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The Business Blog

The times they are a'changing....

Posted on October 14, 2014 at 10:25 AM

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????

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