Top 3 mistakes to avoid when bidding for owner driver jobs
Posted: May 03, 2014
Bidding for owner driver jobs can be, at times, frustrating, not to mention highly challenging; there are many others who want the same thing as you, and they may go to great lengths to undercut you and get the job for themselves. Worse, you might even up in an unprofitable situation if you make a bidding mistake and forget to include certain vital considerations during the negotiations. The following are the three most common mistakes you can make when bidding for that much-sought-after job.
Failure to Foresee Delays
As a courier, getting delayed when delivering the package is bad enough—but what about delays caused by an unprepared or ‘bad’ customer? It all too often happens: you arrive on time to pick up the parcel or package, only to be informed that the package is not yet ready, and you’ll have to anxiously spend a few precious minutes to wait for it. Those few minutes matter a lot because the delay can set off a ‘domino effect’—you will then be late for your other pickups or deliveries. That’s why when bidding for owner driver jobs, especially online, you must specify this particular condition, and what it entails for the customer who causes a delay. Failure to address this possibility at the get-go might disappoint the customer, even if they are the ones who are at fault. But stating it clearly when you’re bidding can work for you, not against you—especially if you counterweigh the caveat with something to sweeten the deal.
Usually, in our eagerness to get as many owner driver jobs as possible, we tend to overlook simple facts that may otherwise not escape our attention. The delivery schedule requested by the potential client, for example: if the delivery falls outside your regular hours, then you can either charge an extra fee or decline the job. The specific hour also matters: if your regular hours are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and the requested delivery is after 5 p.m. but not after midnight, then maybe you can add a small extra fee. If, however, the delivery happens late at night or into the wee hours of the morning (this is unusual, but it happens), you can charge more. The same goes for weekend deliveries or those scheduled coinciding with a holiday.
The provable ability to engage with ‘super-fast deliveries’ is one of the main reasons couriers exist in the first place—if you cannot deliver quickly, then what’s stopping the customer simply using the postal service? But then again, when bidding for owner driver jobs, you should remember that there are set schedules, even for couriers. Special requests outside those set schedules should come with compensation commensurate to the effort, or you’ll have to decline the job. For ‘rush’ deliveries, it is customary to charge a 10% additional fee; moreover, ‘rush’ with pickup should also be priced differently.
Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world's largest neutral trading hub for same day owner driver jobs in the express freight exchange industry. Over 2,500 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment.
Writer and Online Marketing Manager in London.