Couriers, or despatch drivers, transport items such as packages, documents and messages which need urgent delivery. These may include valuable items or confidential documents. They usually work within larger towns and cities although some work may involve cross-country deliveries.
A depot controller will usually be in contact with the courier, giving information such as destination addresses. Couriers will often sign for the packages they collect and require the appropriate person to sign for them upon delivery.
Couriers mainly use vans or motorcycles but in the larger urban areas, some employers use bicycle couriers.
Most couriers will be responsible for general care and cleaning of their vans or for making sure their motorcycles are roadworthy.
Basic hours are usually between 8am and 6pm; however, working hours vary and may include evenings, weekends, shifts and part-time work. The average working week is around 40 to 48 hours.
Van couriers may be required to spend short periods away from home, as some companies are involved in delivering goods throughout the country, or abroad.
Motorcycle/cycle couriers work mainly in city centres and as a result may have to wear protective masks to minimise risks from vehicle exhaust fumes.
To be a courier you should:
Couriers may be employed by small local companies or by large international organisations.
Motorcycle couriers can be employed on a fixed wage, or work on a self-employed, freelance basis. Most opportunities for motorcycle couriers are in major cities, particularly in London.
Couriers can sometimes become controllers or open their own courier firm.
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