The best alternative courier work platform?
Table of Contents
Introduction to Same Day Courier Network (SDCN)
A trading-platform for couriers & hauliers…
That’s the simple statement that greets you when you visit the Same Day Courier Network website. And simple statements are good with us – they clarify exactly what you should expect from a particular product or service.
I believe this platform was launched around 2018-2019, and so it’s still in its infancy when compared with many of the other services on our list. But they started out on the right foot, with the right intentions to be successful in this challenging environment. From the very beginning the website and app has been clean, efficient and user-friendly. That’s the easiest way to get people onboard.
The second part of the challenge is getting the work listed/sold.
What it's like to use & important features
The Good Points
I know you’re probably going to get sick of the amount of time I’ll end up using the ‘S’ word during this review, but this platform uses that old management acronym to perfection. K.I.S.S. Keep it Simple, Stupid.
The Same Day Courier Network isn’t overwhelmed with options and menu systems unlike some other courier work websites. That makes is extremely user friendly to get to grips with from the start.
The fact is that sometimes there can be features just for features’ sake and there’s no real purpose to a lot of tools that are included. So SDCN have done well to keep the focus on what’s really important.
Whether searching for loads or selling one, you don’t have to search through page after page to get what you’re looking for. From your account screen it’s one click to find available jobs, and just one click to begin listing a job for sale.
There are Loads Available!
Okay I know I go on about this too much when I review work exchange websites, but the whole point of them is WORK. And SDCN is actually fulfilling it’s purpose on that count.
Alright, it’s still some way behind the Yellow team (Courier Exchange) currently, but it’s doing alright and seems to be growing steadily.
Right now at the start of 2022 as I write this, I am seeing daily job notifications come through on my emails. Not thousands of them, but regular notifications is GOOD.
What helps separate SDCN from lesser sites, and keep it heading towards a battle with CX, is that the work being posted here is more commercial work being sold peer-to-peer. Not the eBay/budget/removal type work you will find on sites like Shiply and Delivery Quote Compare.
What does that mean for you? Well you’re more likely to earn a half-decent rate per job because these are dedicated loads and it’s not a case of ‘pile it high, sell it cheap’ like the ebay transporters do when they co-load jobs.
And the other companies you will work with are likely to become good contacts for the future too.
Is that a Load or an Empty Van?
So it’s not ALL perfect. There are a few little niggles that could be improved.
I’m not a fan of the fact that empty vehicles and loads are mixed in together which can sometimes be confusing.
You think you’ve spotted a load on a route you want, but it’s actually someone else running that route and letting people know they have space available. You get used to it, but I’d still prefer these things to be completely separate.
Are The Other Users Trustworthy?
As I’ve not actually worked with anyone on SDCN yet, it’s also not easy to be sure how good the feedback system is and who you can really trust. That improves with time though. And the fact is there is always a risk in sub-contracting no matter which platform you use. Sometimes people you work for won’t pay you.
Sometimes the driver you hire is a nightmare. SDCN can’t do a lot to protect you from that, it’s more a case of intuition and gut instinct who to work with.
One thing I sometimes wonder about is if there is a risk that more of the ‘dodgy’ operators will use a cheaper platform because they don’t want to pay CX’s high membership fees.
There are arguments for/against this theory so I don’t waste too much time thinking about it.
Nothing I can really think of right now. It’s just so… simple (oh come on, I had to say it one more time!).
SDCN Mobile App
The App is slick and seems to provide all the same access that you get in the website, a feature that beats the CX app, which limits owner drivers.
You can view live loads, list jobs you need covered and post your availability with ease. That’s exactly how it should work. There’s not much else I can say. Did I use the word ‘simple’ yet? I have now.
* Promotion *
Courier Insurance with that new van smell
Screenshots: A sample of the SDCN website and app
Video: 5 Opportunities to Find More Work (includes SDCN)
SDCN is priced far more competitively right now that its main competitor. The only reason that it doesn’t score higher is simply down to the work volumes. If you’re based in the right location and find yourself with regular loads being listed nearby, then this fee is easily covered and you make your money back quickly. But as with all of these services, if you’re in a quiet part of the country it doesn’t matter if the price is £10 or £100, it’s still hard to justify if you can’t win any work to earn it back.
For any small business though, these prices should be manageable and worth a shot to see if you can make a go of it. The more people that think like that, the more chance there is of this platform growing.
Monthly Cost Breakdown (sourced from company Q4 2021)
Price (per month): £19.25 + VAT | £23.10 inc VAT | Total £277.20 inc VAT
Price (paid annually): £195 + VAT | £234 inc VAT
Save £43.20 by paying upfront
This was a difficult rating to give, but it’s taken in context against all other competitors. None of the platforms we’ve reviewed have scored a perfect 5-stars, because to do that the loads posted would have to vastly outnumber the drivers available, meaning everyone could find work every day.
SDCN beats the vast number of its competitors by a long way and we fully expect the score to be higher when we next review it later in 2022.
Facilities & Benefits
For the price you pay, there are great opportunities to be had here. The website and app are included and you don’t pay extra for listing loads, plus there is a members benefits page where you get access to other services (just like here at CTV! – check out some of our partners below).
We’ve heard from SDCN directly that new improvements are coming to the site/app in 2022 so expect this to improve later this year too.
Credibility & Risk Factor
Again this is one of those things that is very hard to quantify. There are probably going to be some bad actors on every work exchange site you join, but the vast majority are there for the right reasons and you just have to learn who to trust. The review system helps you see at a glance who has already shown themselves to be worth working with, so use that to your advantage.
Couriers TV Final Rating: Same Day Courier Network: 3 / 5
- It’s fast.
- It’s easy to use.
- And it actually has some work.
- Still nowhere near the volume of work as CX
I’m not guaranteeing you’ll get any work off it, but it’s an affordable opportunity to give yourself the chance of more work. Fair enough, there are still not the volume of loads on here to make you rich. It’s a good addition to your options, but don’t plan on surviving on this alone at the present time.
There’s a saying in the courier community that work exchange sites are basically just ‘backload sites’, and what that means is that you should find your own work to pay the bulk of your routes, and use SDCN et al to top up your earnings and cover your costs.
Running a small business is all about deciding which tools and services you need to invest in so that you can make more money, and I have no problem investing in this one.
It’s got plenty of room to improve and the word is that it’s going to do that soon. All it needs is for one or two large-scale couriers to post regular work and it would start to cause a gravitational pull.
This platform really is a giant in waiting. It’s worth definitely worth a try.