It’s no secret that the driving industry can be a tough one. Couriers face tight margins, shrinking profits, changing regulations and much more. And all this is on top of the hurdles faced by every small business – things like brand recognition, competitiveness, reliability and so on.
Given all these pressures, carriers need all the help they can get. One solution is to consider signing up to a driver network to take your business to the next stage. Read on for more on how freight platforms can help you.
Courier businesses, like all businesses, need to be extremely receptive to demand. In fact, the pressure on the transport industry is even higher than in most other sectors. If a client wants something moved, they usually want it moved now, and they’ll prioritise whoever can get that done. This can be especially difficult for smaller and newer players, who likely lack the huge fleets the big companies can command.
Enter the driver network. If all your vehicles are in use, or if the job is too far for them to reach, posting it on a platform can help ensure you get it done. And don’t just take our word for it: Dode Fraser of Inverness-based Pronto Despatch benefited massively from exchanges. ‘It is not a lack of ambition, ability or professionalism that holds back smaller players’, he says. ‘Rather, it is scale.’
In short, the problem for those entering the sector isn’t effort or skill: it’s an inability to meet demand. Using a driver network lets you take on the jobs you may need to get a foot in the door.
Growing and Spreading
Courier platforms aren’t just for new businesses, however. Many transport companies build a good reputation locally but never expand outside of a few nearby towns. The reason for this is simple: it costs more and takes longer to get vehicles further away. This means that small couriers often ‘top out’ and cease growing far earlier than they should.
Luckily, a driver network can help out. With access to a large ‘virtual fleet’ spread far and wide, your business won’t have to turn down work. Instead, you can post the job, get a carrier there and start building a name in a new locale.
So, you’ve used your freight platform to find customers, meet demand and build a reputation far and wide. Maybe you’re even networking with other carriers, spreading the word about your services all over the country. Then, something bad or unexpected happens. A massive change in prices, for instance, or a crash in demand for a major client’s product. What do you do?
This sort of situation is a nightmare for any small business, and there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. A driver network can help a lot, though, by providing you with flexibility. Issues are often localised to a certain place, sector or product. With access to drivers around the country, your business is more diverse and more stable.
Making the Best Use of What You Have
An empty car is always a problem in the transport industry. You’re still paying for the fuel and the time, but you get no profit from the journey. In the long term, these costs add up, and can seriously harm your business.
At this point in the article, you’re probably not surprised to hear that a driver network can offer you a solution. With access to an exchange, couriers can look for deliveries anywhere and everywhere, turning their journey home into a money maker!
Every driver or courier business should consider using online networking platforms. Most exchanges are easy to find with a simple online search, and using them is intuitive and simple. Now go out and grow your business!
Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world’s largest neutral trading hub for same day jobs in the express freight exchange industry. Connecting logistics professionals across the UK and Europe through their online driver network, Courier Exchange provides services for matching loads and with available drivers. Over 5,400 member companies are networked together through the Exchange to fill empty capacity, get new clients and form long-lasting business relationships.