The courier industry is very competitive with some people willing to transport consignments for next to nothing. The days of making a lot of money are gone. Most van couriers I come across are just scratching a living. Most are on the road for 12 plus hours a day and make 50p for every parcel delivered. With running costs such as petrol, wear and tear on the vehicle, insurances and other expenses it's a hard way to make a living. Motorcycle couriers are in exactly the same boat. I know motorcycles couriers that are transporting consignments for as little as 70p a loaded mile. The work is infrequent and unless you operate in London you can't make a full time living.



The best way of combating this is to branch out into other things, which will fill in the gaps when you've no courier work. For instance if you're a van courier also provide a man and van service. Doing small removals, house clearances, etc. Get some decent business cards and flyers printed. In my experience student halls is a great market for small removals. It may be seasonal, usually September when they arrive and June - July when they leave, but at these periods a man and van service is in demand. Manchester has a vast amount of private student halls. Give the manager a call and ask if you can drop some flyers off, most will say yes. How do I know this ? we have been providing security cover for private student halls for 12 years so I know how they operate.

Also leave flyers at offices, shops, and if you're feeling really fit at a large number of houses. You'll get house clearance work and the occasional pick up and delivery of a large item. I haven't mentioned alternatives for a motorcycle courier as there aren't any. There is motorcycle escort work but that's more infrequent than courier work. Motorcycle tours is another option, I know someone that does it, it's seasonal and depends on where you live in the country.    

My advice to anyone is don't concentrate on providing one service, that way you'll always have work coming in. We are a security firm that provide a part time motorcycle courier service. If we just concentrated on the courier side I'd be living in a cardboard box.