Late-night deliveries are the next big step in the world of courier jobs. As things stand, there’s a gap between consumer demand and delivery practice, and we as freight exchange users need to get wise to that hole in the market. We have the capability of standing at the forefront of the newest niche in the market, with the potential for substantial profits. |
What is the Vampire Economy?
A 2016 study by Barclaycard found a sharp spike in the amount of money spent by the online British consumer after dark, compared to five years earlier. Shoppers spent over two hours a week on night-time browsing, with clothes, shoes and jewellery the most popular items, followed by gifts, takeaways and groceries. Peak online purchasing time, according to Barclaycard, is 22:18.
When we consider that most major retailers cease their delivery service at 22:00 ¬– such as Amazon Prime and the Tesco Now service ¬¬– an exciting opportunity starts to open up for the courier job sector.
Benefit for the Courier
Depending on the particular circumstances of the courier, jobs after dark might not be feasible. However, for many, given the right preparation and support, the so-called Vampire Economy could bring real benefits, including greater flexibility with regard to how they manage their business and higher rates. The bottom line is: when a consumer wants something fast, they’re willing to pay for it.
These days, anything that reduces carbon emissions should be embraced whole-heartedly. By delivering later on, we can free up the roads and thereby reduce pollution. Once again, it’ll be the drivers and couriers who see the real benefit, too. Less congestion equals less idling time equals quicker delivery and more value for money. A sizeable amount of research has already been done in this area. The FTA (Freight Transport Association) has concluded that late-night delivery has the potential to bring both environmental and commercial benefits.
Impact on Local Residents?
One obvious concern with such courier jobs is the potential impact on local residents caused by noise in unsociable hours. However, disturbance can be easily kept to a minimum. Using the latest vehicle, alarm and loading technology along with up-to-date storage equipment, we can ensure that noise levels are kept low. In return, the benefit to the business and consumer of rapid, efficient late delivery will significantly outweigh the potential cost of disturbance.
As we know, overnight delivery is already standard. But the framework for late delivery is also in place. Fast-food companies are used to it, of course, but it has also been implemented on a much larger scale, one of more relevance to the freight exchange sector. In the course of the 2012 London Olympic Games, TfL (Transport for London) trialled an after-dark delivery scheme in an effort to reduce congestion during the busy period, with great success. Moreover, in November 2017, Argos arranged delivery of the new Xbox model at 0:01. Again, the trial was smooth and promises a bright future.
Making it Work
We are at a crossroads in the freight exchange industry. The shift in consumer habits from day- to night-time buying is a significant one for courier jobs, allowing for a substantial overhaul of the way we work. But in practical terms, the change is a small one. All it takes is three small steps – research, preparation and implementation – and we should see a giant leap forward.
Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world's largest neutral trading hub for same day courier jobs in the express freight exchange industry. Over 5,000 member companies are networked together through the Exchange to fill empty capacity, get new clients and form long-lasting business relationships.
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