CX Partners With Business Choice Direct

If you do courier work, you need insurance. Fact. Now stay with me folks, because while the subject may not be everyone’s idea of a good time, CX is very proud to announce a new partnership that’s set to benefit our members. And yes, it’s about insurance.

Business Choice Direct and Courier Exchange

Of all the aspects of running a successful courier work business, ensuring you have the correct insurances in place is one of the most important. You can land in a world of trouble if you don’t make sure you’re covered with the appropriate insurance policies. Meet Business Choice Direct.

Everyone loves an easy life and, on a topic as serious as this, we think it’s a case of letting the experts (BCD) do their job so you can get on with yours – which is getting the courier work done.

Our new partnership with BCD means that all our members will now be able to get access to their exclusive products at a very special price. In other words, we’ve negotiated some pretty good mates’ rates for you. You’re welcome!

The company not only price matches on any (like-for-like) van policy, they can also help you make sure that the cover you already have is fit for purpose and is exactly what you require to run your business. (You’d be surprised how many people unwittingly pay for things they don’t need and aren’t covered for things they do.) This includes insurance policies for things like:

Take Advantage of the Perfect Partnership

How do you get on board? Well, firstly, you’ll need to be a member of the Exchange. Job done? Excellent.

Then you just have to get in touch with the good folks at BCD (via this link on our site).

The rest is up to them and they’ll do all the legwork to find you the best prices on the products you need. They guarantee to better any existing cover or offer an alternative quote, then price match and you’ll be instantly covered as soon as you sign up.

It couldn’t be easier and here at CX we couldn’t be prouder of our new partnership with BCD. Insurance really doesn’t have to be a dirty word…

Courier Exchange is the UK’s most trusted and fastest growing managed freight exchange platform. Become a member and we’ll help your business run more efficiently and effectively, with access to valuable partnership programmes like this, the ability to buy and sell capacity in real time and much more.

KKM Couriers joined up to Courier Exchange as one of our original members way back when we started nearly twenty years ago, and the company has stuck with us. Their success is the greatest compliment we reckon we could ever have!

Our case study of this Portsmouth-based business proves that the football field isn’t the only place that speed and flexibility pay off…

Potential Paid Off

Co-owner of the business Kevin Matchan is clearly a guy with vision as well as a knack for courier work, because he took a chance back in 2000 to join a virtually (then!) unknown freight exchange platform on the advice of an industry colleague.

Because he was looking to grow the business, he saw the platform as an opportunity to get more courier work and to build on a permanent client base without outlaying for extra vehicles. And that’s where those football tactics come in handy… 

Speed and Flexibility

The reason KKM is still a loyal member after all these years is down to one simple fact: it works for them. From the very start, Kevin says, it allowed them to take on more customers by outsourcing the courier work their regular drivers couldn’t do, which got them an entire new crowd of regular, satisfied customers.

Because all the data is available in real time, they’re even able to take on jobs at very short notice and know they’ll be able to get a trusted (and vetted) driver. By the same token, if any of their vehicles are sitting idle, they can hop on to the Exchange and pick up an available load. Brownie points all round.

Diversity in the Extreme

A side note to all that speed and flexibility is that because they effectively never have to say no to courier work, KKM has carried some pretty weird things – everything from a single can of soft drink to a dead animal heading to an autopsy. Now that’s what I call unusual, but it seems KKM just get to call it a good day at the office…

Become a member and you’ll be able to build your business with speed, agility and flexibility just like KKM Couriers. As part of the UK’s fastest growing freight exchange, you’ll not only be able to build networks with industry professionals, you can grow your business by taking on extra loads or subcontracting work to other drivers in order to expand your reach. 

If you’re in the business of courier work, it’s especially important that you know when you need to visit a mechanic – after all, your vehicle is your livelihood. Luckily, our new infographic is here to help. From troubling sounds to strange smells, here are some warning signs you may need to visit a garage.

Is there anything worse than coming back from completing your courier work and finding a ticket on your windscreen? Our infographic has all the tips and tricks you need to avoid parking fines.

Newsflash! Even though there were a few hints earlier in the year, we think Ford’s latest release of hybrid van models is absolutely electrifying news. So much so, that we make no apologies for the pun…

New models, new breed

It was a pretty telling step when Ford announced in early 2019 that every one of their models rolling off the production line from now on will include at least one electrified option – including hybrid versions. For anyone making a living from courier work and considering an upgrade, the news would probably be enough to tip the scales in Ford’s favour; the fact that two of its most popular models used for courier work are among the first of the ‘new breed’ might seal quite a few deals.

Focus and Fiesta given the hybrid treatment

As part of the manufacturer’s widespread electrification plans, the Fiesta and Focus EcoBoost Hybrid models were unveiled in Amsterdam in early April. The vehicles feature a ‘mild hybrid’ version of the standard EcoBoost – which is a three-cylinder, one-litre petrol engine. So how are they different? Glad you asked.

But what does all that mean?

Glad you asked… If you’re into the facts and figures it’s actually pretty impressive when you break down what these hybrid engines can achieve in terms of efficiency and emissions reductions.

Focus EcoBoost

Fuel efficiency 4.71/100km
CO2 emissions – from 106g/km

Fiesta EcoBoost

Fuel efficiency – 4.91/100km
CO2 emissions – from 112g/km

If you’re going to be using your vehicle for courier work, not only do these stats represent a potentially significant saving on fuel/running costs, they’ll deliver you smoothly into EU compliancy without a care in the world – and that kind of assurance is priceless.

Not only, but also…

If you’re in the market for a larger capacity vehicle than those two above, you might want to hold off until a little later in the year when Ford releases new hybrid models of the two-litre TDCi diesel Transit and Torneo. Here are some more stats to get your motor running.

Transit Two-Tonne EcoBlue

Fuel efficiency – 7.61/100km
CO2 emissions – from 144g/km

Transit Custom EcoBlue

Fuel efficiency – 6.71/100km
CO2 emissions – from 139g/km

Torneo Custom EcoBlue

Fuel efficiency – 7.01/100km
CO2 emissions – from 137g/km

Ford: delivering for the delivery drivers

Ford has always stressed their commitment to producing more environmentally sustainable vehicles for their customers. They’ve certainly proved they’re capable of delivering on that, by developing green engines for their most popular models. So, if you’re planning on upgrading your van anytime soon, are they worth a look? We definitely think so. Glad you asked…

Do you want to get more courier work or expand your reach throughout the UK and Europe? Do you want to subcontract loads or find a reliable driver to transport your goods? If you’re not already a member of the Courier Exchange, you’re missing out on the opportunity to do all that and more. Become part of this vital industry network and take your business to new heights.

There are a few issues that have had more airtime recently than the impending implementation of CAZs (Clean Air Zones) as part of the strategy to reduce emissions in our UK cities. While there’s absolutely no doubt a more environmentally friendly approach to managing congested cities is urgently required, there are many who believe that charging to enter these zones will put huge pressure on the infrastructure.

If you’re a delivery driver no doubt you’ve been following the topic with interest, and you may already be aware that a growing number of local councils are rejecting the CAZ and coming up with their own alternatives to solving the problem. Following hot on the heels of Southampton, Nottingham, and Derby, Cardiff Council is the latest to do so.

Tackling emissions without a CAZ

Back in January 2018, in a well-publicised case the organisation ClientEarth challenged the Welsh Government to reduce the levels of NO2 on Castle Street, in Cardiff, which were predicted to be higher than EU permitted levels by 2021. In a nutshell, the Government and ClientEarth came to an agreement and Cardiff Council was instructed to begin work on finding ways to begin reducing emissions levels immediately.

Finding a way…

Accordingly, Cardiff Council came up with a range of measures that they believed would tackle the issue in the fastest, most effective way. They include:

…Without a CAZ

The Council says these measures will not only rectify the problem on Castle Street, but also across the entire city – negating the need for a CAZ. They’ve called for the Welsh Government to provide funding ASAP and have rejected the proposal for a CAZ in the city.

But not everyone’s happy

Even though the Council’s decision to reject the clean air zone will come as music to the ears of many a Welsh delivery driver, not everyone is happy – to put it mildly. Chair of charity organisation Healthy Air Cymru has come out very vocally to decry the rejection of a CAZ, saying that implementing these zones is recognised as “one of the most effective means of reducing transport emissions.” He went on to say that the people of the city are being poisoned and that the zone was vital to protect them from even more dangerous levels of pollution in the future.

CAZs: yay or nay?

If you’re an independent delivery driver or fleet manager in the courier industry, the side of the fence on which you stand on the CAZ issue is probably pretty clear. But there are also quite a few people who agree with the stance taken by Healthy Air Cymru. Feel free to let us know your thoughts, because our differences are what make the industry go around…

Membership to the Courier Exchange gives you fingertip access to real-time load matching if you’re a delivery driver and an entire virtual workforce of drivers if you’re a fleet manager or freight forwarder. If you’re not already enjoying the benefits, get in touch and we’ll help you to become a part of the UK’s fastest growing and most trusted online exchange.

There are a few issues that have had more airtime recently than the impending implementation of CAZs (Clean Air Zones) as part of the strategy to reduce emissions in our UK cities. While there’s absolutely no doubt a more environmentally friendly approach to managing congested cities is urgently required, there are many who believe that charging to enter these zones will put huge pressure on the infrastructure.

If you’re a delivery driver no doubt you’ve been following the topic with interest, and you may already be aware that a growing number of local councils are rejecting the CAZ and coming up with their own alternatives to solving the problem. Following hot on the heels of Southampton, Nottingham and Derby, Cardiff Council is the latest to do so.

Back in January 2018, in a well-publicised case the organisation ClientEarth challenged the Welsh Government to reduce the levels of NO2 on Castle Street, in Cardiff, which were predicted to be higher than EU permitted levels by 2021. In a nutshell, the Government and ClientEarth came to an agreement and Cardiff Council was instructed to begin work on finding ways to begin reducing emissions levels immediately.

Finding a way…

Accordingly, Cardiff Council came up with a range of measures that they believed would tackle the issue in the fastest, most effective way. They include:

…without a CAZ

The Council says these measures will not only rectify the problem on Castle Street, but also across the entire city – negating the need for a CAZ. They’ve called for the Welsh Government to provide funding ASAP and have rejected the proposal for a CAZ in the city.

But not everyone’s happy

Even though the Council’s decision to reject the clean air zone will come as music to the ears of many a Welsh delivery driver, not everyone is happy – to put it mildly. Chair of charity organisation Healthy Air Cymru has come out very vocally to decry the rejection of a CAZ, saying that implementing these zones is recognised as “one of the most effective means of reducing transport emissions.” He went on to say that the people of the city are being poisoned and that the zone was vital to protect them from even more dangerous levels of pollution in the future.

CAZs: yay or nay?

If you’re an independent delivery driver or fleet manager in the courier industry, the side of the fence on which you stand on the CAZ issue is probably pretty clear. But there are also quite a few people who agree with the stance taken by Healthy Air Cymru. Feel free to let us know your thoughts, because our differences are what make the industry go around… Membership to the Courier Exchange gives you fingertip access to real-time load matching if you’re a delivery driver and an entire virtual workforce of drivers if you’re a fleet manager or freight forwarder. If you’re not already enjoying the benefits, get in touch and we’ll help you to become a part of the UK’s fastest growing and most trusted online exchange

If you’re an owner driver, your most important asset (apart from your good self of course) is your vehicle, so protecting your work van and whatever you carry inside it is a very important consideration. An experienced owner driver might think they’ve got that area covered, but there’s always something new to be learnt.

Here are a few oldies, some goodies, and a couple you might not have thought of… 

Extras count

Nobody wants to fork out big bucks for added ‘extras’ if they don’t pay their way, but when you’re talking security, a few aftermarket modifications can go a long way. Consider any or all of the following:

Upgrade existing

If you’re constrained by budget, you can also upgrade or simply work with what you’ve got. For example, you can purchase decent steering locks without breaking the bank, and another level of security can be achieved with a handbrake lock. The general rule of thumb is to create as much of a deterrent as possible to potential thieves, so even fitting cheap fuel cap locks and locking wheel nuts can help.

Think laterally…

Another trick of the trade to apply plastic tint to all the windows of the vehicle, so if somebody does attempt to smash them the window will stay in tact rather than shatter and allow easy access. Even putting on a sticker stating that there are no valuables left in the van can be enough to deter an opportunistic thief.    

… And act sensibly

The thing about being an owner driver is that the buck (and blame) stops with you. How you conduct yourself on the job has a knock-on effect to every part of your business – and that includes vehicle security. Take a moment to reflect on your daily habits and make sure that you’re doing all you can.

If you’re an owner driver and you haven’t yet got your membership to the Courier Exchange, it’s time to get on board! You’ll have fingertip access to real time available loads in your area and you’ll also become part of one of the UK’s most trusted transport industry platforms.  

Well hello there and I hope you don’t mind a little bit of bell ringing – because we’re very proud to announce the launch of our brand new Courier Exchange website. We’re confident that those who are already a part of our online platform will be excited by its evolution, and those who are new to it will be absolutely blown away by what it offers courier drivers and freight forwarders.  

Friendly, fresh and functional

So, why are we so excited by the changes to a platform that was, quite frankly, pretty outstanding anyhow? Because we’re always evolving with technology and we listen to our community of courier drivers, fleet managers and freight forwarders. We want to make sure we offer not only the best possible user experience, but also the most innovative and relevant functionality.

What’s new

The most important thing about the site is its improved functionality and just how that’s going to benefit our members. The main difference you’ll notice is the division of the user experience into three separate groups:

What it means is that when you come to the site you can immediately see where you need to click in order to get the services that are relevant to you. Once you’ve clicked on the tab, you’ll be guided through the information tailored specifically to your group, and see exactly how you can utilise the platform in an optimal way.

You can access live demos, read testimonials and case studies, explore advanced administrational and operational features, and buy or sell capacity using real time updates.

Good looks don’t go unnoticed 

Looks aren’t everything, we know that, but there’s no doubt the new site’s use of fresh, dynamic graphics and an easy-to-navigate interface count for something. We’ve taken our own advice and made sure every mile matters – or in this case, every last bit of pixel space. Don’t worry, though, the site will still look and feel familiar to you if you’re a regular user, but it’s just a little bit more edgy and contemporary. Yes, we have been working out, thanks for asking!

We invite you to come on over and take a tour of the Courier Exchange website. Whether you’re a courier driver, freight forwarder or company, we know you’ll find the changes just as exciting as we do. The UK’s fastest growing and most trusted online exchange just got better…

The key to being a good manager is to empower your employees to manage themselves. While that may seem to be at odds with the old school style of management, the benefits of giving your workers more scope to self-manage can greatly improve the efficiency of any operation.

Nowhere is this ethos more effective than in our industry. For those of us who are fleet managers, there’s some good news. The technology to make your drivers become more autonomous while carrying out their courier jobs, without losing any visibility is already available to us. Here are some of the essentials.

Smartphone Technology Talks

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The connectivity we all take for granted nowadays is pretty incredible, and as a fleet manager you’ve probably been using vehicle tracking systems for a while now. Being able to keep an eye on what’s going on while drivers are out on the road doing courier jobs has enabled managers to have a far greater level of control over all aspects of the business, all while sitting back at their desk.

The more recent advances in telematics and smartphone technology have taken things even further, by using apps to afford drivers a way of managing themselves, in terms of their daily operational procedures and their own behaviour on the road.

While there is a vast (and ever-evolving) range of apps available, enacting three very simple areas of change via the use of apps will make a massive difference for a very small investment:

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Online Load Matching

For self employed drivers and fleet managers, membership to an online load matching platform like Courier Exchange affords instant access via a smartphone app and delivers a huge range of courier jobs to the palm of their hand. For the freight forwarder, it means having an entire fleet of vetted, peer-rated drivers at their disposal. This kind of technology facilitates a high level of autonomy and visibility, whether drivers are working for themselves, sub-contracting courier jobs or employed full-time as part of a larger company.

Joining the Courier Exchange makes good business sense for anyone in the industry. Professional management tools that come with membership make doing business with multiple partners and clients as easy as swiping a screen, and real time load matching means that you, or your drivers, will have access to a huge range of available jobs.