Aramex has initiated a fleet of Blu courier drivers as a way to speed up deliveries following unprecedented online retail buying during lockdown
Success ensures new courier delivery model set to continue
A parcel surge the equivalent of four Christmases has seen Aramex commence a recruitment drive for ‘Uber-style’ courier drivers across New Zealand.
During the Covid-19 lockdown, Aramex smashed its daily parcel delivery record, nearly doubling parcel volumes from its previous record. The impact put a strain on the already limited service due to Covid-19 contactless delivery rules.
Fortunately, Aramex had introduced a delivery solution called Blu Couriers three years ago aimed at providing flexible employment opportunities to service the fast-growing ecommerce retail phenomenon. Blu Couriers is based on the Uber transport model whereby courier drivers can use their own vehicles.
Aramex New Zealand chief executive Scott Jenyns: “The Blu system is here to stay”
Aramex New Zealand chief executive Scott Jenyns says that in the early stages of Covid-19, lockdown parcel volumes were about 10% of a normal day, but after Anzac weekend it had jumped by a whopping 200%. “Level 3 came into action after Anzac weekend and by then many local and national retailers had come up with an online retail offering and were busy selling products,” he explains.
A new career pathway
Initiating a fleet of Blu courier drivers was the immediate answer to speeding up deliveries as a result of unprecedented online retail buying during lockdown, Mr Jenyns adds. “We needed an army of Blu couriers quickly as there was a backlog of about 10 days. We could train a Blu courier in a very short time and get them out delivering parcels.
“Some people lost their jobs during Covid-19 and we thought this was a great way for them to try a new career or do some due diligence before buying a new business. That’s the opportunity with Aramex – they can give courier driving a go as a Blu courier, and if they enjoy it, they can step up to a full-time position or look at buying a courier franchise. It’s the perfect opportunity to try a new career pathway.”
Potential drivers require a full driver’s licence and a reliable vehicle, which can be anything from a small car up to a small truck. All applicants are asked to provide or complete a police check.
How it works
Drivers are given training and, if possible, a delivery area that they’re more familiar with. It’s then up to them if they take out 20 parcels and cover a small number of streets, or load 200 parcels into their vehicle and service entire suburbs. The items offered to Blu couriers tend to be lighter and smaller so are easier to handle in the Uber style model of parcel delivery.
Aramex has developed a delivery app which has route-directing systems to plot the deliveries on a map, and all deliveries are tracked with GPS tagging to ensure accuracy around delivery.
The only real performance measure of a Blu courier is that they complete all the parcels in their care each day. “Although we have guidelines on when their deliveries need to be completed by, nothing can be delivered after 8pm in the evening,” Mr Jenyns says.
“It’s really important the couriers ensure that they deliver everything correctly following the contactless signature processes we now use. If something does go wrong, we arrange to collect the item using one of our courier franchisees and then arrange redelivery.”
Mr Jenyns says the Blu Couriers service will continue to be part of the Aramex offering. “The success of the Blu Couriers system has been fantastic. The fact that it can be quickly and easily scaled up to deal with volume spikes, such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday and of course Christmas, together with the general increase in volumes expected to continue for some time, means the Blu system is here to stay.”