How to Start a Successful Courier Business

If you have always wanted to launch a local courier business, there’s no better time. In 2020, more people were buying from and supporting local businesses in their communities. 

This trend is likely to continue and the small businesses require an efficient way to deliver around town. Like the buyers, these local merchants also want to use the services of fellow local businesses. 

To take advantage of this market, you have to offer exactly what these local businesses need. Starting a courier business is quick and it can be lucrative, as long as you know what you’re doing.

So here is all the information you need. 

Is This a Good Time to Start a Courier Business?

Remote work has become the new normal and courier services are needed now more than ever. The giant courier businesses aren’t very reliable now since they seem to be overwhelmed. 

When starting your local courier business, you will have several business models to choose from. 

Motorbike/Bike Courier

This is an environmentally friendly and low-cost option but there is a limit to the number of packages you can deliver at a time. Scaling is, thus, difficult. You can’t get very far on a bike and this limits the areas you can reach.

Special Delivery Service

You can choose to deliver sensitive deliveries such as items that need climate-controlled trucks, hazardous products and medical supplies. If there is existing demand, it can be quite profitable.

Truck/Van Deliveries

Larger vehicles have the advantage of economies of scale. You can service a larger geographical area, which means more potential customers. A truck also allows you to collect many packages at once and boost your profits because of lower cost per delivery. 

If you want to start making profits quickly, a truck or van-based delivery service would be the better option. You can easily become the main courier business in your local area and other businesses will start relying on you. 

How Do You Make Money with a Courier Business?

Your courier business has to be profitable and you need to make that your goal if you want it to be successful. 

Here are some models you can use.


You can create a technology platform through which two people connect. Once they connect, they discuss the delivery details on their own. You make money by charging users a fee for using the platform or taking a percentage from the sale. 

Making a profit with this model can be tough. 


With this model, you partner with businesses to help deliver products to their customers directly. Many businesses will pay for an efficient way of delivering to people’s offices and homes. 

This is a more profitable model than peer-to-peer. 


Have your customers pay a fixed monthly fee in exchange for unlimited deliveries. This may be good for the customer but not for you if they order many deliveries. Your profits will vary.


This model is niche-specific but the profit potential is high. You can help suppliers deliver supplies, caterers deliver their meals, etc.

Maximizing Profit

Regardless of the model you opt for, there are some steps you can take to increase your profit. 

Create service areas: if you optimize your service areas, drivers will deliver more while traveling less. For larger areas, you may want to divide them into smaller regions then assign a truck to each region.

Optimize delivery routes: a route planner can help you optimize deliveries and pickups. You will be able to save on gas and deliver faster.

In-house or outsourced delivery drivers: both of these options have their pros and cons so you can choose the one that is best for your business. 

How Courier Companies Find Clients

Other than cold calling, flyer drops and community cork boards, there are effective tactics you can use to get clients.

Make Use of Social Media

Open social media accounts for your business and post regularly. Don’t forget to interact with your followers. Your social media presence will give potential customers a sense of your brand and values. You can turn your followers into customers.

Have a Website

A website should make it possible for people to book your services online. Make the process as easy as possible. They should also be able to track the deliveries and even pay you via the website.

Collect Emails

Ask new customers for their emails and add them to your email list. (They have to consent to receive these emails. It is required by law in some areas). You can email them helpful information, company news and promotions. You want them to remember your business if they ever require courier services. 

Have Great Customer Service

Amazing customer service will set you apart from competitors. Be friendly, deliver on time and have a phone number so they can call in case of anything. This will earn you repeat customers and referrals. 

Automatic Delivery Notifications

Don’t just email your customers their order information, text them. They want real-time updates and emails can get lost in the inbox. 

Build a Strong Brand

Your brand should be relatable to customers. This allows you to build trust.

Choose your brand colors and get a logo designed. You want your sales and marketing materials, website and social media accounts to appear consistent. It is professional and trustworthy. 

Establish a Scalable Business Model

Use the Ideal Delivery Model approach to increase your chances of success. The core elements of this model are:

Sell: take pickup and delivery orders. 

Plan: take time to plan the drivers’ routes. This minimizes cost per delivery and optimizes time. 

Deliver: fulfill the orders.

Design these elements in a way that allows you to scale as you gain more customers. 

If you do everything right, you can get 100 or even more deliveries on your first day. People have done it before. Take time to set up the business so everything will be seamless when you begin. 

If you want to start a local courier business, now is a great time. 

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