Delivery Supermarket Safe Shipping Guidelines
- Understand what you need to do to protect yourself when using Delivery Supermarket
- Delivery Supermarket’s role in your delivery
- What to consider when choosing a transport provider
- Essential actions to take when using Delivery Supermarket to find a transport provider
When selecting a transport provider, whatever method you use eg Yellow Pages, a card in a local shop, a Google search, or a site like Delivery Supermarket, you need to take the same care, to be sure that you know who you are dealing with, and whether they can be trusted with your goods.
It’s really important that before you get started you understand what’s required from you, to ensure that you have the best chance of a safe and happy outcome.
Delivery Supermarket has put together a website to enable members of the public and businesses to find transport providers suitable for the delivery particular delivery needs. The system includes a feedback and review system, similar to many other websites. These systems can have their limitations, but are arguably on balance better than no feedback system. In particular they can help to highlight repeatedly problematic transport providers. These systems cannot be relied upon as the only basis on which to make a judgement about the suitability of a particular transport provider. There are some other factors that should be considered before committing yourself to a particular choice of transport provider. This guide will give you some reminders as to how to protect yourself.
Delivery Supermarket provides an entirely neutral online environment in which people and businesses who want stuff delivered can find people and businesses who are willing to carry out the delivery in return for an agreed fee. Delivery Supermarket is designed to help solve the problem of shipping freight that is too large or heavy or otherwise unsuitable for other transport methods. Furthermore, by opening the market out to a wide range of transport providers, and by making the bidding transparent to all, Delivery Supermarket assists Shippers in their efforts to secure a sensibly priced deal.
The information placed by users (both shippers and transport providers) on Delivery Supermarket forms a useful part of the decision making process when selecting a suitable provider. You may need to ask for further information and/or documentation from a transport provider before committing yourself.
Delivery Supermarket is not to be confused with a transport provider. Delivery Supermarket’s role is purely to assist you by providing information that may be helpful in the selection of a suitable transport provider.
Delivery Supermarket does not endorse any particular user, shipper or transport provider.
Delivery Supermarket does not check the validity of any claim made by any user, shipper or transport provider.
Delivery Supermarket does not play any role in identity checking, fraud prevention, crime prevention, criminal record checking or any other kind of validation role.
Delivery Supermarket makes no attempt to vouch for the legality, safety, or integrity of any activity visible on the website.
Light Haulage Operators, Couriers, and “White Van Men” in the UK operate in a mainly unregulated market, so some caution is advisable. This is especially true if you are not familiar with this market.
This means that you need to take real care when choosing a transport provider to carry your stuff. This is true whichever method you use to find a suitable provider. Whether you use Yellow Pages, a card in a local shop, Google search, or a site like Delivery Supermarket, you need to exercise the same caution, as to who you are dealing with, and whether they can be trusted with your stuff.
What should you look out for?
Think about the value of your stuff, and ask yourself if you are happy to trust that much value to the transport provider. Is the transport provider insured for Goods in Transit for the nature and value of your stuff, does he have Public Liability in case of injury? Have you seen credible evidence to that effect?
Do you know who he is? (ie have you positively established his identity adequately). Can you be sure you can get in touch with him later if there’s a problem? (eg do you have a business card, a landline number you have tried, a website you think looks genuine, a leaflet that is convincing, a vehicle registration number you could give to the Police if necessary?). Have you had any recommendations, either online or from a trusted source?
Are his appearance and demeanour convincing? And his van? And any staff he employs?
Establishing whether a transport provider can be contacted and tracked down later is an important part of deciding whether or not to trust them with your delivery.
When using Delivery Supermarket to help you find a transport provider, you are free to choose the one you think best meets your needs. Delivery Supermarket strongly recommends that you check that a provider is properly insured for the nature and value of your goods, that they have public liability insurance, and that you have contact details that you can later rely on.
Every reputable transport provider will understand this, and will be happy for you to ask to see such documentation at the outset.
Although Delivery Supermarket orders the bids in price order, it is important to remember that you are not obliged to choose the lowest bid. As in other areas of life, you may wish to pay a little more to derive some benefits that paying more may bring. These benefits could include using someone with a known and trusted brand, better review feedback, more apparent experience, a more suitable van, better equipment to keep your stuff undamaged, better communication skills, proper documentation, or just someone who makes you generally more comfortable.
Use your common sense! Just because a transport provider has bid on your delivery, it doesn’t mean that he is a suitable choice for your delivery. You need to do some homework first to check any claims he’s making as to his identity, his location, his past performance, his experience, his equipment and vehicle availability, his integrity, possibly even his DBS (criminal record) status and so on.
Treat all requests for payment up front with scepticism. It’s not that this is out of the question, but it should be done in the context of having checked adequately that it’s a sensible move in the real world. Does it secure you a better price? Is it just a deposit of part of the bid price? Can you be sure you’ll be able to contact him to get it back if there’s a problem later?
Look through enough of the messaging between users, when available, to get a feel for the way the transport provider communicates and does business.
Consider accepting not the cheapest bid, as quality may well be more important to you than price.
Consider accepting no bid at all, if you are not entirely happy with the bids or the bidders. You can always wait for more to arrive. If necessary, re-list your delivery after a suitable period of time, as the availability of more suitable transport providers may have changed in that time.
Before releasing your consignment to a transport provider, consider carefully what you would do if your consignment went missing or were damaged. Would you feel that you had taken enough precautions to ensure the true indentity, reliable contactability, adequate insurance, and general integrity of your chosen transport provider? Considering that only after there’s been a problem is too late!
You should ask about precautions he will take, and equipment he employs to prevent damage in transit and while loading and unloading, and ask what precautions you should take in the way of wrapping and packing your stuff. For the sake of a happy outcome, this should be treated as a mutual responsibility. Better to prevent damage than have to claim on insurance.
Above all, always ask to see evidence of identity, insurance, and contactability BEFORE handing over your stuff, and preferably before accepting the bid. The right kind of transport providers will understand completely and will not take offence.