Is the courier business on the rise?

Are you thinking about starting afresh and setting up your own courier business? Perhaps you’ve been working for a courier company for a while but now want to be your own boss. Or you might have been working in an entirely different industry and, after doing a great deal of research, have decided you want to be in the delivery business.
If you make the move and launch your own courier business, getting insured should be one of your top priorities. You need to protect your van, yourself, your customers’ goods and your business – and a decent courier insurance policy will help you to do just that.
At Insurance Factory, we take the time to understand the unique needs of your company, before comparing courier insurance quotes from top providers on your behalf. We can arrange courier insurance policies including goods in transit cover, hire and reward, light haulage and more, all for a price that shouldn’t  break the bank.

What’s the courier industry like?

If you’re only just putting the feelers out, you might be wondering: is now a good time to get into the courier industry?
The short answer is yes, it is! Partly due to the huge rise in online shopping, the UK’s courier industry is going from strength to strength. Data from the Pitney Bowes Shipping Index revealed that a mega 3.2 billion parcels were shipped in the UK during 2017. That’s a sizeable 8.2% increase over 2016 figures.
In fact, 2017 was the first-ever year that parcel shipments in the UK surpassed the three billion mark. It averaged out at 48 parcels per person across the year – that’s nearly one parcel for each person every single week!
The UK actually came second on the list of countries with the most parcels shipped per capita in 2017. Japan topped the list, with 76 parcels shipped per person, with Germany completing the top three, at 41 parcels per person.
On a global scale, parcel volumes were up by a whopping 17% in 2017, at 74.4 billion. This equated to an average of 22 parcels per person in 2017 – and get this: a mighty 2,300 parcels were shipped every single second!
With shipment numbers seeing such a vast increase in recent years, and the trend likely to continue, launching a courier business could prove to be extremely lucrative.

What are the top courier companies?

Pitney Bowes also sought to discover who the UK’s biggest carrier companies were. In 2017, Royal Mail took the top spot, with the famous ‘red’ carrier followed by Hermes, Amazon Logistics, DHL and UPS.

Together, the top five made up 80% of total parcel shipments in the UK.

Becoming a delivery van driver

White van on a wide road in the country side
So, what are the ins and outs to becoming a delivery van driver? What type of salary can you expect to earn? And what will your duties be from day to day?
The National Careers Service has shared a job profile on delivery van drivers. It explains how you can earn a salary of £14,000 as a starter to around £27,000 as an experienced driver. But of course, there’s serious scope to earn more than this if it’s your own courier business.
The National Careers Services goes on to list some of the skills, knowledge and traits needed to be a courier driver. It includes:
  • The ability to work well with other people.
  • Excellent verbal communication skills.
  • The ability to be thorough, with a good attention to detail.
  • Good customer service skills (and a desire to work in a role where you’ll be meeting lots of different customers).
  • Patience!
  • The ability to keep calm in stressful situations (these could take the form of disgruntled customers or traffic jams delaying your drop-offs).
  • The ability to accept criticism.
  • The ability to handle high-pressure situations.
  • Sensitivity and understanding to others.
  • Ability to use computers and hand-held devices.
There are a number of restrictions and requirements, too. To be a delivery driver, you’ll need to have a full UK or EU driving licence. You won’t be able to deliver goods unless you’ve held this licence for 12 months or more.
Speaking of your driving licence, it pays to have a good, clean driving history. Some companies won’t accept drivers if they’ve had a particularly poor driving past, specifically in terms of driving offences or bans.

If you’re going to be setting up your own company but have a number of driving offences to your name, you could find it hard getting competitive courier insurance.
But, chances are, if you want a job where driving plays a key part, you’ll have a decent driving history. You also need to have good eyesight and ‘colour-normal’ vision.
You probably already know what you’ll be getting up to on a daily basis, but here’s a quick recap anyway:
  • Collecting customer goods from a warehouse, depot or designated pick-up point.
  • Loading your van with the items in order of the deliveries you’re going to be making.
  • Planning your route (you may have tech to help with this).
  • Greeting customers, giving them their parcels and invoices and getting their signatures.
  • Noting down your mileage and fuel usage.
  • Updating delivery records.
  • Returning undelivered items.
If you own the business, then you’ll obviously need to add other tasks to this list – particularly those related to company finances.

Courier insurance with Insurance Factory

Insurance Factory can arrange courier insurance that will help to protect your fledgling courier business when you come to set it up.
As well as van courier insurance, we can arrange  a wide range of services for trades, including insurance for:
  • Goods in transit
  • Delivery
  • Hire and reward
  • Light haulage
  • Vehicle and goods
Policies arranged  through Insurance Factory have features such as:
  • Cover for vehicles up to 7.5 tonnes
  • Goods in transit cover up to £10,000
  • Liability insurance up to £2 million, with an option to boost cost up to £5 million.
Even if you don’t think you courier business fits any of these services, we’re more than happy to talk through your individual requirements to see if we can find a policy to suit.
Get a competitive courier insurance quote today!