Why be a courier?
White-van men flying around corners, shouting expletives in broad Essex accents and hooting at young ladies on the street! This is what you might have in mind if someone mentions a delivery driver.
However, it turns out that drivers and couriers drive a range of different coloured vans, they come in both sexes, they don’t just work in the southeast, and they also sometimes hoot at young men too.
In reality, this subsector is an important part of the transport and logistics industry. Couriers and drivers often have to carry very important items (many of which are irreplaceable) to specific locations under tight deadlines.
In addition to the actual delivery staff, there are also many behind the scenes careers, which involve taking orders, coordinating deliveries and managing the couriers and drivers.
What do delivery services do?
Courier and delivery services are responsible for moving and distributing small packages and documents. Couriers usually operate in a very local area, whilst delivery services tend to be spread over a wider area.
People rely heavily on these services and clients often trust them with valuable or important items, either because time is of the essence, or the value placed on the item is high. Items range from organs for transplant to legal documents and flight tickets.
The methods of delivery range from bicycles and motorbikes, to small and medium sized vans. Clearly, you will need a good sense of direction and for most positions you will also need to be able to drive, so a clean driving license will be essential.
Larger delivery companies have a network of centres in a local area or across the UK. These hubs are staffed by a range of people that have to be extremely organised, so that each delivery run is as efficient as possible. This can be particularly difficult, as no two delivery runs are exactly the same.
What does it take to be a courier?
Independence is a central feature of the role that couriers and drivers play in the industry. You will rarely find yourself under close supervision, but you will be judged on your performance and ability to make timely deliveries. Drivers also have to deal with parking, traffic jams and finding the correct location, which can sometime make things stressful.
Careers in this area run around the clock and can therefore require people to work unsociable hours. However, as most deliveries are business-to-business, shifts will often gravitate towards typical nine-to-five working hours.
Do you think you could deliver in this career?! If so, the couriers, drivers and delivery services subsector could be the one for you!