Calling all newbies

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Speed Couriers Nationwide Ltd

10314
Original Poster

I’ve had a couple of phone calls this week, and an email, from drivers either thinking about becoming a courier, or one’s that have just started out and were after advice on rates. This was my response to a guy who had yet to start, but had been on several forums saying they were quite negative and to the girl that rang yesterday who had just worked out she’d actually lost £3 by doing a job at 60pplm. Now i’m no expert, but this was my advice. Any newbie or potential newbie can take it or leave it.

"The problem with any forum is it does tend to get negative quite quickly. Having said that, if you can edit out the negativity then there is an awful lot of useful information available. There are two rates that you should have, one for trade i.e. other Courier Companies who sub any work out they can’t cover with their own drivers to outside contractors, and the other rate for the end user, i.e your customers. What you charge your own customers is entirely up to you and depends on where in the UK you are, what sort of payment terms they are wanting and you are prepared to offer, and what the opposition is charging. I won't discuss trade rates other than to say if you work for those offering 60pplm or less then you won't last because rates such as these rely on the naive, and like it or not there are a lot of people who will and do get taken advantage of. That’s where these forums try to help by warning newbies of who and what to avoid.

Everyone has different needs, but you should be looking to do around 300 miles a day minimum. Based on a 5 day week that’s around 78,000 miles a year and assuming you get 600 miles per tank, that works out at 130 tanks of fuel per year. If you reckon on a tank costing £75 or so then that works out at £9750 on fuel. Insurance, let’s say £2500, Goods in transit £250 per year, MOT and servicing another £2500 per year and after 3 years your van will need replacing with a new one!

I can see why you think forums are negative because after reading my reply to you it all sounds pretty pointless even thinking of starting out.

So to summarise, you will have fixed costs of around 15k a year (based on my 300mile 5 day example) Bearing that in mind, and as you are the only one that knows what you need to survive, you should be able to work out how much to charge. I would strongly suggest that as well as the fixed costs you try and put aside some money for the next van once this one has done its 3 year slog.

Getting your own customers is hard, but if you combine that with subbing from other Courier Companies, at a rate that works for both you and them, then it is still an industry that can make you a living, but if you pick the wrong companies to work for you’ll soon find you’re working for nothing.

If we take the 60pplm offered by some out there as an example then you'll see what i mean when i say it’s unworkable

39,000 paid miles @ 60p = £23,400 - fixed costs of £15,000 = £8400 not enough to live on i think you'll agree, and certainly nothing left to put aside for your next van.

This is why we now see the exchange sites sprouting up everywhere, because as at those rates you need to convert as much of your dead mileage into paid mileage as possible.

We are in an industry where in the past, a return load was the icing on the cake, to it now being a necessity, and that explains perhaps, why forums seem to be full of negativity.

Hope that helps and good luck"

Gas Motorcycle Couriers

3617

Speed Couriers Nationwide said:


39,000 paid miles @ 60p = £23,400 - fixed costs of £15,000 = £8400 not enough to live on i think you'll agree, and certainly nothing left to put aside for your next van.

I wonder what 39000 miles would work out in man hours.. you might get paid more if you work at Mcdonalds

021 SAMEDAY

3691

I seriously doubt that of 78k miles you would be paid for half of them as a newbie!

moray couriers

780

Gas Motorcycle Couriers said:


Speed Couriers Nationwide said:


39,000 paid miles @ 60p = £23,400 - fixed costs of £15,000 = £8400 not enough to live on i think you'll agree, and certainly nothing left to put aside for your next van.

I wonder what 39000 miles would work out in man hours.. you might get paid more if you work at Mcdonalds

Is that about the same or more than working in a charity shop? 'cos that's the equivalent of what I get ... :-)

gwh couriers

87

As a newbie, still doing their research, this is a very helpful post. As a newbie is it not workable to try even the crap payers per mile, just to get some experience of couriering as ive never done this before? I do mean just the odd run and not everyday just so I have some miles under my belt as a courier. CHeers gareth

Speed Couriers Nationwide Ltd

10314
Original Poster

Well Gareth, some would say NEVER work for daft rates, but I see your point. Is it not better to be learning the ropes and at least getting paid something? I'm afraid i'm with the majority on this one and would say no, don't do it. Why let someone take advantage of your inexperience. There are far to many Companies who only exist because they are able to use an endless supply of drivers who are wet behind the ears. If there wasn't so many naive people then these companies wouldn't last 5 mins or if they did, then they would soon have to reevaluate their rates.

This is why forums such as this and others keep on trying to make those that are unaware, a bit more aware when it comes to starting out in this industry. A little knowledge is a dangeous thing, so whats wrong with trying to give them a bit more?

Springer Express Couriers

2148

Concise and informative as ever Rob, But you forgot to add in the dead months when the kids go on hols and January and Febuary,

But there is something to be said for going and working with a large company for a few month while your learning and cultivating your own customers, If you screw up for a large company it does not do as much damage to screwing a contract for a small company or O/D

gwh couriers

87

Springer Express Couriers said:


Concise and informative as ever Rob, But you forgot to add in the dead months when the kids go on hols and January and Febuary,

But there is something to be said for going and working with a large company for a few month while your learning and cultivating your own customers, If you screw up for a large company it does not do as much damage to screwing a contract for a small company or O/D

This was my thinking too. Also as I have no experience will anybody but the crap payers give me a chance with their loads? Gareth

Speed Couriers Nationwide Ltd

10314
Original Poster

Absolutlely Mr Springer, and there are many i have taken on who started with one of the multi nationals, and are then pleasantly surprised at the rates most of us are paying. I was thinking more of the other courier co's who haven't got the volumes to back up their low rates. I understand there are variables in some parts of the UK but generally I find that most of us are speaking from the same hymn sheet re our prices to our customers. I think its more to do with the split than the charge. I also realise that yes, i haven't taken into account the slower months, but then again i also didn't add in saturdays or sundays, the times you do an 800 mile day, or the time you had it off with a nice treble up and/or return trip.

My example is based on an average yearly mileage of one of mine but without the co-loads or returns that might be had if you have either a good controller, or access to one of the exchange sites and work hard at getting em yourself. And it doesn't take into account any customers you may have got for yourself either. But there ARE a growing number of Couriers starting up in our industry who DO work ONLY as a subbie to others, and it is these chaps and chapesses who i believe are being duped, and are propping up companies who would otherwise not be here. And between them they are both responsible for our industry "dumbing down".

PLEASE NOTE THESE ARE MY THOUGHTS ONLY AND SHOULD NOT TO BE TAKEN IN ANYWAY AS A PERSONAL DIG AT ANYONE IN PARTICULAR OR ANY PARTICULAR COMPANY

RGM Courier Services

1737

gwh couriers said:


Springer Express Couriers said:


Concise and informative as ever Rob, But you forgot to add in the dead months when the kids go on hols and January and Febuary,

But there is something to be said for going and working with a large company for a few month while your learning and cultivating your own customers, If you screw up for a large company it does not do as much damage to screwing a contract for a small company or O/D

This was my thinking too. Also as I have no experience will anybody but the crap payers give me a chance with their loads? Gareth

Hi Gareth. I'd agree it's a good idea starting off with a big company like DHL etc to learn the ropes. Don't be too put off by the low rates though, as you'll find that because they have high volume deliveries you often get more than one job going the same way, which you get paid for separately. (Except when it's the same customer) Good luck!

RGM Courier Services

1737

And you can get returns!

gwh couriers

87

RGM Courier Services said:


gwh couriers said:


Springer Express Couriers said:


Concise and informative as ever Rob, But you forgot to add in the dead months when the kids go on hols and January and Febuary,

But there is something to be said for going and working with a large company for a few month while your learning and cultivating your own customers, If you screw up for a large company it does not do as much damage to screwing a contract for a small company or O/D

This was my thinking too. Also as I have no experience will anybody but the crap payers give me a chance with their loads? Gareth

Hi Gareth. I'd agree it's a good idea starting off with a big company like DHL etc to learn the ropes. Don't be too put off by the low rates though, as you'll find that because they have high volume deliveries you often get more than one job going the same way, which you get paid for separately. (Except when it's the same customer) Good luck!

I would get in touch with dhl etc etc, but think they require newer vans (mines a plain white swb 56 plate connect) and at the moment I don't want to upgrade as it its still a low mileage clean and reliable example.

MK BIKES

2821

Excellent thread Rob!

Speed Couriers Nationwide Ltd

10314
Original Poster

.

Mr G Courier Service

2596

The right type of van can make or break you too. My vauxhall combo used to average 480-550 miles per £70 of fuel now im getting 600-700 miles from my fiat doblo for the same price. That makes a huge difference on your bottom line

AJM sameday Couriers

3440

Yes but the fiat doblomwill go t#ts up at aprox 50, 000 miles.

Mr G Courier Service

2596

Really? That was 75k miles ago and nothing happened

gwh couriers

87

Is that the new doblo/combo?

Jamie Vickers

200

My Doblo is a 06 plate and done 134000 miles I have.had to put in New clutch and New turbo since New not to bad I think

AJM sameday Couriers

3440

jamie vickers said:


My Doblo is a 06 plate and done 134000 miles I have.had to put in New clutch and New turbo since New not to bad I think

I bought a brand new doblo in 2009, when I have an hour spare I will tell you all the problems I had, but it was the most comfiest van ever.

Gas Motorcycle Couriers

3617

Do you guys want to take your conversation to a more appropriate thread please.. Like what van do you run.

gwh couriers

87

As newbie would anyone but the crap payers(city sprint seams to be mentioned a lot) give someone who hasn't done courier work before a chance?

Speed Couriers Nationwide Ltd

10314
Original Poster

Gareth, a lot of vendors won't give work out to those that don't show as having GIT. I'd also add a pic to your profile if i were you. The more info on your profile, the more chance of getting some work

Gas Motorcycle Couriers

3617

Speed Couriers Nationwide said:


Gareth, a lot of vendors won't give work out to those that don't show as having GIT. I'd also add a pic to your profile if i were you. The more info on your profile, the more chance of getting some work

+1

gwh couriers

87

As I say i'm still doing my research, so haven't got as far as purchasing git, pl and getting the correct insurance(got my quotes tho) so as soon as I do have these I will load all these on my profile as well as a picture of my actual van.

Speed Couriers Nationwide Ltd

10314
Original Poster

Gotcha

Mr G Courier Service

2596

Well Gareth.. How are you getting on? Still here?

AJM sameday Couriers

3440

Mr G Courier service- I take it personally said:


Well Gareth.. How are you getting on? Still here?

Is speed couriers nationwide still about, not heard his moans and groans recently?

Rapid Movements Europe Ltd

463

Here we go! Load gun fire bullet,

Low rates are predominatly because of a few underlying factors,

And not ncessarily in this order.

  1. Greed
  2. Cabbotage from out side operators ( now more than eastern block drivers operate this way in the uk),we are all guilty of this at some point, the prices charged are far below what a national driver would charge
  3. The customer expects that you are a rich man and want,s you to move their goods for free or at a rate that is far below your running costs ,
  4. Company, s that opperate a sub to subbie system in most cases want to screw you down on price as far as possible (i refer to item no1 ) and i might add not all company,sespecialy the one,s that operate on this web site
  5. Greed
  6. A Market place where a lot of "man and van" operaters quote for work and who don,t have the relivant insurances etc are forcing the rates down as thier cost, are lower

There are how ever a few point,s that we can be used to counter the loss negotiate a better Insurance and G. I. T cost An agreed rate system between couriers eg: trusted between one company and another with a small mark up/down Also by the use of a more reliable vehicle with cost effective driving (55-56 mph ) not the 100 mph that you see every day on the M6 And so on and so on

AS A CAVIATE :The views expressed here are mine and mine alone and are by no means a disparagement on any firm /customer or operator of this or any other site

AJM sameday Couriers

3440

Rapid Movements Europe Ltd said:


Here we go! Load gun fire bullet,

Low rates are predominatly because of a few underlying factors,

And not ncessarily in this order.

  1. Greed
  2. Cabbotage from out side operators ( now more than eastern block drivers operate this way in the uk),we are all guilty of this at some point, the prices charged are far below what a national driver would charge
  3. The customer expects that you are a rich man and want,s you to move their goods for free or at a rate that is far below your running costs ,
  4. Company, s that opperate a sub to subbie system in most cases want to screw you down on price as far as possible (i refer to item no1 ) and i might add not all company,sespecialy the one,s that operate on this web site
  5. Greed
  6. A Market place where a lot of "man and van" operaters quote for work and who don,t have the relivant insurances etc are forcing the rates down as thier cost, are lower

There are how ever a few point,s that we can be used to counter the loss negotiate a better Insurance and G. I. T cost An agreed rate system between couriers eg: trusted between one company and another with a small mark up/down Also by the use of a more reliable vehicle with cost effective driving (55-56 mph ) not the 100 mph that you see every day on the M6 And so on and so on

AS A CAVIATE :The views expressed here are mine and mine alone and are by no means a disparagement on any firm /customer or operator of this or any other site

I'm not getting drawn into, this debate because I do very little subbing work, but you have hit the nail on the head with the word greed.

Nottingham & Derby Couriers

3179

Gas Motorcycle Couriers said:


Speed Couriers Nationwide said:


Gareth, a lot of vendors won't give work out to those that don't show as having GIT. I'd also add a pic to your profile if i were you. The more info on your profile, the more chance of getting some work

+1

Obvious didn't listen to some basic advice as there still isnt any insurance info etc!

Rapid Movements Europe Ltd

463

Here is a fine example : Just have quoted on collect today B23 deliver by 07.00 monday Regio Calabria Southern Italy taking into account fuel ,ferry etc (non toll route)exept italy My quote :£1790:00

reply from customer

can get this done for £900:00 by a p@@e

AJM sameday Couriers

3440

Rapid Movements Europe Ltd said:


Here is a fine example : Just have quoted on collect today B23 deliver by 07.00 monday Regio Calabria Southern Italy taking into account fuel ,ferry etc (non toll route)exept italy My quote :£1790:00

reply from customer

can get this done for £900:00 by a p@@e

£900, might just cover his costs, tolls and fuel in Italy not cheap.

Rapid Movements Europe Ltd

463

Gary The cheapest ferry crossing for freight (of which most vans with a side window,s in them dont) dover calais £75:00 one way dfds,. then running via austria and fern (NON TOLL) Tolls in italy would be arround £100.00 plus

Then fuel estimate @ average mpg would total around 350 ltrs @ £1.46 per ltr = £511.00 one way in italy last week more than £1.63 per ltr

without wages (3 days ) one way and sundries (pay for the bog in germany etc ) £686:00 of costs on the van alone without wear and tear insurance etc My rate equates to around 0.88p per mile for 1935 miles thereabouts

My answer was use the other guy i cant compete

The other route equates to £0.46p per mile

add approx £300:00 if using Mont Blanc and tolls in France

Speed Couriers Nationwide Ltd

10314
Original Poster

AJM sameday Couriers said:


Mr G Courier service- I take it personally said:


Well Gareth.. How are you getting on? Still here?

Is speed couriers nationwide still about, not heard his moans and groans recently?

021 SAMEDAY

3691

AJM sameday Couriers said:


Rapid Movements Europe Ltd said:


Here is a fine example : Just have quoted on collect today B23 deliver by 07.00 monday Regio Calabria Southern Italy taking into account fuel ,ferry etc (non toll route)exept italy My quote :£1790:00

reply from customer

can get this done for £900:00 by a p@@e

£900, might just cover his costs, tolls and fuel in Italy not cheap.

Perhaps he already has a guaranteed return load? And this fits in perfectly, it does happen occasionally you know.

Rapid Movements Europe Ltd

463

021,

Let me say your company has been in this game a lot longer than most , Even longer than gods dog ,

The chances of having a back load sorted before you leave the u.k are virtualy nill unless the brown envelope made its way quicker than normal (though i dont advocate this method but is nessisary some times ), other than postng on the c.x that you will be free to accept a load subject to breakdown, lightning strike ,flood or famine .the chances are non , On my last trip out had to reload in Germany as no load avalible

Take a look at Dover ,Canterbury or Ashford ,STOP 24 ETC Calais or any port on the Westen Peninsular, the amount of vans an 7.5 t vehicles with trailor wating to pounce on u.k work in or out of the u.k is un-real Polley truck stop outside calais is solely owend by a hungarian company that used to be hungaro cammion and has around 10 + trucks daily waiting to be shipped empty to the u.k friday,s and over the week end there are driver swaps, lorry swaps after 24 hours on a minibus no log p.o.a for the journey .

Government has no control over the amount of cabotage that goes on in the uk so how are us / you/ me/we the small haulier and couier companys simply able to compete let me refer you to item one of my post,

USING THE WORDS OF JIM ROYAL "BACK LOAD MY ASS"

Rapid Movements Europe Ltd

463

Quick answer Cabotage

You can carry out a limited number of cabotage jobs in another EU member state if you’re a UK haulier with a Community Authorisation. The jobs must follow a journey where goods were transported from the UK or another member state.

Cabotage is the haulage of goods for hire or reward in one member state by a vehicle registered in a different member state.

As a goods vehicle operator, when you get a standard international licence you’ll automatically get a Community Authorisation. When and where UK hauliers can carry out cabotage

You can only carry out up to 3 cabotage jobs in 7 days within the host member state.

EU member states which allow cabotage are: Austria France Poland Belgium Hungary Portugal Cyprus Ireland Slovakia Czech Republic Italy Slovenia Denmark Latvia Spain Estonia Lithuania Sweden Germany Luxembourg Spain Greece Malta Finland Netherlands

Hauliers from these countries can also carry out cabotage jobs in the UK, subject to the same conditions.

You may have to register for and pay VAT in the country where the cabotage journey took place.

Your right to carry out cabotage may be removed temporarily or permanently if you breach safety rules.

THAT IS EUROPE,S STANCE ON CABOTAGE

021 SAMEDAY

3691

Rapid Movements Europe Ltd said:


021,

Let me say your company has been in this game a lot longer than most , Even longer than gods dog ,

The chances of having a back load sorted before you leave the u.k are virtualy nill unless the brown envelope made its way quicker than normal (though i dont advocate this method but is nessisary some times ), other than postng on the c.x that you will be free to accept a load subject to breakdown, lightning strike ,flood or famine .the chances are non , On my last trip out had to reload in Germany as no load avalible

Take a look at Dover ,Canterbury or Ashford ,STOP 24 ETC Calais or any port on the Westen Peninsular, the amount of vans an 7.5 t vehicles with trailor wating to pounce on u.k work in or out of the u.k is un-real Polley truck stop outside calais is solely owend by a hungarian company that used to be hungaro cammion and has around 10 + trucks daily waiting to be shipped empty to the u.k friday,s and over the week end there are driver swaps, lorry swaps after 24 hours on a minibus no log p.o.a for the journey .

Government has no control over the amount of cabotage that goes on in the uk so how are us / you/ me/we the small haulier and couier companys simply able to compete let me refer you to item one of my post,

USING THE WORDS OF JIM ROYAL "BACK LOAD MY ASS"

I agree completely and would never reduce rates on the strength of even a 99% possibility.

LwsExpress transport solutions

1161

Rapid Movements Europe Ltd said:


Here is a fine example : Just have quoted on collect today B23 deliver by 07.00 monday Regio Calabria Southern Italy taking into account fuel ,ferry etc (non toll route)exept italy My quote :£1790:00

reply from customer

can get this done for £900:00 by a p@@e

But he may be an Italian based pole who has just done a £1790 job to the uk, so £900 is happy birthday time.

LwsExpress transport solutions

1161

Speed Couriers Nationwide Ltd said:


AJM sameday Couriers said:


Mr G Courier service- I take it personally said:


Well Gareth.. How are you getting on? Still here?

Is speed couriers nationwide still about, not heard his moans and groans recently?

Shhhhhhhhh!

gwh couriers

87

Mr G Courier service- I take it personally said:


Well Gareth.. How are you getting on? Still here?

Hello Mr G, I'm still here and still doing my homework, at the moment tho I have decided to wait until at least march of next years( few things to sort in personal life first). Still struggling to see how I can even make basic wage, what with correct insurance, decent van etc etc. So maybe I should try the self employed route, multi drop etc etc. My brother in law started with dpd 6 months ago, after 20 years of being a scaffolder, and he loves it.

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