What could 2024 have in store for Couriers? Our predictions for CX, SDCN and much more.

a blurred and de-coloured image of a courier delivery van on a motorway in winter

There’s something different in the air this year already. We think this is going to be an important few months that might show changes in how drivers acquire more transport work.

For a long time it’s been simple. The Courier Exchange was the place to be and if you wanted to get extra work you had to be willing to pay their prices so you could network with thousands of other companies and drivers in one place.

Over the last few years some promising competitors have started to arrive – such as Same Day Courier Network and DeliveryApp. These new platforms have seen real growth and are now credible options for independent drivers to source extra work.

But throughout 2023 we noticed another type of platform starting to appear – some of the larger courier companies are either creating their own apps, or using groups on services like WhatsApp to find cheap ways to notify drivers of available loads.

So with that in mind, we decided to make some predictions of how we see 2024 playing out for the main sources of work-sharing.

CX (The Courier Exchange)

It’s been at the top for years, and most of the big name transport companies have been right there with them. It’s almost certainly going to have work throughout this year. How much work is anyone’s guess.

We can’t see it differing too much from 2023 which was a strong year for the platform, but there are some early signs that the membership costs may be convincing some larger companies to look at alternative ways to share work to their subby list. It’s all about the money and if companies can get the same drivers at a far lower cost, they’re going to do that.

Still worth joining in our opinion, but keep an eye on shifting patterns and network as much as you can with the big hitters so you can be ready if they move.

Prediction Score for ’24: 7/10

Same stuff, different year.

SDCN (Same Day Courier Network)

Is this the moment that the ‘next big thing’ really arrives on the scene? SDCN has been fighting hard to get taken seriously in this incredibly tough market. Many others have tried and failed but this platform is still here, and the longer it sticks around, the more you’ll have to take notice.

A brand new app released towards the end of 2023 has brought a new lease of life too. We will be doing a full review of this in a few weeks once we’ve had a proper chance to try it out as this year starts to take shape.

We’re forecasting steady growth here as companies start to make use of improved features.

Prediction Score for ’24: 6/10

Expect growth off the back of new improved app

DeliveryApp

These guys came into the ring swinging with all the intention to knock Mike Tyson on his back, with big names like Rio Ferdinand investing and diving head-first into the advertisements.

But there are some underlying issues that need to be addressed in our eyes. The app is heavily weighted to give the customer a great experience, whilst leaving the drivers to fight over the scraps.

Any driver that has used it has surely seen the ‘Sorry another driver has already claimed this job’ message. And whilst it’s excellent that the customer gets their delivery handled by the first available person, drivers can’t be expected to wait around, only to be beaten to the punch before they’ve even seen the listing.

It’s free, it pays fast and it’s easy to use – but we’re not putting it top of our list right now.

Prediction Score for ’24: 5/10

First come, first served is great for customers, but infuriating for drivers

Sub Direct for One or More Companies

This is kind of going backwards to go forwards. Many years ago some drivers would register with their local courier company, park up outside their office and get sent out on jobs (just like private hire taxi’s).

Now WhatsApp is the digital courier company office. You can stay at home, or wherever you want to be, and get messages about available loads.

You might have to register with a few different companies to get a decent amount of work, but it’s free and fairly simple. You’ll have to find a way of letting multiple different people know when you’re available, and when you’re busy, so that you don’t let people down too often. But it’s an alternative back up to the options above, so why not try it?

Prediction Score for ’24: 4/10

You’ll have to place eggs in a lot of baskets, but could get backloads and fill the quiet spells.

We hope this has been helpful. We could be way off in what actually happens this year, it’s all really just our educated guess after many years in courier work. It’s up to you to decide where your time and energy is best focussed on finding work.

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