Do you have what it takes to be a parcel delivery driver in the UK?
With the rise of online shopping and courier services like Amazon, parcels and their delivery have become a key component of any business’s shipping strategy. But while becoming a parcel delivery driver is an excellent way to establish yourself as a reliable and trusted courier company's partner, it can also be quite challenging. Luckily, we’ve got plenty of experts who know just how difficult it can be to become a parcel delivery driver in the UK. Check out this primer about the job and get started on your path to becoming a reliable courier independent!
What is a parcel delivery driver's role in the UK?
A parcel delivery driver plays a key role in a courier company’s shipping and receiving strategy. Often referred to as a ‘parcel courier’, they move packages from point A to point B in as safe and efficient a manner as possible. First of all, the driver will check the quality of the goods before entering them into the vehicle, and then deliver the goods to their destination.
Beyond that, there are a number of other responsibilities that the driver may have to handle themselves. These may include following company policies on lifting, unloading and parking, getting properly insured (carriage of goods for hire and reward insurance will probably be necessary) as well as maintaining a safe and healthy work environment.
The essential responsibilities of a parcel delivery driver
Depending upon the company the driver works for, responsibilities may include:
- Taking and maintaining accurate delivery records
- Being responsible for the safe and secure delivery of packages
- Understanding and adhering to the rules and regulations of the delivery environment
- Ensuring the quality of service by maintaining a high standard of attention to detail
- Following-up on commitments to ensure successful delivery
- Providing regular updates on company performance and financial health
- Properly authorising deliveries
- Ensuring that no packages are left at the door-step
- Ensuring that the driver’s name and address are correctly filled in the delivery records
- Ensuring that the correct payment method has been used
- Ensuring that payment has been received.
- Complying with any additional regulations or guidelines issued by the delivery environment.
How to become a parcel delivery driver in the UK
If you’re interested in becoming a parcel delivery driver in the UK, there are a few things to keep in mind. Follow the steps below to start your journey towards becoming a reliable, top-performing courier.
- Outline your strengths. Are you a fast-paced, hard-working, reliable driver? This is essential because you must be able to handle yourself well in a fast-paced, high-pressure environment.
- You must be friendly and efficient so you can interact with customers and understand their orders.
- You must be willing to practice before taking any jobs.
- You must be willing to work weekends and public holidays.
- You must be willing to accept a reduced rate for some jobs.
Get your head on straight. Get yourself properly trained. A good way to do this is to get yourself down to the dispatch area at your current employer's and start learning the ins and outs of the job.
The benefits of being a parcel delivery driver in the UK
If you’ve been looking for a way to earn some extra cash while improving your skills, or even if you’re in it for the long-term, becoming a parcel delivery driver in the UK could be the opportunity of a lifetime.
Chances are, if you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to work in the courier industry, you’ve already realized how challenging, stressful, and rewarding the job can be. There are benefits to being a parcel delivery driver beyond just the money machine. Here are just a few:
More responsibility - This means more responsibility for both the individual and the company. It’s important to remember that you are not just another delivery person; you are an employee of the courier company. Be careful how you handle this; you could end up getting in over your head!
Better work-life balance - This may seem like a given, but for some it is a major bonus. You get to choose when and where you want to work, have a flexible work schedule, and be rewarded for your efforts with a generous salary.
More autonomy - This is huge. In a job where you are expected to drive long distances every day, and your life may be spent looking for customers, you get to set your own hours, and make your own schedule.
The drawbacks of becoming a freelance parcel delivery driver in the UK
There are some things to keep in mind if you want to become a parcel delivery driver in the UK. The first of these is, you must be willing to put in the effort. The pay is good, but it only goes so far. A courier company insider must work extremely hard to achieve success in this industry. If you’re not willing to put in the time, energy, and effort needed to succeed, then you will not be successful in this industry.
Be careful about signing up for a delivery driver training programme. These are expensive, and are often accompanied by equipment and vehicle purchases. Get some experience working for others first. Look through the job postings and see what opportunities are available.
Once you’ve found a position that interests you, send the personnel officer a personalized application, including your resume, cover letter, and any other relevant materials. This is the best way to get yourself noticed by the right people, and will help you stand out from the crowd.
Be patient. It may take a few months before you hear back from a job opportunity, or you may be passed over for someone more qualified. But don’t lose heart. Just remember that every day is a good day to walk into work and a bad day to walk out that door.
The job is not for the faint of heart. The elements of the job are often physical, demanding, and challenging. You must be willing to put in the work, and be prepared to work hard. You must be willing to deal with customers, and be able to deal with setbacks. You must be willing, occasionally, to accept low pay, and work long hours. If you are able to meet these requirements, then the job of a parcel delivery driver in the UK may be for you.