Starting a courier business

Last updated: August 2023  | Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

By Wajahat Raja
Wajahat Raja
Wajahat Raja Insurance Expert

Wajahat is an accomplished writer with a drive for finance and content creation. He has an MSc in Accounting and Finance from the University of Northampton. He has a keen interest in exploring a variety of topics like subjects insurance, private equity, and investment banking. His work demonstrates his passion for writing informational pieces which make him an asset in the field of finance

Expertise: Finance, Insurance, Home Insurance, Public Liability
from the MultiQuoteTime Editorial Team July 2023

The courier business has seen explosive growth in 2 key sectors in the UK.

  1. 1
    Food and Beverage Delivery
  2. 2
    Parcel Delivery

Demand for couriers is greatest in the business regions of major UK cities. This demand is of a business nature, delivery of urgent documents for example. However, a demand for fast food delivery service exists in all regions of the UK as the love of fast food continues. Hot on the heels of fast food is beverage delivery.  

[pullquote align="normal" cite="CitySprint "]The new dray service, launched earlier this year, comes on the back of a more than 200% boost in revenue for the courier from the food and beverage sector in 2017[/pullquote]

Before embarking on this path, work out any upfront costs and study your competition. Take into account all upfront and ongoing costs, including the cost of food courier insurance.

Courier entry levels

Because of the different entry levels, opportunities exist for those starting off with a small budget, for example providing a simple bike courier service. Which ever approach you plan, it is paramount that you position yourself as a firm that not only delivers, but provides great service.

If you can think of something that can set you apart from the pack, then all the better. A path exists to start as a motorcycle courier, progress to hire and reward van driver and beyond.

The ease of entry is also the downfall of the courier industry so be warned whilst it is relatively easy to enter competition will always be at your heels.  To some it may seem that all you need is an office, a mobile device, and a courier vehicle. As a result, there are many new courier businesses that start up each only to fail. 

Many other opportunities exist in the haulage of goods sector. These are in general more expensive to set up, as normally you will need to invest in a fleet of vans or heavy goods vehicles. If you can enter at this level and be successful, the rewards will be huge.

Do the research, create a business plan and be cautious taking nothing as given, in other words be prepared for long hours and hard work. Success can be achieved with determination, planning and a service minded attitude

The least investment path

If you do not have unlimited money for a fleet of push or motorbikes, most likely you will have people working for/with you on a self-employed basis, rather than as employees. A key advantage of this is that they will be responsible when it comes to providing their own bikes and equipment, in addition to storing and maintaining them.

Establish a strong business image - stand out from the crowd

We all know that motorcyclists and cyclists are indeed vulnerable on the roads, but they also can be very visible. Because of this you can enhance both your rider’s safety and the company advertising by the use of bright, noticeable colours or logos.

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