Due to the nature of their work, couriers must place a lot of importance on deadlines. Certain same day couriers and parcel delivery companies offer to pick up and deliver goods within the hour – distance permitting. Whether they are doing motorcycle courier jobs, haulage work or offering man and van services, drivers must ensure they are not sacrificing their safety or the safety of other road users in order to meet deadlines. If a package is delivered late, the client will be displeased and the courier company may lose the account, but the consequences of being involved in an accident are likely to be far more severe.
Couriers should have a good working knowledge of the routes they commonly use and the cities in which they work. They should be familiar with the streets, parking laws and regulations, and they should also be aware of the locations of the businesses and individuals that they frequently do courier jobs for. Planning ahead can prevent rushed, panicked driving. Advanced planning can be more complicated for European and international couriers, but it is worth researching unfamiliar areas beforehand to prevent unnecessary risks.
A report carried out for Transport for London investigated the safety risks encountered by motorcycle couriers. They interviewed 155 individuals working in food delivery and the courier services industry. The report found that on average, motorcycle couriers make over 100 deliveries per day and cover a distance of 112 miles. Around a third of courier companies deploy riders who only hold provisional licenses, and only 30% of companies insist that their riders have clean driving licenses. Around half of all courier companies impose time limits on deliveries. The most common penalties incurred for late delivery are financial. This may involve pay deductions or losing certain lucrative clients.
Keeping to deadlines can be a stressful aspect of courier jobs, but it is important that drivers do not forfeit road safety considerations for the sake of financial reward.