How to get into the courier business

From working in the great outdoors, to creating your own hours, there’s a lot to like about working as a courier.

Whether it’s by bike, car, ute or otherwise, the job of a courier is one that will keep you moving all day long. Hate working behind a desk? Then take control of your career and step into an industry that is growing by the day. In fact, it’s currently worth $461.2m in Australia alone!

Provided you have a valid driver’s licence, a phone, and a high tolerance for traffic (admit it – that’s not all of us!) then working as a courier could be for you.

Not only is demand for couriers increasing as online shopping explodes, but innovative new applications and services means that there are more ways than even to find work.

Here are a few places to begin.

Find and drive your own contracts

This is the traditional method of working as a courier, and the one that will see you right in the thick of the action.

Like starting up any small business, you will need to establish a brand and a client base. This means setting up a website, registering your business name, and advertising your services.

The benefits to being an owner-driver is full autonomy over where and when you work. You can craft your own hours, set your own working limits, and select what industries you want to deliver for.

The downside to owning a courier small business is the buck stops with you: paid leave, sick days, or steady pay are a thing of the past. Be prepared to shoulder the full responsibility of your business.

Become a franchisee

From Fastway to Courier Please, Australia offers a wide variety of courier franchise opportunities. This means receiving full guidance and instruction from a head brand, whilst maintaining autonomy over your particular branch.

A courier franchise will save you plenty of heartache when it comes to setting up new systems to find and process courier jobs. Plus, customers will generally opt for a known and trusted courier brand when it comes to booking, so you benefit from their existing reputation.

Managing the franchise will take you out of the action and offer up a more strategic role. It will be up to you to either co-ordinate your hired drivers/riders, and occasionally jump in yourself. But if people management is more your style, you’ll love this opportunity.

Work with on-demand delivery apps

Two words: Uber Eats. It was an existing concept – food delivery – given a modern makeover with an easy-to-use smartphone app and large network of Uber drivers.

Uber Eats is just one example of on-demand delivery apps that will keep up a constant stream of work directly to you.

And it’s not just food: delivery apps now extend to everything from grocery shopping to flowers to post packages. Sherpa, Postmates, IKEA delivery and Roadie are just a few delivery apps that are providing new work for couriers.

The growth of online shopping in Australia, plus the accessibility on smartphone apps offering innovative delivery solutions, has meant a serious boom in the courier and delivery sector. So, how do you get involved?

Skills needed to start a courier business

While there are no formal education requirements needed to start work as a courier, being a good driver and comfortable on the road is the most important skill you will need. If you have experience in deliveries it would be helpful and being familiar with your local area will be advantageous.

Being a courier driver can be a physically demanding job. Couriers must have well organisation and time management skills.

Vehicle licencing requirements

If you are planning to use a van then your standard car licence is all you need. If you are considering using a truck or other heavy vehicle, you will need to hold the right licence. The following types of trucks are classified as heavy vehicles:

  • Vehicles or trailers with a gross vehicle mass above 4.5 tonnes
  • Buses that have 2.5 tonnes tare weight or more
  • Licensed tow trucks
  • Vehicles fitted with power-operated brakes
  • All prime movers

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