That special delivery you anxiously await on your birthday has a good chance of being delivered by an independent courier. These contractors deliver packages and documents for individuals, businesses and government agencies. An independently contracted courier typically delivers locally, which allows same-day delivery. Many businesses prefer courier services for delivery of important documents.
An independent contract courier is hired to deliver items from point A to point B. He is responsible for the item from the time he picks it up until the time it is in the hands of the customer. He is typically hired by a business that needs to get an important package somewhere in a hurry. A courier's hours vary based. Most courier service agencies send their contractors out Mondays through Saturdays, says Terri DeGezelle, author of the book, "Couriers."
Independent contract couriers can work for a courier service or operate their own business. Being employed by a courier service has the benefit of an established clientele, which keeps cash coming in and the work-flow steady. Most delivery services require that independent couriers wear a uniform and have the company's logo clearly printed on delivery vehicles. This way the customer can clearly see the courier represents the company. Major delivery services such as FedEx and UPS occasionally hire independently contracted couriers, especially during busy holiday seasons.
Independent couriers choose the type of transportation they want to use. Most elect to drive vans or trucks, since those move the most cargo. Some drive cars, motorcycles or mopeds. Another popular choice is a bicycle, especially in congested urban areas.
A contracted courier who elects to use a bicycle as transportation needs to be physically fit and able to deal with all weather conditions. She should also be adept at pedaling in and out of heavy traffic.
If driving a car, truck or van, the courier must carry heavier loads and be prepared to deal with challenging parking arrangements. Traffic jams and road construction also pose problems.
Most delivery services do not require an independent courier to have more than a high school diploma. They also provide on-the-job training. Couriers should have good communication skills, a clean driving record with current insurance, and a good sense of direction.