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What Does It Take To Start Up A Courier Company?
Monday, 14 May 2018 at 10:27
The basic responsibility of a courier service involves transporting parcels and documents from point A to point B, but that’s the easy part. A successful courier business depends on a lot more. Many entering this business take baby steps at first, acting as subcontractors for established carriers before heading out on their own.
E-mail and other digital means of transmitting documents kept this industry in a no-growth mode for a while, but a courier’s ability to handle a variety of delivery jobs and the flexibility to work at odd hours can buck this trend and determine success.
You’ll have to deal with fluctuating fuel costs, and it helps to work in a delivery-rich urban area with lots of commerce. Delivering hazardous and medical materials can increase profits, but this typically requires special licensing. Simple package delivery is recommended at the start.
What You’ll Need to Begin a Courier Company
- A well-defined delivery territory, particularly if you live in a large metropolitan area
- Insurance for your vehicle and a valid driver's license.
- A business license – check with your local chamber of commerce for requirements
- A website, vehicle signage, business cards, flyers and ads in print and online outlets to promote your business
- A courier service software package to help run the business side of your operation, often available for free online
- A GPS device to help locate your clients and chart the most efficient routes
- A dedicated mobile phone number for business operations, including calls en route & a reliable handset and earpiece
- Adequate vehicle insurance
Establish a competitive rate. Call around to find out what other couriers in your area are currently charging. Many charge a per-mile rate.
An urgent, same day delivery usually costs more. The right formula based on traffic, distance, vehicle wear, and courier service competition will give you a leg up.
Advantages of a Courier Company
It is the business for you if you love to drive. Your startup cost should be minimal if you already have a reliable vehicle, but review your auto insurance policy to make sure you have adequate liability coverage and that it covers you in the course of doing business.
Disadvantages of a Courier Business
Picking up and delivering at any time – not just during regular business hours – gives you an advantage over franchises that have set schedules, but it can disrupt your personal and family life. Unpredictable fuel prices and traffic issues may affect your profits. Stop-and-go city driving can age a vehicle fast, and you might find you need to replace your wheels long before you anticipated.