What a courier cannot deliver

By: Sarah Arrow

Date: 28 September 2009

When starting a courier business you need to be aware of giving the best customer service and giving the correct information about what you can and cannot deliver.

Quite simply it's a balance. If you don't advise your customers in the right manner - you will lose them. If you lean too far the other way and do something illegal, you could lose your growing business.

Some of the things a courier should not be delivering:

  • Chemicals, unless your courier company has invested in the correct ADR training and certification, a courier should not deliver chemicals. There are certain exemptions such as limited quantities.
  • Livestock, that's right - no animals can be transported with out the correct licences and training
  • Human/Animal remains - again these are a specialist delivery that you would need to be certified for. A customer asking you to bring back the remains of an animal from a vet could get you in trouble if payment was accepted.
  • Fireworks, Firearms and weaponry - again the correct licenses and training are needed and limited quantities may apply. Check before accepting a consignment of these goods.

There are some things a courier cannot transport because of insurance and the related costs to that. They may be items that are mostly likely to break in transit, so therefore the customer should be warned that a delivery cannot take place due to insurance reasons. The customer may then make a decision as to whether they want the delivery to proceed or not.

  • Glass
  • Fine art
  • Jewellery

When taking your delivery request from your customer, the courier should establish what needs to be delivered and if the item is in boxes. The courier would need to ask exactly what is in the boxes in order to give the best customer service to the client.

When starting a courier business, it's essential to get the right advice and the correct information about what you can and cannot deliver.  Failure to do so can cost you your livelihood.

Sarah Arrow

Sarah Arrow is co-author of the Complete Courier Guide which is filled with up to the minute information regarding starting a courier business. She is also the author of twitter for couriers explaining in depth how couriers and transport companies can gain business from twitter.


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