moving forward, my mileage count is likely to increase. And the best news of all – my umpiring career continues to go from strength to strength too. As we say in the game “over, and time gentlemen please.”

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Terry Price had spent years of his life working in the transport sector, but he wanted more from his career. As soon as he was introduced to the Courier Exchange network, things changed for the better and his business began to blossom.

“I’ve been in logistics for almost 20 years now. It’s all I’ve ever known and all I’ve ever wanted to do. Like many people, I started at the bottom. When I was 22 I joined TNT as a traffic clerk. The money wasn’t great, but what I gained in experience certainly made up for it. From there, I got my Category B Licence and started driving refrigerated 7.5 tonne lorries over a range of distances from multi-drops to long distance deliveries.

After working my way up to supervisor and manager, I left TNT, ran a bus depot for a while which really tested my planning skills, before taking a job with Kuehne + Nagel (K+N). I’d always wanted to work for a global transport company and at the time I thought K+N would be a good fit for me. In the beginning they were. They knew I loved time behind the wheel so they fixed it so I could combine driving with line managing duties.

However, after a few years, I got itchy feet. It got to a point where I’d felt that I learned as much I possibly could from the large logistics businesses that I’d been with for the last two decades. I really wanted to start my own business. But I realised very quickly that I didn’t have a dedicated customer base to make it work.

And then I met Phil and everything changed. Phil was a work colleague at K+N. He told me how he ran a small freight operation as a side-line. He had three vans and employed three drivers. One van he said serviced a contract with a large contractor, but it was how he put the other two to work that most interested me.

They were always at full capacity but weren’t tied to a dedicated haulier or courier company. “How do you always ensure that all your vans are fully loaded,” I asked him one day. He pulled out his phone and showed me his screen. It was showing the Courier Exchange app. He told me that CX almost guaranteed that his vans were at full capacity – even when they were returning home to base.

The more I used CX, the more I discovered that it wasn’t just a platform for backloads. With a consistent source of hotshot loads, I realised after my first month that I could rely on the platform for my entire living.

Terry Price

I thought it was too good to be true and so I did my own research. It seemed to corroborate what he’d said. I still had my doubts of course, but after talking to my wife I decided to take the plunge and leave K+N. So in November last year I bought a Ford Transit LWB van and started my own business, which I named Purpleline Couriers.

As an owner driver specialising in same day deliveries in the B2B sector, I’d won a bulk delivery contract with a multinational eCommerce company which I’d prioritised as my main source of work. The plan was to only use CX only in a limited capacity for backloads when returning home to Halifax.

However, as so often happens in life, things don’t run the way you quite expect. The contract with the eRetailer sadly didn’t deliver the regular work that I was hoping it would. But, on the other hand, the more I used Courier Exchange, the more I discovered that it wasn’t just a platform for backloads. I found it to be a consistent source of hotshot loads – so much so that after my first month, I realised that I could rely on the platform for my entire living.

So how does an average day shape up? Well, I’ll use the platform’s smart matching technology to find a load the night before the delivery’s due. I’ll then spend the evening with my family before setting off at around four o’clock in the morning. The pallets are usually with the customer before the rush hour has started and at 9 am I’ll then look for another load to take me home, or as close to Halifax as I can get.

It doesn’t always work out of course, but when it does it’s very satisfying. Last week, for example, I picked up in Preston, dropped off in Cambridge four hours later and then won a backload to Brighouse, which is just five miles from my house. I was back at home by lunchtime to walk the dog.

While the Exchange has helped me work on my terms, I can also say that it’s a great consolidation tool. At first, however, I had my doubts and so being a bit of whizz at Excel I decided to put it to the test. Therefore, I built a spreadsheet which logged my daily mileage, my diesel costs, my closing mileage, and my profitable mileage. From there I was able to accurately monitor my efficiency, and the results so far – albeit over a short period of time – have been quite astonishing.

For example, before I signed up to the Exchange, due to not being able to find backloads, I calculated that my inefficiency levels were close to 60 percent. After just a week on the Exchange, however, I managed to reduce them to 36 percent, and then a week later I cut them to 32 percent. And for the last few weeks, I’m running empty only 26 percent of the time.

As I expand the business, it ought to be possible to further cut dead mileage, especially if my wife comes on board to work on transport planning. When this happens, it will, I believe, generate many more loads. Finally, with profits up by 30% we’re a planning to buy another van, as well as make more use of the Exchange’s virtual fleet when we’re tied up on jobs ourselves.”

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Becoming a member of CX has made growth easy for Eezehaul. In fact, they give us the credit for achieving ISO 14001 status. With our help, they’ve been able to increase their back loads which, in turn, has cut down on waste and reduced their carbon footprint during deliveries. Go green!

Mark believes being a member of Courier Exchange has played a vital role in the phenomenal growth of Eezehaul by allowing them to accept more more loads as it expanded. Access to the network of 6,000 plus CX member companies gave the Sussex-based company the ability to meet customers’ demands at short notice – even at its busiest times.

CX vets its members, giving us reassurance that we can be confident doing business with any of them.

It has also helped the company achieve the coveted ISO 14001 status, which it was awarded recently, by ensuring that wherever possible vehicles do not run empty on return journeys, thus cutting down on waste and reducing the average carbon footprint on deliveries.

“At Eezehaul we have always had a clear idea of what we wanted to achieve, and CX has certainly helped us on our journey,” said Mark, who acts as Managing Director. From the beginning we could see the benefits of CX and it hasn’t let us down. There are other exchanges out there but I’ve never found anything that matches the overall offering of CX.”

“It’s easy to use, well thought out and, most importantly, offers security. CX vets its members giving us reassurance that we can be confident doing business with any of them.”

CX has grown to become one of the world’s largest trading hubs for the sameday courier and express freight industries, enabling its members to fulfill orders and complete journeys in the most efficient way possible.

“It’s invaluable, as here at Eezehaul we often need to make things happen at short notice,” said Mark. “CX’s offering is getting stronger and stronger. Developments are progressive and user-friendly.”

“The days of putting things in the back of a van have long gone. People are now looking for service partners who can manage their logistics. Eezehaul is also proud of its green credentials and using CX means we’ve reduced wasted journeys. It’s a win-win – good for customers and good for the environment.”

CX has helped us to serve our customers well, and I am certain it will continue to do so.

Customer service is paramount for Eezehaul, which moves an average of 5,000 consignments a day. Working to high standards also gives staff job satisfaction – the company prides itself on having a low turnover of employees.

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Andy has kept his business in the family, working directly with two of his brothers… and CX. As they do a lot of subcontracting work, he finds the Exchange app a quick and easy way to get in touch with reliable drivers who know their stuff on short notice. How’s that for peace of mind?

Today the time-served glazier who rose to become the head of modular build for a company that specialised in factory built homes which could be erected in days runs a thriving transport business. Go2Day Ltd has a fleet of three 3.5 tonne curtain-siders with tail lifts and assists with the running of the eight-vehicle fleet for Ecosystems, an expanding computer recycling company.

The business is all in the family – Andy is Managing Director and major shareholder, brother Tim is a Director and shareholder, while third brother Chris owns Ecosystems. Andy uses Courier Exchange to find sub-contractors to carry out runs when his own fleet of curtainsiders – which specialises in moving large volumes of cardboard packaging – is already booked.

“We have a strange mix. We do a lot of subcontracting work for other transport companies and we look for subcontractors ourselves. We have quite large growth plans but we have no plans to increase the number of vehicles we own – our growth plan is all geared around sub-contracting courier work, and the Exchange is a vital tool to enable us to cover work anytime” Andy said.

The service has been made even better with the new Courier Exchange Mobile App, which shows exactlywhere Exchange members’ drivers are and where they are heading, in real time, allowing work to be offered and accepted at very short notice.

Courier Exchange has allowed us to grow and continue to grow. The new Mobile App has been a fantastic help: instead of ringing around people the first thing I do now is look at the Live Availability Map.

Andy, Managing Director

“We are also picking up a lot more work for our vehicles. It does however need drivers to remember to make sure they show themselves as available and equally to change their status when they become unavailable.”

The new App gives him the confidence to accept smaller jobs, secure in the knowledge that if a larger job comes up he can juggle priorities by using Courier Exchange’s Mobile App to find a sub-contractor at short notice to carry out the smaller job, who is already in the right location to pick up.

The fact that Courier Exchange vets its members is very important to him. “If you are delivering a ‘line-stopper’ consignment to an automotive company, for example, you don’t want to sub-contract that job out to someone unknown. If you hold up a production line for even three or four minutes, it’s your reputation that’s on the line.”

Go2Day has recently taken the decision to integrate the TomTom Telematics WEBFLEET system, used by all of its 3.5-tonne curtain side and tail lift vans, with Courier Exchange to access live vehicle data via the freight trading platform.

“We recognise the benefits of both TomTom Telematics WEBFLEET and Courier Exchange, so it made sense to make the most real-time tracking data to help make the most of our vehicles,” explains Andy Littlewood. “We now possess complete visibility of our vehicles through the exchange in terms of location, status and availability, which will help increase completed jobs and boost revenue.”

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HSP Couriers carry everything from tractor and engineering parts to staging and lighting equipment for movie sets on blockbusters such as Twilight. They first joined CX just one month after the business started in August 2008, and even won the Transport Exchange Group’s Best Newcomer Award in their first year as a member.

It’s a business which has gone from strength to strength having first joined the Exchange just one month after the business started in August 2008. It even won the Transport Exchange Group’s Best Newcomer Award in its first year of becoming a member. Then three years later the firm got the top accolade – the ‘Company of the Year Award’ at the annual Transport Awards.

Before launching HSP Couriers, Hiten Patel worked as a Marketing Executive at 3663. It was then that he recognised that there was a market for sameday courier operation which was driven by high levels of customer service. Hitten started out as an owner driver and has since grown the business substantially and the company now operates a fleet of 13 vehicles ranging from small vans to long wheelbase sprinter and has 11 employees.

There is no denying that the Courier Exchange has made a massive difference to our business and has played a pivotal role in our continued growth.

Hiten Patel

He puts much of this success down to joining the Exchange. He said: “having just launched the business I took the decision to join the Exchange as not only as a means of gaining work but also to provide me with a greater insight into how the business worked.”

It was a formula that worked as within just a short period of time Hiten built up a reliable network of drivers through the Exchange, giving him nationwide coverage.

Hiten commented: “The fact that we had access to thousands of member businesses gave us a huge kick start. Even though we had customers based around Northants, they have connections all over the country and the Exchange has allowed us to handle these on behalf of our customers.”

“We often have vehicles across the UK but can’t always call them off route if a new job comes in. So we simply post the job on the Courier Exchange – it’s a win win for all concerned. The facts speak for themselves. In the early days of joining the Exchange the work generated represented 60% of turnover. It gave us the lifeline we needed and provided a strong platform on which we have continued to build.”

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ICD is a great example of how our platform can help you to expand into new niches in more locations across the country, using features such as the Live Availability Map. Take a look at their story.

Life started in 1984 when Europe’s oldest and largest consular agent, Blair Consular Services, decided to set up its own in-house courier service to deliver documents to consulates around the world.

Starting with just one man and a car, ICD, as it is popularly known, rapidly expanded. Today it manages a number of other specialities, including exhibition logistics, hanging garments, and warehouse and storage.

While delivering documents to consulates and to their agents at airports is a mainstay of the business, the company ships anything from single envelopes to helicopter blades, and can move loads of up to 10 tonnes in weight.

Whatever we do is based on trust, and with Courier Exchange we can trust the members. That’s important.

Guy Dodds, Managing Director

The company provides the highest levels of training, and drivers have Aviation Security Level 4 (Air Cargo Agents) that enables them to deliver directly to an aircraft’s steps if necessary.

Their first driver, Guy Dodds, has risen to become Managing Director of the company, and is in charge of logistics for its fleet of four vehicles and pool of around 25 sub-contractors. ICD joined CX after he recognised its potential to help find sub-contractors for individual jobs.

Guy said: “We use the Live Availability Map to look for carriers. If we have a job, say, in Liverpool, we’ll look at the map and see where all the carriers who are in Liverpool are, then ring them and ask if they’re available, and get quotes.

“I put work on the Exchange that I can’t cover. It gives us an extended field. The majority of our work is in London, but we cover the whole of the UK.”

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Logistics is Vincent’s passion – and the CX app is helping him do what he loves most in the world (not to mention find the most fulfilling and interesting work). He can get his goods to their destination and find his next job quick as a wink… perfect for the man who owns Jet Speed!

Logistics has always been my passion. I’ve never wanted to do anything else and it’s what I do best. There’s something very satisfying about moving goods – particularly when I know that the parts in the back of my van serve a higher purpose.

A few years ago, for example, I began working for a contractor which supplies emergency parts to the RAF’s fleet of Search and Rescue helicopters. And while I’m only a small part of the supply chain, every time I switch on the TV and see a brave crew scooping a sailor up from angry seas, it gives me a thrill.

I remember the phone call that woke me at 3am on a Saturday morning, the one asking me to travel down to Truro, pick up a part and take it wherever it was needed. When I’m on the road, it’s quite humbling and inspiring to know that when the vital component I’m delivering is fitted to the helicopter it will be back in the air saving lives.

But if you’re a courier, how do you find interesting and fulfilling work like this? Firstly, having a good support network around you it crucial. In this respect, I’m particularly grateful to D.W Cook Transport, who really helped me to find my feet in the early days.

Secondly, while I’ve always been fairly resourceful, and pride myself on having quite a large network of contacts, there’s no way in the world that I could have found these opportunities off my own back. As an owner driver, I’m fully focused on getting goods from A to B and then finding my next job.

To win a plum contract like this, requires time – and it’s time that I don’t have. For instance, I’d have to be vetted by the contractor, by the Ministry of Defence and my skill set and suitability assessed. That process could take weeks or even months and all the face-to-face meetings would take me off the road.

Just as well then that Courier Exchange allows me to have my cake and to eat it too. It’s one of the biggest freight exchanges in the UK and in my view the best because it gets me access to some of the largest logistics companies in the UK. They can see all the feedback posted about my same day delivery business, Jet Speed Couriers.

In fact, they can examine the feedback for every job that I’ve completed in the seven years that I’ve been a member of Courier Exchange. If you treat every job as if it’s your first as I do, and your feedback from those companies you work for backs this up, then you maximise that opportunity to work with interesting people, on exciting projects that would be virtually impossible for an owner driver to secure on their own.

As well as putting me in front of some of the largest transport businesses in the country, CX gives them access to businesses like mine. You may think big logistics operators with dedicated despatch teams don’t need the little guy. But believe me they do. It’s reliable and trusted SMEs -that’s small and medium-sized businesses to you and me -that give them the confidence to take on large contracts in the grocery or manufacturing sector.

Why? Because by using the Live Availability Map (LAM) they know exactly where we are and when our vehicles are likely to become empty. They take it for granted. But imagine if suddenly that visibility was taken away from them. Imagine if they were unable to access the extra capacity and experience and professionalism that we provide.

It’s fair to say that some of them wouldn’t be able to operate, and those still able to would most likely incur much higher costs. But the Exchange ensures that we all get our fair share of loads.

Another point worth mentioning is that the Exchange lets me be me. In other words, it allows me to run my business the way I want it to be run. Working through the Exchange means that I can choose who I work for, and who works for me when I post loads, which I do around thirty times a month.

And while I love the flexibility that CX gives me – in that I can work the hours that I want – it also allows me to create a profile telling my customers who I am and what I do best.

In my case, before joining the Exchange I spent many years working in warehouse distribution Before the recession hit a decade or so ago, I was a warehouse manager for a large manufacturing company. So when I moved into freight in 2011, I was able to use that experience to my advantage.

Leicestershire, where I’m based, is a hotbed for logistics. Two of the largest distribution centres in Europe – Magna Parkin Lutterworth and Dirft in Rugby – are close by and much of the work filters through them. But they can be confusing places to be for inexperienced couriers, as they’re as big as small towns.

So to know them inside out like I do gave me an edge. Why? Because I had a good understanding of their layout, and how they worked, I was always able to guarantee that that collection or delivery -which is the single most important part of a job -was always smooth and efficient. It may seem a small thing, but first impressions really count. Proving that I could deliver a professional service really helped me to build my reputation in the early days.

Nowadays, that’s not so much of a concern. I’ve built a large network of clients that I trade with, and win around 70% of my loads from direct bookings. If you’re not familiar with the term, that’s loads that go from member to member without ever touching the Exchange. For me, they show the Exchange and those who belong to it at their most dynamic. For those who benefit most from direct bookings are also the most agile members and most trusted members.

Okay – so CX’s tracking technology can greatly improve your chances of being in the right place at the right time, but on the other hand, no amount of technology can build a reputation. That’s up to you. And so when contractors place direct bookings, it’s feedback record that counts. That means demonstrating energy, enthusiasm and commitment for every job.

As the famous saying goes, you don’t have to love logistics to deliver a professional service. But to do it well, it certainly helps.

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KKM was among the first courier businesses to sign up to the Exchange, back when it was established in 2000. Co-owner, Kevin Matchan, recalls the system was recommended to them, and with potential benefits such as increased work and improved profit margins, KKM were keen to test it out.

18 years on, and same day specialists KKM remain happy members. Kevin said: “CX has allowed us to keep our business going, to grow and to meet customer demands.

I know if we can’t cover a load at short notice, we can post it on the Exchange and make sure it gets done.

Kevin Matchan, Co-owner

“If we’re not able to manage it I can put the details on the Exchange, and within minutes we can get back quotes for another vehicle and driver to do the job. It’s great to have that flexibility and maintain good customer service.”

With 12 vehicles ranging from small vans to sprinters, KKM has a diverse client base, and delivers to a variety of sectors. Anything and everything really does apply to KKM, as Kevin explained: “We’ve had all sorts, from dead animals going to a vet for autopsies, to a single can of Dr Pepper soft drink needed for a photo-shoot. If it needs moving fast, we can move it.”

It is this diversity which marries perfectly with CX, the UK’s largest trading hub for the same day courier and express freight industry. Kevin can scan the Exchange if KKM has spare vehicles and tap into available work, ensuring vans do not sit idle.

And he has peace of mind, as all members are vetted and approved, and operators can post and review feedback on performance and payment. “It’s good to know you are dealing with reputable people.” said Kevin.

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