A Day in the Life: What Life’s Really Like for a Courier Driver

Working as a courier driver can be hugely rewarding. For anyone considering a career in the transportation business, here is an introduction into the kind of work involved and an insight into what you can expect your typical day to consist of.

Introducing Delivery Work

While you can’t get away from the fact that being a courier driver means that you will be working long hours, the job is appealing on many levels. Being self-employed means that you can work the longer hours to your advantage around other jobs or your family. And, if you choose to work for a company, you can look forward to excellent training opportunities and career progression.

Depending on the company you work for, you could be doing shorter runs around a local area or you might be travelling longer distances. There is no doubt that whatever area of delivery work you choose your days will include lots of variety.

Early Starts

Don’t be surprised if start times seem somewhat early. Five o’clock in the morning is not an unusual starting time for a courier driver. Your responsibilities on arrival at the depot might include checking your load and making a plan for the day. Planning is a real skill and something acquired with experience, but is essential for a streamlined working schedule. After a couple of hours you’ll be out on the road, usually with a coffee and bacon sarnie in hand!

Most parcels have estimated times for deliveries and it is essential that these are adhered to. Mornings can be the busiest, as most companies allocate their guaranteed time slots before noon. Parcels must be received by the specified recipient or left in a designated place. You will log all of these details on your hand held scanner.

Afternoon Action

After lunch, it is more deliveries – and collections too, of course. Afternoons can be tricky if you’re working in a built up area that is prone to the often-chaotic rush hour. However, this is where your meticulous planning and the GPS (Global Positioning Systems) come in.

Throughout the day you might do 40 or 50 drop offs and around 10 collections. Your scanner constantly sends all of the delivery information and time logs straight back to the depot.

Once all deliveries are made and collections picked up, you’ll head back to base and unload your vehicle so the parcels can be sorted. You might not get home before seven in the evening, but the long days mean that you clock up the hours and reap the financial rewards.

If you’re thinking about a career change or just starting out in the world of work and looking for a worthwhile avenue to take, becoming a courier driver could be for you. The real beauty of this rewarding career is the variety; no two days are the same. You work independently and are definitely kept on your toes, but you meet all kinds of people and will receive great support and training by your employer and colleagues. The industry is tight knit and a wonderful one to get involved in.

Author Plate

Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world's largest neutral trading hub for same day courier driver work in the express freight exchange industry. Over 5,400 member companies are networked together through the Exchange to fill empty capacity, get new clients and form long-lasting business relationships.


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Author: Desiree Michels