What’s the best transport for a courier?

Courier VanThe job of a courier is to move items from A to B. This is sometimes from one country to another, across country or only across a city or town, but whatever the distance you are travelling, you need to choose the right type of transport.

Courier Vehicles Depending on Distance

Firstly you need to look at the distance you are going to travel. If this is only going to be short, then you might consider a bicycle. Using only muscle power as fuel it is cheap. It produces no pollution and can cut through traffic where a large van can be held up. Price wise, many bicycles are inexpensive. However it is not suitable for large distances or large loads. This means that its usefulness is limited and is only really appropriate for documents or small items needing fast local delivery.

For a similar type of delivery but one which can cover a larger area, a motor bike is another option for a courier. They can cover a longer distance in a shorter period of time than the average bike but can manoeuvre through traffic better than a van. They can carry quite heavy items, but again these items are limited in size. They are more expensive to buy than a bicycle, and require more protective gear. They also require more maintenance. However a reliable motorbike can travel surprisingly long distance quickly and have a particular niche in the market, motorcycle couriers were used a lot during the Olympics when traffic was bad.

For long or medium transport of most items, a van is the vehicle of choice. A car is not really suitable for courier work as it cannot carry as much as a van and has no advantage in reliability. Also a van looks more professional to the customer – a minor but important point when business is competitive. A car is only useful if you are acting as a taxi service. A van has more space and items can be secured inside more easily it also holds a lot more credibility as a courier vehicle.

So what type of van is the best? Think about what you are likely to be transporting. For general courier type work the Ford Transit type of van is probably the most useful. You do not need an HGV licence and most items will fit inside a van of this size. If you expect to regularly be moving larger items, or tall items such as larger pieces of furniture, then you will need a vehicle such as a Luton style box van. Again, unless you have a very large one, you do not need an HGV licence to drive it.

Once you have determined the size of the vehicle you will need, the next important point is reliability. Whether you are using a bicycle, a motorbike, or a van, if your vehicle is off the road you will not earn any money so reliability is vital. Unless you yourself are a competent mechanic with access to a garage, you should get your vehicle serviced regularly. This will help keep your vehicle on the road and will keep down fuel consumption, thus reducing overheads. Remember, even a bicycle needs maintenance.


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