Courier Work and Mental Health: Beating the Stigma

Society has come a long way in terms of how well we talk about and deal with mental health problems. But there’s still a long way to go, and too many people suffer in silence. What’s more, many factors can make the problem even worse for those doing courier work. Read on to find out how you or your colleagues may be at risk, and how to beat the stigma in a healthy and positive way.
Mental Health in the Industry

It’s easy enough to speak of mental health issues in the industry, but what evidence is there? A lot, as it turns out. Informed observers agree that psychological issues are especially difficult for drivers to talk about, with the Mental Health Foundation’s Chris O’Sullivan noting ‘widespread’ stigma in those who do courier work.

A recent survey by Mercedes-Benz Vans found that 56% of van drivers and owners believe there is a stigma attached to discussing mental health at work. Less than a quarter of managers report employees coming to them with issues – and the figure is even lower for male managers. Things are slightly more encouraging when we look at conversations that do happen, with over half of those who have talked about a colleague’s mental health problem with them saying they felt glad the colleague could confide in them. This at least suggests that starting a conversation is a good step, although a quarter felt uninformed and a fifth embarrassed in the same situation.

These statistics paint a worrying picture about mental health in courier work, especially as the job has so many elements that can put workers more at risk of problems.

Risk Factors

The level of understanding of mental health is improving among professionals as well as in society in general, and that extends to its causes. The link between stress and a variety of illnesses is increasingly well documented, and Mind’s Emma Mamo notes that people who drive for a living are far more likely to experience many of the things that can lead to stress. These include long working hours, working alone, lack of support and irregular sleeping and eating.

Drivers will recognise all of these as par for the course on the job. Spending a long time at the wheel is in the nature of courier work, and varying and inconsistent demand for services makes it especially difficult to establish strong routines.

What do I do?

The first and most important step is to do some research on what you’re feeling. Organisations like Mind provide a variety of materials tailored to various different jobs. At the same time, research doesn’t have to mean spending two hours staring at a computer screen. You can and should take the time to ‘check in’ with yourself – ask questions like how am I feeling, have I been eating right, have I been sleeping enough and so on.

Next, you should know that a problem shared is a problem halved. Mamo recommends not just speaking to friends and family when you’re struggling, but letting them know what warning signs to look out for. Research from Ford, meanwhile, suggests that taking a drive can help, as two thirds of those who do courier work said they were more comfortable talking to colleagues while behind the wheel.

All in all, mental health is something everyone struggles with at times. Past attitudes, that struggling made you crazy or even weak, are thankfully fading. The travel industry isn’t special, but drivers need to recognise when they’re at risk and look out for each other. Because the best way to beat the stigma is by sitting down and talking it through.

Author Plate

Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world’s largest neutral trading hub for same day courier work in the express freight exchange industry. Over 5,400 member companies are networked together through the Exchange to fill empty capacity, get new clients and form long-lasting business relationships.

Get the Show on the Road at the Model HGV Show

October is a month for indulging in the things you loved as a child. Pretending to be someone you are not and dressing up in costume, stepping on crisp leaves just to hear the satisfying crunch, indulging in sweets and using Halloween as an excuse… and playing with toys.
The annual Heavy Equipment Model (HEM) show, held at the end of this whimsical month in Turf Moor, Lancashire, will appeal to hauliers who are kids at heart. Whether you have loved miniatures since you were a child playing with model trains or you just happen to have delivery work in the area and are looking for something fun to do with your downtime, this one-of-a-kind event is not to be missed.

The Models of the Model Heavy Goods Vehicle Show

If you’re a haulier who spends most of your working day behind the wheel of a heavy goods vehicle (HGV) as a part of your routine delivery work, you are used to being around enormous trucks. The HEM show turns the tables, showcasing miniatures of the powerful vehicles that you are routinely in control of.

Here you will see tiny trucks and little lorries, as well as a plethora of other pint-sized replicas of heavy haulage vehicles, cranes and construction equipment. Each miniature has been created with the utmost care, expertly crafted by some of the most talented hands around. The finished products reflect the time and dedication the artist took to their craft and are exceptionally highly detailed and accurate, so much so that you’d think they were the real thing if they weren’t so small.

The Attendees

The people who tend to attend the HEM show are who you would expect. Hauliers, couriers and others who have careers to do with delivery work frequent here, as well as truck enthusiasts and those who are mad for miniatures.

Great for Gifts

With the holidays right around the corner, the HEM show is a great place to get gifts for friends and colleagues in the industry. Whether you’re looking for a little something for Christmas or a birthday, these miniscule models make fantastic presents for anyone in the delivery work industry.

Bigger Can Be Better

Not so into miniatures? The HEM show is still worth a visit. Each year they feature and display full-sized HGVs outside – perfect for anyone who prefers the real thing or wants to sneakily compare them with the minis. These vehicles are a mixture of vintage and modern, giving you an up close and personal look at how delivery work was completed in the past and how it is completed today.

If you’re in the logistics industry and the Lancashire area at the end of October, why not stop by the annual Heavy Equipment Model show and see all the terrific and tiny HGVs on display?

Author Plate

Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the leading online trade network for the road transport industry. Connecting logistics professionals across the UK and Europe through their website, Haulage Exchange provides services for matching delivery work with available drivers. Over 5,400 member companies are networked together through the Exchange to fill empty capacity, get new clients and form long-lasting business relationships.

Why SEO Matters for Local Businesses

There is a misconception among many local business owners that it is not necessary for them to go through the process of improving the search engine optimisation of their site. Business owners that are operating in a single city, usually out of a single location, feel they are not going to get much out of internet marketing. They believe that it is better for them to focus on more traditional means of attracting customers. It is a misconception and one that can cost a small business a lot of money. Here is why SEO matters for local businesses.
Google Trends Local

In the past few years, Google has done a lot of work to localise results for people, even if they are not enquiring based on their location. You can test it on your own computer, tablet or smartphone. Search for a particular type of service, such as a plumber or electrician. Do not add any location information. You will notice how many of your results are from the local area. You may even see a little map with results at the top of the page, where you can click to go into Google Maps.

Since Google is going all in on local, it means that businesses have to respond. If your pages are not properly assessed and evaluated for their local SEO readiness, you are at a disadvantage compared to other companies. It is far too great a risk, especially if you have a lot of competition where you are running the business. Your two or three competitors may have optimised their sites, which means their names are appearing at the top of results pages and Maps results. It is why a free SEO site review is what your business could need right now.

SEO Reviews

The purpose of a free SEO site review is to give you an assessment of how your site is performing. The review provides you with valuable information about the pros and cons of your current site. Everything is assessed, from your site performance to aesthetic to the SEO readiness of various pages. The report will indicate where improvements are needed. Then it is up to you to decide how you want to proceed. There are a few options in this area, which we can explore briefly. You could either hire an outside company to handle the SEO for your site, hire someone to do it in house, or try and do it on your own.

The latter is rarely a good idea, as most business owners do not know a lot about SEO and internet marketing. It would take you a lot of time to get it right, which is time that you could be better spending on other projects. The other option is to hire someone in house, which is valid for larger companies. However, you may not have the budget to pay a full time salary to someone who has the sole job of managing your online marketing operation. It is why hiring an outside firm is the way to go.

Web Hosting What When How And Where

Whether you have a web site for business or pleasure, somebody will need to mind the store in terms of a web host. Reliable hosting is crucial to meeting your internet needs. Given the millions of options which seem to present themselves when you go looking for web hosting services, you may be a little overwhelmed and in need of advice. Please keep reading for valuable tips on how to choose the best web hosting service.
Almost every web host has additional features available in their packages, although the exact add-ons may vary from host to host. When comparing web hosting services, you should make certain that you are making comparisons based on the specific features required by your website. You might like the price of one host, but then discover that the features you need require further funds to acquire.

Instead of finding a great web hosting company, start your own web hosting company to service your own needs. This can provide many benefits including secondary income and free web hosting if your business takes off. This is a great way to think like an entrepreneur, and make some money instead of paying for web hosting.

It used to be more expensive, but in today’s world, it is entirely possible to manage several domains without spending too much money. This helps your business grow, and it helps you reach targeted customers. Know what your options are as far as multiple domain hosting is concerned. This will give you a huge extra boost!

Before choosing your web host, you should always try calling their technical support and ask a few questions. If you can talk to a representative right away, this means their customer service is efficient. If you cannot talk to anyone at anytime of the day or night, you should look for another service.

Aside from selecting web hosting companies based on fewest outages, you should also make sure the web hosting company you choose automates your payments as well. If a company does not offer this, then that company is not worth using. Make sure you know what you are getting into, and choose wisely.

Before choosing your web hosting service, determine whether or not you will need to use web templates. Many hosts will provide easy to use templates for building your site without the need for HTML knowledge or a professional designer. If you need this service, then choose a host that give a wide range of templates.

Before deciding to ditch your current web host and go for one that is cheaper, consider the software platforms of other companies. You will want to make sure that they are compatible with your current provider, so that you can easily transfer or replicate your files. Save yourself some real headaches by choosing carefully.

Hopefully the suggestions of this article have cleared up any confusion you may have had about obtaining the best web host for your needs. Considering how important this is to keep your website up and running, you really need to devote the necessary time and effort to finding the right one.