If you love driving, then a freelance courier job may be for you. While the hours are often long, an independent delivery driver can make upwards of $50k per year. Whether it’s a supplementary income or your main gig, becoming a freelance courier is simple. Below are some tips to get you started.
What You Need
Before you hit the road, you’ll need a few things, such as a valid driver’s license and the physical ability to load and unload items. To be a good driver, you also need good customer service skills because you’ll be required to interact with the public regularly. You should also assess your driving tolerance as some jobs require long hours on the road. If you’re the type to get sleepy, bored, or sore from driving for several hours, a courier job may not be for you.
Choose Your Transport Mode
Once you’ve assessed your suitability for being a courier driver, you’ll need to choose your mode of transport, whether it’s a motorcycle, car, or van. Bear in mind that some states require special driver’s licenses for different vehicles — for example, truck drivers need a commercial driver’s license (CDL) — so be sure to check all the legal requirements first. Whatever you choose, make sure the vehicle is in good shape and that it can accommodate a wide range of parcel sizes.
Check Insurance Options
You’ll also need to check your insurance options. This includes your coverage as a courier and insurance on the items you’ll be delivering for clients. Rates will vary depending on the value of your deliveries and the type of vehicle you drive, so it’s best to contact an insurance agent to compare your options.
Set Up a Decent Cellular Service
As a freelance courier, you’ll be making and receiving a lot of calls. Therefore, you’ll want to get the most affordable and efficient services for your cell phone. While it may be a high upfront cost, your phone is the lifeline to your customers, and you’ll need to be reachable at all times. The best cell phone plans should have unlimited minutes and text options.
Centralize Your Business
Once you’re up and running, you’ll want to centralize your business. For example, make sure you have a computer or a laptop that enables you to run your business, email clients, set up a website, and take care of invoicing.
Like any business, you’ll also need to promote yourself. If you want customers to find you, it’s important to be visible. Building a website is a good place to start, as is setting up social media accounts and circulating flyers and business cards.
Use Load Boards
If you want to find delivery jobs and hit the road with as many shipping jobs as possible then consider using load boards such as Shiply. Here, jobs are posted and available for you to bid on based on your load capacity and where you are in the country.
Determine Your Prices
When figuring out your prices, it’s a good idea to find out what comparable freelance couriers are charging. You can then do an estimate based on mileage, the cost of gas, the wear and tear of your vehicle, and how much time you’ll spend delivering and doing admin.