Courier Tips - How Much Should You Charge for Your Services?
Posted: Jan 25, 2014
If you are new to the whole business of being a courier delivering small packages on short notice, then these simple but effective tips will help you maximize your profits while bringing in more clients for the long run.
Match your competitors
Simply checking out the competition is the simplest and most straightforward way to determine how much you will charge for your services. Get around four to five quotes from other delivery services in your area and average them out. Take this opportunity to determine as well how your competitors charge. Some charge by the minute, others by miles and others by weight. For example, you have competitors that charge 25, 27.75, 29.99 and 24.99 GBP per hour. The average for that is 26.93 pounds, divided by 60 and you charge about 0.49 pence per minute. This is a good basis for determining your starting delivery fee.
Time vs. Distance vs. Weight vs. Flat Fees
Now here’s the next question: should you charge based on minutes, miles, kilograms or a simple flat fee for a job? The easiest method to work with is to mix a flat fee with time spent. Using the values mentioned earlier, you could charge 10 pounds for a courier job taking less than 15 minutes to finish, followed by your rate of 0.49 pence per minute afterwards. This is practical for jobs taking less than an hour to finish. Deliveries over longer distances, typically more than 15 to 20 miles going toand from the delivery point, will work better with fees based on distance. You can also charge an overweight fee for items above a certain limit like, say, 5 kilograms. You can then slap on a fee of somewhere around 15 pence for every kilogram above that threshold.
Prepare Tools for Assessment
Whatever method you choose to charge your clients, you must always have a method for assessing the minutes, miles and kilograms you use as a basis for your fees. A simple wristwatch is enough to monitor the time, but you need to make sure that everyone understands what time to work with. Both the courier and the client need to start – and end – on an agreed upon time. It is also highly recommended you invest in a GPS tracker. This device will help boost the trust of your client if you willingly show that you took the shortest route possible to the delivery point and that you did not meander for too long along the way. Such a GPS tracker will also help prove the distance you’ve travelled on your delivery run.
On Rush Jobs and Waiting Charges
What if a client is willing to pay extra for a courier to deliver an item after normal working hours or in the shortest time possible? A simple solution here is to double the initial service charge – triple if the delivery is during a weekend and in the dead of night. What if you reach a client and they have not prepared the item to be delivered just yet? Begin charging by the minute if they have not brought out the package five minutes after you’ve arrived.
Keep these simple tips in mind and you’ll have an easier time determining how much to charge for your services without scaring away customers or having them expect you to work for less than you should be fairly receiving.
Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world's largest neutral trading hub for same day courier jobs in the express freight exchange industry. Over 2,500 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading courier jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment.
Writer and Online Marketing Manager in London.