Hello, my dears!
I hope you're all having a cracking end of winter and looking forward to the spring. I know I am! I can't wait for warm weather to roll in again, I've had quite enough of cold and miserable weather, thank you very much!
In the case of my readers, though, I know there's one more reason to anticipate spring – and it's because that's when courier jobs pick up again. From what I know from years of writing this blog, the period after Christmas tends to be quieter for couriers; but once Easter approaches the volume of business hikes up again. So there are plenty of reasons to be excited about spring if you work in this field!
I'm also fairly sure there will be some new couriers out there this spring, trying the profession out as either a short- or long-term way to make money and gain customer relations experience. Because I don't like to see anyone go out there without a clue and have a bad time as a result, I thought I'd set one of my posts aside this month to offer a glossary of industry terms that someone just getting started doing courier jobs might need to know in order to succeed.
Of course, I don't claim to know every industry term (even if I did, including them all would make this post a chore to read!), but I've asked my nephew Stevie to choose a few he thought were particularly relevant and help me define them. Down below is what we came up with.
Access Point – An access point, or drop-off point, is any place where parcels can be delivered or picked up, that isn't the address they were shipped to. Have you ever seen a sign outside your local grocer's indicating parcels can be left there? Or saw a delivery option where the item can be delivered to a certain shop instead of your house? Both the grocer's and the shop are 'access points.' The method of delivering and picking up parcels through access points is known as click and collect.
Certificate of Origin – This is a crucial document for international courier jobs, as it tells the receiver which country their items came from and serves as a form of confirmation that they actually were produced and processed in that country as well.
Commercial Invoice – This one is pretty self-explanatory. The shipping company creates a commercial invoice; it details the contents of a consignment and how much it's worth, for customs purposes. An invoice issued before payment is known as a pro-forma invoice.
Consignment – This is one of the most important terms for courier drivers to know, as it is the term used to designate every single shipment a carrier receives! A consignment becomes known as freight once the cargo is inside the vehicle that's going to transport it.
There – that should get you started! I know we only reached the C's, but there's so much to go over that I had to stick to the more general terms. Even still, that little sample should at least help you become acquainted with some of the most common terms used in courier jobs, so that you'll start your career on the right foot!
For now, though, I will say...