17 specialist courier services that you can offer

As a courier, it’s important to stand out from the competition. By offering specialist courier services, you prove you can handle a variety of different types of cargo, and makes you the ideal choice for clients with specific requirements.

In this guide, we’ll explain the 17 specialist courier services and licenses you can add to your Courier Exchange profile and offer to your customers.

The Most Popular Specialist Courier Services

1. 2 Man: This service means you have two people available for deliveries. It’s ideal for handling items like furniture or large appliances that require extra manpower for safe transport and installation.

2. 24 Hour: This means you can handle urgent deliveries or those needed outside standard business hours, such as emergency parts or last-minute gifts.

3. ADR: This stands for ‘Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road’. This certification means you can transport hazardous materials, including chemicals or flammable substances, safely and legally.

4. DGSA Qualified: As a ‘Dangerous Goods Safety Advisor’, you can oversee the transport of hazardous goods, ensuring all safety and legal guidelines are followed. It’s very similar to an ADR licence.

5. FORS Bronze, Silver, Gold: The Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme recognises different levels of excellence in fleet operations. Bronze focuses on legal compliance, Silver on maintaining safety equipment, and Gold on effectively managing noise pollution and emissions. This is a sign of high operational standards.

6. Frozen: Specialising in frozen transport ensures that items like ice cream or biological samples are kept at the correct temperatures throughout transit.

7. GOH – Garments On Hanger: This service is tailored for the fashion industry, transporting clothing items that need to arrive wrinkle-free and ready to wear or sell, such as dresses or suits.

8. High Security: High-security transport is used for high-value or theft-prone items like jewellery, electronics, or confidential documents, involving enhanced security protocols to prevent loss.

9. Installation & Swap-out: This service includes the installation and, if necessary, the swapping out of old items. It’s often used for appliances like refrigerators or office equipment.

10. Level A / B Aviation, Cargo Operative (previously Level D): These aviation security certifications indicate that you can safely and securely deliver road cargo to and from airports and air freight facilities. This is important for goods needing to be flown, like pharmaceuticals or electronics, or in some cases, urgent parts that are needed to fix a grounded aircraft waiting to fly.

11. Refrigerated / Chilled: Similar to frozen services but at chill temperatures, this service is necessary for dairy products, fresh flowers, or pharmaceuticals that must stay cool but not frozen.

12. Removals: Handling complete removal services means managing the transport of household or office contents from one location to another, involving everything from furniture to personal belongings.

13. Waste Carrier: As a licensed waste carrier, you can legally transport waste materials, including construction debris or old electronics, ensuring they are disposed of or recycled according to environmental regulations.

14. WEEE: Specialising in the disposal of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment means you can handle items like old computers, televisions, and refrigerators, ensuring they are recycled or disposed of in an environmentally safe manner.

15. Authorised Economic Operator (AEO): This status shows that your role in the international supply chain is secure and that your customs controls and procedures are efficient and compliant. This is important for companies that regularly import or export goods.

16. CMR: The CMR insurance certification means that you’re qualified to carry goods internationally under the CMR consignment note, offering legal protection and security for items being transported across borders, such as furniture, electronics, or commercial goods.

More Services, More Work

Adding these specialist courier services means you can take on different types of jobs, including ones that pay better.

This makes your profile more attractive on CX, helping you get more work. Over 13,000 courier jobs are posted on CX every day.

Offering specialist delivery services lets you make the most of these opportunities, filling your van and boosting your earnings.

As an owner driver, jobs are easy to pick up wherever you happen to be in the country with the Courier Exchange app. If you happen to take on a load in London when you’re not a native to the Capital, the idea of finding your way around its notoriously fiendish road network can be intimidating to say the least.

But don’t let it dissuade you from accepting the work. Follow these simple steps before negotiating the delivery schedule for your London load.

1. Do Your Research

London is a vibrant capital city where no two days are the same. One very handy piece of advice for couriers is to check online for any possible disruptions before you start planning your journey. It’s entirely possible that your route could be affected by one of the following:

It would be foolish, for example, to agree to a quick delivery in West London on the weekend of the Notting Hill Carnival. Of course there will always be the chance of last-minute traffic problems or road closures, but it is worth checking online beforehand to save time (and patience) later.

2. Give a Generous Time Estimate

As an owner driver, don’t be tempted to accept multiple cross-London deliveries in a single day. Courier jobs may come in thick and fast, but customer satisfaction and a delivery schedule you can stick to are more important than completing multiple jobs quickly.

You can be sure that the traffic in the Capital will move at an agonisingly slow pace, no matter the hour of your delivery. It’s easy to get frustrated when you’re sat at a standstill in a queue, but don’t add to the pressure by giving yourself a schedule you can’t hope to meet.

3. Map Out Your Route Ahead of Time

It may sound obvious, but a wing and a prayer just don’t cut it when it comes to navigating London. We would always recommend checking your route options on both a conventional map and a Sat Nav before you set out on your journey. That way you can gain an understanding of the lay of the land and identify two or three routes that would get you to your destination, before picking the most sensible one.

4. Stick to Your Plans

Once you have chosen your route, take the advice of the London Hackney Club (otherwise known as black cabbies, to you and me): even if you have years of navigation under your belt and know the streets of London like the back of your hand, a lot of the time traffic jams simply can’t be avoided. Try not to stray from your chosen route – attempting to “get around the traffic” will only lead to frustration and potentially add precious minutes to your delivery time.

5. Two Pairs of Eyes are Better Than One

It can really help to have a second pair of eyes in the cab with you when you’re driving in an inner city with multiple lanes and exits. We’ve all been in that situation when your Sat Nav gives you an unclear instruction and you’re craning around to find the correct turning. A mate on the seat beside you can keep a look out for road signs and man the phone while you’re driving, allowing you to focus all of your efforts on the road. Of course, a second pair of hands also comes in useful when it’s time to unload at your destination.

Follow these simple steps, keep a cool head and you’ll be planning your London routes like a true Londoner in no time!

Are you looking for courier work in the Capital? Find owner-driver jobs on our live freight exchange, which connects drivers with companies and freight forwarders looking to subcontract their loads. Go online today to discover what business opportunities you could gain with Courier Exchange.

As an owner drivers, you know that delivering goods efficiently and on time is crucial to your success. However, despite meticulous planning and preparation, unexpected delays and disruptions can sometimes occur, causing frustration for both you and your customers. In this article, we will explore some practical tips on how to handle these unforeseen challenges and ensure your deliveries stay on track.

Stay Informed and Be Prepared:


To effectively handle unexpected delays, it is vital to stay informed about any potential disruptions that may impact your route or schedule. Courier Exchange, a leading platform for owner drivers and courier companies, offers valuable real-time information and updates on traffic conditions, road closures, and other relevant factors. Utilize this platform to stay ahead of the game and plan your routes accordingly. View our Live Loads Map here.

Communicate with Your Customers:


Communication is key when facing unexpected delays. Notify your customers promptly if you encounter any issues that may affect the agreed delivery time. Use clear and concise language to explain the situation, apologize for the inconvenience caused, and provide an estimated revised delivery time. By keeping your customers informed, you can manage their expectations and maintain a positive professional relationship.

Seek Alternative Routes or Delivery Options:


When confronted with unexpected delays, explore alternative routes that may help you bypass the congestion or obstacle. Utilize GPS navigation systems or apps to find the most efficient detour. Additionally, consider alternative delivery options, such as drop-off points or collection hubs, where customers can retrieve their parcels conveniently. Flexibility is key in ensuring successful deliveries despite disruptions. Read more about our TMS integrations here.

Collaborate with Other Owner Drivers:


The Courier Exchange platform can also facilitate collaboration and cooperation among owner drivers and couriers. In case of unexpected delays, consider reaching out to nearby drivers who may be able to assist in delivering your parcels or taking over certain routes. By working together, you can minimize the impact of disruptions and maintain a high level of customer satisfaction.

Maintain a Contingency Plan:


Preparing a contingency plan is essential to handle unforeseen events smoothly. This plan should include alternative delivery routes, backup drivers or vehicles, and contact information for customer support or dispatch. By having a well-thought-out contingency plan in place, you can act swiftly and efficiently in the face of unexpected delays, minimising any potential negative impact.

As an owner driver or courier company, dealing with unexpected delays and disruptions is an inevitable part of the job. By staying informed, communicating effectively, exploring alternative options, collaborating with fellow drivers, and maintaining a contingency plan, you can navigate through these challenges and ensure your deliveries are completed successfully. Remember, being adaptable and proactive is the key to maintaining customer satisfaction and running a successful delivery business.

To learn more about our pricing and plans, click here.

Independent courier drivers play a crucial role in the logistics industry, ensuring the efficient and timely delivery of goods across the United Kingdom. However, these dedicated professionals often face numerous challenges in their day-to-day operations. In this article, we will explore the common obstacles faced by independent courier drivers and discuss how platforms like Courier Exchange can help overcome them by offering new driver job opportunities. 

Thriving in a competitive market 

The courier industry in the UK is highly competitive, with numerous drivers targeting the same delivery contracts. As an independent courier, securing consistent work and standing out from the competition can be challenging. However, platforms like Courier Exchange connect independent drivers with a network of potential clients, providing access to a broader range of owner-driver jobs and courier contracts. This enables drivers to find new opportunities and expand their client base more efficiently. Learn more about how we can support owner-drivers here.

Uncertainty 

Independent courier drivers often face income uncertainty due to fluctuations in demand and irregular working hours. This can make financial planning and stability a significant challenge. By using platforms like Courier Exchange, drivers gain access to a steady stream of courier contracts. With a wider pool of potential clients and more opportunities for work, drivers can better manage their income and minimize income fluctuations.

Route Optimisation

Efficient route planning is vital for independent courier drivers to maximize their productivity and profitability. Without proper route optimisation, drivers may waste valuable time and fuel navigating inefficient paths. The Courier Exchange platform offers features such as live tracking, real-time updates, and integrated mapping tools that assist drivers in planning the most efficient routes. By reducing travel time and fuel consumption, drivers can improve their overall productivity and profitability.

Administrative Burdens

Running an independent courier business involves managing various administrative tasks, such as invoicing, paperwork, and client communication. These tasks can be time-consuming and divert attention from essential delivery operations. Courier Exchange simplifies administrative burdens by providing integrated tools for invoicing, document management, and communication. By streamlining these processes, drivers can save time, improve productivity, and focus on their core business activities.

Safety and Security

Independent courier drivers often face safety and security concerns during their deliveries. This includes risks such as theft, personal safety, and adverse weather conditions. Courier Exchange emphasises safety and security by offering a rating system and feedback mechanism for drivers and clients. This helps build trust and enables drivers to make informed decisions when accepting courier contracts. 
Independent courier drivers face numerous challenges in their profession, from intense competition and income uncertainty to route optimisation and administrative burdens. 

Platforms like Courier Exchange provide a solution by connecting independent drivers with a wider range of owner driver jobs and courier contracts in the UK. By leveraging these platforms, independent courier drivers can overcome these challenges, enhance their business operations, and ultimately achieve greater success in the logistics industry. 

If you’re interested in learning more about Courier Exchange, book a demo with sales or register for a callback here.

In the fast-paced world of logistics and transportation, efficiency and reliability are crucial elements for success. The traditional method of handling paper-based proof of delivery (POD) systems has long been a bottleneck in the industry, leading to delays, errors, and inefficiencies. However, with the advent of electronic proof of delivery (ePOD) systems, such as those found on platforms like Courier Exchange, the landscape of delivery management has been revolutionised. This blog post explores the concept of ePODs, their benefits, and how they’re transforming the courier industry. 

Electronic Proof of Delivery (ePOD) is a digital alternative to the traditional paper-based POD system. It enables real-time tracking and captures detailed information about the delivery process, providing visibility and accountability to all parties involved. Courier Exchange, a leading online platform for freight exchange and courier work, has embraced ePOD technology to optimize delivery operations and enhance customer satisfaction.

Why should owner drivers use ePODs? 

Real-time Tracking and Visibility

With ePODs, couriers and freight forwarders can track deliveries in real-time, allowing them to monitor the progress of each shipment accurately. This increased visibility enables better communication with customers, as they can be informed about estimated delivery times and any potential delays. It also allows dispatchers and logistics managers to proactively manage routes and address any issues that may arise promptly.

Enhanced Efficiency and Productivity

By eliminating the need for paper-based documentation, ePOD systems reduce manual paperwork and administrative tasks. Owner drivers can efficiently capture signatures, delivery photos, and relevant data electronically using smartphones or tablets. This streamlined process saves time, reduces errors, and enables drivers to focus on their primary task—efficiently transporting goods.

Improved Customer Experience

One of the key advantages of ePOD systems is their ability to provide customers with real-time updates and notifications. With Courier Exchange’s ePOD functionality, customers can receive automated notifications about the status of their deliveries, including proof of delivery with signatures and timestamps. This transparency builds trust, enhances the customer experience, and promotes customer loyalty.

Accurate Documentation and Record Keeping

ePOD systems offer the advantage of accurate and easily accessible digital records. All relevant delivery data, including signatures, timestamps, and any special instructions, are securely stored and readily available for future reference. This eliminates the need for physical storage space and minimises the risk of losing important documentation, making audits and compliance procedures much more efficient.

Electronic Proof of Delivery (ePOD) systems have emerged as a game-changer in the courier industry, streamlining delivery operations, enhancing efficiency, and improving customer satisfaction. Courier Exchange’s ePOD functionality provides real-time tracking, accurate documentation, and increased visibility, enabling couriers to deliver an exceptional customer experience. By joining our platform and using this feature, logistics companies can stay ahead of the competition, reduce costs, and contribute to a greener and more sustainable future in the transportation sector.

If you’re interested in the freedom and flexibility of owner driver jobs in the courier industry, Courier Exchange offers a valuable platform to connect with businesses and secure courier contracts in the UK.

Whether you’re starting your own courier business or looking to expand your existing operations, this article will guide you through the essential steps to become a successful courier on Courier Exchange and secure lucrative contracts.

Obtain the necessary licenses and permits

Before starting your journey as a courier, it’s crucial to ensure you have the appropriate licenses and permits. In the UK, you will typically need a valid driver’s license, vehicle insurance, and vehicle registration documents. If you plan to transport certain goods or operate specific types of vehicles, additional permits or certifications may be required. Familiarise yourself with the legal requirements to operate as a courier in your area.

Build a reliable and suitable vehicle fleet

Your vehicle is the backbone of your courier business. Ensure you have a reliable and well-maintained fleet of vehicles suitable for the type of deliveries you intend to handle. Consider factors such as vehicle size, capacity, fuel efficiency, and any specialised requirements for specific types of deliveries. Maintaining your vehicles in optimal condition is essential to provide a reliable and efficient service to your clients.

Obtain appropriate insurance coverage

Insurance is a vital aspect of operating as a courier. Adequate insurance coverage protects you, your vehicle, and the goods you transport. It’s crucial to have comprehensive commercial vehicle insurance that covers any potential risks associated with courier services. Consult with insurance providers specialising in the courier industry to ensure you have the necessary coverage for your business.

Develop a professional online presence

Establishing a professional online presence is crucial for attracting potential clients and securing courier contracts on and off the Courier Exchange. Create a website that highlights your services, coverage area, and contact information. Utilise social media platforms to promote your business and engage with potential clients. Positive customer reviews and testimonials can enhance your credibility and reputation, increasing your chances of securing contracts.

Provide exceptional customer service 

Delivering exceptional customer service is key to building a strong reputation and securing repeat business. Strive to exceed customer expectations by ensuring timely and secure deliveries, maintaining open communication, and addressing any issues promptly and professionally. A satisfied customer is more likely to provide positive feedback and recommend your services to others, increasing your chances of securing more contracts.

Leverage Courier Exchange features

Courier Exchange offers various features and tools to help you secure courier contracts effectively. Utilise Future Positions and Future Journeys to advertise your availability and expand your reach. Regularly check the platform for new delivery requests and promptly respond to notifications to demonstrate your reliability. Familiarise yourself with Courier Exchange’s payment and rating systems to ensure a smooth and transparent transaction process.

Becoming a successful courier on Courier Exchange requires careful planning, dedication, and a commitment to providing exceptional service. By following the essential steps outlined in this article, such as obtaining the necessary licenses and permits, registering on Courier Exchange, building a reliable vehicle fleet, acquiring appropriate insurance coverage, developing a professional online presence, delivering outstanding customer service, and leveraging Courier Exchange features, you can position yourself for success in securing lucrative courier contracts in the UK. 

Remember, persistence and a customer-centric approach are essential to thrive in the competitive courier industry.

For owner drivers in Birmingham, Leicester, and the wider Midlands region, the courier industry presents a plethora of exciting opportunities. Recent Courier Exchange April 2023 reports revealed a significant number of uncovered loads, emphasizing the demand for courier services in these areas. 

A Wealth of Job Opportunities in Birmingham and Leicester

The courier market in Birmingham and Leicester is brimming with potential, as evidenced by the significant number of uncovered loads in April 2023. Approximately 6,000 loads were left unfulfilled in Birmingham, while Leicester saw nearly 4,000 unmet demands. These figures represent a vast pool of jobs waiting to be taken, providing owner drivers with ample opportunities to secure contracts and establish a thriving business presence in these regions.

The Midlands region, with its bustling economy and strategic location, serves as a thriving hub for courier services. In April 2023 alone, nearly 66,000 loads were posted in the Midlands. This data reflects the high demand for reliable, efficient, and professional courier services in the region, making it an ideal landscape for owner drivers to expand their operations and secure valuable contracts. 

Courier Exchange, with its vast network and extensive marketplace, connects owner drivers directly to the numerous uncovered loads across the country. This ensures a steady flow of job opportunities, allowing owner drivers to maximize their earning potential and grow their business.

Data-Driven Insights

Through our platform, we empower owner drivers to handle orders, track deliveries, and communicate with customers seamlessly. This efficiency contributes to a positive customer experience, strengthening relationships and fostering repeat business.

Courier Exchange offers valuable data and insights to owner drivers, helping them make informed decisions about their operations. 

Serving as a powerful platform, we connect owner drivers with new opportunities, enhancing visibility, and streamlining operations. By embracing the potential of Courier Exchange and tapping into different markets across the country, owner drivers can embark on an exciting journey of growth, success, and fulfilment in their business endeavours. 

For owner drivers in the courier industry, staying competitive and securing contracts can be a challenging endeavour. In today’s digital age, technology has become a vital ally in navigating this landscape. That’s where Courier Exchange comes into play. In this blog post, we will explore the incredible benefits of owner drivers joining Courier Exchange, and provide insights into how to secure valuable courier contracts in the UK through our platform.

Unleashing the Power of Courier Exchange for Owner Drivers

Courier Exchange offers a multitude of advantages to owner drivers looking to level up their courier services. By joining Courier Exchange, owner drivers gain access to a platform that streamlines operations, enhances customer communication, and provides valuable resources to grow their business.

So, what does that mean, exactly? 

Courier Exchange simplifies order management, enabling owner drivers to efficiently handle and track their deliveries in one centralised system. This saves time, reduces errors, and enhances overall operational efficiency. 

We provide integrated communication channels that empower owner drivers to interact with customers seamlessly. Timely updates, estimated arrival times, and addressing customer inquiries become effortless, fostering stronger customer relationships.

With Courier Exchange, owner drivers can harness the power of real-time tracking. This enables them to provide customers with precise information about their loads, building trust and ensuring transparent delivery experiences.

Our intelligent routing algorithms optimize delivery routes, allowing owner drivers to maximize efficiency and minimize travel time. This improves productivity, reduces fuel costs, and ensures faster deliveries, enhancing customer satisfaction.

How you too can secure courier contracts on Courier Exchange 

Our platform will enable you to understand the demand for courier services in different industries and regions within the UK. You can also identify potential niches or underserved markets that align with your expertise and capabilities. 

The most important thing to remember is that establishing connections within the courier industry by networking with members and receiving positive reviews, will help you get more business long-term. Collaborating with other couriers or courier associations can provide valuable insights and potential contract opportunities. Our platform serves as a gateway to connecting owner drivers with a wide range of available loads and contract opportunities.

If you want to thrive on Courier Exchange like other couriers, you should strive to provide exceptional service to your customers. Delight them with timely deliveries, clear communication, and personalized experiences. Positive customer reviews and testimonials will significantly boost your reputation and attract more contract opportunities.

For owner drivers in the UK courier industry, joining forces with Courier Exchange opens up a world of opportunities. From streamlining operations to enhancing customer communication and securing valuable contracts, Courier Exchange empowers owner drivers to thrive in a competitive market. By utilizing Courier Exchange’s powerful platform and incorporating strategies to secure courier contracts in the UK, owner drivers can elevate their business and unlock new levels of success. So, gear up, embrace the digital transformation, and embark on an exciting journey that leads to growth, profitability, and a thriving courier career.

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Being a self-employed courier driver has its perks. You set your own hours. You call the shots. And best of all, no-one takes a cut of your income.

But let’s say you’re just getting started as a courier. You’ve joined CX and, after 3 months, you’ve made your money back (like 89% of new members). And you’ve started to wonder…

How do you make even more money on CX?

There are at least seven ways to make more money on Courier Exchange:

  1. Be available
  2. Get good feedback
  3. Offer specialist services
  4. Use Future Positions
  5. Use Future Journeys
  6. Use TEG PPM
  7. Expand your service area

In this post, we’ll look at each in detail.

1. Be available

There are two ways to get loads on the Exchange.

The most common way is using our live loads map to find bookings: you search the map and, when you see something interesting, you contact the load poster offering to help.

Find loads

Use current location

As an Exchange member, you can also filter by:

  • Vehicle size
  • Body type
  • Date
  • Freight type
  • My subcontractors
Reset

Thousands of loads to choose from

On CX, the most common way to get loads is by using our live loads map.

The second way to get loads on the Exchange is by direct bookings. Here, instead of you contacting load posters, load posters contact you directly.

To receive direct bookings, you need to be available… which is a setting you set through our app.

The more available you are, the more chance you have of getting direct bookings, which means more money in your pocket. And all it takes is a few phone taps…

2. Get good feedback

In a recent survey, we asked load posters what they looked for when choosing carriers and drivers.

Good feedback was their number one response.

Simply put, when you have good feedback, you can expect to make more money on the Exchange. You can expect to get more bookings. And you can expect to make more per mile. The question is: how do you get good feedback?

Well, load posters want to work with companies who deliver loads on time and in a good condition. They also want to work with companies who go above and beyond and communicate well. (Using our app can help here – you can share your live location, which keeps customers updated of your ETA while you’re driving.)

But what you really need to do – and what most people don’t do – is ask for feedback. So, once you’ve delivered a load, ask your customer to write about it on our platform… especially if you’ve gone above and beyond.

3. Offer specialist services

If you have specialised skills or expertise, you can charge higher rates for your services.

For example, if you’re experienced in handling fragile items, you may be able to offer a premium service for delicate packages. Similarly, if you’re trained in transporting hazardous materials, you can offer a specialised service that commands a higher price tag.

By offering specialised services, you can work with load posters willing to pay more for your expertise.

4. Use Future Positions

On the Exchange, most members looking for loads tend to look for loads in their current location as and when they need them.

That’s great, but it’s limiting. After all, if you know you’re going from Brighton to Birmingham, do you really need to wait until you’re in Birmingham to get your next load?

The answer is: not when you’re on the Exchange.

One of the Exchange’s lesser-known (but most powerful) features is Future Positions. With Future Positions, you can plug in where your vehicle will be at pretty much any point in the future. As soon as you do, you can get notifications of available loads that fit your future position. Better still, load posters will know where you’re going to be and when – so they can book you direct in advance.

Let’s say you’re travelling from Brighton to Birmingham tomorrow, arriving at midday, and returning at 3pm. Using the Exchange, you might set your future position as in Birmingham from 12.30pm to 3pm. You can then get notifications whenever load posters post loads with pickup points in and around Birmingham exactly when you’re going to be in the area. Even better, load posters searching for drivers will be able to see when you’re going to be in Birmingham so they can book you direct.

Future Positions allows you to plan ahead, and it can reduce your dead miles. All in, that means you can make even more money on the Exchange.

5. Use Future Journeys

Future Positions is very smart. But even smarter is Future Journeys.

With Future Journeys, you can let the Exchange know not just where you’re going to be, but where you’re travelling to. Continuing the example above, if you know you’re leaving Birmingham at 3pm tomorrow to head back to Brighton, you can plug your upcoming journey into the Exchange. Once you’ve done that, you can get notifications of jobs that take into account your future journey.

You might get something from Birmingham to Oxford, say. Then, you might grab a load to transport from Reading to Brighton. It’s on your way. So the Exchange will tell you.

Future Journeys is yet another way to reduce your dead miles so you make even more money on Courier Exchange.

6. Use TEG PPM

To make more money on the Exchange, you need to get your pricing right. That’s hard when prices:

  1. Vary based on you vehicle type
  2. Vary based on your location
  3. And change constantly due to fuel price changes, demand changes, economic changes, and many other factors

Luckily, with TEG PPM, pricing isn’t guesswork.

TEG PPM averages and categorises almost all the journeys on the Exchange to give you a good idea of current prices per mile.

As you can see, TEG PPM shows you prices per mile for specific vehicles in specific locations. It gives you guidance on pricing so you can make informed decisions.

Even better, TEG PPM updates weekly, so when prices change – you know about it.

7. Expand your service area

If you’re willing to cover a bigger area, you can access more jobs on the Courier Exchange.

It’s rare you’ll need to do this. But if and when you end up getting a second or third vehicle, you may wish to expand your service area to see what else is out there. (Just be sure to factor in the cost of fuel and other expenses when doing so.)

To sum up…

Once you’re off the mark, there are a few things you can do to try to make more money on the Exchange. Availability, feedback, specialised services, Future Positions, Future Journeys, informed pricing and an expanded service area can all help.

It’s easy to ignore these tactics. After all, running a courier business is hard enough as it is. But then success as a self-employed courier requires hard work, dedication, and a willingness to go above and beyond for your customers. And if you already have those qualities, then the above tactics shouldn’t be too daunting at all.

If you’re not currently an Exchange member and would like to see how it works, simply register your details below.

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You might be a self-employed courier looking to make more money. Or your multi-van courier company may need more loads. Either way, at some point, the question will have crossed your mind:

How much money can you make on Courier Exchange?

How the earnings calculator works

The Exchange earnings calculator uses averages. First, it considers loads delivered via the Exchange in the last week. Then it groups the loads by vehicle type. So it groups small vans together, Lutons together, and so on. 

At that point, it can calculate the average price per mile for a specific vehicle delivering a Courier Exchange load. It uses that figure show you how much you could earn on Courier Exchange.

Other factors that affect CX earnings

The earnings calculator is a handy tool. Still, to get an even clearer picture of how much you could make on the Exchange, there are a few more factors you should consider.

1. Your location

The Exchange earnings calculator uses averages, which aren’t perfect. In certain areas of the country, prices per mile vary – so your earnings might vary depending on where you work.

If you’re in a high-demand area, you could earn more than the calculator suggests.

Tip:

Prices per mile vary between locations. If you’d like to know average prices per mile in your area, register your details and our team will show you.

2. Hotshots vs backloads

Something else to consider is whether you’ll be delivering hotshots or backloads.

On CX, hotshots are ‘regular’ loads. These loads usually need to be delivered quickly. When you’re booked to deliver a hotshot load, you’ll most likely drive to the pick up point straight away. (Or, if you’re a transport manager, you’ll send one of your vehicles to pick the load up).

Backloads are different. Backloads are what what they sound like: loads you collect as a bonus, usually after you’ve delivered a load, simply because you’re heading in the direction of the drop off point anyway. Backloads aren’t time-critical so you should be able to collect backloads at some point in the future. This is one of the reasons Courier Exchange is so popular: once you’ve arranged an initial, outbound load, you can find a backload before you set off.

Because backloads are an added bonus, the prices per mile for backloads are usually lower than prices per mile for regular loads.

(Of course, as a Courier Exchange member you can still quote for hotshots when heading back home. There’s nothing stopping you. In fact, doing so makes good business sense.)

3. Specialist services

Another thing to consider when thinking about how much you can earn on the Exchange is what you can offer.

Are you licensed to carry hazardous goods? Can you or your company transport chilled goods? Or oversized loads?

These kinds of loads aren’t your everyday loads so, if you can collect and deliver them, your prices per mile will almost certainly be higher than average. And if your prices per mile are higher than average, you can expect to earn more money than average when you join the Courier Exchange.

4. Feedback

Some couriers think shippers just want a good price for delivering loads. But that’s not strictly true.

In the past, we’ve surveyed shippers (at CX we call them ‘load posters’) to see what it is they want from Exchange couriers. And what they want more than anything is a courier in a good location who has good feedback.

That means if you have good feedback, load posters are happy to pay a little more for your services. So, if you’re a good courier or courier company, you can make more than average on the Exchange.

5. Direct bookings

On the Exchange, you can search our live map for loads. But that’s not the only way to get loads.

As well as searching for loads, you can share your availability with other Exchange members. Exchange ‘load-posters’ can then search a ‘live availability map’ to find you. And when they do, they can book you direct.

Tip:

The map below shows available vehicles right now. Load posters use the map to book vehicles directly. So, when you join, set your vehicle (or vehicles) to available to get direct bookings.

Find vehicles

Use current location

As an Exchange member, you can also filter by:

  • Vehicle size
  • Body type
  • Date
  • Freight type
  • My subcontractors
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Prices per mile for ‘direct’ bookings are often greater than average prices per mile. This once again reinforces the above point: load posters are willing to pay a little more for a good courier.

So, how much can you really earn on the Exchange?

To sum up:

Made in the armed forces, born to be a courier. Mike Puplett, an owner driver from East Yorkshire, reveals how a career in the military helped open doors in logistics.

“Hi. I’m Mike. Some of you may know me by my trading name, ‘The Courier Guy (UK)’. If we haven’t already met, let me introduce myself. I’m an owner driver based in East Yorkshire. I run a same and next day delivery courier operation, which covers the whole of the UK.

While I’m fairly new to same-day logistics, a 20-year career in the Royal Navy and a further two decades spent in maritime search and rescue has prepared me well for my new career. In fact, you could say it’s the perfect training ground in many ways. Why? Well, in the Navy and the Coastguard, whether you’re working on your own or as part of a team – you have to be able to coordinate a coherent and effective plan of action under great pressure. Sometimes lives depend on it.

Logistics, which is closely linked to the just-in time manufacturing sector – has many parallels. Okay – I’d be exaggerating if I were to say that the pressures are as acute. But to be successful in same-day freight, I’ve had to draw on all of my 40 years’ experience of advanced planning and strategy.”

How I expanded my client base

“When I first began operating as a courier driver a couple of years ago, the big challenge was getting in front of a big client. Why would they choose you when they can give the job to someone who has been operating all of their working life?

To gain experience, I began working for a logistics company. Whilst I was happy to do the work, I had little control over my work/life balance. Some weeks the work would come in thick and fast, but there were also times when I could go a day or two without a job. As I was being paid on a job-by-job basis, no work meant no money.  I thought there must be a smarter way.

That’s when I found Courier Exchange. I’d never heard of it, and back then, I must confess that I didn’t even know what a freight exchange platform was, but I decided to look into it. I did my own in-depth research, talked to other couriers, and then called the customer services team. They provided a demo. While it seemed too good to be true, I realised that I had nothing to lose and I signed up. Two months on I haven’t been disappointed. I only wish that I’d found CX sooner.”

CX: the benefits of belonging to a freight exchange platform

“So how has it benefited me? Well, when I was in the Royal Navy, I missed a lot of family life because I was at sea for many months at a time. From a family perspective, the Exchange has given me the freedom and flexibility to work for who I want, when I want and where I want.

Secondly, as I previously mentioned, the biggest barrier for any courier thinking of going it alone is ensuring that the work’s there. But CX solves that problem in one fell swoop. Imagine if I gave you a contact book containing the numbers of 6,000+ professional drivers and courier companies? That would cost 1000s of pounds, right? You’d think so. But CX gives you this virtual contact book for a fraction of that.

Thirdly, by giving the members access to driver feedback, CX puts merit above name. This has been important for someone like me, who has vast knowledge in planning, but little direct logistics experience to call upon.”

CX technology has given me an edge

Mike Puplett

“But what really stands out is the technology of the mobile app. For me, the Live Alerts feature is the backbone of the app. It knows my position, my status and also takes into account that I’m driving a small van. But what’s really clever is that while I’m delivering a load, it’s working in the background looking for my next one. By sifting through all the loads available to me in a set-radius, it sends notifications to my mobile phone as soon as they come in. That means that I don’t have to ring my contacts on the off-chance that there might or might not be a load. Instead. CX gives me certainty that there will be.

CX promoting sustainability

CX also ensures that I rarely travel home empty by providing me with regular return journeys. Okay – I’m not going to lie to you. Sometimes the backloads I get don’t always take me all the way home – particularly on longer trips. But, if for example I’m in London and looking to come home to Hull, it’s nearly always possible to pick up a return load to Leicester, Derby, or Nottingham and then another one to East Yorkshire. Before signing up with CX, I never got a single backload opportunity in the two years I worked there, which meant travelling back empty, wasting fuel, and letting a potential job slip away. In a small way, I also see getting a ‘backload’ as environmentally friendly. Why? Because prior to using CX, both I, and another vehicle would travel the same journey. The other vehicle would get the job, and I would drive home empty and unaware. I subscribe to the saying ‘Every little helps.’”

Leveraging operational efficiency on Courier Exchange

Talking of sustainability, I really like the fact that the Exchange has created a digital invoicing system. While many logistics companies still require paper copies of both PoD and invoices, I think in a few years’ time everything will be digital. Perhaps the biggest selling point for me, however, is the time I save. For anyone who has never used the CX accounts feature, it’s not that I can send an invoice and my PoD by email that’s really smart. Rather, it’s the fact that it’s an intelligent invoicing system and creates the invoice on my behalf, populating it with information as I drive. No typing, no editing. I just send it with the signed PoD to the load poster when I’m done. What could be simpler than that? I’d urge anyone who is thinking of a career as a courier driver, to seriously consider joining CX, you won’t look back.

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Nick explains, “I’d been driving vans for ten years. I worked mostly in multi-drop delivering and collecting around the west end of London. It got to a stage where I knew every back route and post code worth knowing in Soho, London, and the south-east. But it was only when I became a transport planner that I began to spot which type of vehicles were in most demand. I realised very quickly that there was a shortage of Luton tail-lift vans and that if I bought one and became a sole trader, I could do quite well for myself.”

After three years in the job, Nick took the plunge and decided to go it alone. He bought his first van – a Luton tail-lift – and began looking for work. But, as many budding entrepreneurs have found out, it’s one thing to spot a lucrative niche, but another to take advantage of it.

As a new operator, how do you get in front of new clients without a proven track record of running a business? And how do you convince a contractor to give you the job when they already have someone they trust on their books?

At first, like every new business, Nick faced an uphill battle to win clients. But not for long. Nick, you see, had been using Courier Exchange in his job as a planner for the last few years. Not only did he know his way around the app, he knew the most profitable routes, the best paying companies and, most crucially, the ones that always needed a Luton tail-lifter. He also had another advantage.

After three years as a planner, in which he used the Exchange to cover jobs on and to find his driver’s backloads, he learnt about areas that would be good to visit in the country to gain backloads and also what price to charge when quoting for work.

A year on and Nick has a developed a large customer base, ranging from contractors who specialise in carrying expensive antique furniture to those delivering components to high performance vehicle makers. His clients are split between both clients from Courier Exchange and customers he found himself.

And in providing a service for his clients, Nick has a few rules which he sticks to all of the time.

Always quote competitively. Secondly, always update the Driver App when setting off, when onsite and when delivered. Thirdly, always be polite and respectful to customers.

Nick, Owner at Nick Of Time Logistics

Nick mostly avoids long distance routes and works between London and the home counties. He starts his day by using CX to take jobs from either Berkshire, Hampshire or Middlesex, near to where he lives, into central London. Once he arrives in town and has dropped off his first consignment, he then looks for work in central London using the Driver App, or accepts loads from regular clients. When finished for the day, Nick uses the Exchange’s smart matching system to find a return journey which takes him as near as possible to his local area.

He says, “Around 60 percent of my work comes from CX. It’s introduced me to large clients in the automotive and aviation industries, and customers in the events and real estate sectors. I get regular work form each one and it’s really helped me to expand quickly. I definitely wouldn’t have been able to grow as quickly as I have done without CX.”

But Nick says that the vast network of contacts he has built up using the Exchange – plus his refusal to take short cuts have helped him to forge new opportunities.

He says, “Pre-planning really goes a long way – particularly when you are transporting fragile and delicate goods,” he says. “It’s not just about covering the furniture in polythene bags to protect them from dust and damage. The item that you’re delivering has to be secured to the van in such a way that it doesn’t move about, but not strapped down so tightly that it marks or chips the furniture while in transit. That’s not easy to achieve and takes a lot of preparation to get right. Many drivers ignore this and hope for the best.”

But not Nick who always “makes sure the item is heavily protected before setting off”. One day his diligent approach was recognised by a warehouse manager and rewarded in the best possible way.

Nick explains, “I was carrying an antique furniture bar for a contractor I was working for through CX. I’d taken great pains to surround it in foam and blankets. I then made sure it was securely strapped down before setting off. However, when I got to Bordon the warehouse manager asked me where the packaging was. I told him that the furniture had been strapped down in such a way that it could not be moved or marked.”

“After inspecting it more closely, he saw that I was right, apologised and shook my hand.  I thought that was the end of it. But the warehouse manager picked up the phone and asked if the company, that I was subcontracting for, could allocate me more work. I now do 10-15 white-glove jobs for the supplier where we unpack, inspect and install the item of furniture before removing all packaging. It’s specialist work and not everyone’s cut out for it.”

However, Nick says that his experience transporting precious goods proved invaluable to his success and has become an important niche for him. As well as antique furniture he also carries scale model buildings for a retail design firm.

Explains Nick, “I’ve transported about 30 of these scale models including one of the Shard. They’re about four feet high, lightweight and very delicate. The work is quite challenging as the models have to be taken apart and re-assembled at the delivery point. However, once they’re put back together again, my biggest worry is moving them safely to the room they’re being displayed without breaking, scratching or marking them.”

“Often this means doing a detailed recce the day before. And sometimes it means thinking out of the box. For example, we would normally use the goods inwards entrance to make deliveries, but for a model being exhibited at the South Bank Centre we used the front door instead because the loading bay wasn’t wide enough for the plinth to fit through. So after walking three different routes, I decided that actually climbing the steps and taking the model through the front door was the easiest solution.”

Perhaps then that’s first and last time that anyone has managed to manoeuvre the Shard – London’s tallest building – through the front doors of the South Bank Centre, but Nick Reakes has proved he’s an expert in moving fragile and unwieldy consignments.

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