What are delivery driver duties? (Skills and requirements)
Updated 24 April 2023
Logistics is a fundamental business element because it allows organisations to optimise supply chains and ensure sufficient raw materials and a well-developed distribution mechanism. Cargo transportation allows businesses of different sizes and scopes to implement effective logistics systems and quickly deliver goods to various destinations. Understanding some delivery driver duties can help you choose a career path that suits your skills and reflects your career goals. In this article, we define what a delivery driver is, outline their duties, explore relevant skills, discuss the work environment for this role and list key requirements.
What is a delivery driver?
Delivery drivers are professionals who transport goods to different destinations. This type of transportation offers great flexibility to organisations because it allows them to transport cargo of different sizes. For example, food delivery may rely on passenger cars or scooters, while heavy industries can transport large volumes using trucks. Delivery drivers may work in a wide variety of industries. They may benefit from having a specialisation, as some goods have specific transportation requirements. For instance, fuel truck drivers usually have extensive fire safety knowledge and use special equipment to assess fuel quality.
What are delivery driver duties?
Delivery driver duties may depend significantly on the industry and the employer. Some organisations may limit the scope and extent of delivery driver liability, while others may ask drivers to perform additional duties for additional compensation. Some positions involve industry-specific duties. These professionals usually have a list of primary responsibilities regardless of the industry. Here's a list of duties you may perform:
The primary duty of delivery drivers is to operate machines, including forklifts, cars and trucks, to deliver goods. They usually adhere to specific routes that logistic managers develop and assign. They may also adjust their routes to improve delivery time. This job may also include you maintaining the operational status of the vehicle. This might comprise regular monitoring and performing repair work. Drivers also report any vehicle performance issues to dispatchers.
Loading and transporting items
Another essential duty that delivery drivers perform is loading items. Depending on the structure of the logistics systems, drivers may load items by themselves or assist loaders. When delivering goods to customers, you usually help them unload and move orders. These professionals are also responsible for transporting items and ensuring they deliver orders on time. You can also help authorities check the contents and examine the documents when transporting dangerous goods.
Some employers ask you to review orders before loading. Even though this duty is usually typical for third-party logistics companies, some organisations implement such systems to conduct internal checks. When delivering to customers, drivers can review the condition of the goods at the time of delivery to avoid possible disputes. These specialists are also responsible for ensuring the safety of the cargo. This involves complying with safety procedures and moving fragile cargo carefully.
Drivers document vital information during each stage of delivery. They create invoices when they load packages at warehouses and fill them at their destination. In most cases, they're responsible for obtaining the signature of both the sender and the recipient. They collect gas station receipts during transportation because employers usually compensate for fuel costs. You may also write reports to help logistics managers evaluate the performance of supply chains and make improvements.
When delivering unpaid goods, you may process payments. This method allows recipients to evaluate the quality of the order and decide if they want to purchase it. This job can also involve making payments at warehouses when picking up the cargo. For example, third-party food delivery companies may ask drivers to process payments at both ends. Therefore, these professionals might carry portable card readers to allow customers to make non-cash payments.
Delivery driver work environment
This job often involves spending long periods inside vehicles. Truck drivers may even have a sleeping place in their vehicles to perform long-range deliveries that may take several days. Sometimes, you work in pairs to maximise efficiency and minimise downtime. These professionals often communicate with customers when delivering orders. They may handle conflicts if a customer has a complaint about the quality of a product. This job also involves loading and unloading items, so drivers may work outside under different weather conditions.
Delivery driver skills
Here is a list of delivery driver skills:
As delivery drivers might be responsible for regularly checking and repairing vehicles, you may benefit from having both technical and mechanical familiarity. You may also rely on these skills when using computer billing systems or operating mobile card readers. Drivers use delivery applications and navigation tools to optimise delivery routes, so ensure you have an adequate level of computer literacy.
Delivery drivers constantly communicate with dispatchers, customers and other drivers. Thus, communication skills can help you exchange information effectively. They may also benefit from written communication skills when creating invoices or writing reports. When communicating with dispatchers, drivers frequently use a specific phraseology, which allows them to transfer significant volumes of data quickly and accurately.
Time-management and self-management
Time management skills are central in this profession because drivers frequently have rigid delivery deadlines. Organisation skills may also help you plan and optimise your routes. For example, the ability to prioritise tasks enables you to deliver multiple orders faster. Strong self-management skills are also advantageous to staying motivated and making independent decisions.
Physical strength allows delivery drivers to carry heavy goods when loading and unloading orders. As carrying packages and lifting heavy items is part of this job, employers frequently ask candidates to have sufficient physical strength. Physical endurance also significantly determines your success as a delivery driver because these professionals often sit and drive for long distances.
Delivery drivers cooperate with other professionals during various stages of transportation. Depending on the industry, they may use teamwork skills to collaborate with cooking staff, packaging specialists, managers, dispatchers and loaders. Teamwork skills, such as managing and resolving conflicts, can help you mitigate the probability of human error and maintain a healthy working environment. This skill is particularly beneficial for drivers who work in pairs when making long-distance deliveries.
Even though some industries may not want drivers to interact directly with customers, you may benefit from having customer service skills in most cases. Professionals specialising in food delivery or to-the-door delivery may benefit from customer service skills such as product knowledge and positive language. This may not only help drivers improve customer experience but also enable them to gather valuable feedback.
Delivery drivers may use mathematical abilities during every step of the delivery process. When reviewing orders, drivers often evaluate numerical qualities, including cargo dimensions, amounts and weights. Mathematical abilities can also help you optimise routes or make fuel consumption calculations. To-the-door deliveries often involve payment processing, often using mathematical skills.
Delivery driver requirements
Delivery driver requirements may differ significantly depending on the industry. For example, companies may ask transportation of dangerous goods drivers to have additional knowledge about safety procedures or obtain role-specific certifications. Although this job usually has no education requirements, recruiters tend to search for candidates with at least a general certificate of secondary education. Here are two main requirements employers have when hiring delivery drivers:
Hiring managers usually search for candidates with several years of relevant experience. This way, they can ensure that you have the skills and qualifications to perform key duties. Sometimes, employers may also ask candidates to have strong product knowledge. Therefore, they may hire individuals with experience within the field even if they have no experience as delivery drivers. For example, when hiring pharmacy delivery drivers, employers may favour candidates with an employment history within the pharmaceutical industry.
Valid driver's licence
Another delivery driver requirement is a valid driver's licence. Even though companies may not ask you to have a driving licence to operate forklifts or drive scooters, obtaining one may still be beneficial for future career advancements. Some companies may also ask you to have a specific driving licence category to drive medium-sized or large vehicles.
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