The advantages of gig driving are hard to beat. Freedom to pick your hours, higher than average hourly earnings, and sheer variety are just a few of them. Still, there’s a grind to delivering food and groceries, and more than a few hassles to rideshare driving. Most of these involve…dealing with people!
Have you had it with getting complaints about not including enough ranch dressing with a customer’s order? Are you completely sick of passengers putting their feet up on your seats and then reporting to your company that your car is dirty? If you want to escape these and any other irritations that arise when your delivering and driving involve prickly individuals, this blog post is for you.
Here, we’ll explore the three best options for delivering parcels. That’s right. With this kind of gig, all you have to do is pick up packages and materials and deliver them, usually to a doorstep or a company office, storefront, or job site. Additionally, your deliveries will take place during normal store hours – 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. No more drunken revelers or rancid french fries smell in your vehicle, ever again! Here’s what we’ll examine:
- The good & the bad of delivering parcels and materials
- What you need to get started
- The 3 best options for drivers
- Which parcel & material delivery job works the best for rideshare and delivery drivers?
The good & the bad of delivering parcels and materials
We’ve already touched on the biggest advantage to delivering packages and “stuff” that isn’t food-related. Eliminating the need to deal directly with people from the equation certainly removes the aggravation out of your driving life. There are other perks, as well:
- Predictable routes – You will know exactly where you need to go within your shift hours.
- Can use your own or a company vehicle – Depending on the company you choose, you can use the vehicle you already own, or a company car or truck.
- Physical exercise – The days of sitting in one place and doing nothing will be over when you move into loading and unloading parcels and materials.
- Not stuck in an office – The freedom of “being on the road” sure does beat being locked in a stuffy room filled with cubicles and ringing telephones.
- Decent earnings – Parcel and delivery companies, in general, pay as well or better than rideshare and food delivery.
There are some downsides to working in this part of the mobility industry, though. They will, again, depend on which company you wind up working for.
- Set hours – With some companies, you may have to work as many as 50 hours per week.
- Rules and restrictions – Some companies have rules about your appearance and personal style.
- Limited hours – In some cases, you may not be offered as many hours as you would like in order to make decent money.
- Pressure to complete lots of deliveries in a short time – Companies often lay heavy loads on drivers, expecting them to cover a lot of ground in a limited amount of time.
- Expenses reduce total earnings – Fuel costs, wear and tear on your vehicle, and other “hidden” costs could make those juicy earnings dry up fast.
What you need to get started
Depending on the company you choose, you’ll have to meet a certain set of standards and possibly comply with requirements that involve things such as the cleanliness of your car interior. This is certainly something you’ll want to think about before you get too excited about the prospects of delivering parcels and materials, but if you’re game, the opportunity to earn is there.
Here are the things you’ll need, pretty much across the board, but specific requirements will vary by company.
If you use a company truck or have your own vehicle, you may need to:
- Hold a valid driver’s license in your state of residence
- Pass a background check
- Pass a drug test
- Have the ability to drive a manual transmission
- Training from the company
- Meet age requirements
- Have a valid SSN, TIN, or EIN
- Be able to lift as much as 70 pounds
If you use your own vehicle you’ll have to:
- Have insurance (You may need to carry extra in your state. Check with your provider.)
- Be able to use a car, but consider using a truck or van for large loads.
There’s a big difference between the kinds of parcel delivery jobs you can choose from. Some are gig-oriented, much like Uber or DoorDash for packages and dry goods. Others involve taking on a full-time, employee position.
The 3 best options for drivers
Let’s look at what’s available, and see what the three best options for gig drivers might be. We’ll look at the option of working for a large company as an employee, and then at two companies that are more oriented to the gig driving lifestyle.
- UPS or FedEx. Working for one of these companies would require you to become an employee. While this would give you many benefits (including things such as insurance and a pension plan), there are some disadvantages to this kind of position. Your schedule would not be flexible, for one thing. Also, this is where you might run into those rules and regulations that prohibit long hair, facial hair, tattoos, and insist on the 21-year old age minimum and the like. The other thing is, to work for one of these companies, you’d have to wait for there to be an opening, interview for the position, and get it. You can’t just sign up and start driving.
- Amazon Flex. Driving for Amazon Flex allows you to download the app and begin to drive for them. You will be delivering packages for Amazon Prime, Prime Now, or even shopping for groceries from Whole Foods. You would schedule blocks when you make yourself available for a given time period. This gives you more flexibility, but also requires more of a hustle. There have been lots of complaints recently about Amazon Flex offering fewer hours, as more drivers come on board. You might have trouble making enough money to meet your needs. You would probably have to look at your stint with Amazon Flex as being a part-time kind of thing. As a driver, you’d go to the warehouse when your scheduled block begins, pick up your packages, and strive to deliver them all by the time your block ends. While this works out for many drivers, there are some who complain they often struggle to make all the deliveries on time, and also have trouble making ends meet.
- Curri. This is a comparatively new company, with an entirely different type of delivery service. With Curri, you deliver construction materials for that essential “last mile.” They will give you orders that fit into the average sedan, and some that would allow you to put your van or truck to good use. As a driver with Curri, you’ll pick up and transport items for prompt delivery, return pick-ups from customers, handle multiple pick-ups and drop-off deliveries, and perform multi-stop, “Daily Routes,” as you supply companies and individuals with the goods they need on a regular basis.
Which parcel & material delivery job works the best for rideshare and delivery drivers?
Let’s look at the problem you’re trying to solve, and which of these three options offers the best solution. If you’re sick of dealing with people either in your car or on the other end of those small food orders, you need a gig that takes those interactions off the table. If you need to make good money, but don’t want to commit to full-time employment, UPS and FedEx won’t work for you. Also, Amazon Flex doesn’t pay the kind of money it used to.
To get flexible hours, a minimum of requirements, respectable earnings, rewarding work, and no hassles with passengers or food delivery customers, Curri is definitely your best bet. Here are the advantages that make it the top choice for rideshare and delivery drivers who are looking for a change of pace:
- Ability to choose your own hours
- No unreasonable requirements & no cosmetic restrictions
- Consistent, full shifts and reliable income levels
- Variety in kinds of deliveries
- No need to take people into your car
- Reasonable hours (no late night runs to sketchy neighborhoods)
- State of the art routing and delivery app
- Large demand for drivers
The only “spare” equipment you need to drive for Curri might be a pair of sturdy closed-toe shoes. You’ll find them handy when you go to visit all those job sites! And – you’ll only be rated based on your punctuality. No more worrying about pleasing picky passengers!