What Does a Delivery Contractor Do?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

A delivery contractor acts as a third party carrier for packages, mail, and other goods. This can be less expensive than relying on a package service and doesn’t require a company to maintain a fleet of delivery vehicles and staff. Delivery contractors may work independently or for a courier company that provides services by request to customers. They drive routes in a variety of conditions and may need to be able to handle large trucks as well as heavy loads.

Delivery contractors may work independently or for a courier company.
Delivery contractors may work independently or for a courier company.

Companies that sell things like appliances, mattresses, and furniture may offer a delivery service for customers, but do not want to maintain delivery crews because they can be a substantial business overhead expense. Instead, they can rely on a delivery contractor, paying by the load as needed for such services. The contractor may have an agreement to provide same or next day delivery on demand, and in some cases can also install or assemble products, depending on the nature of the contract.

Delivery contractors may deliver mail for companies.
Delivery contractors may deliver mail for companies.

It is also possible to send packages, including documents, via a delivery contractor. This is a common tool for same day delivery in areas where materials need to get across a region quickly. An attorney, for example, might hire a delivery contractor to bring documents to a courthouse or another law firm. Contractors can also carry groceries and a variety of other consumer products for delivery. Many may offer mixed loads, while others may focus on particular niches, like biomedical services such as sample transport.

Some delivery contractors specialize in working with businesses.
Some delivery contractors specialize in working with businesses.

The job usually requires people to supply their own delivery vans or trucks, although if they work for a contracting company, these may be provided. Many people also carry insurance to protect themselves against loss and theft claims. Delivery contractors start the day by organizing their stops, and may carry a phone so they can make adjustments to the schedule throughout the day to respond to customer needs. Dispatch radios can also be used by a contracting firm to reach personnel.

Several different pay schedules can be used by a delivery contractor. Some may charge a flat rate, while others charge by distance, and may request a premium for speedy services. If clients also want assembly or installation of products, this costs extra, and is not necessarily a service that all contractors will offer. People employed by agencies may earn an hourly wage, percentage, or commission, depending on the nature of the contract.

A delivery contractor may delivery groceries.
A delivery contractor may delivery groceries.
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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