Top Courier Industry Meetings to Attend in 2015

Top industry meetings to attend in 2015 for professionals in the same day and expedited delivery industry.

January 23rd – 24th
FLORIDA MESSENGER ASSOCIATION ANNUAL CONFERENCE – Orlando, FL
www.floridamessenger.org

February 27th – March 1st
TEXAS COURIER & LOGISTICS ASSOCIATION ANNUAL CONFERENCE – Austin, TX
www.Texascla.com

March 6th – 7th
CALIFORNIA DELIVERY ASSOCIATION ANNUAL MEETING & CONVENTION – San Francisco, CA
www.CADelivery.org

March 1st – April 3rd
AIR CARGO 2015 – New Orleans, LA
www.aircargoconference.com

April 21st – 23rd
EXPRESS CARRIERS ASSOCIATION (ECA) 2015 SHIPPER/CARRIER MARKETPLACE – Orlando, FL
www.expresscarriers.org

May 6th – 9th
CLDA ANNUAL MEETING & EXPOSITION – Orlando, Florida
www.theCLDA.com

June 10th – 11th
CLDA Lobby Day – Washington D.C.
www.theCLDA.com

October
CLDA LAST MILE DELIVERY FORUM – Date/Location to be announced
www.theCLDA.com

October 19th – 21st
PARCEL FORUM 2015 – Chicago, IL
www.parcelforum.com

December
NEW YORK STATE MESSENGER COURIER ASSOCIATION WINTER MEETING & PARTY – New York, NY – Date to be announced
www.NYSMCA.org

Submitted: J. Hayford

TechTalk: Top 10 Tools to Help Manage A Courier Company Website

Many courier company owners we have met at tradeshows over the past years have asked which tools we use managing the Courierboard.com website, the online delivery network connecting shippers to courier companies throughout the U.S. and Canada. We have put together a top 10 list of favorite tools that can help courier company owners (and other businesses) more effectively manage the complex aspects of running a website, including security issues.

This top 10 list includes those services we use extensively and recommend as highly effective. These are listed by importance, with #1 being the most useful.

#1 Google Analytics

Without a doubt, the first and most important tool a courier company must have when managing a website is Google Analytics. Google Analytics is a free service which provides in depth statistics and analysis hourly, daily, weekly, monthly or longer, of activity on your website.

There are extensive online tutorials and help features making it easy to set up and use Google Analytics. Statistics available on Google Analytics includes: how many visitors you have, how many actions they take, what pages on your site they visit, city, state and country details, what percentage are using mobile, which types of mobile devices (IPad, Samsung Galaxy, IPhone, etc.), bounce rate (how many visitors come and leave immediately), what type of computers your visitors are using (Windows vs. Mac), screen resolution, browser, average time of visit, and dozens of other statistics to help you understand the behavior, demographics and tech profile of visitors to your website.

Google Analytics also measures conversions/sales, so if your courier business has an online delivery order option, Google Analytics will show you how many visitors are visiting your company website and how many are eventually placing an online courier service order.

Analytics shows you how to set up Goals and Goal funnels which trace “the trail” of visitor activities: how many prospective customers start at step #1 (your home page), what steps (other pages) they may visit and how many and what percentage eventually click to request an online delivery order. Being able to get an analytical picture of what visitors do once they arrive on your website helps courier company owners better determine what to do to increase online sales: should you change your page content?, make something easier to do or reach (fewer steps)?, or redesign something to attract more customers to your order area?

Having a business website is an interactive process that involves constant analysis and adjustment to ensure you are maximizing your company’s image, marketing potential and reacting to how your visitors behave once they arrive on your website. At least one person on the management team should be familiar with Analytics and be assigned to review the data on a regular basis.

Setting up a Google Analytics account is very simple. You begin by having a Gmail account to register with Google Analytics. I recommend creating a company Gmail account username. Once you register, Google will generate and show your tracking code which you copy and have your web developer add to every page on your website. Once the code is installed, analytics will begin to record your website activity which will be viewable on your Google Analytics Dashboard. To get more details on setting up Google go to http://www.google.com/analytics

#2 – 10 on our top 10 list to follow soon.
1. Google Analytics
2. Google Webmaster Tools (and Google Webmaster Central Blog)
3. Incapsula
4. LivePerson
5. Amazon Web Services
6. Braintree Payments – Vault
7. Woopra
8. MOZ
9. New Relic
10. TechSmith – Camtasia, Snagit

When should you use a courier company versus FedEx, UPS or USPS?

Courier companies offer specialized same day delivery service while FedEx, UPS and USPS offer next day, two day or up to four day services.

If your delivery doesn’t easily fit into the “big three” pipeline, they tend to charge you more money to get it done. For example, a Delray Beach company had 10 boxes of brochures each weighing about 25 pounds that needed to picked up in Miami, Florida and delivered to an office in Delray Beach, FL. The delivery distance was about 50 miles or an hour driving. The cost for FedEx overnight was approximately $350 based on box dimensions, number of boxes and weight. A Miami courier company quoted $120 to pick up and deliver the boxes within four hours. The customer saved over $200, didn’t have to create any shipping labels, had the boxes picked up directly from the printer and delivered to its office; all within 4 hours of requesting a quote.

If you post your quote request or repeat delivery request on Courierboard.com, an automatic e-mail alert goes out to every courier company in our network within a 50 mile radius of the originating city (pick-up location). You will get calls or e-mails from 2-5 companies with competitive prices within 15 minutes. Hopefully, you’ll find a courier company that is already going that way that is able to give you a better rate. Courierboard’s delivery quote system helps you save time and money by getting multiple quotes easily.

Top Courier Industry Meetings to Attend in 2014

Top industry meetings to attend in 2014 for professionals in the same day expediting delivery industry.

January 24th – 25th
FLORIDA MESSENGER ASSOCIATION ANNUAL CONFERENCE – Orlando, FL
www.floridamessenger.org

February 28th – March 1st
TEXAS COURIER & LOGISTICS ASSOCIATION ANNUAL CONFERENCE Austin, TX www.Texascla.com

March 30th – April 1st
AIR CARGO 2014 – Orlando, FL
www.aircargoconference.com

April 15th – 17th

EXPRESS CARRIERS ASSOICATION (ECA) 2014 SHIPPER/CARRIER MARKETPLACE – Atlanta, GA
www.expresscarriers.org

May 14th – 17th

CLDA ANNUAL MEETING & EXPOSITION – Scottsdale, Arizona
www.theCLDA.com

September
CLDA LAST MILE DELIVERY FORUM – Date/Location to be announced
www.theCLDA.com

Sept. 29th – Oct. 1st
PARCEL FORUM 2014 – Dallas, TX
www.parcelforum.com

October
CALIFORNIA DELIVERY ASSOCIATION ANNUAL MEETING & CONVENTION – Date/Location to be announced
www.CADelivery.org

December

NEW YORK STATE MESSENGER COURIER ASSOCIATION WINTER MEETING & PARTY – New York, NY – Date to be announced
www.NYSMCA.org

Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Use A Courier Company for Your Delivery

#1.  Courier Companies can pick up and deliver your shipment the same day, solving last minute delivery needs.

Couriers deliver by ground service, so destination must be reachable same day, assuming standard driving times from pick up to delivery location.

#2.  Courier companies can often save individuals and businesses money versus express and overnight shipping, particularly when the shipment is heavy or bulky.

Distance is the primary cost factor in courier delivery quotes not weight, 20 lbs. vs. 200 lbs. has a much smaller impact on the delivery cost using a courier company.  Compare a same day courier delivery quote vs. overnight when the delivery destination is 60 miles or closer.

#3.  Courier companies can pick up and deliver 24/7, including evenings, weekends, and holidays, providing delivery services when standard shipping companies don’t deliver.  

#4.  Courier companies provide customized delivery services at reasonable prices. 

Courier companies provide unique delivery solutions for businesses such as door to door delivery of purchases to customers, picking up sensitive items such as perishable food or medications, critical parts for vehicles or manufacturing plants, and route deliveries for repeat shipments once a week up to 7 days.

#5.  Courier companies maintain service assurance by providing insurance, background checks and performance standards for courier drivers….round the clock dispatchers and shipment tracking for urgent and time sensitive deliveries.

#6.  Using courier companies reduces the need for businesses to maintain in-house company fleets, by outsourcing seasonal, temporary or full time deliveries.

Courier companies can provide drivers and vehicles when needed for deliveries to customers or moving inventory between locations – allowing businesses to dedicate resources to their main goal: selling their products, instead of managing deliveries.

#7.  Courier companies provide specialized delivery services that most standard shipping providers don’t offer… such as last flight out, legal process serving, and white glove delivery.

#8.  Courier companies can save customers money through freight pooling …combining deliveries within similar route areas thereby reducing costs.

#9.  Courier companies provide retail businesses with a cost effective option to deliver products same-day …building customer sales, satisfaction and improving customer loyalty.

#10.  Professional courier companies can be found almost anywhere, from small towns to large urban areas, providing delivery solutions in thousands of cities throughout the U.S.

To get competitive quotes for deliveries, post your free quote request on Courierboard.com, the Online Delivery Network connecting individuals, businesses and organizations to thousands of professional courier companies in the U.S. and Canada.

The ECA Marketplace 2013 – Review

The Express Carriers Association’s Marketplace is a unique annual event which brings together companies needing delivery service, shippers, and independent professional courier companies from all over the country. The heart of the marketplace is one to one meetings between shippers who are looking to identify potential partners for their delivery requirements and courier companies who are looking for new business clients.

From experience attending the last six Marketplace conferences, 2007 – 2012, this event represents one of the best “bang for your buck” business building opportunities in the industry.

Prior to the meeting, shippers review the profiles of courier company attendees and select those which they might potentially utilize in their delivery markets.  Interview appointment schedules are set and courier companies, in a speed dating type format, get the chance to sit down face to face and present their company to shippers looking to find new delivery service suppliers.

This year the ECA Marketplace will be held from April 9th – 11th at the Intercontinental Hotel in Dallas, TX. For more information on this business building and networking event, go to Express Carriers Association Marketplace 2013

 

 

Couriers and Messengers – A Historical Perspective

Couriers in History

The word courier is derived from the Latin word, currere, which means to run.  Other words derived from currere include occurrence, currency, and current.

The Wikipedia definition for courier states that couriers are different from ordinary mail services by offering speed, tracking, security, and individualization of express services.

Before the automobile, expedited delivery included multiple types of methods to deliver goods and messages quickly including runners, homing pigeons, horse and pony riders, stage coaches etc. The history of couriers goes back thousands of years to the days when the only method of speedy delivery was by running.

In Greek mythology, Hermes, the son of Zeus, was called the Messenger God (in Roman Mythology known as Mercury). In ancient mythology Hermes/Mercury has wings on his feet. In stories, Hermes is often sent by his father, Zeus, to deliver dreams or to travel with mortals to keep them safe.

The origin of the U.S. postal service’s motto, traces back to Herodotus, a Greek Historian born in 484 BC, who is quoted as saying “Not snow, no, nor rain, nor heat, nor night keeps them from accomplishing their appointed courses with all speed”.

One of the most famous messengers in history is told in the legend of the Greek messenger who in 490 BC ran from Marathon to Athens after a major battle where the Greeks defeated the invading Persians. Legend claims he fought in the Battle of Marathon and then ran about 26 miles to notify the people of Athens of their victory; he then collapsed and died of exhaustion. The Olympic Marathon, which is approximately 26 miles, originated from this legendary 26 mile run.

Ann Hennis Trotter Bailey, also known as “Mad Ann” (1742 – 1825), worked as a scout and messenger during the Revolutionary War.  Bailey is famous for her 100 mile ride from Fort Clendenin to Fort Savannah to bring back much needed gun powder.

Paul Revere is best known as the messenger who rode through the night in 1775, the famous “Midnight Ride”, to warn the colonists in Lexington and Concord that the British Militia was coming.

In 1834, Commander Travis, while trying to defend the Alamo against the army of Mexican General Santa Anna, sent out couriers to local communities to get reinforcements.

Wells Fargo was started in 1852 and became the first premium package delivery service in the U.S. It specialized in moving gold and packages and established a huge network of Wells Fargo offices throughout the U.S. which were particularly important for organizing commerce in newly established territories and states.

The Pony Express was established in 1860 to provide express courier service between St. Joseph, Missouri and Sacramento, California. The Pony Express set up relays of riders who would cover the 2,000 plus miles with mail and small packages in about 10 days.  A rider would switch horses at relay stations every 15 to 20 miles, traveling 75 to 100 miles per day. The Pony Express operated in parts of Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada and California. It stopped in 1861 when the introduction of the telegraph made it possible to relay critical messages electronically.

During World War I, the Second Cavalry Regiment, 400 men with mounts, served as couriers and scouts in the combined American-French effort against the Germans. On September 11, 1918, the regiment rode through the night and managed to get five miles behind German lines.

During World War II, Nancy Wake, known as the White Mouse, was the most decorated service woman in the Allied forces and became the Gestapo’s most wanted spy.  She was a journalist and served as a courier for the French Resistance.

In the United State there are hundreds of thousands of independent couriers which together represent a delivery network which for the most part is largely invisible to the general public as they deliver in their own unbranded cars, vans and trucks. These couriers handle millions of special handling and same day deliveries every day, from medical lab or bank check route pickups to last minute parts deliveries to solve manufacturing emergencies and delivery of medicine or transplant organs to waiting patients.

Dependability, problem solving, professionalism and dedication are the qualities which professional couriers have in common. Today, and throughout history, independent professional couriers are indispensable to help solve critical needs for individuals, businesses, and governments.

Courier Service Network

Courier Service Network

Find Courier Companies and Freight Pool

Accessing Courierboard’s online network of professional courier companies gives businesses and individuals an opportunity to save money by locating courier companies who can pool their freight, filling excess capacity on delivery vehicles.  When looking for a courier company you have two options:  1) You can call several companies directly and get their stated rate based on your pickup location, destination, weight, dimensions, and how quickly the delivery must be made, or 2) You can post your delivery information using Courierboard’s Quick Quote system and alerts are sent automatically within 10 minutes to all courier companies in Courierboard’s courier company network within 75 miles of the pick up location.  Courier companies receive the alert and review your delivery requirements, contacting you directly with their quotes. This provides the shipper with an easy way to get competitive quotes.

Courier companies that already have a vehicle doing deliveries in the area where you need service can often provide a lower price because they can pool your delivery with their existing route deliveries, which lowers the cost for your shipment.  The rate advantage can be substantial versus hiring a courier that will be doing your delivery only.  An individual who purchased a vintage Mercedes convertible top on EBay posted a quote request on Courierboard to have the top picked up in North Carolina and delivered in Connecticut.  The quotes he received varied substantially, from a high of $550 to a low of $160.  The courier company offering the lowest rate already had a delivery vehicle traveling on that route with room to accommodate the extra freight and pool with other shipments.

In summary, using Courierboard’s free Quote system provides shippers with an opportunity to save time getting multiple quotes and when local courier companies can freight pool the shipment, the shipper may save money as well.

How To Find The Right Courier Company When You Need A Same Day Delivery

Part Three:

How do you find the right courier company when you need a same day pick-up and delivery?

You can use a search engine and search using terms like “Atlanta courier service”, or “Los Angeles same day courier” to find a list of local courier companies.   A faster and more efficient method is to use Courierboard’s free shipper tools: 1) free delivery quote tool and 2) searchable indepth courier database. Both help those needing delivery services find professional courier companies throughout the U.S.

Individuals, businesses and organizations post delivery quotes on Courierboard every day.  Start by completing the online delivery quote request form on Courierboard with info on what you need picked up.  Within 15 minutes you will begin to receive quotes from local courier companies. This is the fastest way to get rates from multiple companies.  The second option is to search Courierboard’s database of courier company profiles and contact companies that meet your delivery requirements.  There is no charge to get competitive delivery quotes or search the courier company profile database on Courierboard. Courier companies in our network don’t pay a broker or referral fee – so using Courierboard, you get the same delivery rates you would receive contacting these companies on your own.  Hopefully, you will find a courier company already with deliveries in the pick up area, that can offer you a lower rate because the company is already delivering locally and has excess capacity on its delivery vehicle (s).

Examples of courier delivery rates:  These are real quotes I received from different courier companies for Same Day delivery (pickup and deliver the same day ) for 50 lbs up to to 500 lbs – 10 miles vs. 50 mile delivery distances.  Rates will vary depending on your location, your pickup needs, and the company giving you a quote for your pickup.

(Oct. 2012)

Weight – Same Day Delivery New York City to Newark, NJ
~ 10 miles
New York City to Norwalk, CT
~ 50 miles
Ft. Lauderdale, FL to Hollywood, FL ~ 10 miles Ft. Lauderdale, FL to West Palm Beach, FL ~ 50 miles
50 pounds $52 $130 $27 $90
100 pounds $57 $135 $30 $94
200 pounds $65 $145 $37 $103
300 pounds $72 $155 $45 $110
400 pounds $81 $160 $53 $117
500 pounds $89 $167 $60 $125

As you can see in the chart above, weight is not a major factor in the cost of the delivery. The extra cost for using a courier to deliver a shipment weighing 50 pounds vs. 500 pounds – 450 pounds heavier is only about $50  – less than $.10 a pound for both the 10 mile delivery and the 50 mile delivery.  And that is with a Same Day delivery turnaround.

In comparison, average standard option overnight rates for a 50 vs. 500 pound delivery were 20%* to 90% higher than courier company prices with a longer delivery time.

*for 50 lbs. ~ $75+ in NYC area   **for 500 lbs. ~ $320+ in NYC area

These rates and comparisons may differ based on carrier, location, dimensions, handling, date, delivery window, etc and should be considered only approximations of cost – not exact rates.

What are the Savings Using Courier Companies for Deliveries?

Part Two:

2) Are courier companies more expensive than using standard shipping options?

The cost of using a courier company is not prohibitive and can often be far less expensive and faster than standard options – particularly for same day, bulky, odd shaped and heavy items needing delivery in a local area. Courier companies offer premium services that are not expensive on deliveries up to 10,000 pounds and up to 100 miles (average max. pick up to delivery distance).  Note: Many courier companies will deliver greater distances ~ 300 miles, but all deliveries are done via a delivery vehicle (car, minivan, Cargo Van or Truck), no same day air. A courier company will come to your location, pick up your item(s) as is (no special packaging or boxing required) and will drop off according to your delivery instructions, same day.

You can realize substantial savings using courier companies, especially for large or heavy items. Courier companies regularly handle deliveries up to 100 miles in distance (some companies go further) at a cost that is frequently much less than other shipping options.  Individuals moving items over 35 pounds or needing same day service should always get a quote from a courier company and compare it to the standard overnight rates before they choose a shipping provider.  Weight is not the primary factor in a courier company’s pricing – it is distance and time.  How far do you need it to go and how quickly do you need it delivered – in 2 hours, in 4 hours, the next day, etc.?    You may contact a courier company that already has a driver in the area where you need service with a truck that is returning from a prior delivery empty.

Companies are often willing to give a particularly competitive rate if they can fill a truck or van that is returning empty or partially filled.