The job of a courier is not the easiest one. Especially now, when courier companies have a lot of orders. How should a driver in a courier company to reduce transport costs?
What does a courier’s day look like?
Working as a courier requires a combination of different skills. Among them, an important place is the ability to not only fast, but also properly adapted to the tasks of driving a car. What a courier’s day looks like is best illustrated by numbers:
- 70 – this is how many parcels a courier delivers per day on average,
- 100 – this is the minimum number of kilometers a courier drives,
- 300 – this is the most kilometers a courier drives per day.
How does a courier drive in the city, and how in the countryside?
What looks like an economical ride for the courier, a large impact on the area where he drives. As a rule, in the city distances are shorter, but the number of delivered packages is greater. Distances of up to 300 km covered in one day is the most common mileage that courier cars do in rural areas.
Economical courier driving
Economical driving will require the courier to, among other things:
- maintaining a constant speed (in practice, especially in the city, this is often impossible),
- switching off the engine when stationary,
- starting from a standstill (engine warms up faster while driving than when stationary)
- watch the revs,
- avoid sudden braking (engine braking is the best way),
- keeping a distance when driving off-road (a distance of about 30 meters from other cars allows you to avoid sudden braking and protects against loss of kinetic energy).
Car care, fuel consumption measurements and driving improvement application
A courier company that wants to reduce the expenses incurred by its couriers should take care of its car fleet. This includes changing oil, filters or bearings
Using the on-board computer, you can also measure the fuel consumption, which allows you to choose the most profitable driving style. For those who really want to improve their performance, specialized applications have been developed. Their purpose is to report the most important parameters that are essential for optimal driving. This is a very useful tool for e.g. fleet managers in courier companies
Need for good planning
Economical courier driving starts with planning. Already in the warehouse, when accepting packages, they should be sorted according to the order of points on the route. At this stage, you need to take into account important issues:
- enterprises most often do not require delivery of a package at a specific time,
- individual recipients sometimes require the package to be left within a certain time window.
It is also important to take care of shipments and notice the damaged ones, which must be absolutely reported. In urban areas, you also need to consider traffic jams, and in rural areas, the condition of the roads.
VRP – planning with the latest technology
It is a known fact that daily planning in case of a courier is time consuming. It also succumbs to routine. This sometimes results in the fact that operating according to a fixed delivery schedule does not allow you to miss one or two addresses, which in a particular case can be delivered at the end, optimizing time and resources. Modern technologies – for example, those based on Vehicle Routing Problem algorithms – can be helpful in such cases.
VRP helps to establish a delivery map taking into account:
- the owned fleet,
- number of warehouses,
- number of pickup points,
- time window definitions,
- road conditions,
- stop times,
- time for delivery,
- parking time.
VRP – how much can it improve the optimization of courier driving?
The introduction of a system based on VRP, e.g. Emapa, gives the biggest effects when it covers all couriers without division into regions of their operation. For comparison:
- vRP optimization of one courier’s work gives a benefit of 4-5% savings,
- however, optimization of all couriers can bring up to 7% of savings.
The savings in this case relate to:
- fuel costs,
- travel time,
- route length,
- road tolls.