Category Archives: Sameday Courier

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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Filed under Courier Business, Moving awkward /fragile goods, Packing For Transportation, Sameday Courier

Gently does it!… today we’re delivering antiques

This morning I was out early to take a drive down to Deal in Kent.

I collected some stunning art deco bedside cabinets.

The good thing about delivering antiques the way we do here, it they are completely safe. The vehicle that we use for expensive furniture has a carpeted floor. This means the underside of any antiques we deliver don’t get scratched.

We blanket wrap them in soft felt cabinets and them strap them to the wall of the van.

It’s these small details that show the difference between a professional courier and someone with a white van.

You might think you are saving yourself money but how much does a French Polisher cost? ‘Cos you might need one to get rid of those scratches.

Kevin

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Vehicle tracking systems: The benefits for business

Businesses across the UK are in a constant battle to keep their bottom-line costs to a minimum and make savings where, and when, it is possible. For many fleet owners this can be assisted with the use of vehicle tracking technology.

As its name suggests this is a system used to track and monitor the progress of vehicles allowing company owners to stay on top of their daily operations with fast, accurate and real-time information.

The hardware, which is available from firms such as Leeds-based Remote Asset Management, is installed on the lorries, trucks, vans or personal motors which uses GPS to determine their exact positioning.

This has the initial benefits for businesses to inform customers how long deliveries should take, and allows them to give clients estimated arrival times. It also lets staff in the office inform drivers of any potential problems that could be experienced on their route, including traffic jams, diversions and more, while sorting out an alternative driving schedule.

On top of this, using GPS tracking can help reduce the amount of fuel being consumed by vehicles, which could be up to 20 per cent, because the technology allows firms to monitor the speed of their fleets.

In theory this means that through more controlled driving companies can reduce their maintenance costs because vehicles will last longer and it can make a difference to bottom line bills by reducing the amount of petrol or diesel needed on each journey.

Furthermore, if businesses reduce the speed at which their motors are running on the road this could potentially help cut their insurance premiums.

It has been revealed that because of the detailed data available from GPS tracking (which also allows companies to monitor more than one vehicle at once) it can help cut the cost of cover for fleets.

However, it is up to individual firms to contact their insurance providers to see what benefits vehicle tracking systems could have on the bottom-line price for their vehicles’ protection.

Also, GPS trackers can help save lives on the road – not only by reducing the average speed at which vehicles travel – but by keeping track of a vehicle in case a driver goes missing.

More often than not most times a motor has disappeared or lost contact with base it is because of a dead mobile or someone has forgotten to check in. However, if someone has crashed or been the victim of a robbery or carjacking the GPS system with its accurate information can help emergency officials start their search for drivers and the lost vehicles – rather than leaving them to wait and wonder.

Therefore, vehicle tracking systems have various benefits from cost saving measures, improved customer service and more accurate operating systems allowing for contingency plans that can be of great benefit to businesses across the country.

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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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When your drivers leave – what do you do?

Breaking up is always hard to do.

The person initiating the split has the advantage; they know what’s coming, the other party don’t.

When leaving a job it’s customary to clear your desk and walk out of the door with a box of stuff, photos, cards, stationery you have lined the box with  😉 you have left the building, your work colleagues (and some will stay in touch). Quite often if you are leaving for a role of greater value you will leave on a high.

But life goes on without you, work goes on without you.

When you leave for another reason, you don’t quite skip out of the front door. A dismissal can leave you feeling dejected as you walk through the office with your box and out of the front door, through your head you run many scenarios of how it should have been. In truth you are just feeling a little annoyed that you didn’t see it coming, or that you had not responded to the warning signals soon enough.

What’s left behind?

What’s left behind has to continue, and steps are taken to ensure that work can continue. If you have left, is that something you should be bothered about? Sometimes people make decisions and don’t think about the impact of their decision on their environment.

When I worked in the City, I had an employee resign on me. The day she left, at her finishing time her PC network access was removed. She flew into a rage, how dare we remove her PC access, who did we think we were? She was going to sue us, how dare we ruin her day. How dare we? One week 4 people resigned and the same thing happened to them and there wasn’t a word.

So why did this person over react?

I have no idea to be honest, it was standard procedure. She had seen it happen in the office before, she understood the procedures and why it was done but she thought for some reason she was different, that she would be treated differently. When you have a process in place you don’t discriminate, you follow the process for everyone, even when that someone is the perfect employee.

We employ drivers and our drivers are treated identically, they know if they resign we take the van keys back off of them. In fact they finish on the spot and their notice paid out depending on their contract. It means our vans don’t get wrecked, sugar put in the fuel tanks or a pile of speeding fines accrued.

This isn’t unique to my business, places where I have worked it’s very common. What’s not common is to see people resign and then accuse you of all sorts when you protect your business.

In fact I wonder how they are going to run their business.

I have a colleague who treats his drivers like mates, he lets them see the books, do the banking and then he frequently moans when they set up competing businesses and take his customers. He has no process in place and he likes to keep things open and transparent and he is often firefighting to keep his customers. I have said to him over the years why does he allow this, and he says he’s a nice person and he trusts his drivers not to stitch him up.

Mike Trup has a great line, he says he trusts people but he still locks his front door.

I liken the scenarios with the employees to trusting them but still locking your front door. There’s nothing wrong with that, in our case it has saved many a van. In my friends case it gives us something to talk about over beer. Neither one of us will change.

If you are leaving remember that someone will be locking the door behind you. You wouldn’t leave your door open when you leave your property why expect someone else to?

How do you react when you leave?

Sarah

PS remember your digital assets need returning. I have had to set up new twitter accounts and other social media tools as I was sloppy and trusted the person to return or rename them. They did neither but they did spend 30 minutes telling what a nice person they were and how I had them all wrong. They never bothered to look at it from my point of view. Lesson learned – you still can’t trust anyone.

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Delivering Furniture

This week Sarah needed to go into London (she reckons she was meeting Guy Kawasaki) so I thought I’d pop her in the van and show her what a furniture delivery entails.

Loading safely, ensuring that the straps are there to secure the items, sack trolley on hand to move it into position on the van.

As you can see the furniture is wrapped securely  for “just in case”.

The items are packed safely so if another vehicle hits us, or we have to swerve to avoid something the furniture is kept in pristine condition.

Unloading at the end destination, after checking the packaging is intact (it is) and then I drop madam off at the tube station.

Kevin

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Can a courier deliver late at night?

Up until recently a same day courier company would deliver when instructed to by their customer.

But now customers have something else to consider when booking their delivery – whether it will be too late for the recipient and whether it breaches their privacy.

A complaint was made to the regulator and then to the Complaints Commissioner in relation to a courier sent by the FSA which delivered a package to the complainant’s husband at 9pm at night.

The complainant said the courier banged on the door and disturbed her and her children during the process of delivering a package of 5,000 pages of documents to the complainant’s husband who was under investigation by the FSA.

She claimed the regulator had acted in a manner which did not have “any regard for [my] or [my] family’s privacy and Human Rights”.

The complainant requested a “formal written apology and an ex-gratia payment for the upset and inconvenience caused by [the member of the enforcement team] and the FSA.”

Something that Business to Business customers need to take into account when booking their courier service.

Sarah

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Good news on the horizon for Hauliers

And motorists it would seem.

Prime Minister David Cameron today gives his strongest hint yet that his government will ease the burden on hard-pressed motorists and hauliers.

Less than a week before Chancellor George Osborne delivers his Budget, Mr Cameron made it clear to the Press and Journal that help is on its way. He said he understands how drivers’ wallets “are being hit hard” because of soaring world prices. He added: “The Budget is coming up next week, and we are considering the options, including a fair fuel stabiliser which could support motorists when oil prices are high.”

Read more: http://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/Article.aspx/2184115?UserKey=#ixzz1Gz7X8pvk

Sarah

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Avoiding mistakes when booking a courier service

Everyone in business wants to save money and improve their bottom line. Yet when it comes to getting their goods delivered they are enacting Einstein’s definition of insanity; expecting a different result from doing the same thing, over and over again.

Saving your business money when it comes to courier services isn’t that hard, and a few simple steps will save you a significant amount of money and more importantly, keep your customers happy.

  • Make sure you get the right kind of courier service – if you don’t know, ask.
  • Make sure you have the dimensions of the items to be delivered.
  • Know the weight of the item
  • Know the collection and delivery postcodes

The right kind of courier service is essential if you are looking to save yourself money getting something delivered. If it’s fragile or high value you will need a same day courier service. If it’s low value and durable a parcel courier or the local post office are the better options.

Knowing the dimensions of the item to be delivered means you will avoid parcel surcharges when getting your goods delivered. In the small print of the parcel couriers terms of business are the details of their extra charges. If you have an account you may not notice how many surcharges you are incurring each month for overweight items, incorrectly packages items and other things. There is money in those details – check them!

Knowing the weight of the item is vital to saving you money. You may find you are paying extra for an over-sized item that may be cheaper to send by same day courier services compared to a parcel service.

Knowing the collection and delivery postcodes is essential to getting an accurate price. London is a big city and you can pay more by not being specific.

Being accurate and being specific is the best way to avoid costly mistakes when you book your courier service. Remember this when you are looking to improve your bottom line and your customer’s delivery experience.

Kevin

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