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Delivery services are not the sexiest lines of business but they can be very convenient. Merchant Couriers is a local startup that’s trying to make a mark on the delivery industry and after seeing what’s on offer I must say I was quite intrigued.
Merchant Couriers describe themselves as follows:
Merchant Couriers is a on demand deliveries and pickups service company which uses light vehicles and motorcycles delivery and pickups in Zimbabwe, currently based in Harare. We commit to serve the nation of Zimbabwe with day to day, personal, business and industrial sector deliveries. Our service is aimed at same day deliveries and pickups, with great speed and on time
How does it work?
Users can go on Merchant Couriers website and once you have signed up you can place an order for a pickup. You place a pickup and dropoff address and some other details that will help Merchant Couriers make the delivery. You then fill out some details relating to your package such as weight, value, and quantity. These details will be used to determine the price of your delivery. I filled out one such form and my imaginary package had the following characteristics:
Weight: 0-5 KGs
Value: $500 – $1000
Quantity: 1-3 items
The quantities come in packages so there’s 1-3, 3-6 and so forth and so on.
Anyway my package was being delivered from Avondale West to Malborough Drive and the total cost amounted to $13.73 (without insurance, which we will touch on in a bit). Deliveries are not limited to small parcels only but you can also deliver larger and heavier items.
Merchant Couriers also handle international deliveries which will come in handy if for instance you want deliver furniture to/from one of the following countries; Zambia, Botswana, South Africa, Namibia and Mozambique.
Merchant Couriers vs Traditional postal services
You are probably wondering why you would pick Merchant Couriers over traditional postal services? We posed this question to Merchant Couriers and they felt they have a number of advantages they offer…
The promise of convenience
Merchant Couriers say their innovation is much more convenient as compared to traditional delivery services. One of these conveniences includes both pickup and delivery of parcels. For larger items this is not anything to shout about but for smaller parcels this is quite convenient. The only problem is that Zimpost now also offers customers the ability to request a pickup for parcels as well.
Some of the other reasons why Merchant Couriers believe customers should adopt this service include digital payments, and real-time tracking but these too are available if you decide to send a parcel using Zimpost or DHL. If anything Zimpost have an advantage in the real-time tracking space because they offer map tracking whilst Merchant Couriers uses SMS and email to notify customers of where their deliveries are.
I do think because Merchant Couriers have an app and mobile sites that are better optimised than Zimpost’s, it might be slightly easier but the difference is negligible.
If your priority is saving the most money possible then Merchant Couriers offers customers an insurance option. What this means is on smaller and less valuable deliveries customers can choose not to pay insurance.
Sign up as a customer/driver
If you want to use the service as a customer you can sign up and start delivering your parcels with Merchant Couriers here. You can also sign-up on the merchant courier website to be a driver. Of course you will go through a vetting process where the startup will verify drivers. If you are interested in signing up as a driver you can sign up here.
A quick buck
As an added incentive, Merchhant Couriers has an affilliate program which could be a cool way to earn a buck. If you sign up to be an affiliate; get other customers to sign up (through a special link) and make orders you get a 10% commission on all the orders these customers make using the application.
Instead of waiting until the weekend to drop of a parcel or worse still having to rush off from work, will you be giving Merchant Couriers a try instead?