Southern Despatch Couriers Tel: 01202 392 155

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Southern Despatch sameday dedicated couriers

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Five Fast Track ways to Courier Heaven

Posted on October 22, 2019 at 12:35 AM Comments comments (0)


We all want the best deal and the best service...
here's my guide to getting that from the sameday dedicated courier industry

# 1.   Read between the lines 

That may sound odd but if your gut instinct tells you that the glossy website full of generic photos and vague promises has no real substance and is masking a one person and a dog setup....well it probably is.

Google is your friend here...a quick search will show you if the people you are dealing with are a proper company working from commercial premises or someone operating from a spare bedroom on a shoe string

Shoestring outfits can be fine IF you are entirely price driven BUT they typically have little in the way of resources or support so when things go wrong you may be left in the lurch.

# 2. How do they answer your call? 

If they answer as "hello" or similar then I'd say hang up there and then, they have something to hide.  If they answer with a company name and a professional sounding greeting then the chances are you are talking to a bona fide company

# 3. Do they quote you immediately with a round figure?

When you hear something like "yeah that'll be £120 cash mate" be wary.   Most specialist sameday couriers charge per mile so unless you are getting a special price "back load" or a "shared load" round numbers are rare...therefore a typical charge will sound like "that'll be £98.74 plus vat"....not some random number plucked from thin air

# 4. So they sound OK, what next?

Next get the quote in writing by email, make sure any vehicle types, collection times, insurance, deadlines and ETAs are spelled out...very often cheap online couriers act as "farmers", they quote you a cheap price and then farm the job out to the lowest bidder an an online courier bidding that may suit you but it's hardly what you thought you were paying for is it?

# 5. Don't be surprised if you are told "we'll call you back in 5 minutes"

We often do this and here's why.  The courier industry is dynamic. The constantly changing nature of our work means that we often have plans changing mid job.  By taking  5 minutes to assess the situation we can often give a client better service at a better price rather than being pressured into giving out a stock list price.

Kind regards and call us anytime, we are here to help you

Steve Campbell

01202 392 155


The sameday courier Industry today

Posted on January 24, 2018 at 7:00 PM Comments comments (0)

The sameday courier industry today: a perspective view


First a little history...the area of the industry we are in is rooted in war...during the first and second world wars Despatch Riders formed a vital link between the tail and the teeth, the commanders and the fighting soldiers


DR's or Don R's as they were also known, would transport vital supplies, maps, orders, ammunition, medical aid from A to B with speed and relative stealth, a fast moving bike is a hard target.


After the war DR's were still routinely used by the military and the post office, many people will remember GPO telegram boys on their BSA Bantams


By the early 1970's congestion in major cities was becoming a problem for trade and communications within businesses. As cities faced gridlock there appeared on the scene a knight in shining armour, the modern day Despatch Rider, the bikes now had electric starters and large fibreglass boxes to carry products. We hardly ever got shot at on a working day though the perils of negotiating city traffic did take it's toll on our numbers.


Soon there were dozens of small courier companies springing up, all ready to fill the niche created by our growing love of the car and the congestion that it caused


Expansion continued apace until the early 2000's when electronic transfer of documents, film and photos overtook the humble bike courier


Many companies folded at this point, seeing no future, however a few more innovative souls saw this as an opportunity to explore other areas. It became apparent that we needed to focus on real things, tangible objects that are in place A but need to be in place B very quickly.


And so that is where you find us today, just as committed and just as able but today the bike that zips past you will probably be carrying medical supplies or machine parts, air spares and the like.


Whilst it's a far cry from the Western Front or North Africa, we still save lives and we still keep peoples promises today.


Top 5 rapid response Courier companies we know of

Addison Lee are probably the biggest player these days, based in London

Southern Despatch in Bournemouth is my number 2, heck I own it so I would say that

CitySprint, a national chain with good connections

Swift Couriers in Reading, a long established and trustworthy company

E-Couriers London, vast experience from the team there make them a contender


From a bike couriers viewpoint


Top 5 best bikes to use as a courier

BMW 1200 (as used by the police)

BMW 1100 (as used by the police)

Honda Pan European,.good solid machine

Yamaha XJ1300, capable machine

Honda Deauville, dull but effective



Best clothing available


There are two schools of thought here


If expense is no object look at







or go cheap looking at




Internet specials




I prefer secondhand because there are some great bargains to be had and we all like a bargain


Top tips for clothing


Get a decent outer shell of waterproof nylon, it is sacrificial in that it won't last for ever but it is cheap...make sure your shell is big enough when you are fully togged up. When you are not wearing your shell, (that's on either of our summer days in the UK) textile armoured clothing is tops, it's light, breathable and will save your skin in a tumble


Wearing textile only in the rain is OK BUT the textile will absorb huge amounts of moisture so getting dry for the next day is pain, with a shell you just shake it dry..end of story


Gloves, textile with some armour are great and your hands won't get stained by the dye used in leather gloves when it for waterproof gloves, well I have yet to find a pair!


Boots; ankle and lower leg protection is key, goretex waterproofing is nice and comfort is vital


Helmets...I prefer a helmet that has Bluetooth communication built in and is not too expensive so I can afford to change it every few years


Viper, cheap, OK quality, very good Bluetooth

Caberg, good quality but getting pricey

Schuberth....see your mortgage advisor


From a clients perspective


The courier industry is all about trust and reputation all the glossy photos of generic telephonists on a website don't matter a jot.


Do's and don'ts for clients



Do shop around but when you get quotes and make sure you are asking for the exact same thing every time, it's no good comparing apples with golf balls

Do ask for a copy of the companies insurance or for the names and numbers of existing clients who will vouch for them

Do be VERY wary of companies who only have a mobile phone number or no address on their website, they are one man bands who have no strength in depth to deal with problems


Don't buy on price alone, if you want it done cheaply stick a stamp on it and post it.

Don't expect miracles, the laws of the land apply to us too.

Don't try to blame the courier for late delivery. Our proof of delivery sheets show the time the job was booked for and when the people at the other end see that you booked it late then they know the truth of the situation regardless of what you may have told them

Don't expect couriers to risk their lives over your “urgent” delivery, we have families to get home to as well. Yes we will do our best but we won't willingly lose our licence or worse




Price time and quality...choose 2 from 3


Good + Fast = Not cheap

Choose good and fast and we will postpone every other job possible, focus all of our resources on you and stay up 25-hours a day just to get your job done. But, don't expect it to be cheap.


Good + Cheap = Slow

Choose good and cheap and we will do a good job for a discounted price, but be patient until we can fit it in with other clients.


Fast + Cheap = Inferior

Choose fast and cheap and expect an inferior job not delivered on time or in accordance with your wishes. You truly get what you pay for, and in our opinion this is the least favourable choice of the three.


Plainly you can't have all 3 unless you strike very lucky and we have a courier passing you door at just the right time who is going to the same destination as your consignment. It does happen but not very often


Actions to ensure good service


Due diligence applies here...

do you know the people you are using?

are they recommended by others?

When you contact them are they professional and knowledgeable?

When it comes to payment do they accept cards etc. or are they “cash only”

Ask if you can drop off or collect from their premises, that will tell you a lot about them....”SuperCourierInternational PLC” working out of a spare bedroom on a sink estate is not who I'd trust my reputation with.

Ask to be kept informed, we routinely send proof of collection and or delivery by email, some clients like their hands held even more and we can provide as much info as you require throughout the process.



How tell the good guys from the bad


Lots of what I've said above applies here too.

The BIG problem these days is with re-sellers.

Re-sellers trawl the internet for clients jobs, promising the earth along the way. Once they have hooked you and your money they then trawl the internet for couriers who bid in a reverse auction for your job, the job going to the lowest bidder.

Now all this time you believe that the people you spoke to are despatching a vehicle in accordance with your wishes and your requirements...far from it, they are finding the biggest margin they can for themselves

So always deal with someone you know

Someone local

Someone who has real knowledge of the business


Why not just do it myself?


There's a couple of reasons to a delivery yourself


You get to meet the customer,

you get to skive off work for the day,

err that's it


The reasons not to go yourself are more compelling


Your insurance will usually not cover you, most insurance is “social domestic and pleasure”

Ditto your breakdown insurance won't usually cover you

During your absence from work, your work is not getting done

You may have to work overtime to catch up on the missed work

You can only claim a small tax allowance for the fuel used

When you have a problem during the trip you have no support system in place

Traffic Wardens and Police cut couriers some slack, not so for the public

Most drivers/riders are OK on their own patch but get very stressed in unfamiliar cities

That stress leads to accidents, which your insurance won't cover, see first bullet point






It's your money, use it wisely but always look at the big picture.


Consider all of the implications of cost, workload, transport, security, insurance, customer service and safety before you pay a penny


Finally, if you are in any doubt, get a pro on the job.


Give us a call on 01202 392 155 or click the link for our home page

Are you expecting a delivery or sending something important out?

Posted on November 5, 2015 at 11:50 AM Comments comments (0)

If so, you will want to make sure it arrives safely without any problems.

The 2 big questions are how important is it to you and your client?

And should you use the postal system or a professional courier company for this consignment?

If you are unsure which one to choose, here are some reasons why using a Southern Despatch Couriers is probably the best decision you can make if you want it to arrive safely, minus any delays or problems.


1. Immediate response

We collect your shipment whenever you want and deliver it at a time specified by you (the laws of time and physics do apply though) So if you have any last minute delivery needs, you can count on a Southern Despatch Couriers for quick and stress-free services. The postal system certainly can’t guarantee that for you. When you have an urgent delivery, our Southern Despatch Couriers is the best choice.


2. Flexibility

Southern Despatch Couriers are available seven days a week and we work around the clock; 24 hours a day. So when you have an urgent delivery on Sunday and you can’t wait until Monday to post it, using us is a great choice because we are so flexible.


3. Great value for money

If you want a customized delivery, you will find that Southern Despatch Couriers offer great value for money. It works out really cost effective compared to getting in your car and doing it yourself, bear in mind that you are probably not insured for deliveries under normal car insurance. If you have specific needs or requirements, just let us know of them and we will ensure we meet your every need.


4. Professionalism

When you hire Southern Despatch Couriers, we will provide you with insurance and background checks so that you know that you are hiring a bona fide and fit for purpose company. It is hard to know which company to trust but Southern Despatch Couriers have held an enviable track record since 1981


5. A variety of services

Southern Despatch Couriers provide specialised delivery services. You can choose from a range of services that most standard delivery companies simply can not offer to you, Motorbikes, Cars, Vans etc..


6. Great for businesses

Southern Despatch Couriers are a great partner if you are in business and regularly need fast and efficient deliveries. If you are a company needing totally dependable quality service, choose us..


7. Find us online at or call 01202 392 155

Southern Despatch Couriers are located in central Bournemouth with satellite couriers in Southampton, Ringwood, Poole and Ferndown. plus access to our national courier network.


8.Save money on heavy items

Unlike when you use a normal post or delivery service, with Southern Despatch Couriers you can actually save money on the bulky items you need to deliver. It can cost a lot less if you transport heavy or bulky items when you hire Southern Despatch Couriers.


These are the top eight reasons for hiring Southern Despatch Couriers when you need quick, efficient and safe deliveries. There are many other benefits and most of the time, you will find that it works out a lot more cost effective when you hire us than when you use a normal delivery service or when you send a staff member on the delivery.

We've been robbed!!!!

Posted on November 14, 2014 at 1:30 AM Comments comments (0)

You need Adobe Flash Player to view this content.

The two men in white in this video have assisted in the theft of £1500 worth of tyres and our courier fee of £291 via stolen credit cards. I have offered this video to the Police and so far they have shown no interest...if you recognise either of the men then please get in touch with your local police or me...I'm the clean cut guy in the blue shirt..thanks...oh yeah, the offence took place in Coventry , they drove off in a Black VW Golf reg No GF 05 XYB...if you can help in any way it would be much appreciated... Steve at Southern Despatch Couriers in Bournemouth... a share on your own page would be terrific,,,thanks

First time for weeks...

Posted on November 14, 2014 at 1:10 AM Comments comments (0)

That's right, for the first time in ages we have full crew.... sickness and other leave has kept us a bit thin on the ground lately but we are now back up to strength...well hurrah for that..

This traffic jam is sponsored by Southern Despatch

Posted on October 26, 2014 at 4:15 AM Comments comments (0)

OK we don't actually sponsor traffic jams, that would be silly.

What we do see are road projects that take waaaaaay more time and resources than is needed (I know, I used to work on a road construction crew)

These projects cause misery for thousands of drivers and suck up man hours like they are going out of fashion

That's where we come time you get held up on a delivery trip think to yourself "If I'd sent this with Southern Despatch I'd not be stuck in this jam"

With our range of vehicles and our specialist local knowledge we can get around most (not all) hold ups.

Our motorbike couriers are especially adept at slipping through traffic as if it wasn't there....just watch for one next time you're out on the road...

you really can't miss us in our new livery can you?

One quick message for you...WINTER is not far away...make sure you are prepared for cold weather, carry a winter emergency kit in your vehicle


Thermal Blanket

Wind-up or battery LED torch

Folding shovel

Ice scraper

Windscreen de-icer spray

High visibility vest

Emergency whistle

Long life drinking water

Long life emergency food ration

First Aid Kit

Emergency foil blanket

Emergency light stick

Instant hand warmers

Survival bag

Carry back pack  to keep it all together

you can buy such a kit here

Always keep your phone fully charged and stay with your vehicle, only leave the vehicle if you are in danger of a secondary collision

Remember that if you think the conditions might be dodgy then they probably already are!

until next time

Stay Safe

Steve Campbell

Operations Manager


The times they are a'changing....

Posted on October 14, 2014 at 10:25 AM Comments comments (0)

Or are they?  Time was when you couldn't predict when would be a busy day and when would be a quiet one...well that hasn't changed but the peaks and the troughs have day we're as busy as one armed fan dancer, next day it's snoozville central.

Now we would prefer an even spread of work but the urgent "later is too late" world is the one we inhabit and so you have to learn to take the rough with the smooth.

So why does this happen we ask ourselves? 

The answer is that we have no idea, perhaps it's something in the air, maybe a full moon or ley lines

The one major problem that haunts the transport industry right now is the proliferation of websites offering ultra cheap transport deals via exchange websites. 

This allows any old Joe Blow to set up as a courier company, advertise that he can do all that a real courier company can do and then gather up all the cheap deals and farm them out to some unsuspecting saps who are new to the courier business. 

The newbies get ripped off, the paying public gets terrible service and the industry as a whole is tarnished by a few blaggers. It was ever thus and the public are easily seduced by a cheap price and a shiny website. 

So what should you do to prevent getting suckered in by these people

As a customer you should

  • Apply some common sense...if it sounds to good to be true it almost certainly is.
  • Check them out....if they have a website is it full of generic photos of call centres and white vans?
  • Compare their whole package, how do they answer the phone, do they fill you with confidence?
  • Are they really local to you, I was after a locksmith yesterday, the website said he was local....he was 140 miles away!
  • Have you ever seen their vehicles on the road, people who run unliveried are usually trying to hide something,lack of insurance usually

As a potential courier, apply all of the above plus question them really hard  about payment...why would they pay you once the job is done? Remember they will have been paid up front by their customer, why should you wait 3 months or longer for your money?

Many of these exchanges have already fallen by the wayside in the last year but there is a ready supply of people who really think they can get something for almost nothing. There is also an endless stream of people with no job and a redundancy payout who believe the promises they have been told.

Our strategy is to keep well clear of these scammers and continue to provide quality solutions for our clients. We hold a firm belief that once people have been let down a few times that will act as a reality check for them and they will see the real cost of a cheap deal. 

To finish I will give you a recent example...

A large local manufacturing client wanted some samples (glass bottles containing high value liquid) taken to a high profile meeting so the sales manager could show off his wares to a major national wholesaler....potentially sales will be into the mIllions of pounds.  Normally the distribution manager has us do these important jobs as we take the goods carefully and they are the only consignment on the vehicle. 

On this occasion the Finance Manager insisted that the goods get sent on an overnight cheap service.  What the Finance Manager failed to realise is that all the "fragile this way up" stickers in the world have no value in a multi consignment transport hub...if you don't believe me go on youtube and search "courier delivery"

So long story morning the Sales Manager has delivered to his hotel way up north a soaking wet box with four of the twelve samples broken. Luckily the sales meeting was not until 12.00 and we were drafted in to provide an urgent motorbike courier to run a replacment box up to him...what price your cheap delivery then????