Hi, I have just signed up with mtvan as it would appear that this site is very easy to use. Would anyone recommend Courier Exchange too? Thoughts would be very much appreciated.
Posted in General Discussion.
I have never been a member as I have been told there is little bike work & so not worth the membership investment, it is also dependant on your location so bear that in mind with any pro advice you get
I joined but it is a poor site for the owner driver. It's good if you sit at home all day as you set your alerts to a depot base then once your out your alerts come through back at your house.
You may pick up bits and bobs from there but to be honest hit the yellow pages and ring the companies near you, you will get more work that way.
I have found them very pushy on the phone, which always says to me they are struggling for custom! Not convinced by what they tell me, and yes I think you could be right! Good old yellow pages.
Don't pay too much attention to what 3T says about Courier Exchange. He's only been on there a month himself so he's hardly in a position to give an expert opinion.
I've been a member since 2009 and I shall be renewing when my subs are due later this month. There are some good companies on there that I would not hesitate to work for and a few rogues that I wouldn't touch with a barge pole. Same as anywhere else... it's a case of learning to tell the good guys from the bad guys.
3T's comment about getting alerts is entirely misleading as well. It's a straightforward affair to set up your smart phone to receive CX alerts whilst you're out on the road. I also carry a netbook and a dongle with me so I can access the website almost anywhere. This, combined with use of the 'return journey' facility means I don't miss much.
Your main disadvantage so far as I can see is your geographic location. you seem to live in the middle of nowhere, quite a few miles from any of the hubs of courier activity. I don't think too much gets put on CX from your immediate area. Swift in Newbury put a fair amount of work on but they're 34 miles away.
Oh, and don't put too much emphasis on the Courier Exchange staff being pushy... they're like that with everyone, even longstanding members.
CX works, simple as that. And nothing yet comes close, anyone that says different is to put it bluntly... Wrong.
30% of my business is covered by subbies, and as soon as you put the job on the alerts go out and the calls or texts come in. The alternative of ringing around using yellow pages is not workable. Simply not got the time to do it, and why do that when you can cover it on a site that "automates" the art of ringing around with alerts?
I have 6 jobs, all for now, all in different parts of the country. Yellow pages? Which do I try and sell 1st then?
I know plenty of owner drivers. I've used over 500 in the last 4 years alone, and I don't think any of them would say CX is perfect, but it does do what it says. And it gets you into a network, and into working with Courier Companies you may never have come across any other way.
I have taken on several owner drivers full-time from guys who have initially quoted on our work 1st. What more can one say?
Had to laugh at Manadons Comment "You only been on there a month" (good one).
Mr Manadon you really are based in the arse end on nowhere but I'm guessing you're making it work.
We do work for a Courier Exchange company, we are not on CX ourselves. I have done 4 loads to France for him and out of those 4 I have had two loads back off him that he got off CX. It must be alright. I have heard terrible stories of bad debtors so its something I would avoid.
Yeah! But to be fair, Bob, you can get stung by people owing you money from just about anywhere. I'm sure there's plenty of couriers that could tell stories about bad debt where CX wasn't involved in the slightest.
The feedback system on there, whilst not infallible, does help me stay clear of the bad guys and I've only got shit on once during the time I've been on CX and that was for a relatively small amount.
The comments above high light one of the problems of larger exchange sites: The selling on of jobs, the person who bids on the work isn't the person who does it, they then sub it out to another.
Does the job originator always know this?
Of course this happens, Tony, and anyone who says it doesn't is a fool. But how can you stop it. It all comes down to the honesty and integrity of the person giving the quote. The only way to avoid this sort of thing completely is by only ever using trusted subbies that you can be sure don't work in such a way.
Although that is often impractical and that's why trade exchanges exist in the first place, isn't it.
If you cant guarentee the honesty of the people on there (and this has been quite openly said by many people previously) I'd rather not be involved.
I have used people before that I don't really know only to find out later the price provided in my mind wasn't the service I had asked for the quote for ("I had a couple drops on the way" kinda thing). Thankfully that hasn't been often. Of course this works both ways on exchanges you provide a service and expect to get paid in the agreed time. From what I understand from members I know there is a greater chance of your experience not meeting your expectations on certain sites which is something I would expect the owners of these sites to only too keen to sort out but apparently they are not too bothered.
You can never guarantee the honesty of anyone you haven't known for years. There are bent people all over the world, millions of 'em. Some people out there even have no qualms about ripping off their own families. The newspapers and the courts are full of it on a regular basis. There are rip off merchants and con-artists in all walks of life so you'll find it damn near impossible to go through life avoiding them all.
As for getting paid within terms, I don't usually have a problem with it "on certain sites" but that's probably because I'm a bit fussy about who I work for. And I'm of the opinion that it's not really the site owners responsibility to hold your hand or wipe your tears away when you cry or calm you down when you're having a temper tantrum. All they're there to do is provide a platform for job vendors to link up with people looking to do the work. The rest is the individual's responsibility
No offence, but I think you've been paying too much attention to the prejudiced bigotry spouted from time to time by the little clique on Nick Andrew's site.
No offence but that was straight from a member (who no longer is).
Please don't make assumptions.
Works for some, doesn't for others. Just like any site.
Unless you are/have been a member of any site in question I don't think it's right to pass judgement on something YOU don't have first hand experience of.
e.g. Was asked to join mtvan and give them a try, whether it works for us or not is not the point, BUT can give opinion of site if asked, because from a job posters point of view we do have mixed responses.
No personal dig at anyone in particular, more of an observation.
Daniel @ 3T
Hardly surprising it's not working for you, especially if you don't have the alert settings set up correctly to start with!
I was on Courier Exchange for 5yrs, left a couple of months ago. Got fed up chasing for out standing money and since we have been trading we have only had 4 people go bust on us. 3 are from CX, and we cover all our work ourselves now and I only sub to people that I know.
And then 1 week after leaving I had a sales call ask if I was interested in joining CX lol
Well although I'm as cynical as the best of em, I do tend to trust that anyone doing a job for us, does it as tho it were one of their own and 99% of the time they do.
You will always get bad payers, some cos their cashflow is a bit suss, and others cos they can. But all i can say is we have had little issue with anyone on that point. All Courier Exchange is designed to do is be the middleman between those that have jobs to cover, and those that are available to cover em... and for me it does exactly that.
12 Months with my own sub as an O/D
Over 180 jobs completed.
A number of excellent new contacts.
Feedback from respected members which does more for my marketing to bigger courier companies than me sitting ringing round offering my services could. Introductions to trusted subcontractors to cover work for my clients.
Occasional niggles with alerts and technology.
Online database history of all jobs booked and completed for use in any disputes over payments.
More phone calls than I can actually cover from people who I'd never have known of before but now call me regularly after originally quoting on one of their GTM's.
All in all, if you offer a good service, are available, are not a 9-4 Mon-Thurs clock watcher, do the basics well, go the extra mile when required, are easy to deal with and use it as a tool to its full potential then yes, it is worth it and will pay for itself many times over.
If you just join, pay your subs and think the industry will come flocking to your door then it, and courier work is not for you.
How does this Courier Exchange thing work? I've been in this industry nearly a year and I am lucky enough to have a constant flow of work due to my family's involvement in a printers, they give me the delivery and I deliver! if I passed it on to someone else I think they would go mad, how do you guys on Courier Exchange get round this? Do you tell the bid winner to say you're collecting or working for you? Or do you tell your customer that their job is going to be put onto an exchange and sold on?
Another question do any of the jobs have prices on them?
I joined CX about 2 months ago, going well although there are many couriers who work for peanuts on there so can be hard to get a bid accepted. I usually use it more for loads coming back home as it can be great for that. I have posted every day on mtvan that I am empty and heading back to midlands or anywhere via and not had 1 call, I don't bother anymore!
I see where you're coming from ams, you're a taker. My question is how does a giver get around it with their customers?
Any driver taking work from any exchange site is doing it on behalf of the vendor, so if its me "selling" a job then you're doing the job on behalf of Speed.
If your van is plastered with your company details or you wear a uniform, you are still doing the job on behalf of Speed Couriers.
We supply drivers as and when our customer needs them... Simple.
I'll admit I've not been on the site long and maybe I haven't set up my alerts properly but unless I set it for a massive area how can it work? I can be anywhere in the uk.
Unless I have net access all day long to change my alerts it can't work.
Maybe I'm just not getting it but ive tried speaking to them and all they want to do is find out if I'm renewing then get me off the phone.
What you do is to enter a return journey onto the system. You tell it where you're dropping and give an approximate time of when you're dropping. You also enter the size of your vehicle and the place you're heading for (e.g. home).
Then the system works out your most likely route and sends you alerts for any suitable work that originates along that route. Obviously, you need to set up your smart phone to receive the alerts as it wouldn't be practical to keep stopping to check your laptop regularly.
Plenty of drivers get backloads doing this. I had three last week. A bit of extra cash on the way home is a nice bonus.
And that's why the exchanges came about in the 1st place... To alert everyone who was where and what they were doing, and allowing us all to utilise each other where before we couldn't cos we didn't know about each other. It ain't rocket science but some of us still prefer to try to use feathers and glue!
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