How do courier drivers plan their day?

Right at the start of any given day, a courier will have what seems like a mountain of parcels to deliver, with multiple drops occurring during the day. At first, this can seem like an impossible uphill mountain to climb – where do they start, what is the best strategy, what will the roads be like, will they fall behind in the schedule etc? This can generate more questions than answers and can lead to the situation becoming a little stressful. Thankfully, most couriers have a system and strategy in place, which is tried and tested, and has the answers and solutions to most of these questions and potential problems. In our latest blog post we’ll take a closer look at how successful daily delivery is always achieved.

The first thing most couriers will do is look at how many parcels they are due to deliver each day and see the locations this requires them travelling to. Once this has been done, a better idea of time can present itself, and many find it helpful to split the day into chunks or blocks of time, making so many deliveries within an hour or specified time window.

Once this has been done, the next thing to think about is how the parcels are arranged in the van or delivery vehicle (assuming this has not been done or thought about prior to this.) Could you imagine a large van full of parcels, only to discover that first drop is the parcel right at the back of the van, underneath everything else? This could waste the best part of an hour sorting, and once the clock is ticking, it never stops. Some forward planning is really helpful here. Whilst it is common sense, the first drops of the day should be in accessible positions within easy reach. As the day progresses and the vehicle gets emptier, this then makes it much quicker and easier to access the other parcels.

Traffic conditions are another consideration to bear in mind. Everyone knows that first thing in the morning, and around 5pm / teatime are the worst times for traffic on the road. The traffic lull in the middle of the day is generally the best time to get around busy places like towns and city centres. Deliveries that can be planned within short spaces of each other, give the best efficiency for time and resources. Travelling across town in the middle of rush hour wastes time and means that limited drop offs can be achieved.

Courier and delivery drivers should also build breaks into the day, although with many having such busy schedules, we know this is easier said than done. Even so, a break has been shown to improve concentration and boost productivity, meaning it can actually save time. We all know that driving is demanding requiring complete concentration. For many travelling from just one place to another, this is only for a limited period in any given time. For a courier who is on the road all day, this can be a real energy drain, and it is not sustainable to have that heightened sense of concentration for long periods of time. If someone is a same day courier that is travelling long distances, regular breaks are still needed even within the challenge of a very short time delivery window. Therefore, building breaks into the day is also required for health and safety purposes.

This is not an exhaustive description, though it does cover some of the main criteria that couriers need to think about each day. Next time you have a parcel delivered, know that there has been a huge degree of logistical planning associated with it’s arrival.

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