Thinking about hiring a commercial courier to handle local deliveries or distribution? Courier services can benefit businesses of all sizes. But with so many couriers in the US (according to IBISWorld, there were 243,690 couriers as of 2021), how do you know you’re picking the right one? You don’t waste your time and money trying out different courier services, hoping you’ll eventually find one you like and trust. If that’s you, keep reading. We’re sharing ten questions that we think everyone should ask before hiring a courier service.

How long have you been in business?
Ask this to get an idea of their reputability. Typically, the longer a company has been around, the better their processes are and the smoother the experience will be for you. Of course, this isn’t always the case, but there’s something to be said about standing the test of time.

Where and when do you deliver?
These logistical questions are important to ask upfront and can save you a lot of frustration down the road. Try to think long-term about where you might need to ship something, and find out if this courier delivers there. Most courier services have strict zones and boundaries they will deliver within, so don’t assume they will go anywhere you need. As far as timing, ask about weekends, holidays, late night shipments, etc., to get your bases covered.

How much notice do you need for a delivery?
Are same-day courier services available; and if so, do they have to be scheduled in advance or can they be arranged the day of? In a perfect world, everyone would know about deliveries in advance, but that isn’t always the case. Find a courier who can be flexible when your schedule needs it.

How big is your fleet?
The size of a courier’s fleet affects how many shipments they can deliver and how quickly they can deliver them. While bigger doesn’t always mean better, a bigger fleet can mean more options for you as a customer.

How big of shipments can you handle?
If you anticipate needing to ship out large items or packages, be sure to ask this up front. Even if you don’t think you’ll need this service, it’s nice to know what your options are for large-scale deliveries.

What is your pricing structure?
Get a detailed quote for your first request, but ask about their other rates as well. Do they offer discounts for regularly scheduled deliveries or a certain amount of deliveries a month?

What delivery services do you offer?
This question will give you a look at the big picture and help you decide if this courier service can provide the full-scale courier services you need. On the other hand, if you know you won’t need certain services, you can always find a more specialized courier service that focuses on what you need.

How quickly do you respond to new shipping requests?
Responsiveness can make or break a courier company, so find out about their turnaround times and order processes. Can you submit requests online, or do you have to call if you need same-day service?

What kind of training have your drivers had?
When using a courier service, you’re putting documents and packages into their hands. You want to make sure you choose hands you can trust. Are their drivers trained to load and unload cargo to keep things protected? Have they gone through any driving certifications or trainings?

How will you stay in touch with me?
Will they call you with updates, do they have a mobile app you can use to track your shipment, or do they have a different method of keeping you updated on your deliveries?

Courier services can make your life easier…as long as you pick one you can trust. Modern Express has been offering courier services to the San Francisco Bay Area since 1951, and we don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. Contact us today to get in touch and ask us any of the questions mentioned above, or any others you may have!

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Questions To Ask Before Hiring a Commercial Courier