So your business is growing, which means your delivery requirements are probably growing too and it’s time to get a courier partner on board. Here are a few simple steps to help make getting started with a courier provider easy.
The first (and most important) step is finding the right courier provider for your business. There are a number of options available, and some key things to consider include: Firstly, look at the type of service you require. Different courier companies offer different delivery timeframes, so if delivery speed is important you’ll want a courier that can provide that. The most reliable speedy providers maintain their own fleet of vehicles. Secondly, look at the size and weight of items you’ll be sending. Courier pricing is based on size and weight of an item as well as where it is being sent to. There can be some differences in the weight/size allowances on pricing between different providers. Finally, think about whether you’ll be sending items internationally. Not all courier companies offer international services, some will simply pass your item on to a separate international provider for that leg of the journey. Other companies, like New Zealand Couriers, have a solid international distribution network as part of a single account.
Step 2: Setting up your account.
Once you’ve opened an account make sure you get login details for their online tools, such as booking a courier and ordering products, and keep these in a place where you can easily refer to them. Using online tools can save you a lot of time on the phone. This is also the time to get your head around ticketing zones. The type and number of courier tickets used to send an item depend on where the item is being sent, how much it weighs and its size. There can be penalties for not using the correct type or number of tickets. Asking for a ticketing zone map for easy reference can be a big help. Be aware of the implications if you are sending an item to a rural address or want delivery outside of standard business hours (i.e. Saturday). Another thing to check is what falls into the category of ‘dangerous goods’. Things like nail polish and lithium batteries may seem harmless enough, but are classified as hazardous.
Step 3: Start sending
Most courier companies will give you the option to order tickets or packs through their website, and this is often the easiest way of getting product. Once your item has been packaged, addressed, ticketed and is ready to be sent you’ll need to let your courier know to come pick it up. Booking a courier is as simple as picking up the phone or jumping online.
Step 4: If something comes up, what should you do?
Your courier company should give you some key contacts to call when you need help. Some companies may only have a central call centre, so you may want to weigh up whether having a local team you can talk to or not is important to your organisation. In the unlikely event that an item goes missing or is damaged during delivery, the courier company’s claims process comes into play. Make sure you fully understand this process up front. One thing to remember is that, in the event of a claim, it’s you who needs to contact the courier company to sort it out, not your customer – so make sure you know who to call.