Couriers work for companies to deliver and pick up packages, typically during business hours, although some companies have couriers available during evening and weekend hours. Couriers travel a number of different ways, including on foot and through the use of various motor vehicles. They are typically required to carry a communication device while in the field, such as a mobile phone, pager or two-way radio. There are several qualities a courier must possess in order to be successful.
Couriers are often entrusted with time sensitive documents; some companies promise their couriers can pick up and deliver packages within the hour. For this reason, whether they are travelling by foot, bicycle or car, couriers need to be fast when going about their business. A good courier understands that if his package is delivered late, the client will be displeased, his employer may lose the account, and the courier may lose his coveted route or his job altogether.
Couriers are require to account for each of their pickups and deliveries. They must make sure that the signature of the person who signs for each package is legible, and that the date and time are accurately recorded.
Couriers must be reliable. They need to be at work on time and take excellent care of their packages while en route. Couriers who drive cars or vans should not take reckless chances with parking, especially in urban areas, even if they are in a hurry. Parking in tow zones, not paying meters or staying in time-sensitive parking areas longer than the approved amount of time can all result in the company's vehicle being ticketed, or worse, towed.
Couriers must be safe in their travels, taking care not to get into accidents that careful and cautious movement could have prevented.
Couriers should be enthusiastic. While on the clock, they represent the company they work for. Clients feel much more comfortable trusting their packages to someone who is cheerful and enthusiastic about their duties, than someone who is sullen and withdrawn.
Couriers need to be excellent communicators; they are often required to discuss pricing, time frames, directions and routes with customers, supervisors and co-workers. It's important that they listen well, retain information and communicate articulately.
Couriers should have a working knowledge of the city in which they work. They need to have intimate knowledge of the streets, parking laws and regulations and locations of the businesses and individuals their company frequently does business with.
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