A courier is a type of third-party logistics that helps companies deliver messages and packages of virtually any size. Hiring a service to take care of courier needs is often a preferred option for companies for multiple reasons. The company may not have the internal resources to have the delivery made – especially if the item is particularly large or heavy, or if it is being sent internationally.
It is generally cheaper to pay for the courier services than to use time and money to have internal resources do the same thing. As well, courier services are significantly more reliable than regular mail services, and quicker. Courier services do have specialties, so companies should be diligent when choosing a service provider.
Here are five questions to ask a courier service:
1. What services are required?
To begin with, companies need to know what services they require. Some companies use two or more service providers, which they use depending on the type of service they need. Others may be able to find a courier that manages all of their needs.
A big determiner is the location. Whether the packages are being sent internationally, nationally, inter-provincially, or locally can make a difference in the service provider a company chooses. As well, some couriers may offer certain delivery types, but their prices may be higher than other couriers if that is not their specialty.
2. How much do they charge?
Different service providers may have different methods of determining the price of a delivery. Factors used in pricing could be the size and/or weight of the package, the distance it is being sent, or the number of packages being sent. Couriers will also often charge extra for rush delivery services, and lower the price if the client chooses a less pressing deadline.
For an added cost, some couriers may also deliver outside of regular hours and over weekends and holidays, however if the courier agrees to offer this service, the cost would likely go up significantly, so it’s definitely not an option for companies on a budget.
3. What delivery options does they have?
Some couriers offer multiple delivery services. Some of these services are based on time. For instance, a local delivery could be requested as a rush, a two hour, or a four hour delivery. For nearby cities, a courier may offer a same day option, meaning the package would arrive that day before end of regular office hours, or they may offer a more economic service which would deliver the package the next day.
4. How often will the company be using this service?
Some companies require frequent courier services, namely, distributors sending products to clients. Other companies might require courier services for casual deliveries a few times a month, but will not be as demanding a client.
It is important to know that the courier service can handle the volume of deliveries the company will require, while still providing high quality service. Some courier companies simply may not have the fleet to handle a major client with a high volume of delivery requests.
5. What is their insurance policy?
Insurance is an important feature of a courier service, especially for companies dealing with fragile items or items of high value. Professional courier services will have an insurance policy that covers damage to the items being delivered. It also insures the items in the event that they are somehow lost or stolen.
In addition to covering anything to do with the packages being delivered, courier insurance will also cover bodily injury that may come to the delivery person or anybody who becomes injured as a result of the delivery person or vehicle. Finally, the insurance will also cover the vehicle used to do the delivery.