How to get more work from exchange sites?

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ZENITH Courier Services

1383
Original Poster

I realise that we're not supposed to rely on website like mtvan and courier exchange for anything more than the occasional backload, but I must admit that I was expecting to get more work from them than I am getting, and I wonder whether anyone (either ODs like me or bigger firms) get a regular flow of work from them.

Even if I bid for a job IMMEDIATELY (basically as soon as google maps on my phone wakes up), 9 times out of 10 someone has got there first. If it says hotshot, my bid is usually around the £1 per loaded mile mark, never more, but often less (I understand that this is an acceptable rate for a Transit, although Speed is the only one prepared to put a figure on it - certainly I charge my end-line customers more than this and they're happy) - but there's always someone else giving a backload price for a hotshot job.

I will get enough work to cover the investment and more, but I get the feeling that these sites are working better for other people than they are for me... Am I wrong about that, or am I doing something wrong?

Swift Couriers Haverhill

4060

A lot of it boils down to location and the work load coming out of that area, I have posted work on here before when my regular contacts are busy and struggle to get it covered. On price as you mentioned I am happy to pay £1 loaded mile for a large van to sub contract work out so there shouldnt be an issue with most companies with that figure.

London Nationwide Transport

529

Hi Camvan, Im an O/D too and i find exactly the same thing. I dont think you are doing anything wrong,there are just too many drivers chasing too few jobs. I have just come back into the industry after a break and i am finding that i have to quote for a lot more jobs before i get anything.

Speed Couriers Nationwide Ltd

10314

Unfortunately its often down to couriers who know you gettin in 1st cos they don't have to work a price out....cos their rates are known by us, and cos of that they'll be able to ring b4 anyone else. Its chicken and egg Once we get to know you, it makes life easer all round Also these sites are a victim of their own success.....i have found several bloody good drivers, and more often than not i ring em direct, or they'll text me where they're going, which cuts out the need to stick it on an exchange site.

Be patient, it's early days, and once you get known your wheels will keep on turning

90% of my work is for small vans tho i'm afraid so both Camvan and London Nationwide, my Transit jobs are few to quote for.

moray couriers

780

Mr Speed, don't forget mine is a small van, ( when I get things properly organised, even from down in deepest Essex you will likely hear the fanfare.)

Speed Couriers Nationwide Ltd

10314

and sometimes it's worth taking a punt

I had a wee jobette from Royston to stansted a week or 2 ago and a regular driver rang to see if it was still available. The mileage on the job was LESS than the mileage for him to get there BUT he took the view that Stansted was a better place to be than sitting at home.

He got 3 x Londons...all individual jobs

The gamble paid off

Preston Courier Co Ltd

6254

Camvan I presume you are talking about CX because as a vendor on here I rarely get bids, last week we did over 800 dead miles covering 4 out of area jobs we put on here with no bids at all.

Website Admin

6173

Preston Courier Co Ltd said:


Camvan I presume you are talking about CX because as a vendor on here I rarely get bids, last week we did over 800 dead miles covering 4 out of area jobs we put on here with no bids at all.

Here's one of the jobs you put on last week.

You can see at the top that 3 members made a bid (through the site alone). Were none of these any good to you? Perhaps they were too late, or did you not get a notification from the site? For info, if you don't have it turned on you can enable bid alert texts to your mobile. They are free.

ZENITH Courier Services

1383
Original Poster

I am talking mainly about CX. I haven't yet had any work through mtvan, but that's because there never any work on here posted in my area. Preston, put work on here for work in Cambs or Norfolk and I'll probably bid... :)

Website Admin

6173

Website Admin said:


Preston Courier Co Ltd said:


Camvan I presume you are talking about CX because as a vendor on here I rarely get bids, last week we did over 800 dead miles covering 4 out of area jobs we put on here with no bids at all.

Here's one of the jobs you put on last week.

You can see at the top that 3 members made a bid (through the site alone). Were none of these any good to you? Perhaps they were too late, or did you not get a notification from the site? For info, if you don't have it turned on you can enable bid alert texts to your mobile. They are free.

Also worth pointing out to those struggling to pickup work that on the above job (and others), where it now says "This booking is now closed, it was allocated to an mtvan member!" it actually is. So someone got it!

In the job above, 3 bids were received on the site and someone on the site received the job (and no, Preston did not allocate it to himself) I'll let you join the dots rather than give away any more information.

Website Admin

6173

CAMVAN said:


I am talking mainly about CX. I haven't yet had any work through mtvan, but that's because there never any work on here posted in my area. Preston, put work on here for work in Cambs or Norfolk and I'll probably bid... :)

Aside from the obvious quoting for every job that makes sense for you, I'd say you have to build your brand up so that everyone knows who you are.

Asking this (very relevant and interesting) question on the forum here is one good way to do that. When you do get a job, get your vendor to leave feedback and vice-versa. Ask members you've worked with a few times to 'trust' you. Think about how to have a beautiful, recognisable logo (I saw your thread so know you have been). Have a good name. Have a nice tone on the forum etc etc. It all helps build your virtual profile. Having a smart van, business cards being smart, well spoken and accommodating does this in the physical world.

When you type in 'www.mtvan.com' to your URL bar, who are the courier companies and what are the logos you are expecting to see as soon as you reach the news feed? You're aiming to be one of them, someone who other members remember (for the right reasons!).

Mr G Courier Service

2596

admin you seem to be repeating my profile ...i like it . Brand mr G - professional reliable and honest And a lovely tone on the forum

Preston Courier Co Ltd

6254

Website Admin said:


Here's one of the jobs you put on last week.

You can see at the top that 3 members made a bid (through the site alone). Were none of these any good to you? Perhaps they were too late, or did you not get a notification from the site? For info, if you don't have it turned on you can enable bid alert texts to your mobile. They are free.

Yes that was a job that got 3 bids, but that's an exception, go back through the jobs in order....

Melksham to Blackpool, 0 bids

Carlisle to Hexham, 0 bids

Birmingham to Guildford, 0 bids

Liverpool to Wrexham, 0 bids

Blackpool to Wakefield, 0 bids

Carlisle to Hexham, 0 bids

Preston to Penistone, 0 bids

Halifax to Brierfield, 0 bids

Almost all of those are out of area jobs, ideal for an exchange site, but no one is interested and we end up sending our own vehicles.

Take the Birmingham to Guildford, that was posted 5 DAYS IN ADVANCE and still no bids, we paid our subbie £296 because he got paid all the way, anyone quoting us less that £2.40 a mile would HAVE GOT THE JOB.

ZENITH Courier Services

1383
Original Poster

"anyone quoting us less that £2.40 a mile would HAVE GOT THE JOB."

That puts us in a dilemma, because as Speed's recent thread shows, if you bid more than the going rate you tend to wind people up.

ZENITH Courier Services

1383
Original Poster

Preston, for the B'ham to G'ford run, maybe it would have been worth saying in the listing how much the job would pay. I'm sure someone would have bid if they knew they'd be successful at £2.30 a mile. It would have even been worth my while coming from Yarmouth.

S Garner Courier

1333

CAMVAN said:


Preston, for the B'ham to G'ford run, maybe it would have been worth saying in the listing how much the job would pay. I'm sure someone would have bid if they knew they'd be successful at £2.30 a mile. It would have even been worth my while coming from Yarmouth.

If it's the one I'm thinking of it stipulates 'Luton van' so narrows it down a bit.

I agree if you'd quoted that pplm you'd have been laughed out of town in most cases.

DDR Sameday Courier

330

Preston, I did note the Carlisle to Hexham job last week as I'm only 30 miles up the road from Carlisle but my pplm would have been nearer my end user price for my LWB Transit to make it viable for me to cover 90 empty miles so I didn't quote thinking i'd be wasting your time.

Although I will quote nearer a small van pplm for jobs if the mileage makes it viable to do so.

Preston Courier Co Ltd

6254

Sorry more posts keep appearing so have to keep amending

Scott, yes it was a luton job, it's more of an example.

DDR that job comes up a lot, pm me a price you may not be as far out as you think, see below as an example.

Camvan: If a birmingham courier HAD quoted us £2.40 a mile, I would have thought they were taking the **** and sent my subbie anyway, I was more trying to illustrate a point that people should quote on any work they can cover at a fair rate, let me try and give another example in your neck of the woods.

Collection in Thetford to Stoke On Trent in a small van and we'll work on a subbie rate of 70ppm

A to B Mileage is 170.

Now if I send one of my subbies it's a 476 mile round trip and they would get £166.60

Thetford is 50 miles away from you so you may think it's not worth quoting because 50 dead miles is a lot and you can't afford to do it for nothing, or you may think if I add those 50 miles on he may think I'm taking the ****

If you did charge me all the miles, great yarmouth - thetford - stoke, that's 220 miles @ 70p = £154.00

That's cheaper than me doing it, and if it's urgent my customer gets it done 4-5 hours quicker.

If you charged 80p per mile that's £176.00 so it's a little dearer, but still quicker and you'd still get the job.

If you charged 90p per mile that's £198.00, now this is getting to the tipping point, if you were an owner driver I'd start to think this was too much, but if you were a company I'd know that you had to pay your driver and make a profit, £1 a mile is the same.

There are lots of variables, my main point is just bid :)

Website Admin

6173

Preston Courier Co Ltd said:


There are lots of variables, my main point is just bid :)

This is a really good point, it doesn't matter if you have some doubt as to whether you'll win the job, just bid what works for you and see.

Mr G Courier Service

2596

when did you do a Bham to Guildford? i did a Bham to Guildford yesterday and would have loved to double up.........maybe i should renew my membership again, although that is the 1st bham job i have seen on here

Preston Courier Co Ltd

6254

Another thing to consider

Let's say CamVan is a courier company with drivers to pay, he's no small vans free, but he does have a transit van but he can't do it for less than £1.30 per mile including the dead mileage.

So he fills the form in and in the Quote: 220 miles @ £1.30 = £286.00 and in the notes puts: No small vans free but can collect within the hour in a transit.

Is that too much, it depends, it may not be.

This gives me an option to say to my customer look I can do it for say £240 but it'll take us 4-5 hours to collect, but I've got a guy in Great Yarmouth who can collect it in a hour and the cost will be be £310, the customer may decide he wants it quicker and pay.

Preston Courier Co Ltd

6254

Another example

Collection in Preston going to London

If you are in Warrington, Stoke, Walsall, Birmingham, Coventry, Northampton, Milton Keynes, Luton, London etc etc IE at any point on the route, your total mileage is no different than ours, so providing you can make the collection time why not bid.

Preston courier leaves at 9am, arrives london 2pm back home 7pm mileage 470, time 10 hours London courier leave home at 4am, arrives preston 9am, london 2pm, mileage 470, time 10 hours

The parcel is collected and delivered at the same time, and the mileage is the same.

ZENITH Courier Services

1383
Original Poster

Another example - see the load i have posted in yarmouth! The only bidder is no longer available.

Preston Courier Co Ltd

6254

DDR contacted me as I asked and although he has 30 dead miles AND has a transit van so charges a higher rate he can charge me full rate for all the miles, I get the job done cheaper, customer gets it delivered an hour quicker everyone is happy.

Also bear in mind that it might only be a 39 mile job, not the greatest in the world but DDR gets paid for a 69 mile job plus getting your foot in the door is just as important because next time I need a courier up carlisle way I will ring him first.

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