At one time if you wanted to send something from one place to another you used the post. Courier services are a relatively new phenomenon, first appearing in the UK around the late 1970s and growing out of taxi services. They typically offer additional features when compared to normal postal systems. These include fast service and same day and guaranteed delivery windows. Originally couriers would often be used to transport urgent documents but the use of email has seen a shift in the business model. The growth of courier services now is partly down to the boom in mail order deliveries thanks to Internet shopping and partly to more businesses using ‘just in time’ production methods.
Courier companies range from small ‘man and a van’ operations to large companies, with medium sized local companies somewhere in between. Larger companies are likely to offer extra services such as deliveries to overseas locations or the ability to handle awkward or fragile loads.
If you need a courier service then it’s important to look for one that’s going to be responsive to your business needs. That means having the flexibility to cope with different sized consignments and to be able to accept jobs and collect packages at short notice. The latter is especially important as one of the main reasons for using a courier is speed. You also need a pricing structure that’s easy to understand so you know you won’t get hit with unexpected charges.
Key Questions to Ask When Choosing a Courier
- How fast can they collect?
- Can they guarantee delivery to your timescale?
- Do they offer a 24 hour service?
- Are there limits on size and weight of packages?
- Is online tracking available?
- How is proof of delivery provided?
- Are goods insured in transit?
- Will there be additional charges?
Some additional features you might want to bear in mind are any special requirements you may have. Do you need to transport hazardous substances or high value items for example? Some couriers specialise in this type of work. If you need to send packages overseas, can the courier company advise you on the customs and taxation requirements needed for a particular destination?
If you’re looking to use a new courier company for the first time then it’s worth checking out their reputation online. Testimonials from happy customers are a good sign; look for recommendations and ratings on popular forum and consumer websites not just on the company’s own site. See if you can contact existing customers too. Be aware that some websites offering courier services merely act as brokers allowing you to compare prices from a range of different services. If you’re using one of these make sure that it gives you enough information about the courier that will actually be used. If you’re in doubt check out the website of the service directly or search online for more information.
Most companies now offer tracking services so that you can see where your parcel is in the delivery process. This gives you additional peace of mind and in many cases you can also give your customer the tracking information so they can see for themselves the status of their delivery.
When it comes to getting in touch, if you contact a courier by phone take note of how quickly they answer the call and how professionally they deal with your enquiry. If you book online make sure there’s a number you can call in the event of problems.
There’s a mass of information available on the Internet so it’s easy to research your chosen courier company. You can find their reputation via customer reviews that will vouch for their reliability, efficiency and price.
It’s easy to select the lowest cost when choosing suppliers for any goods or services. But when you’re looking at a courier service it is, if anything, even more important. If your goods arrive late or damaged then it reflects badly on your own business and you risk losing a customer.
If you require a same day courier, Manchester like other large cities has so many options in the courier business for you to choose from. So get researching and find one that suits your needs.