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Self employed courier - Anyone doing this for a living?

flamingfox 02.05.2010, 19:07
I've been in IT for most my working life but have had enough now and am looking for a career change. Don't want a job where i'm stuck in an office all day and the idea of being a self employed courier seems appealing as it'll keep me out and about and I love driving.

Wanted to check if there's any members that do this for a living and make a decent wage out of it?

Been having a look on the internet and on the Parcelforce website they have an advert for an owner driver which says that average 'on target' earnings are in the region of ?35k-?40k per year. This job would be based too far away for me but was wondering if the money their stating is realistic?

There's Fastway Couriers as well which have franchises available in my area for ?13.5k +vat. Seems a lot though and was wondering if anyone knows if this would even be suitable for a one man job?

I've also looked at www.courierexchange.co.uk .... and like the idea of doing deliveries to Europe as i'm assuming there will be more money in this.

So basically just wondering if anyone on here is doing this for a living and could give any tips or advice on the above or recommend any other companies? Is there still good money to be made from doing this?

Any advice welcome.

Thanks

Dave
MoNkFiSh 02.05.2010, 19:30
I worked as a self employed courier for about 2 years - I got a contract subbying for TNT and at first the money was great was taking home about ?700 per week but bear in mind I had all my running costs to come out of that (van maintenance, fuel etc).
Fuel is the main kick in the balls with it so if you can source "cheap diesel" off a trucker or even risk running on red diesel then u can make some decent cash. I quite enjoyed the work you got to go all over the country and there was usually time to have a nose about wherever u were. I did put on weight though as you don't move too much and your constantly eating crap fast food.
I just did sameday deliveries which basically meant just delivering one parcel to one place the same day I did multidrop for parcelforce for a week and that was hard work 50 deliveries in one day and picking returned items up as well it was non stop and I didnt enjoy it at all.
If you can ride a motorbike then thats a cheaper way to do it I used to ocasionally use my bike to deliver stuff from Newcastle to leeds and u can do it in half the time u would in a van.
TwoPlAnKs 02.05.2010, 21:41
Search this section, greens117 posted the same question a few years ago and got some responses iirc.

He was a self employed courier for a while but I think I mentioned it in a thread recently and he said he's now working for a company instead.
flamingfox 04.05.2010, 00:13
MoNkFiSh, the kind of work you did for TNT sounds good, driving round the country and not just stuck in one area doing multiple drops like with Parcleforce. I like to be kept bust but you've got to have a little time to yourself. Suppose it's just a case of trying to find a company that needs to give out some contract work.

TwoPlAnKs, just had a a look at greens117 post, not sure how I missed it when I searched before. Just about to send him a pm to see if he's got any advice.

Also done a bit more research on the internet and apparently Fastway are a good one to stay clear of.

Thanks for the replies
Little John 04.05.2010, 04:01
One of my customers is a courier company, more like 3 guys with 2 vans, working from courier exchange some of the time but the problem is that a lot of the jobs on there want to be back loads, so you pick it up on your way back home and they want it for a cheaper price. All the work they do is single drop and hope for a back load to make a bonus on the trip. They couldn't work soley from courier exchange as there isn't enough work on there, you need to go out there and get direct business or use CX and make relationships from it to give you regular work. They do all the important (stuff they don't trust with city link) deliveries from scan, and have a few other big companies that do regular dispatches between 2 or 3 offices. They have 2 vans, a regular Vito and a Citroen dispatch, they did have a berlingo and a dispatch but the vito allows them to do bigger loads which is useful. They also use a fuel account, which give them a discount on the fuel prices at total garages it works out to be a decent saveing considering they use so much fuel, I even considered getting one a while ago due to my stupid fuel bills but I now no longer drive as much.

The main things are they work on a mileage charge something like 50p per mile.
Vans are leased due to the mileage covered with full maintenance
I have no idea how profitable or how much is made but I guess its comfortable as one of them runs a BMW 550i and occasionally uses it for courier jobs.
GTI 04.05.2010, 04:18
Parking tickets must be a major ballache for the multi-drop drivers, especially in London.
greens117 04.05.2010, 21:01
hi m8 just got your pm m8
just to give you some brief advice.
I was working for a company that was supplying me with my own van but the money was terrible.
So i went back working with my old boss.
Just seen what others have been saying and its pretty much bang on, but my advise for you is give the companys a ring where you live.
The smaller companys as there the the ones to work for to start out with.
The average is about ?00.59p per mile, but they all differ tbh.
As an example i get paid a job from basingstoke to warington on a good day it will take me just under eight hours, and id get paid about ?145.00 minus 40 for fuel and ?5 toll on the way back im left with ?100 witch is ok for me, lets say i have to goto rotheram to pick up some bronze on the same trip then my days earning goes upto ?300 not bad for a days work but thats only happens once in awhile swings in roundabouts as they say .
my advice to you is .
A, have a ring round and ask about work and ask if they insure the parcels, as if they dont you will need insurance ?50k should cover it im told but i dont need it for the company i work for.
B,if you decide you can get enough work you need to think how much you want to spend on a van or just a car ! i have a vauxhall combo van suits me fine and its what i can aford its a 2004 plate old postie van had 39000 miles on it and i traded it for my old van , as how much work you get
will dictate on what van you have some of the time .
C,you have to look at it as you are your little company so all the outlays for fuel running cost, witch can be costly add up ,dont wanna scare you off but its not just getting a drivers license and thinking i love driveing!
as the hours are mostly long, the money is great when its good but shit when theres fuck all work lol, speeding tickets can be a pain as parking tickets can be, i for one do alot of driveing in london and i fucking hate it sometimes but thats just me.
on a positve note lol i do still love my job im my own boss and the money is ok.
sorry to go into one but that is the reality of it for me .
If you have any more question m8 i can help you all the way.
Detector 04.05.2010, 21:08
just my 2p, the only people who usually earn money from fastways is the franchise itself, plus there is a LOT of bad feedback about this company simply because of the rate of drivers coming and going.
flamingfox 09.05.2010, 19:31
Sorry for the late reply.

Reason I was looking to move away from my job is because I was being moved from a field based position to being chained to a desk in our head office all day. Mentioned to one of my bosses that I was looking to leave and now they've decided to keep me in the field - not sure if that's a good or bad thing.

Anyway, think i'm going to stay with it for a few months and see how things go. Going to be a lot busier as our team has been cut in half so might revisit this later.

Thanks again for all the replies and advice, really appreciate it.

Dave
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