What is an Emergency Courier Service?

Emergency courier service is something that is offered by many if not most courier companies in order to respond to those concerns for shipping which cannot be handled by the regular service options which they make available. Many times this will include services from an airport courier service, as if speed is truly the most important thing for an emergency delivery than anything which is traveling a significant distance will have to be carried at least part of the way via air transport.

You can basically break down the emergency services which are offered by couriers into two different categories. There is medical emergency courier services, and business emergency business courier service. The business model is far more common.

Medical emergency courier service is only offered by those companies which already have all of the required permits and vehicles that allow them to transport medical material to begin with. These couriers have special training and equipment that allows them to move things like blood, test samples, and drugs. Sometimes, a medical emergency arises which demands a STAT delivery, which is what the emergency courier service will provide.

Business emergency courier services are used when time sensitive deliveries absolutely must be made as fast as possible. A good example of when this happens is when a manufacturing or industrial facility has a breakdown and needs parts delivered as fast as possible in order to get back online.

Typically speaking, all methods of transportation will be used for emergency shipping. This means that ground vehicles will be used when most practical, but air travel will be utilized if cross country shipping is required. Helicopters are also used sometimes for emergency shipping if they are deemed to be the most efficient shipping method.

Emergency couriers always have extra vehicles in their fleet which are solely dedicated to the shipping of goods on an emergency basis. If they were to use these vehicles for their regular shipments as well, they could be too far away or already full of cargo when an emergency order came in. Instead, they are kept ready and waiting, usually with drivers notified of being ‘on call’ so that they can be called in on a moment’s notice to make a delivery. This has been found by most couriers that offer this type of service to be the most efficient model under which emergency delivery service can be offered.

Tips on How to Start a Courier Business

If you are looking for a great home-based business that you can open for very little money, then you might want to look into starting a courier business. Courier businesses offer services like delivering small packages, messages, and flowers, and are often in demand among attorneys for court filings; when an attorney needs to get a paper filed fast, he often relies on a courier service to deliver it to the court house. As a courier, you can charge by the mile or a flat rate for delivery. You will need very little to get started, other than reliable transportation and insurance. Some couriers in large, metropolitan areas, use a bicycle for delivering their packages and messages, which is a lot less expensive than using an automobile.

Before You Begin

Before deciding if a courier business is the right small business for you, take into account not only the things that you will need to start, but also if you have the time to dedicate to make it a success. You will want to draw up a formal business plan that includes your financial statements, and you should research the competition in your geographical area to see if there is a need for your services. You will need to decide on a business name, and if you want to conduct business as a sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, or as a corporation. You will also need a business license from the state and local governments where you plan to do business.

You may also need a home occupation permit; there will be fees for licenses and permits that you need, so be prepared to cover those. You may also need to apply for and receive a commercial driver’s license, depending on the state that you live in, and to place a commercial license plate on your delivery vehicle. Determine all of your operational policies, such as fees for both flat and mileage rates, and be sure to include parking and other nominal fees in the cost. It is also a good idea to open a business bank account to keep your personal and business funds separated. Additionally, you should purchase a mileage log to use so that you can keep track of mileage for income tax purposes.

Opening and Promoting Your Courier Business

Once you have finished with all of the formalities, the time to open and promote your new venture has arrived. Be prepared to face some challenges in getting your first few clients, especially if you are vying for clients who have already established a relationship with another company. You may need to offer significant discounts during an introductory period so that competitors can see that you are reliable and affordable, or even consider offering some free services until you have established a good customer base.

Advertising can come in the way of fliers that you pass around to businesses that might need your service, as well as by establishing a courier website that will allow those searching in your area for a courier to find you more easily. A custom, interactive website that allows clients to schedule a pick-up online and pay you online is a great advantage to your courier business; people love convenience, and your website can make it more convenient for them to patronize you.

Do You Have to Have a Courier Account to Ship With a Courier?

People who ship with couriers for the first time, whether they’re going into a physical location or visiting a website are sure to be bombarded with information telling them how to open an account. This leads to the question for someone using an Albuquerque courier for the first time: “Is it absolutely necessary to open an account in order to ship with a courier?” The answer is, it depends on who you’re shipping with.

Some couriers have a policy of only shipping with people that have an account already opened with them. These types of couriers are mostly business couriers, and they are usually very corporate oriented. Since it is in a company’s best interests to open an account with a courier anyway, this rarely causes any problems.

There are couriers out there with a wider client base though that will ship for someone without an account. However, there are a number of services and options which are extended to account holders which usually won’t be to those who are shipping without an account. This includes a lot of online functionality such as the ability to place orders online, or to receive online billing statements.

Sometimes opening an account with a courier will even earn you a preferred rate. They may also extend other payment options to you with an account making your entire shipping operation a little easier to handle. There are certainly ample reasons to encourage you to open an account, but there is also something to be gained by shipping without one, for a time at least.

This is the evaluation of the courier companies. It is very important that you make sure that you are going to want to do business with a particular company before you go through the hassle of opening an account with them. One of the best ways to do this is to actually ship a few orders with them without an account. This can also help you first hand better evaluate the different pricing structures that might be available to you from differing courier companies.

By shipping with more than one company without an account, you have access to the absolute best way to decide which company you should actually open an account with. Mention that you are doing this to the couriers as well, and see if you can possibly negotiate a preferred rate in return for opening an account.