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The Business Case For Converting Your Vehicles To Electric As A Local Courier Service

As with any business – cash is king – and cash-flow, or the amount of money transferring in and out of your business at any one time, is one of the most important metrics for businesses looking to grow.  As a courier service our business is no different, and cost control is top priority to keep out businesses healthy and out of the red.

Right behind operational expenses including rental, insurance, and labor costs, fuel represent one of the biggest out-flows of cash, and one that until recently, was seen as a standard variable cost, and one directly related to the amount of miles driven.

This equation is now changing thanks electric vehicles (EVs).

The good news is: with EV manufacturers moving quickly into last-mile trucking, short-distance courier-based business like yours are uniquely positioned to benefit from this technology.

The question now is should you go on the electric car bandwagon and convert? Will that do good for your local courier business?

Today, let’s help you figure that out.

Electric Cars As Couriers: Is It Possible?

Although it may seem like technologyElectric cars aren’t brand new. In fact, They have been around and now we’ve seen many own them. However, one of the challenges of owning and operating an electric car is how to power it up. You see, unlike gas stations that seem to exist in every corner, there aren’t as many charging stations. However, there is a growing number of charging stations, especially in urbanized areas.

Courier services could possibly lead to the use of such vehicles. This is because they have a network of vehicles designated for different locations. They have the data to calculate how much their vehicles need to cover for the deliveries. In that way, it is less risky for them to have the electric car stalled on the road due to lack of electricity.

Furthermore, courier services may also have the capacity to invest in their own charging points or at least have some in their facilities. They could also create routes that pass through the various charging points within the locality.

Should Courier Services Convert To Electric Vehicles?

Of course it is possible for courier services to use electric vehicles to provide their service, the question of whether they should or should not still remain. There are factors to consider but the partnership between electric cars and courier services is looking quite well. Here are a few reasons why you should think of converting into electric vehicles.

Maintenance Costs

While the jury is still out on the overall maintenance costs savings with an EV fleet for last-mile transportation and courier services, initially these costs should be lower.  Since there’s no engine or transmission to service, you won’t need to change your truck’s transmission or engine oil, and you’ll never have to replace a timing belt or a head gasket either.  Moreover, not including the engine or transmission, EVs are also known to have fewer moving parts than their combustion engine counterparts in general, further reducing the cost of maintenance and repair due to less wear and tear.

With less moving parts, unexpected failures should be reduced, however we don’t recommend ripping up the number for your preferred roadside assistance or towing service, as the most common roadside needs are related to unexpected accidents or flat tire service.

Unfortunately, EVs aren’t perfect, and one of the biggest drawbacks relates to batteries.  Over the long term the batteries in EVs will need to be replaced with costs ranging from $4,000 – $7,000, or more depending on the size and model.  Most manufactures have warranties that cover battery replacement should a premature failure occur, but you may have to cover the cost yourself if the battery fails after the warranty expires.  This additional cost may lessen the resale value of your vehicles, especially for older models.

Environmental Reasons

The first and most common reason to convert from combustion engines to electrical-powered ones is due to the impact on the environment. They are a far better option when you want to reduce your carbon footprint. Even Amazon is turning into electric vehicles to lower down their carbon footprint.

Additionally the U.S. Government is now allowing businesses to claim “carbon credits” if a business can prove that they are actively reducing their carbon footprint.  Qualifying business can then claim their credits offset tax obligation or sell them on a global market.  Click here to find out more…

Government Funding

The government is pushing the use of electric vehicles in order to lessen the carbon footprint. You should take advantage of this and check what the local government has to offer. There are incentives and they can also help you so that the cost of converting wouldn’t seem to be too high.

Boost Your Brand

How many local courier services do you know that use electric vehicles? There aren’t many yet so why not use it to boost your brand. Electric vehicles aren’t just unique, they could also positively impact your brand by letting the public know about your concerns about the environment. By using such vehicles, you are helping in lessening the carbon footprint. It is one way to make your business greener. Many people are also concerned with the environmental effects of cars. By using electric cars, you might convince more people to hire you for your services.

Types Of Businesses That Rely On Courier Services

Having an individual use your courier service to send some goods over to another is a great feeling especially for those who have just started with their courier service business. However, instead of simply focusing on individuals, wouldn’t it be great to have a larger target market that continuously uses your services to transport their goods?

There are many people that you could target with your courier business. When we think about courier services, the first thing that comes to mind is e-commerce businesses. But, they are not the only ones who rely on courier services. Here is a list of the different types of businesses that rely on couriers.

Clinics, Hospitals, And Pharmacies

The medical industry uses courier services and they don’t just use any courier services. It is reliable and capable of transporting whatever they want to be transported. They could use them to send out documents that are time-sensitive.

Additionally, the medical industry also needs its supplies delivered in a timely manner. Although they won’t really let their stocks reach zero, it is important for them to receive their supplies immediately and in excellent condition.

Medical businesses may require special and careful handling of their goods. Once you prove that you are capable of doing so, they can be one of your regular customers. Getting a regular customer to use your courier service is a great step to success.

Schools And Universities

Schools also need a reliable courier to send out or deliver important paperwork. Although some schools would offer online access, there are still some paperwork and records that should be printed out. Sometimes, couriers can also be asked to deliver sensitive financial documents. A reliable courier would make sure such documents reach the correct receiver in a timely manner.

Printing Companies

Some printing companies accept last-minute orders from their prestigious clients. That also means that the printed materials should be delivered in a timely manner. With reliable courier services, the goods can be easily delivered to meet such deadlines.

Law Firms

Other businesses worth targeting are law firms and offices. There is much paperwork that requires to be transported.  They could hire courier service providers to send out criminal case reports, evidence reports, and other documents. Such are confidential and shouldn’t be misplaced. Furthermore, those documents are usually required to be sent out as quickly as possible. Strict deadlines should be met at all times. In some cases, that could mean delivering documents within the same day.

Real Estate Companies

The real estate businesses also handle lots of paperwork and documents. They don’t only send them out, they also need to receive them as fast as they can. Sensitive documents need to be handed to the clients rapidly. This would help real estate agents to more likely make the sale due to their quick turnaround time.

Manufacturing Companies

Many manufacturers purchase their own vehicles so that they can deliver their goods on their own. However, there are also some manufacturers that choose to outsource their delivery systems to courier service providers. This is especially true for those who are just starting with their manufacturing business.

Plus, if the company decides to purchase a delivery truck, it could just be an additional cost at that time. Although they could decide to purchase trucks in the future, courier services that provide great service may change their mind and develop a long-term relationship with them.

Accounting Firms

When we talk about accounting firms, lots of paperwork comes to mind. Accounting firms deal with a lot of paperwork. From payrolls, audits, and tons of forms to help their clients with their finances. All of these documents are very confidential and time-sensitive as well. Being able to deliver all documents safely and in a timely manner is key to having these companies work with you for a long time.

E-commerce Businesses

With the digital world easily accessed today, plus restrictions due to the pandemic, there is such a greater need for courier services because of online shopping. Many businesses are tapping into the online world to stay competitive. That also means that they have to trust a reliable courier service provider to get their products to their customers.

Time is of the essence and as we all know that people don’t like to wait. Packages should also be in good condition once they are delivered. If the packaging seems unruly and falling apart, customers might suspect the courier of tampering with their packages. Also, courier service providers should handle fragile items with utmost care as couriers are sometimes blamed for damaged fragile items.

6 Tips For Optimizing Your Courier Service Today

It may sound overly basic but the more efficiently you can deliver products, the more successful your courier service will be.

Optimizing and conquering courier management requires a solid understanding of the basics so you can ensure the continuous improvement of all the different areas of your company, whether it be scheduling preventative maintenance, establishing dedicated roadside assistance, enhancing delivery routes, or implementing fleet maintenance software.

Implement a Fleet Preventative Maintenance Plan

An effective fleet preventative maintenance plan includes:

  • A comprehensive checklist of all the activities and tasks to be performed during scheduled maintenance. (This will differ based on each vehicle’s class).
  • The service interval or frequency.
  • Creating a process for drivers to submit their written inspections.
  • A designated facility where maintenance and repairs can take place.
  • A record-keeping procedure to store data.
  • A process for maintaining inventory and ordering spare parts.

 

Consider Fleet Maintenance Software

Fleet Management Advantages

Fleet Management Advantages – Source: SafetyCulture.com

A courier fleet optimization and maintenance software allows couriers to deliver parcels faster without wasting resources. Moreover, it enables couriers to avoid: vehicle wear and tear, increased fuel costs, completing fewer tasks within a given time frame, inefficient driving routes, and customer dissatisfaction.

In today’s saturated courier market, optimization and maintenance software is more important than ever to stay ahead of the curve, improve customer service, and increase profitability.

Establish Dedicated Roadside Assistance

Breakdowns occur no matter how well-maintained your fleet is. To avoid your courier vehicles being stranded in the middle of the road, you need to ensure you have a dedicated roadside assistance service that will get you out of a bind in a timely and efficient manner to avoid unnecessary downtime and costly losses.

So whenever a roadside emergency happens, you’re confident in the on-demand service’s proficiency to resolve the issue and get your vehicle moving in no time. You can also consider investing in courier breakdown cover as it’s very affordable and will help provide you with peace of mind in the long run.

Moreover, these services will usually recover your vehicle to the destination of your choice without any added charges, and they also offer assistance if it won’t start or if you’re stuck and don’t have a serviceable spare tire.

Use the right vehicles for the area

Sometimes cars or bigger vehicles aren’t the most practical when there’s a lot of downtown traffic. This is often better navigated using a bicycle or an electric hand cart. Naturally, you won’t be using these for remote or rural regions. Location intelligence is essential if you want to optimize your courier service.

So consider population density and the number of delivery addresses in a given area before you choose the right mode of transportation.

Consider stops in your travel time calculations

When planning your routes, don’t just look at travel time but also consider stops. If your driver has to deliver a package to someone living on the 5th floor in a building with no elevator, then that is sure to derail delivery time.

So take these factors into account (the type of building, number of floors, distance from the road to the front door, etc) and use that data to optimize your ETAs.

Why Courier Services Are Needed Now More Than Ever

The shifting consumer preferences and new technologies the logistics industry have always been a challenge to navigate. With that said, COVID-19 has taken this challenge to a entirely new level as many transportation businesses, small and large, were forced to let go of their long-term business strategies and adapt more forward-thinking ones.

Prior to the pandemic, many businesses were weighing whether third party delivery services would make sense cost-wise. In-house delivery comes at a price and entails hiring, training, and employing delivery personnel. This not only adds more labor costs to the business but insurance fees as well.

Moreover, those situated in rural areas often have a clientele that lives outside of a delivery radius that is profitable for the business. However, when Coronavirus hit, third party courier services became an essential stream of revenue for many operators. This was especially helpful for businesses that had to close their doors due to lockdown, social distancing, and quarantine.

The pandemic has taken a toll on many sectors including retail, transportation, leisure and hospitality, arts, entertainment, and recreation, as well as accommodation and food services. In light of these developments, many courier services made extra efforts to work with businesses affected by the pandemic by adding incentives and making rates more manageable.

How to Approach Courier Services

As the world is gradually shifting to a less restrictive lifestyle, it’s going to take quite some time to completely get back that sense of normalcy we’ve grown accustomed to. While businesses have reopened, though perhaps under different circumstances, many people still don’t feel comfortable enough to go out and about unless it’s for a quick grocery trip to get the bare essentials.

As more consumers opt for at-home delivery, growing accustomed to the convenience of courier services has made delivery platforms not only highly reliable but necessary as well. This growing demand means courier services will continue to be essential for keeping streams of revenue coming in.

For businesses that don’t have an in-house delivery platform, third-party providers offer a simple, straightforward, and streamlined way to add delivery services in a quick and efficient manner.

This means businesses can begin to generate revenue almost instantly and don’t have to curb their operations or up the marketing budget. Courier delivery services are a key element in both operational and marketing plans and offer an extremely valuable medium to reach a broader range of customers.

The Benefits of Using Courier Services for Your Business

Using courier services can bring so many benefits to your business. Not only does it offer the convenience of at-home deliveries to your customers but it also helps you expand your business all while saving time, money, and ensuring a quicker service.

  • Quicker delivery: this will help you improve the efficiency levels of your enterprise and make a positive impression on customers.
  • Knowledge and experience: when you use third-party courier services, you benefit from the knowledge and expertise the courier company has to offer.
  • Better reputation: offering more delivery options for a large clientele will boost your business’s image and improve its reputation.
  • Tracking tools: this will allow your customers to get more control over their order and benefit from the opportunity to track their parcel while it’s on its way.

6 Things You Need To Know Before Starting A Courier Service

A courier business can help you make good money as they are many benefits of being your own boss. There are several things that you can know before you get started.

 

Legal Decisions

Before you start to set up your courier services there are some legal things you might have to deal with. Try to understand the legal structure and also make sure that you have all the proprietors mentioned. You will need a licence which can help you when it comes to taxes.

Insurance

Insurance

Insurance can help you when in emergency situations. Having an insurance can help you in any law suit or claim, Try to not scare away easily as insurance can help you find the right way.

 

Reliable Vehicle

If you do not have a reliable vehicle, you might fall into many problems. Find a semi-truck which can help you stay in the business. If you want you can also take a car or a pickup truck.

 

What you can get paid

There are many times that you might price your services high or low which cannot work out well for your business. Take the national average and work it into your favour. Also most countries charge by the job rather than hourly basis which can also help you adjust accordingly while you change the rates.

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You will have to work hard

Starting your business is a great idea but it can be hard work, especially when you start out. You do not have to work long hours to be successful which can help your business grow. It you want your business to take off. Try to learn to be punctual and start your day right and success will follow you.

 

Don’t be afraid of complaints

You are staring out your business and at this time complaints are one way to help ensure that your services get better. Try to make use of these services and use it to improve your business. Also, check in with your customers on a regular basis. This is one way to build loyalty and also to help ensure you keep on growing. If you find a problem try to fix it as soon as possible which is more like second chance for you.

 

The steps mentioned here are some of the most important things one must know before starting out a business in courier. Do not be demotivated if you do not see growth but try to put in efforts and you will be where you have to be sooner or later. Working hard to make your business well can work for you but try not to give up easily.

 

 

 

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