Category Archives: Courier Business

Our terms of business, for future reference!

CONDITIONS OF TRADING

1. “The Carrier” means Arrow Light Haulage.
2. “Goods” means any documents or items of any tangible property, including containers and packaging, consigned by the Customer from one address to another.
3. “Customer” means any individual, firm, body corporate, unincorporated association, or any other body who consigns Goods as aforesaid and includes the Customers servants or agents.
4. “Territorial Limits” means anywhere including the sea crossings between England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man and Eire.
5. All and any business undertaken, including any advice, or information given, or service provided by the Carrier, whether gratuitously or not, is transacted subject to these Conditions. The Customer’s terms and conditions of trading shall only be effective to the extent to which they are not inconsistent with these Conditions. Any Customer who objects to these Conditions must, prior to giving instructions, inform the Carrier of the objections in writing and any such objection shall take effect only upon it being accepted in writing by a Director or General Manager of the Carrier.
6. Employees, agents and officers of the Carrier have no authority to make oral or written representations, warranties or promises about the Carrier’s business or services which are inconsistent with these Conditions and the Customer waives all rights which may otherwise arise in relying upon the same. Only Kevin Arrow or Director of the Carrier has authority to vary these Conditions and then only to the extent that the variation is expressed in writing to be a variation hereof.
7. In matters of conflict between these Conditions and any promotional brochures or other material of the Carrier, these Conditions shall prevail.
8. The Carrier is not a common carrier; it may decline to provide services for such Customers and/or in relation to such Goods as the Carrier in its absolute discretion shall determine.
9. The Carrier may subcontract all or any part of its business and every reference to the Carrier in these Conditions shall include every employee, agent or subcontractor of the Carrier.
10. The Customer warrants that it is either the owner or the authorised agent of the owner of the Goods and that it is authorised to accept and is accepting these Conditions not only for itself but also as agent for and on behalf of all other persons who are or may thereafter become interested in the Goods.
11. The Customer promises that the consignment will be sufficiently securely and properly packed and labelled, will be fit and safe to be carried or stored, and will comply with all statutory or other regulations for carriage by road, air, rail or sea, and for mechanical handling and sorting as may be in force or use from time to time.
12. The Customer warrants that the Goods do not comprise or include weapons, ammunition, controlled drugs (within the meaning of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 or any Statutory amendment of or substitute for that Act), industrial chemicals, unlawful, noxious, dangerous, hazardous, inflammable or explosive items of any kind, or any items which may not otherwise be collected, carried, stored or otherwise possessed, delivered, imported or exported into or from any country, region or place without declaration, licence or other permission from any statutory or regulatory body. The Customer shall be liable for all loss or damage whatsoever and howsoever caused by, to or in any connection with Goods described by this clause and, without prejudice to the Carrier making claims on any basis for damages, the Customer will indemnify and hold harmless the Carrier against all fines, penalties, actions, claims, damages, losses, costs and expenses, whatsoever and howsoever arising in any jurisdiction in connection therewith. Without prejudice to any of the Carrier’s other rights contained in these Conditions, Goods aforesaid may be destroyed, abandoned, released, surrendered or otherwise dealt with at the sole discretion of the Carrier, or by any other person in whose custody they may be at the relevant time, without liability on the part of the Carrier to the Customer.
13. Subject to express written instructions given by the Customer, the Carrier reserves to itself absolute discretion as to the means, route and procedure to be followed in the handling, storage and transportation of Goods. Further, if, in the opinion of the Carrier, it is at any stage necessary or desirable in the Customer’s interests to depart from those instructions, the Carrier shall be at liberty to do so.
14. All invitations and quotations by the Carrier for the use of its services are given on the basis of prompt instructions given by the Customer, and shall only remain open for instruction by the Customer for a period of seven days, unless withdrawn, revoked or varied by the Carrier prior to instructions. The instructions of the Customer shall constitute an offer by the Customer to the Carrier to enter into contractual relations with it and such instructions, once accepted by the Carrier, shall give rise to a binding contract between the parties governed by these Conditions and the Customer will pay the charges of the Carrier for the business required, whether or not the Customer thereafter wishes to withdraw, revoke or vary those instructions, or otherwise makes it impossible for the Carrier to perform its obligations thereunder unless, in any case, the Carrier otherwise agrees in writing.
15. (i) Invoices shall be paid within 14 days of the invoice date. Where payment is not received by that date, interest and other charges will become due at the rates contained within the Statutory Instruments issued under The Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998 as amended from time to time.
(ii) Where any invoice is more than 45 days overdue, then all outstanding invoices, whether or not due for payment, shall become payable.
16. Except under special arrangements previously agreed in writing, the Carrier will not accept or deal with bullion, cash, precious stones, jewellery, valuables, glass products or products containing glass or other fragile items, antiques, pictures (excluding commercial artwork), livestock or plants. The Customer undertakes not to deliver any such items to the Carrier, or cause the Carrier to handle or deal with any such items otherwise than after making special arrangements aforesaid. Save only to the extent so agreed, the Carrier shall be under no liability whatsoever for, or in connection with, the Goods, or any loss or damage thereto, however arising. Notwithstanding any special agreement aforesaid, the Customer will ensure that such Goods may be lawfully collected, carried, stored, delivered, exported and imported into and from any country, region or place, without hindrance or undue delay, and will indemnify and hold harmless the Carrier from all fines, penalties, actions, claims, damages, losses, costs and expenses, whatsoever and howsoever arising in any jurisdiction that it may suffer or incur in consequence of any breach of any law or regulation permitted or procured by the Customer through the acts or omissions of the Carrier in performing services in relation to the Goods. The carriers insurance does not include secondhand goods or Ebay items, the customer must make their own insurance arrangements.

17. The Customer shall be responsible for arranging for the Goods to be carefully checked immediately upon receipt by the consignee or other recipient of the Goods.
18. Any query regarding the performance of the obligations of the Carrier in relation to these Conditions, including, without limitation, as regards price, invoice payment, loss, non-delivery in whole or part, damage or mis-delivery of, to or from Goods (howsoever caused) shall be made in writing and notified to the Carrier within 7 days of the date upon which the Customer became or should have become aware of the event or occurrence alleged to give rise to such query and shall be supported where appropriate with a quantified claim made in writing to the Carrier within 28 days of the date aforesaid and any rights of the Customer arising in relation to any query not made, notified and where appropriate quantified as aforesaid shall be deemed to be waived and absolutely barred, except where the Customer can show that it was impossible for it to comply within the time limits aforesaid and that it has made the query as soon as it was reasonably possible for it to do so.
19. The Carrier shall not be liable for any delayed or non-performance or any loss or damage where liability would otherwise arise caused by:
(i) any act of God including adverse weather conditions, fuel shortages and power failures;
(ii) any war, invasion, act of foreign enemy, hostilities (whether war is declared or not), civil war, rebellion, insurrection, or military usurpation of governmental power, confiscation, requisition, destruction of, or damage to property;
(iii) any riots, civil commotion, strikes, lockouts, general or partial stoppage or restraint of labour from whatever causes;
(iv) any seizure under legal process;
(v) any act or omission of the Customer or those for whom he contracts or of the servants or agents of either;
(vi) any inherent liability to wastage in bulk or weight, latent defect or inherent vice or natural deterioration of the Goods;
(vii) the inadequate or improper packing of the whole or part of the Goods, unless it is previously agreed between the Customer and the Carrier that the Carrier shall undertake such packing;
(viii) the insufficient or incorrect labelling or addressing of the Goods, unless it is previously arranged between the Customer and the Carrier that the Carrier shall undertake such labelling;
(ix) the addressee of the Goods not accepting delivery within 28 days of service on the Customer of the Carrier’s notice of non-delivery;
(x) any marine risks;
(xi) the acts or omissions of any independent contractor in any manner whatsoever where caused by any breach by the Customer of these Conditions and where so caused the relief of the Carrier from liability aforesaid shall be without prejudice to any claims the Carrier may have against the Customer therefore.
20. The Carrier may effect physical delivery of the Goods at the address shown thereon by presenting the same to any person as may appear to the Carrier to be authorised or competent to accept them on behalf of the addressee, or the Carrier may leave the Goods at any place at the address aforesaid as may appear to it to be intended or suitable for this purpose and delivery in accordance with the foregoing shall in favour of the Carrier as against the Customer constitute sufficient performance of the Carrier’s delivery obligation hereunder unless otherwise specifically instructed in writing by the Customer.
21. The Carrier may (but shall not be obliged to) require acknowledgement of delivery of Goods to be given at point of delivery and any such receipt, if given by a person appearing to the Carrier to be authorised or competent in that regard, shall in favour of the Carrier against the Customer and the Addressee constitute good receipt and shall be conclusive evidence of the fact of proper delivery of the Goods pursuant to these Conditions.
22. The Carrier may retain the Goods in circumstances where it seems to it to be inappropriate or impossible to effect delivery of the Goods to the addressee or to obtain acknowledgement of delivery satisfactory to it, and to endeavour on some other occasion or occasions, as soon as it is practicable thereafter, to deliver the Goods and/or issue to the Customer notice of their non-delivery and (without prejudice to the Carrier’s right to claim payment of charges from time to time payable by the Customer were the delivery to have been achieved) the Customer undertakes to reimburse the Carrier all expenses reasonably incurred by it and to pay the Carrier its standard additional charges from time to time payable by its Customers generally in any circumstances aforesaid.
23. Where the Carrier is unable to deliver Goods and the Goods are not claimed by the Customer within 28 days of notice of such non-delivery served on the Customer, the Carrier may destroy or sell the undelivered Goods as if the Carrier as against the Customer and the purchaser were the absolute owner and to pass unencumbered title to the purchaser.
24. The Carrier shall have a general lien on any consignment of Goods for its charges for the carriage or storage of those or any other Goods supplied by the Customer and for any other monies due from the Customer to the Carrier and in default of payment of any monies due to the Carrier from the Customer on any account whatsoever the Carrier may without notice to the Customer appropriate any Goods aforesaid and sell them as if the Carrier as against the Customer and the
purchaser were the absolute owner and to pass unencumbered title to the purchaser provided that the Carrier will apply the proceeds of sale towards monies due from the Customer to it after appropriating to itself any reasonable expense of
sale.
25. If the Customer (otherwise than through the Carrier) employs or engages the services directly or indirectly of any employee or independent contractor to the Carrier whose services at any time during 12 months before then shall have previously been supplied by the Carrier to the Customer, the Carrier shall be entitled to charge a fee to the Customer for the introduction of such employee or independent contractor equivalent to 15% together with Value Added Tax thereon of the final annual salary or earnings of such employee or independent contractor derived from the Carrier calculated by reference to the amount earned during the last month of employment or service and the Customer will pay the same on demand.
26. (i) Instructions given to the Carrier by telephone otherwise than as to the identity of Customer, the identity of Goods, the address for collection, the address for delivery and the class of service requested shall give rise to no obligation or duty of care upon the Carrier, whether or not those additional telephone instructions are in whole or part performed or observed by the Carrier;
(ii) Subject as aforesaid the Carrier shall only be liable for any non-compliance or mis-compliance with instructions given to it if it is proved that the same was caused by the negligence or default of the Carrier;
(iii) In providing suggestions or opinions or advice as to means of transportation, services available, physical or legal circumstances of carriage, or other guidance howsoever described at any time to assist the Customer, to formulate instructions or otherwise, the Carrier shall be deemed to so provide for information purposes only and without giving any representation, warranty or promise and without having any duty of care to the Customer in respect thereof.
27. The Carrier will use and apply all reasonable efforts and endeavours to effect delivery of Goods within a stipulated period of time as described in its marketing literature in force from time to time where, in its opinion, it is able to do so, but, in expressing any such opinion, the Carrier undertakes no duty of care towards the Customer.
28. The Carrier may offer the Customer various guaranteed services set out in the rate schedule published by the Carrier and revised from time to time. In the event of the Carrier failing to meet the level of service selected by the Customer, credit will be allowed for the difference between the quoted charge for the guaranteed service and the quoted charge for the actual service provided. Any credit due to the Customer will be given in the form of a credit note and be applied to the Customer’s account.
29. The Carrier shall in no circumstances whatsoever have any other or greater liability to the Customer whether in contract negligence or otherwise and the Customer’s remedy shall be confined to that specified in Clause 28 for failure to provide the level of service selected by the Customer.
30. The Carrier shall have no liability in any circumstances for any lawful or unlawful detention of Goods or for any consequential loss, damage or deterioration arising therefrom, except where (a) the Customer shall have specified to the Carrier the nature of the Goods and purpose of their transit and the Carrier through its General Manager shall have agreed in writing with the Customer a time schedule and specification in respect of the transit of said Goods and (b) it shall be proved that such detention, delay, loss, damage or deterioration was due to the negligence of the Carrier.
31. It shall be the responsibility of the Customer to satisfy itself that any load it wishes to have carried by the Carrier shall be suitable for conveyance in the vehicle or machine ordered by the Customer and provided by the Carrier. And if the Customer accepts the vehicle or machine offered by the Carrier for the carriage of such load, the Carrier shall have no liability whatsoever for any loss or damage to such load arising from the unsuitability of such vehicle or machine.
32. The Carrier shall only be responsible for any loss or damage to Goods or any non-delivery if it is proved that the loss, damage, non-delivery or mis-delivery occurred whilst the Goods were in the custody of the Carrier or under its control and that such loss, damage, non-delivery or mis-delivery was due to the negligence of the Carrier.
33. The Carrier shall not under any circumstances by liable to the Customer for indirect or consequential damage or loss of profit, or for loss of a particular opportunity or market or goodwill suffered or incurred by the Customer, whether resulting from breach of contract or the negligence of the Carrier or otherwise.
34. Where notwithstanding these Conditions the Carrier is found to have liability to the Customer, the Carrier shall not be liable for any claims, costs, damages, losses and expenses by whomsoever made or incurred in excess of the limitations of liability stated within these Conditions, whether or not resulting from the negligence of the Carrier.
35. This condition shall be applied only to deliveries carried out within the Territorial Limits.
(a) Subject to the conditions set out above the liability of the Carrier in respect of any one consignment of Goods shall be limited to the lower of:
(i) an amount calculated (by reference to the gross weight of the Goods and packaging as specified on the consignment note and if no weight is specified the actual gross weight of the Goods and packaging) at a rate of £15 per kilo up to a maximum of 1000 kilos per consignment subject to a minimum of £10 or:
(ii) the cost value of the Goods to the Customer; or
(iii) in the case of damaged Goods the cost of repair of such Goods.
(b) In the event that part only of a consignment of Goods is lost, damaged or mis-delivered, the liability of the Carrier shall be limited to the lower of:
(i) that amount which bears the same proportion to the amount calculated in accordance with sub-clause 36(a) above as the actual value of the lost, damaged or mis-delivered part of the Goods bears to the actual value of the whole of the Goods; or
(ii) the cost of repair of any damaged part.
36. This condition shall be applied only to international deliveries:
(a) Where the Convention on the Contract for the International Carriage of Goods by Road (“CMR”) applies to the delivery of any Goods:
(i) if anything contained in these Conditions conflicts with any provisions of the CMR, the provisions of the CMR will take precedence; and
(ii) the Carrier’s liability for loss of or damage to or late delivery of the Goods will be governed by and limited in accordance with the CMR.
(b) Where the Warsaw Convention of 1929 (“1929 Convention”) or the Warsaw Convention as amended at the Hague 1955 (“1955 Convention”) applies to the delivery of the Goods:
(i) if anything contained in these Conditions conflicts with any provision of the 1929 Convention or the 1955 Convention (as appropriate), the provisions of the appropriate Convention will take precedence; and
(ii) the Carrier’s liability for loss of or damage to the Goods or late delivery of the Goods will be governed by and limited in accordance with the 1929 Convention or the 1955 Convention (as appropriate).
(c) If the Goods are being exported the Customer must supply correct and complete documentation required for customs clearance at the commencement of transit.
(d) The Customer will indemnify and keep indemnified the Carrier against any costs, expenses, liabilities, injuries, losses, damages, claims, demands, proceedings or legal costs and judgments which we suffer as a result of:
(i) the Customer failing to provide the Carrier with the documentation specified in condition 36(c);
(ii) any claims made by HM Customs and Excise in respect of dutiable goods consigned in bond; and
(iii) any claim made by HM Customs and Excise under Section 30(10) of the Value Added Tax Act 1994.
37. The Customer acknowledges and agrees that provisions in these Conditions excluding or restricting liability of the Carrier or allowing the Carrier to perform obligations differently or not at all are reasonable having regard to, among other things, the existence of other suppliers of similar services available to it before entering contractual relations with the Carrier.
38. All agreements between the Carrier and the Customer shall be governed and construed in accordance with English Law and the parties hereby submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts.

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Cupcake Delivery: Delivering cupcakes safely

Over the last few weeks we have been in talks with various companies that produce cupcakes, and how to deliver

them. Up until recently, the safest and most secure way of delivery has been via same day courier, as it’s the only way to guarantee the cupcakes won’t be turned upside down during their journey to the customer. Sometimes the baker plain mistrusts the courier to complete safe delivery, and wastes valuable baking time delivering!

Unfortunately all that makes delivery very expensive for the people who hand bake and ice the cup cakes. For example, we would charge £15 per delivery / drops of cupcakes, minimum of 5 orders. This can make it too expensive for customers to buy.

Obviously there are still the marketing companies and companies who understand the powerful message that delivery by express courier send, but they have yet to embrace sending out baskets of designer cupcakes to their clients and potential clients….

The problem is, by sending the cupcakes the cheapest method possible means sending them by Royal Mail, and that means they may get bashed, and rotated a number of times before they arrive on the customers doorstep.

The solution is to prevent that, and the way to do that is through the creative use of packaging.

The original ‘cup a cake’ container was devised in the US for holding the cupcakes, their icing and keeping them fresh. Last week, I spoke to Kim at the Cup a Cake company and she said the containers can be shipped to the UK for around $100 to $150

So if you are looking to ship cupcakes around the UK, here is the solution for your airtight cup a cake containers. The cupcake company may have to take a deposit from the customer, and the customer promise to wash and return the empty containers so they can be re-used.

A small investment in the right packaging, and you can deliver cheaply and safely to your long distance customers.

We hope that helps with the safe dispatch of your cupcakes, we suggest you try it out with one or two local postings to be sure the method works to your satisfaction.

Here at Arrow Light Haulage, we have enjoyed getting creative and thinking outside the box (and right back in it) to solve your courier delivery problems with cupcakes.

Alternatively, you know where we are if you would like an express delivery quote.

Sarah

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The secret to stress free moving

I know, I’m the master of the understatement! Yes moving home can be very stressful.

We move goods, freight, furniture week in week out and the secret to doing it successfully is to be organised.

It’s easy when you know how, and now you do.

We’ve compiled a free checklist to help you keep organised.

Moving Check List – keep yourself and your movers organised

Click the link so the PDF opens, then right click the document to save it to your desktop.

If you know someone moving please share this with them, it may help keep them sane

Sarah

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Why do customers call us?

The last few weeks have been quiet business wise, for our business that’s an opportunity to ask our existing customers a few questions. the first question that I start with is is – “Why did you call us?”

The responses that come back are interesting:

“Because we felt like we know you”

“Because you seem friendly”

“Because you know what you are doing”

It’s refreshing too see that no one was calling because they wanted a better price but picking up the phone for other reasons. As a same day courier service we pride ourselves in many of our business aspects- adding value and saving money long term are our two main concerns as if we are totally honest, anyone with a van can think and call themselves a courier service.

In September we enter our tenth year of trading, we’ve delivered some amazing things

  • Heart rate equipment
  • Medical items
  • Computers
  • Car components
  • Production line items

Yet if you look at the list you might not think those items are amazing.  Let’s take those computers for a moment. A new PC costs around £500 these days, but how much does the data it hold cost? How hard would it be to replace? We recently collected and delivered an innocent looking laptop. The laptop contained data and evidence that helped put three people into prison for some serious crimes.

Then we have the reclining chairs that we deliver. For some people the act of sitting down and getting up again can be really tough. Riser chairs help a person stand and sit with ease. Delivering and installing these give us a real sense of purpose, that we are doing something really cool when we deliver stuff for people.

I have to say my favourite reason that people call us to deliver is the “it’s because you know what you are doing”.  For a lot of us, that’s the reason we are in business.

Kev

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Why it’s your fault @Fedex deliver like this

If you are active on Twitter or Facebook you can’t have missed the Fedex guy who drops a PC monitor over a fence. In case you have, here it is again.

In the UK a parcel delivery driver gets £6.10 an hour approx $10. The driver has to deliver between 80-100 packages in their 8 hour working day. If they fail to deliver, get stuck in traffic or can’t locate the address then they will run late and run into unpaid overtime. The driver may be new to the route and new to the area and that can cause delays.

Would you work unpaid?
In most cases you wouldn’t work unpaid but you would expect your delivery driver or courier to do so just so you can get your parcel. When you ordered your goods did you look at how they were going to be delivered? Or did you find the cheapest possible supplier with the cheapest possible delivery service?

If you opted for cheap, it’s no surprise that you are outraged that the driver dropped the monitor over the fence – you want great service but you are not prepared to pay for it -you bought on price and price alone.

But before you start thinking it’s just Fedex, think again – it’s every parcel delivery company out there. Go and check You Tube, you’ll find hundreds of videos (and they are several years old in a lot of cases). Nothing has changed since people got outraged about the first guy throwing parcels across the warehouse. The parcel companies pay minimum wage, they work their staff hard, they have to make a profit for their shareholders and that’s you and me. We make them work that way so our pension pots are bigger.

You can stop them, you can start by remembering your courier service is run by human beings. If something is valuable it could cause someone to be tempted by it. If your goods are fragile, package for the fact they will be thrown around. You can remember that these drivers are worked real hard so you can have “free delivery” for your goods.

Want to do something about it?

  • Get the right courier services for your goods.
  • Stop expecting your parcel couriers to be saints, it won’t ever happen
  • Remember you get what you pay for so if you have the option of cheap delivery over bespoke delivery, weigh up the options wisely.

Remember – you do have a choice and if you choose the option that gets your goods broken; it’s your fault. Pressure the retailers to use reputable local couriers who will deliver respectfully and pay their staff decently and treat them like human beings. You never know when you may have to drive a mile in the delivery truck or van.

Sarah

Happily trading in our tenth year without breaking or losing a single package.

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51 things awesome things learned from delivering the goods

My friend in Spain @grahunt recently posted about the 51 things he learned from selling Spanish Property this year. I thought that it was an interesting post and I could share with my readers the 51 things that I have learned from delivering the freight and other things this year.

  1. Some of our customers really care about getting their good delivered intact
  2. A minority of our clients are not bothered about delivery
  3. New customers find our excellent service saves them money in the long term
  4. We have had 100% delivery success rates this year
  5. We delivered wedding cakes 200 miles in the snow so a happy occasion was perfect
  6. Our drivers keep their clothes on
  7. Our drivers are more than warm and breathing
  8. We have delivered more furniture this year
  9. More couriers have arrived on Twitter – Yay!
  10. They still spam people as they can’t be bothered to learn how to use Twitter
  11. More couriers are blogging – Yay!
  12. They still write adverts rather than a proper blog post
  13. More US companies steal my content than UK based couriers (ask for a guest post chaps, I don’t bite unless you are a thief)
  14. More clients are searching and finding us on LinkedIn – thank you Andy Lopata
  15. We still get cupcake ladies ring up and get shocked at the price of delivery
  16. Fuel saving guides are popular, you can still grab a free copy
  17. Video drives me nuts…
  18. My parents still don’t understand what I do for the company
  19. And it’s not haulage
  20. Kev’s parents tell people he is unemployed rather than he has run a transport company for nearly 10 years
  21. It’s hard to guest blog about transport
  22. It’s great to talk to so many long term, happy customers on a daily basis
  23. I never get to deliver for Disney to Paris. Another driver always gets that job
  24. A great deal of satisfaction delivering medical equipment
  25. I spend a lot of time educating people about the diverse price range when it comes to delivery
  26. No breakages this year, no breakages ever now that I mention it
  27. Parcel delivery and how it works still confuse some people
  28. Customers have yet to realise that they shouldn’t send food or liquids through the mail service
  29. Parcel companies are less than honest when it comes to telling people about what’s covered by insurance and what is not
  30. We still deliver wine to restaurants, public houses and other locations
  31. We are winning more contracts, I think the 100% perfect and no failed deliveries help
  32. Networking is fun, yes we are back sponsoring Business Scene in Essex
  33. We don’t deliver stolen goods
  34. Despite people being gently educated that we are not hauliers but same day couriers, they still insist on telling me I don’t rank for the phrase haulage (and that I am missing out on 6 trillion searches…)
  35. Next day delivery isn’t always next day delivery
  36. Some companies will hire in staff to deal transport issues and extra customer service staff and pay for more staff training rather than spend a little extra on their delivery. It’s a false economy.
  37. Couriers on Twitter are happy to inform me that I am idle as I spend time chatting there. Ha! I wish…
  38. Our Complete Courier Guide is still popular
  39. I let one of team post on the blog…. yes I did…  Summer driving with your clothes on
  40. That post reassured a lot of new customers of our professionalism
  41. It also made a lot of male readers cringe
  42. One of our blog posts was featured as an article in the 4Networking community magazine. Thanks Guys
  43. Customers still request “cheap” delivery as they don’t understand the value of professional delivery. I am thinking of ringing those looking for cheap and haggling their prices for what they do, down.
  44. We have our own Google plus page
  45. We delivered in the snow last year, it was challenging.
  46. We guest posted about what white van men eat in their sandwiches
  47. The Moving Check List – keep yourself and your movers organised is very popular as it’s incredibly useful
  48. Referrals are welcome but our friends still struggle with what same day delivery actually is!
  49. Writing about transport can be tough at times but we still do it and we win customers by doing it
  50. Competitors really ought to have a better comment strategy than “nice post”.
  51. If it really is an urgent delivery pick up the phone. After all you wouldn’t tweet the fire brigade if your house was burning down.

Any that I have missed? Leave us a comment.

Sarah

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Why price guidelines are wrong for your courier

Often we get enquiries about our courier services and the customer has a guide price in mind.

This is great except for when a customer doesn’t really know what service they require. For instance there are three main types of courier service –

  • Parcels, generally delivered by Royal Mail and parcel carriers.
  • Pallets, often delivered by a hub / national network.
  • Express (Same day courier) delivered by all sized companies.

And the price differentials between each type of service are huge. Royal Mail can deliver a package for £5 from one end of the country to another. You ask an express courier to do that and you won’t get a lot of change from £700. Now when you don’t know what type you require that can seem like a huge difference and fell like you are being ripped off.

That’s not the case.

A parcel courier collects and delivers multiple parcels. You have a rough idea (if you are lucky) of delivery time and the package is small and can be carried with many other packages and parcels. A same day courier picks up and collects one parcel and delivers it directly to it’s destination.  You know the time of collection you know the time or arrival and if it fits on the truck it can be delivered. The driver that collects the item is the driver that delivers it.

That means if you have a a CD or iPhone as a gift, you need a parcel carrier. If you have a Rolex, then you need a same day courier. Hang on a minute you’re thinking, a Rolex is a small item. And that’s where another factor comes into play – the value of the item.

Parcel couriers tend to only cover an item up to a certain value. Usually £500 and sometimes £2,500 if you are lucky. They also exclude items made of glass, liquids, foods, explosives and jewellery and items that are over 25kgs.  In other words if it’s robust, can be thrown around then they are happy to deliver the items. If it needs extra care… then they are not.

So when you are looking at guide prices for your courier service you need to factor in all the variables. The time it takes a driver to drive to the collection point, load and then drive to the end destination and unload, speed limits, the price of fuel, the drivers wages, the insurances etc are just a few of them.

When you ring up for a price and you tell us that your fragile item needs to travel 600 miles, remain upright and not be moved you are not going to get it delivered for a £5. If you are getting it for a fiver then there is something seriously wrong with your courier service and you may land up losing all your goods.

The more conditions you add to the delivery, the more it will cost is the general rule of thumb. It’s a bespoke delivery that is needed and something that requires delivery specialists. Like us.

Kevin

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Why next day delivery guarantees cost your business money

It was my youngest daughter’s birthday yesterday, she was 6 and she didn’t have the things she wanted for her birthday. I didn’t have a lot of time this year to find each present individually and I made the decision to shop online. On Wednesday I ordered all of her presents and I paid extra for guaranteed next day delivery.

But Thursday came and went, and they didn’t arrive. They didn’t arrive Friday either and I spent 30 minutes on Friday cancelling the orders for failing to be delivered on time. I got everything refunded back to me and then I went to Lakeside and bought her gifts.

When I had my money refunded from the gift companies, the delivery charges were refunded too as all the companies had promised me next day delivery and had failed to do that. As a business they still have to pay the courier company for the failed delivery and hope that the items are returned to their depot. If they are not for one reason or another, they lose the cost of the product as well as the cost of the failed delivery.

If the delivery cost £7 and the item £13, that’s £20 off the bottom line of your business. Now imagine this happening 100 times , that’s £2000 off of your profits, multiply that over a week and you are losing 10k of profits.

As a business you may have the time and a dedicated member of staff to sit there and collate all the data and file insurance claims and recoup some of that money but some will always slip through.

Isn’t prevention better than cure?

I should have gone to Lakeside in the first place. I shouldn’t have relied on an external courier and I thought that guaranteed next day delivery meant exactly that. At the time of ordering I was thinking like a customer rather than thinking like a delivery expert.

I know that things go wrong at the delivery hubs, I know that drivers don’t turn up and that agency drivers don’t do the work they should do. As a customer this isn’t my problem, my problem is taking the day off of work or working from home to wait for something and then it doesn’t get delivered. As a customer it’s frustrating and as a delivery business myself I get annoyed that the companies own thought is not getting my goods delivered but their profit sheets.

Friday I rang the delivery companies and asked why my goods hadn’t been delivered. One reason was they couldn’t find the house. We have our own postcode, we are the only property in that postcode. The chances are the driver didn’t even look to deliver our item, he or she wanted to get back to the depot and say it was undeliverable. One company said they didn’t have the item. It was lost, their tracking showed it was in the system but the reality was they couldn’t find the package. The third company said we were not in. So I asked for the failed delivery ticket, they didn’t have one. They promised re-delivery on Saturday but that didn’t happen either.

Only same day courier services are guaranteed, everything else next day / economy delivery is open to debate, even when promised to arrive at a certain time.

It’s in the small print. If you are reading this and thinking about your company deliveries let me ask you one thing – are you sending out and losing so much stock that you need a member of staff to fix the problem? Isn’t time you looked at prevention of the problem in the first place? Is it possible that your desire to save money and save a £1 per parcel is costing you business, time and energy that would be better spent rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic; that would give you are better return than chasing down errant parcel companies.

The moral of the delivery story?

Next day can mean any time in the future, check your parcel companies small print. It doesn’t mean next day if your parcel company is short staffed or can’t find you on their sat nav, or they can’t find your package.

If you are leaving Christmas shopping online to the last minute remember that parcel deliveries triple in December and you should really be ordering the goods now in order to get them on time.

Kevin

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As couriers we know when you are shipping shit.

It’s quite simple really, you ring up and you say “how much to move a box of whatevers to the other end of the country”. You know zip all about us, how reliable we are or anything else and the first words out of your mouth is “how much?”. When you ask that (I will be blunt) you are shipping shit.

A customer who calls us who values their goods / freight / product asks a different set of questions.

They ask:

  • Are you insured and for how much?
  • Is my item insured?
  • How will my item be delivered?
  • Who signs for my item and where will you leave it if someone isn’t in?
  • What size vehicle do I need?
and then when they have satisfactory answers to those questions they ask about the cost of delivery.
This makes A Big Difference when it comes to the actual delivery. Firstly the clients that ask the questions are the ones that book us, they understand the value of the product they are shipping. They understand the cost of production down time. They know the meaning of time critical delivery . They are also the people that care about how they are represented to the end user.
The people who ask how much? first are the people who waste the morning costing their bosses £30 in wages to try and save a fiver. They should have been doing something more productive but hey, a false economy is better than no economy in these tough times.

No matter what your product is, the delivery aspect leaves the first impression of it. It doesn’t matter whether it’s an ebook or 20 pallets of baked beans. If  your ebook doesn’t download correctly then your delivery agent is screwing with your reputation. The same applies when your 20 pallets arrive 4 hours late and in 111 different pieces. The end user, your customer is not happy. You can blame whom you like but the buck stops with you, you were shipping horse manure and you got caught shipping horse manure.

You may be “shipping it” all over the place but the truth is the difference is in the delivery.

Sarah
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The difference is in the delivery

Yeah I know that’s our company strapline but today it’s also the title of this blog post.

I was reading Chris Brogan’s blog post – Ship Vs Shit and musing how delivery terminology has now entered the mainstream online world thanks to Seth Godin. I had been meaning to write a post about why “shipping it” means something different to couriers, and now my opportunity has arrived in a different guise.

As couriers we know when you are shipping shit.

It’s quite simple really, you ring up and you say “how much to move a box of whatevers to the other end of the country”. You know zip all about us, how reliable we are or anything else and the first words out of your mouth is “how much?”. When you ask that (I will be blunt) you are shipping shit.

A customer who calls us who values their goods / freight / product asks a different set of questions.

They ask:

  • Are you insured and for how much?
  • Is my item insured?
  • How will my item be delivered?
  • Who signs for my item and where will you leave it if someone isn’t in?
  • What size vehicle do I need?
and then when they have satisfactory answers to those questions they ask about the cost of delivery.
This makes A Big Difference when it comes to the actual delivery. Firstly the clients that ask the questions are the ones that book us, they understand the value of the product they are shipping. They understand the cost of production down time. They know the meaning of time critical delivery . They are also the people that care about how they are represented to the end user.
The people who ask how much? first are the people who waste the morning costing their bosses £30 in wages to try and save a fiver. They should have been doing something more productive but hey, a false economy is better than no economy in these tough times.

No matter what your product is, the delivery aspect leaves the first impression of it. It doesn’t matter whether it’s an ebook or 20 pallets of baked beans. If  your ebook doesn’t download correctly then your delivery agent is screwing with your reputation. The same applies when your 20 pallets arrive 4 hours late and in 111 different pieces. The end user, your customer is not happy. You can blame whom you like but the buck stops with you, you were shipping horse manure and you got caught shipping horse manure.

You may be “shipping it” all over the place but the truth is the difference is in the delivery.

Sarah
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