The Business Blog
Wass appening man?
|Posted on January 24, 2018 at 7:00 PM||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
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 rains...as 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 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 http://www.southerndespatch.co.uk/
|Posted on November 5, 2015 at 11:50 AM||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.
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.
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 www.southerndespatch.co.uk 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.
|Posted on November 14, 2014 at 1:30 AM||comments (0)|
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
|Posted on November 14, 2014 at 1:10 AM||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..
|Posted on October 26, 2014 at 4:15 AM||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 in....next 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
Wind-up or battery LED torch
Windscreen de-icer spray
High visibility vest
Long life drinking water
Long life emergency food ration
First Aid Kit
Emergency foil blanket
Emergency light stick
Instant hand warmers
Carry back pack to keep it all together
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
|Posted on October 14, 2014 at 10:25 AM||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 increased.....one 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 short...next 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????