Fastway Couriers' franchisee looks back on 16 years

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Inside Franchise Business: Fastway Couriers' franchisee Peter Capes has notched up 16 yearsCairns courier franchisee Peter Capes is celebrating 16 years delivering for Fastway Couriers Australia.

“I’ve worked in the transport industry for many years now,” Capes tells Inside Franchise Business. “I initially started driving tour coaches and then when I moved to Cairns 16 years ago, I joined Fastway. I love my job, especially the interaction with people.”

Here he shares some insights into what it’s like to own a Fastway Couriers franchise…

What’s changed in the business over this time?

The transport industry has changed dramatically over the past 16 years. When I first started we would average about six cages of freight a day at the Cairns depot. Now it’s 16-18 cages a day and growing quickly, particularly with the growth of online shopping.

I’ve seen changes in depots and management over the years. In recent years we have upgraded to a much bigger depot and our current regional franchisee Josh Bollman has made some excellent changes in streamlining processes, splitting some delivery routes and expanding the team to help meet growing demand in the region.

How have you adapted to the changes?

At Fastway we are embracing technology to help deal with increasing demand. We once had a run sheet with pickups and deliveries for each day and would physically stick labels on the piece of paper. Obviously, it would be a big problem if you lost the run sheet. Now, Fastway uses scanners to scan each parcel. This helps ensure we stay on top of all deliveries and it’s much more efficient with tracking each individual parcel.

At Fastway Couriers Cairns we also work really well as a team. We all get along and help each other out to ensure all parcels get delivered. It’s a large area with deliveries going from Cairns up to Port Douglas and surrounding suburbs as well.

What does a typical day look like?

A typical day for me starts at about 6.30am with a coffee at the depot. Most of the other couriers are already in by then. Some start as early as 3am. I’m lucky with the Cairns commercial route as I can get in a bit later to sort my freight.

I usually leave the depot to start my deliveries at about 8am. One of my main customers is directly across the road too so they are first cab off the rank!

During the mornings we focus on deliveries and meet back in the depot at around 11am. Our afternoons are predominantly pickups, mainly linehaul freight sent to Sydney, Melbourne, Townsville etc.

My first customer is also my last – they close at 4pm so I stop by on the way back to the depot and check if they have any parcels to send.

What’s the biggest daily challenge for you?  

One of the biggest challenges for me has been getting used to the new technology. I’m not as techno savvy as some of the younger guys in the depot who pick it up very quickly. But they have all been a great support with the rest of the Fastway team.

Initially technology might be hard for some to get used to but it’s such an excellent tool to help with efficiency and customer service.

How do you measure your success?

One of my favourite mottos in life is ‘treat people the way you wish to be treated’. I live by this everyday and focus on delivering the best service I can and always with a smile

It’s so important in customer service roles, especially in the transport industry, to remind yourself that no one is perfect. People make mistakes and things will go wrong it’s how you deal with it that matters.

If there’s a problem with any of my deliveries I always stop, go back and fix the problem, communicate what is happening to my customer and apologise for any inconvenience. It may set you back some time in your day but it’s so important to find a solution and communicate what that is. It’s times like these that can be a real opportunity to build great long-term relationships with your customers.

What are your plans?

I’m really enjoying watching the Fastway business and my customers’ businesses grow. As I mentioned earlier, my customers have become friends and it’s great to see them succeed. Josh’s enthusiasm and leadership supported by a great team has been integral in Fastway Couriers Cairns’ growth and success in recent years and I look forward to continuing to be a part of it.

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