There are loads of ads on the web that promise you untold riches if you will just sign up to their E-Z 2 step program at how2beacourier.biz.com .....it's all nonsense.
Here's an example from one such web company
This company claims that you can earn over £70,000 per year with no experience and just a £7.99 investment in their book that tells you all you need to know about the industry.
Now if you are capable of earning over £70k......why would you be pushing a cheapo home produced book at £7.99 a pop?
The simple answer is because it's nonsense.
If you'd like to see a duffers guide to becoming a courier click here but frankly, if you don't already know everything that is on their page then you are probably living under a rock!
Now I've got more than 30 years experience in the industry and the fictional or rosy glasses images that get put out by these people really annoys me!
The idea that anyone can get a car/bike/rickshaw or whatever and in a few days be earning £300 a day is plainly laughable.
The imagery of a couriers life as portrayed in the web ads is of a person who is always smiling, has happy clients and a vehicle that never breaks down or gets stuck in traffic.....ahh if only that were the case.
You might also assume that you'll spend your time cruising the highways of our island in a sleek black Mercedes sprinter with a Swedish teenage nymphomaniac hithchiker sat in the passenger seat.
You and your new Nordic friend will stop for a bite of lunch at a quaint coaching inn (your new friend will pay of course) and then you'll get on your way...every traffic light will be green and speed cameras will all have been removed from your route....
If you should suffer a breakdown the nice Controller will believe that it was in no way due to your negligence and that Sprinters regularly run out of oil even if you check them every day like the boss told you to.
The nice Controller will be very understanding that you took 5 hours to do a 2 hour trip because your satnav failed and you can't read those old fashioned paper map thingys.
The nice Controller will also be very understanding when he gets a call at 6 in the morning from an irate client that has booked an early morning collection but you overslept and are in fact still in bed when the controller calls you to gently inquire as to your whereabouts ......
....like it says at the top,
OK Here we go
Couriers fall into broadly two categories ..........
Employed. Large companies like TNT and DHL employ their drivers, they pay them reasonable money and they expect them to work like dogs to achieve impossible multi drop delivery schedules.
Their vans regularly leave the depot with far more packages on board than can be delivered in a round....this means that you, as the poor sap doing the multi drop, will get grief from a good many people who are waiting for their goods that didn't get delivered yesterday because you had too much to do on the previous days round.... and so on!
Self employed. Being an owner driver courier is the norm with smaller companies. We only use owner drivers because we've seen the way that employed couriers wreck company vehicles, been there, not going there again!
Being an owner driver is OK, if you develop a good working relationship with the companies you work for you can do well, a couple of years of not letting them down should be enough for you to not be considered a liabilty.
You'll be solely responsible for your own.......
The courier company will generally source the work and offer it to the courier who is best at the job....the more you screw up the less you get offered.....second chances are quite common...third chances are less so and the only fourth chance we'll give someone is the chance to go forth and .......you know the rest!
Good couriers can earn well, good days can be £200 or £300, bad days can cost you twice that and more...
Bad days you ask? Say you break down because you didn't maintain your vehicle well enough, another courier takes over the job, well only one of you will get paid....guess who that will be?
You then spend 3 days off the road having paid to get your vehicle home and then get it fixed..... loadsamoney!
You contact your courier company to tell them that you're running again. They tell you they've had it with you because this is the third time this month you've let them down. In fact they give you phone number of their rival company and suggest that you look for a job there, that being a good tactic as it will hurt the rival to have you.
From a Courier Companies perspective
"It takes years to get a good reputation and moments to lose it"
hence we are VERY picky!
That's the facts
That's the reality