Santa’s real little helpers

Red christmassy van

The busiest time of the year for delivery drivers is (unsurprisingly) Christmas, when they will deliver an expected 100 million parcels. That’s four times as many deliveries as there are households in the UK!

Throughout 2017, The Van Insurer provided around 8,500 van insurance quotes to delivery drivers who chose ‘carriage of goods for hire or reward’ as their usage type, the most common usage for couriers.

The government’s National Travel Survey revealed that in 2015, the average motorist drove 7,900 miles and according to our quote data, the average annual mileage for a delivery driver is 14,619,

That’s almost double the average person – a lot of time on the road for anybody.

A day in the life of a courier

The amount of parcels each driver delivers will vary depending on the delivery company, number of routes and years of experience.

Former drivers have revealed that at Amazon they will typically deliver 150-200 parcels a day, UPS drivers deliver around 100, Hermes will have on average 80 and Yodel can be anywhere between 40 and 210.

So, how do all these parcels get from the depot to their final destination?

Well, it’s mostly down to the driver to ensure the smooth running of each delivery, overcoming obstacles and racing against the clock to make sure each parcel arrives where and when it’s supposed to.

This painstaking process can start as early as 4.30am when the driver will arrive at the depot to find out the route they’ll be taking that day, then sort out the packages and load each one in order of delivery into their vehicle.

Before computer software efficiency, this process would have taken a lot longer as the delivery route would need to be mapped out by hand and followed to the letter.

Presents in back of van

Some drivers will have additional help over the Christmas period so that one person can drive while the other takes the package to the door.

If no one is home and the parcel needs signing for, the delivery driver may have to leave a note and reattempt delivery on a separate date.

If they’re still unable to get a signature, the driver will have to take the parcel back to the depot so that it can be returned to the sender.

Is being a delivery driver worth it?

Being a delivery driver is undoubtedly hard work with many drivers delivering parcels around other commitments and some even taking on a second job.

Mariano Mamertino, an economist at recruitment agency Indeed, revealed that delivery driver vacancies are amongst the top roles that regularly remain unfilled as demand for drivers outgrows supply.

But while drivers are met with challenges such as high targets, short breaks and long hours, when asked to leave a job review by Indeed, the majority said they enjoyed working alone, choosing their own hours, the scenic delivery routes and the look of happiness on their customers faces when they arrived with their parcels.

One former Hermes driver said, ‘The most enjoyable part of the job was meeting the customer and getting to know them. Seeing their excitement when they opened the door and saw that their parcel has arrived was amazing.’

Next page: If Father Christmas was a UK delivery driver