Long-distance courier jobs: can you earn a good living?

open road long distance courier jobs

If looking for money-making opportunities in this economy, you might need to step outside of your local community. Long-distance courier jobs offer you a chance to make a quick buck. But just how much money is there waiting to be made by freelance delivery drivers?

We’ll be answering that question and others in this in-depth breakdown. Outlining the basics of the business, we’ll look at the state of the courier job market today and examine the current pay scale. We’ll also provide a few words of advice and encouragement for those just starting out.

Things to consider when diving into a long-distance courier job

The basic concept is pretty easy to grasp. Using your own vehicle, you transport goods, merchandise, documents, or even other vehicles from one location to another. The distances can vary from interstate courier jobs to cross-country deliveries.

Whether a freelancer or contracted at a delivery company, odds are you’ll find the work rewarding and enjoyable. The constant travel offers something that most other jobs lack – a sense of freedom. Here’s just a few more of the advantages you might want to consider.

  • Low barrier of entry: Are you a reliable, responsible driver with a clean record? Are you able to locate addresses quickly? Then you have what it takes to make it as a self-employed courier. The job requires little in the way of equipment – all you need is a registered vehicle and a GPS device.

  • High demand: Has it been difficult to find employment in your line of work? Private car transport jobs are a great side-hustle. The shipping industry keeps growing, and the demand is on the rise. If you’re a competent driver willing to put in the hours, you’ll always be able to find work.

  • Flexibility: Is the daily grind getting you down? Working as a self-employed courier lets you set your own price and follow your own schedule. You can push yourself to the limit, or enjoy time off at home with family and friends.

Current industry pay scales for long-distance courier jobs

Jobs of this type pay by the mile or by the load. On a cross-country courier job using your own vehicle, dollars per mile really do stack up. Similarly, shipping heavy items earns you more than simply moving lightweight packages or documents.

If we look at the courier jobs in general, the industry standard isn’t that great. Your average courier, employed at a big shipping company, makes only about $16 per hour ($33,000 per year). This nationwide average doesn’t even vary that much across state limits.

average courier hourly earning

But when you look at self-employed courier jobs using your own car, it’s a whole different story. On average, a freelancer earns significantly more per job than a courier working for a big company. Using CitizenShipper’s platform as an example, we see that the average independent driver makes between $8,000 and $10,000 per month.

It’s not that simple, of course – a freelance delivery driver also has expenses to think about. Covering the cost of fuel, repair, and insurance premiums can take as much as 40% off the top. Still, you end up more in your pocket than you would as a courier employed by a shipping company.

To explain this discrepancy, let’s take a look into the way the courier service industry operates.

Facts about the US courier service industry

Since way back in the nineteenth century, the courier business was huge in the United States. It’s a great big country, so there was always work for those moving cargo from one side to the next. Today, courier services deliver an estimated 20 million packages on a daily basis.

And the industry’s revenues have been trending steadily upward. Just look at the growth in recent years!

courier industry revenues

Sadly, this bounty hasn’t really trickled down to the couriers themselves. Wages have been stagnant across the board, and even those who work as contractors have faced difficulties. Many shipping companies gradually increase their fees, cutting deeper and deeper into courier earnings.

So what’s the solution? Being your own boss, of course! As mentioned above, a freelance delivery driver has more freedom choosing shipments and keeps a greater share of the profits. You take on a greater portion of the risk too, but there’s a downside to everything, isn’t there?

If looking to try your hand at a self-employed courier job, you might be hesitant at first. Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to dip your toes into an online marketplace. Find a level of engagement that suits you, then plan from there.

Ready to give it a shot?

If you have solid driving skills and professional responsibility, long-distance courier jobs are an opportunity you really shouldn’t miss. Sign up as a driver on CitizenShipper, a platform that will never take a cut out of your earnings!

Gain access to hundreds of shipments to bid on, contact customers directly and negotiate your price. We have a community of freelance delivery drivers, always ready to offer advice or a helping hand. Join us today, and start exploring self-employed courier job opportunities!

229 thoughts on “Long-distance courier jobs: can you earn a good living?

  • I have a 2013 Kia Sportage SUV and I love to drive and travel. I live in Florida and I’m looking for a courier job.

  • I do believe all of the ideas you’ve introduced for your post.
    They’re really convincing and can definitely work. Nonetheless, the posts are very short
    for starters. Could you please prolong them a bit
    from subsequent time? Thanks for the post.

  • seeking a long distance courier job. have been working as an independent contractor for nearly 15 years, mostly performing on -demand type of work. truly enjoy getting out of the big metropolis (i.e., chicago) and delivering throughout the midwest and beyond. have performed all types of work: medical/biological/
    pharma/live animal/research/specimens, have specialized as field service tech delivering/distributing and installing dialysis equipment in-home and clinics. have delivered anything and everything with the highest level of customer service. i am well equipped with a late model grand caravan, all the tools and accessories to function and have more than the required commer-
    cial insurance that companies demand in this day and age.
    i will deliver anything and anywhere . i am a self-starter, highly-organized and perform in a very professional manner. i want to be kept busy and continue to exact an attractive income as an independent contractor

  • Based central fla love drive to north central and northeast flawless drive record and cory and clean

  • I have a 2016 dodge grand caravan with 30,000 miles, I am a self employed carpenter. I would be interested in learning more about the cross country courier service industry. I live in downtown Chicago.
    Thank You for you Consideration,
    Stephen M Bernin

  • I am intrested in being a courier i live in Oregon and i have drive all over United States. i currently have an 08 acura tsx, clean driving record!!!

  • I’d like to learn more about long distance transport and small loads. I have a 2013 Jeep Patriot. I’m semi retired. Was an OTR for 21 years. I am at this time a certified Penn. State Constable and my time is very flexible. I would be open to chauffeur. I live in northern central PA. Just about 10 miles south of Elmira NY.

  • Single adult female is seeking a driver position across country.
    Want to travel and get paid for it.

    Very responsible and trustworthy. Very detailed and organized.
    I love the outdoors and helping people get to their destination.

    Can provide driving record and character refs if so needed.
    Thank u for your cooperation

  • Love to travel. Been to almost all states in the US. Good driving record, single and am seriously seeking employment.

  • I keep trying to click the Become a Driver link and keep getting this error message “No input file specified.” Could you please tell me how I can become a long distance courier for your company please. Thank you and have a wonderful evening!

  • I am interested in the long distance courier work of delivering cars or possibly merchandise. Cocoa Beach/Orlando Florida area.

  • Are husband and wife teams accepted as drivers? If so, we are interested in obtaining additional information.

    Thank you.

  • Hello Kathy, husband and wife teams are awesome! All we ask is that both receive a security screening before driving on the road:)

  • Hello Matthew, if you are interested in becoming a driver for CitizenShipper, you can sign up here for free: citizenshipper.com/new-drivers

  • I live inScottsdale,AZ. Retired Firefighter 30 years. I was a Courier for 2 years during my career. Have a low mileage Lexus.

  • Hello Vinny, thank you so much for your service. You sound like you could be a perfect driver on our site! To sign up, or just learn more, click here: citizenshipper.com/new-drivers

  • Hi, I am very interested in being a long distance courier. I’m located in the Metro Atlanta area and willing to hit the road! Would love to learn more about this opportunity please contact me. Thanks.

  • Hey there Cheryll, you can learn more about becoming a driver on our site at citizenshipper.com/new-drivers

  • Hi, I am very interested in being a long distance courier. I’m located in California. Can I use a rental car for this job?

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