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3 Hard Truths You Must Know before Starting a Delivery Service


Norman Dulwich

Running a delivery service is not all fun and games (although under the right circumstances, or if your heart is in the right place, it can feel like one). At the very least, it requires acceptance of certain unpalatable truths that could essentially separate the grain from the chaff, so to speak. If youre seriously considering entering the business, the following three things must be taken care of at the get-go.

There Will Always Be Complaints

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As in any other service-oriented business that deals with people, operating a delivery service means its a given that youll run into people who may find your business unsatisfactory. Whether warranted or not, its absolutely vital to deal with such customers as proactively as possibleafter all, its highly possible that you may have, indeed, made a mistake. Complaints are not bad things per se; in fact, they can give you important clues about how you can further improve your business. Customer complaints can help you identify weaknesses in your operation: are your employees courteous and do they always have a problem-solving mind set; do you always deliver on time; are your fees and rates on par with those of others in your competitive sector? You need only to tackle them head-on to turn them into opportunities for growth. Remember: if no ones complaining, then you should smell something fishy.

You Will Have to Work Really Hard

If anyone ever told you that running a delivery service is as easy as a walk in the park is lying through their teeth. Before you entertain visions of yourself rolling on a bed of cold hard cash, you must stop and remember one simple thing: keep your expectations realistic. While there are many undeniable perks in doing your own thingyou are no longer part of the 9-to-5 rat race and youre often answerable to only yourselfbut such independence comes with enormous responsibilities. Sure, you may eventually end up running a very profitable outfit, but the key word there is eventually. Before that eventuality, there are many things you will have to hurdle, and foremost among them is doing actual hard work. Earning your bread and butter by trying to meet and exceed different peoples expectations can be daunting, but its not impossible. And once youve accepted the word really hard part, youve won half the battle.

You Will Have to Make Legal Decisions

Establishing a delivery service business is to create a legal entity, so of course you will have to make crucial legal decisions. For starters, you will have to decide on the legal structure of your business. Is it a sole proprietorship (youre the owner and the only one responsible); is it a partnership (there are other people who have invested in it); or perhaps a limited liability company (or LLC, which is slightly more complicated)? Each type of legal structure has its own advantages and limitations, and you will have to face these issues squarely. You will also have to obtain the necessary licenses and other paperwork required by your city or state. But this is actually the easy part, and once youre done with the details, you can move on to the more important things, like growing your business.

Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world’s largest neutral trading hub for same day

delivery service

in the express freight exchange industry. Over 2,500 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe ‘wholesale’ environment.

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3 Hard Truths You Must Know before Starting a Delivery Service }

News briefs:May 28, 2010

Posted by: kf2FZ6in Uncategorized
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Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Indian aviation sector looks set to shrink amid financial turmoil, with the nation’s air carriers in schemes to try and ride out the problems and domestic air traffic at a five year low.

Air traffic has fallen by 19% in September, the fourth month in a row of negative growth. The news comes as a joint result of the current financial crisis and high jet fuel prices, with Indian airlines in debt to the tune of Rs1,800 crore after surpassing their credit limits with oil companies, who are themselves making losses due to government controls on the price of jet fuel.

Kingfisher Red – originally known as Air Deccan, India’s first budget carrier, until Kingfisher Airlines bought the company out – suffered the biggest drop in passenger numbers at 20% of their load factor. Flag carrier Air India is running at 53% of capacity after a 10% fall, and the average for airlines is now 55% as opposed to 65% this time last year.

Kingfisher Airlines has decided to enter an alliance with Jet Airlines that will see them collectively control half the Indian aviation market. Both airlines are in debt over fuel payments with Jet owing Rs850 crore while Kingfisher refused to disclose the amount they needed to pay. The money is owed mainly to the Indian Oil Corporation, with the rest owed to the Hindustan Petroleum Corporation and the Bharat Petroleum Corporation. 45% of costs for Indian carriers is fuel, which is 70% more expensive than abroad due to multiple taxes.

Air India’s head Raghu Menon expressed concern about what the Kingfisher-Jet alliance meant for his own airline. “We were competing with both these airlines separately. Now we’ll be competing with them perhaps as one entity. It’ll be a challenge,” he said.

Kingfisher have cancelled an order for three A340 aircraft from European airframer Airbus. Airbus executive John Leahy said that Airbus had discussed the issue with Kingfisher before the choice was made and that this was the only cancellation from India. He also maintains that India will be an important area for Airbus, with the firm predicting Indian aviation growth will be at 9.7% compared to a global rate of 5.4%. Airbus predict that 1,000 new aircraft will increase the Indian fleet fivefold by 2026. Airbus have also welcomed the partnership between Jet and Kingfisher, saying it will help consolidate the carriers.

Airlines are cutting capacity to reduce costs, with around 20% gone already. Average flight movements are down to 8,000 a week compared to 10,500 in the period from April to June. The aviation industry in India is expected to post a collective loss of US$2 billion.

One executive at Boeing, Dinesh Keskar , predicted the downfall to be brief. “The current downturn in the sector is temporary and may not prolong for more than 6 to 9 months,” he said. Airlines, however, feel that the risk is very much immediate; Jet and Kingfisher are requesting a government bailout package worth Rs 40.7 billion. They are currently losing a combined US$1.3 billion.

Amtrak train smashes freighter in Chicago

Posted by: kf2FZ6in Uncategorized

Saturday, December 1, 2007

An Amtrak train collided with a parked Norfolk Southern freight train in Chicago on Friday. 30 people were injured, five of them Amtrak personnel who were most seriously injured.

Amtrak train 371, the Pere Marquette, started in Grand Rapids, Michigan and carried 193 people on board including six crew members. The train was in south Chicago heading towards its destination of Chicago Union Station when the crash occurred around 17:30 UTC. No injuries were reported among the crew of the Norfolk Southern freight train. Amtrak’s locomotive, a GE Genesis, was derailed by the force of the impact, although the rest of the passenger train remained on the tracks.

All Amtrak trains between Chicago and Michigan are currently cancelled while workers remove the locomotive from the scene and perform any needed repairs. A National Transportation Safety Board “Go Team” led by Ted Turpin was dispatched to the scene to conduct a federal investigation into the crash.

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Europe hit by storms, 45 deaths reported

Posted by: kf2FZ6in Uncategorized

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Europe has been hit by fierce wind and storms, with gusts over 150 kilometers per hour reported from the UK to Southern Germany. Most major motorways are blocked/shut due to lorries being overturned by the wind.

Most European Airports, Train and Motorways have been affected. Amsterdam has been cut off, with planes grounded, and the train system from Amsterdam city halted.


  • 1 Casualties and fatalities
    • 1.1 Western Europe
      • 1.1.1 United Kingdom
      • 1.1.2 Germany
      • 1.1.3 The Netherlands
      • 1.1.4 France
      • 1.1.5 Belgium
    • 1.2 Central and Eastern Europe
  • 2 Sources

According to the BBC, at least 45 people have been killed so far, with more deaths expected. Reports of numbers currently vary as the damage is assessed.

The casualties were distributed as follows:

  • United Kingdom: 13 (8 in North West England)
  • Germany: 13
  • Ireland: 7 – lost at sea
  • The Netherlands: 7
  • Poland: 6
  • Czech Republic: 4
  • Belgium: 2
  • France: 2
  • Austria: 1

The UK saw a total of eleven casualties, most of them in England. All incidents took place on January 18.

  • The first casualty of the storm was the chief of Birmingham International Airport who was killed around 05:45 GMT when his car windscreen was smashed by a falling branch in Shropshire.
  • In the London district of Kentish Town, a two-year-old boy died in hospital after receiving severe head injuries. These were caused by a wall collapsing onto the boy whilst he was walking with his childminder in the afternoon of January 18.
  • A female lorry driver was killed on the A269 in Yorkshire when her vehicle overturned and was blown into a canal.
  • A male lorry driver, who was a German national, was killed on the A55 in Chester in a similar incident.
  • The front-seat male passenger of a car on the A329 was killed when a branch hit the car near Streatley, Berkshire, the driver was injured.
  • A man was blown into metal shutters at an industrial estate in Manchester and died.
  • In Byley, Cheshire, a man was hit by a tree whilst working on a construction site.
  • An elderly man was killed at Humberside by a collapsing shed.
  • A woman in Stockport was killed when a wall she tried to shelter behind collapsed onto her.
  • In Lancashire, a man was hit by a falling canopy at a petrol station whilst refuelling and later died in hospital.
  • In Woofferton, Shropshire, a lorry driver collided with another vehicle and died on the scene.

Germany was the country most severely hit by the storm, with 13 casualties as of January 21, 2007. Most deaths occurred on the 18th and 19th of January, though some victims were only injured at first and later died in hospital.

  • In the Munich bourough Milbertshofen, an 18-month old child was severely injured by a patio door that had broken out of its hinges. The child later died in hospital.
  • Near Kirrlach in the state of Baden-Württemberg, a motorist tried to avoid a tree that had fallen onto the road and crashed into an oncoming vehicle. He was pronounced dead on the scene.
  • A 73-year old man was crushed by a barn door in Gersthofen in the district of Augsburg.
  • A fireman was killed in Tönisvorst in North Rhine-Westphalia whilst performing storm cleanup work.
  • A 36-year motorist was killed in Hildesheim by a fallen tree.
  • A motorcycle driver slid under a tree in Essen, dying in hospital on January 21.
  • On the B 55 near Lippstadt, a 23-year woman was killed when her car was hit by a falling birch tree.
  • A man was killed when the gable of a nearby building collapsed in Groß Rodensleben in the state of Saxony-Anhalt.
  • In Strausberg in Brandenburg, a 25-year man crashed into a fallen tree with his car.
  • Near Finnentrop, a man died after not noticing a tree that had fallen onto the road and crashing into it.

Seven people in the Netherlands were killed as a result of the weather. Two people died when a falling tree hit their car between Arnhem and Ede. A man near Oosterhout was killed in a collision with a truck. A motorcyclist died near Leersum after a collision with a tree, as well as a 17-year old boy on a moped in Sint Oedenrode. An 11-year old boy in Riel was blown in front of a car, which drove over him. The boy died on the scene. A 59-year old man in Staphorst was blown off of the roof of his barn, as he was repairing the damage caused by the storm. Six people were injured when a crane fell through the roof of a Utrecht University building. The National Crisis Centre has advised people to stay indoors, the first time such a warning has been issued.

In France, a driving instructor in Roubaix was killed when an electricity pole fell on top of her car. The student was severely injured. A 30-year old man died near Abbeville, when a swerving truck crashed into his car. A woman in Lille is missing after the roof of a store collapsed. There was significant damage to the cathedral at Saint-Omer.

Two people in Belgium fell victim to the storm; a 16-year old girl in Halle died when a wall she was standing by collapsed and a man died in the province of Liège after a tree fell on top of his car.

In Poland, a crane operator was killed in Katowice when a 25-metre-high (82ft) crane broke in half. By January 19 a total of 6 casualties and 19 people wounded have been reported, nearly 800 thousand households lack electricity due to the damage done by the storm, about 500 were damaged.

In the Czech Republic, a fireman died in Slune?ná (Liberec Region) when the wind threw a tree trunk on him while he was clearing the road with his colleagues. Two young men died in Vestec near Prague when a tree fell on their car.

Monday, July 17, 2006

South-east China has been flooded by torrential rainstorms as the Severe Tropical Storm Bilis came ashore on Friday, July 14. The total death toll stands at 178 people but many people are missing, and the figure might rise.

Floods, 10 meters high in some areas washed away 19,100 houses, damaged roads, power lines, and devastated villages and agriculture. Three million people were affected by the tropical storm which Xinhua, the state news agency, estimated would cost three billion yuan ($375 million) damage.

The worse-hit provinces were Fujian, Hunan and Guangdong while their were deaths and an economic impact in Zhejian, Jiangxi and Guangxi provinces.

At least 92 died in Hunan where dam reservoirs rose to their limits. The water swell in Leiyang rose 10 metres above the levels from Friday.

40,000 people in the cities of Hengyang and Chenzhou were reported stranded. 14 coal miners died when a dam burst, ravaging the land and flooding their pit at Shenjiawan Colliery.

The floods in Hunan also took out the Beijing-Guangzhou railway leaving 5,000 stranded in the capital, Changsha. 10,000 workers were sent to repair the damaged sections of line.

An estimated 33 people died in Guangdong, an important economic area near Hong Kong. Lechang was submerged under three metres of water and 1663 prisoners had to be moved from the city.

In Fujian province 43 people are reported dead. Deadly mudslides killed 10 in the city of Zhangzhou and another 10 are missing from a second mudslide.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The death toll from yesterday’s suspension bridge collapse on the Indonesian island of Borneo has risen from three to four, with a six-month-old baby among the dead. Search and rescue teams continue to look for survivors in the Mahakam River.

The initial death toll was raised at first to five, but was revised back down to four. The number of wounded rose from at least seventeen to at least nineteen, but Monsters and Critics offers a figure as high as 39 injured; Indonesia Today yesterday suggested the actual figure was 100 hospitalised. Roughly 40 people remain missing at the scene in East Kalimantan’s Kutai Kartanegara district, where “Kalimantan’s Golden Gate Bridge” linked the towns of Tenggarong and Samarinda.

At least three cars, several motorbikes, and at least one public bus all fell into the Mahakam River. Another car was left overturned and balanced upon wreckage over the water. State-owned builders PT Hutama Karya completed the bridge about a decade ago in the image of California’s Golden Gate Bridge, and it is now reported it was under repair at the time of the failure. New information suggests a cable on the 720-metre structure failed as workers dealt with it; six of the repair crew are among the missing.

National police representative Boy Rafly Amar said “It is believed that some victims are still in the river. There are two buses in the river and efforts are under way to lift them.” He said 39 were rescued with 20 still in hospital. Health Minister Endang Rahayu Sedyaningsih visited survivors in Parikesit Hospital and promised them medical treatment at government expense.

“It happened so fast, only about 30 seconds,” according to National Disaster Management Agency spokesman Sutopo Nugoroho. National search and rescue head Daryatmo said Monday will see cranes attempt to move debris.

The president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, has sent three ministers to the site to investigate the accident, while Bambang Widaryatmo, head of East Kalimantan’s police, promised “parties found to be negligent will be prosecuted”. The government has promised a replacement ferry service. The river is closed to boats as rescue operations continue, and a 22-strong team has been dispatched from the national police, comprising six forensics experts, five disaster victim identification specialists, and eleven investigators. They are there to augment the East Kalimantan Police.

Some people swam ashore after falling, with the aftermath filled with screams. 40-year-old Adam Nur describes breaking free from a car and swimming 300 metres with one arm after his other arm was injured in the fall. Syakrani, 24, says he survived by clinging to empty plastic containers when he fell from the bridge after leaving his truck to investigate a traffic jam. “The authorities should have closed the bridge if it was under repair,” he said.

 This story has updates See Death toll from Borneo bridge collapse reaches eleven, November 28, 2011 

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Can You Turn A Steel Building Into A Residential Home?


Amy Nutt..

One would look at a stainless steel building and not believe that it could be turned into a residential home. There are many components that stainless steel buildings lack that homes must have, so the work involved may be rather extensive. However, stainless steel buildings tend to be less expensive than the average home and may even still cost less if converted into a residential home.

But can it be done? Yes it can. Believe it or not, a group of architects in 2006 actually turned steel shipping containers into homes. Because of this innovative accomplishment, they proved that such a feat is possible and have opened the doors to more steel structures being converted into residential homes. It first started with the military using steel storage containers as offices, showers, and bunkers.

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It is true that these structures are lacking many of the components required for a home such as wood, but many of these buildings actually have teak floors and are insulated. The lack of components hasn’t hindered designers from turning steel buildings into residential designs since 1982. However, it isn’t something we see often, but the point is that it is actually being done. It is actually growing in popularity and there are architecture firms all over the world cashing in on the benefits. They call these “Quick Houses” and they can be two-stories at 2000 square feet with large glass windows and skylights. Such a structure is built by using 5 storage buildings, which provides the owner with 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. The price range can be anywhere between $76,000 and $160,000 depending on how much space the owner needs. This actually comes out to be around $100 or less per square foot.

The price is actually the same if not less than an actual home built from scratch. The steel building is an existing structure that can be built upon by adding insulation if needed, carpeting the floors, adding drywall to the walls and actually creating rooms out of multiple buildings being sealed together. Bathrooms can be installed as well as heating and cooling systems. The possibilities seem to be endless, so the imagination can go a long way when turning a steel building into a home. However, it is the building codes that tend to get in the way. Although steel buildings are stronger than other construction means, there are hurdles that must be taken care of before building can begin. There are some communities that do allow steel building construction and then again there are communities that do not. That simply comes down to the fact that new things tend to be accepted slower than the old. The truth is, though, that the fact that steel buildings can be converted into residential homes will eventually catch on and the industry will be booming.

Just think, the next time a home is built next door, it could be a steel building

being converted into a residential home. Doing so provides strength and security that other construction means cannot do. Sure, it is a rather odd idea, but think about how steel can stand up to the elements. Those investing in a steel building to be converted into a residential home are more likely to have their home standing after a natural disaster than those who do not have steel homes.

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News briefs:June 8, 2010

Posted by: kf2FZ6in Uncategorized
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