The 6 biggest courier franchises in the Australian market

Edm Thumb The 6 Biggest Courier Franchises In The Australian Market

The 6 biggest courier franchises in the Australian market

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We can all see the pressure being put on logistics industry players during 2020 - 21.

The accelerated adoption of online shopping has had a tremendous ripple effect through the entire supply and logistics chain. But in particular, the delivery to the customer component has shown clear signs of the pressure being felt to maintain service standards.

And, it’s no wonder, with anecdotal comments often being made within the industry of ‘Christmas surge type’ volumes being handled for a sustained period.

Of course, this demand brings business opportunities for those that feel confident in the fact that this essential service is THE place to be in a business of some type.

We decided in this list to not just focus on the typical ‘courier’ operation, but to also extend it to other relevant franchise brand opportunities within the broader freight and logistics and parcel industry.

This just feels like a sector that is going to get a lot of attention and increased competition as we go forward in all sorts of ways.

Why we create these lists

We created this list to help make your research and decision making process easier.

We’ll update it as the market changes, and as we get more information for you*

1.  Australia Post - 2,900+ licences

Licensed Post Office (2,900+) or Community Postal Agent (700+).

There are two opportunities to be involved in the Australia Post network as a business owner;

  1. As a LPO Licensed Post Office, and
  2. As a CPA Community Postal Agent 

LPO’s, according to the company, make up around two-thirds of it’s national postal outlet network. They can be run as a stand alone Post office, or in conjunction with another business, such as a newsagency or a convenience store.

LPO’s must offer a set range of products and services, including;

  • Mail acceptance and processing,
  • Postage stamps,
  • Money orders,
  • Bill payment, and banking.

Licensee's are able to use the Australia Post brand, with an annually revised fee and commission structure, with discounts on products, management and business systems, ongoing training and support, and the ability to opt-in for marketing programs.

There is not a lot of detail on particular fees and costs on the Australia Post site. This is likely as all dealings for sale go directly to the individual existing LPO Licensee.

There is no licence term, which can be assigned or transferred at any time subject to approval, and the owner can operate, or run it under management. Licensees are also responsible for premises fit-out, maintenance and operating costs. 

According to Australia Post, the most common way to become a licensee is to buy an existing LPO. And interestingly, the company does not have a list of all LPO’s for sale, and makes it clear they are not brokers. 

For a new LPO, Australia Post will advertise for tenders in local newspapers. Although, you can express your interest to be updated on new LPO opportunities HERE on this link.

They advise if you are looking for an LPO for sale to “...check local newspapers, business broker listings and websites…” 

I find that quite odd, that they can’t point you anywhere at all...

CPA’s are in remote and rural areas, where around 90% operate as part of another business, like a general store, according to Australia Post. 

They operate under a common agreement, renewable every two years, and provide basic postage services. They don’t offer bill payment or banking services.

Expressions of interest in CPA opportunities for new and existing purchases in remote and rural areas can be made HERE on this link.

  • CEO = Paul Graham
  • Headquarters located
  • Franchising Since = 1993 LPO Agreement into place.
  • Investment = On business classified websites we saw dozens for sale with a range from $199,000 - $1,380,000
  • Ongoing Fees = TBC
  • Training = Training and assessment consists of induction, basic, advanced and site-specific training.

Social Media Presence 

  • Facebook = 341k followers
  • Instagram = 29.5k followers
  • Twitter = 60.6k followers (Global)
  • LinkedIn = 103,043 followers

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2. Aramex (ex-fastway couriers) - 900+ franchises

Courier, package / freight delivery.

The business was recently (2019) rebranded from Fastway Couriers to Aramex after acquisition by the global transport and logistics company in 2016.

Fastway Couriers was originally founded in NZ by Bill McGowan in what is a spectacular success story.

It is interesting that the business is still needing to remind the market who they were (fastway), with a video on their ‘About Us’ page and that their branded vans will be changing etc. This transition is still occurring it seems across such a large organisation.

The business offers levels of joining for franchise partners according to their investment amount, with a ‘Courier Lite’ level as low as under $10,000.

Also seen in several listing locations, are offers of $1,500 per week ‘revenue’ support for 50 weeks to assist in building a franchisee business.

  • CEO = Andrew McKenna 
  • Headquarters located = Sydney, NSW
  • Franchising Since = TBC
  • Investment = Starts from $10,000 (Courier Lite) From $20,000 (Courier Franchises)
  • Ongoing Fees = TBC
  • Training = Comprehensive 3 week training period with on-going support.

Social Media Presence 

  • Facebook = 17.3K followers
  • Instagram = 39.4k followers
  • Twitter = 174.8k followers (Global)
  • LinkedIn = 765 followers

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3. Couriers Please - 700+ franchises

Courier, parcel delivery service.

A fully owned subsidiary of Singapore Post (SingPost).

Very little information is available on the franchise without providing detailed information that includes drivers license number and date of birth at a very initial web enquiry stage - which I’d consider excessive for an initial introduction inquiry.

It seems that you can look at a list of franchises for sale, or register your full details to find out more - on the surface, it appears nothing in between in information.

They do have a helpful and detailed list of all existing courier business runs for sale (70+). These often include the gross income, sell price, van type, run description and more.

Noted on some listings for sale at this time, an offer of zero franchise fee payable on established territories.

A Guaranteed Minimum Income mention was also found, but with ‘More details are available once you submit your enquiry’.

Another case of a disappointing level of transparency for franchise prospects in their endeavours to research opportunities, while wanting your drivers licence number and date of birth to simply enquire.

  • CEO = Mark McGinley
  • Headquarters located = Sydney, NSW
  • Franchising Since = Founded 1983
  • Investment = TBC 
  • Ongoing Fees = TBC
  • Training = TBC

Social Media Presence 

  • Facebook = 515 followers
  • Instagram = 242 followers
  • Twitter = 27 followers
  • LinkedIn = 6,938 followers

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4.  PACK & SEND - 112 franchises (AU)

Retail service centre providing freight and packaging services.

The PACK & SEND brand is well established in the marketplace, started in 1993 and franchised since 1994.

It is currently one of only 11 brands in the Australian market that achieved a 5 Star Rating in the FRANdata independent rating scale.

The business operates service centres providing courier and freight reseller services, and varying value-add solutions to help customers get parcels both in and out. Recent extensions into e-Commerce centric specific services, like warehouse space for storage in some locations, for pack and despatch of online client’ products, sees the brand well-placed for future service provision.

The brand is positive in providing an equivalent de-risking performance guarantee for franchise partners. Not in the form of a sales turn over guarantee, but instead a Year 1 Trackable Brand Lead Guarantee for franchise partners entering the business.

It’s a guarantee of a minimum number of business leads for a quote coming from the call centre or website, to a value of $143,000 (gross profit) at the time of writing (Oct 21).

Importantly, the company only announced in March this year (2021), that it had been acquired by MBE Worldwide, based in Italy, a leading franchised business services organisation with 2,800+ locations in 53 countries globally. 

It is early, but this acquisition would indicate significant opportunities to the local Australian PACK & SEND franchise business owners, with the opportunity to more seamlessly provide broader services and access to global logistic solutions and customers.

PACK & SEND founder, Michael Paul, has only just recently this year (1 September), departed into retirement the business he started.

While transparency for the brand is commendable and strong, with a huge amount of detail on offer, it would have been much better to also have an indication for would-be prospects into the ongoing fees charged beyond ‘upon request’.

  • CEO = Nicholas Woodward (Country Manager)
  • Headquarters located = Moorebank, NSW
  • Franchising Since = 1994
  • Investment = From $180,000
  • Ongoing Fees = Royalty, advertising and ongoing tech/software fees
  • Training = 4 weeks initial comprehensive training, includes practical training in a service centre, and a week in your own centre on opening.

Social Media Presence 

  • Facebook = 13.9k followers
  • Instagram = 766 followers
  • Twitter = 164 followers
  • LinkedIn = 3k followers

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5.   MailPlus - 125 franchises

Courier, parcel pick up and delivery service. 

Chris Burgess founded MailPlus in 1997 and is still fully active daily in the business.

“We’re not your regular Aussie logistics company” is a statement on their website, as they position themselves as having a community of business owners in the e-Commerce boom.

The brand has recently had a rebrand from a predominantly black, white and yellow styling, to earthy light and darker greens. It looks to be positioning itself very ‘local’ and highlights numerous small business owners boutiques and small enterprises that they service, while highlighting their social account handles as well.

A very grassroots feel which is fresh and unique in this space.

In a business with 125 franchise partners across 300 territories, Chris Burgess is one of the few franchisors I have seen inviting personal contact like this; “You’re also welcome to contact...Chris Burgess, anytime you need. Chris actively works across the business every day and is respected by franchise-owners across Australia.”

The business is focused on last mile business-to-business (B2B) every day pick up and delivery. Effectively bridging the gap from the business to the post office. The challenges with covid saw the model adapt quickly to also develop a business-to-consumer (B2C) component to tap into the online shopping surge.

While the information to would-be franchise owners is plentiful on their website platform, the information is somewhat general in nature. Testimonials from a number of current franchise partners is also good, and what you would do on a daily basis as a franchise owner as well. 

However, more depth in the detail would be helpful to franchise prospects considering the business. I’d suggest that this aspect, compared to some others in this list, may prevent some prospects from expressing an interest.

  • CEO = Chris Burgess
  • Headquarters located = Sydney, NSW
  • Franchising Since = 1997
  • Investment = $110,000 to $182,000
  • Ongoing Fees = TBC
  • Training = 1:1 training with operations, sales, finance and IT teams.

Social Media Presence 

  • Facebook = 2.2k followers
  • Instagram = 3.1k followers
  • Twitter = 6.8k followers
  • LinkedIn = 287 followers

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6.   InXpress - 46  franchises (AU)

Freight consultancy business.

With 350+ franchises across 14 countries, InXpress is well-established and has been operating for over 20 years.

For their small to medium sized business customers, they provide a software platform to book domestic and global shipments, while providing local support. This focus on B2B may have provided some additional challenges with client business continuity compared to many others in this list across 2020-21, in the absence of a clearly visible B2C extension capacity.

The brand’ franchise opportunity web presence and video content marketing in particular is polished. It actually almost feels too polished without enough initial detail to go off for a prospect without submitting contact details. This is always a give and take balance in any sales, let alone selling a franchise opportunity.

However, while providing numerous links to videos of nice storytelling about a lot of general information, multiple videos don’t really give you any ‘real’ information to do anything with.

And don’t get me wrong, this is often fine as part of a broader content strategy, as stories of people in franchise businesses are useful and powerful pieces of content in many ways, as you ‘walk in their shoes’. Yet, when all here are added together, it tends to pile up as a lot of selling with little detail. 

But, the content always changes, so it may be different by the time you are reading this!

  • CEO = Marcel Lal
  • Headquarters located = Brisbane, QLD
  • Franchising Since = 2009
  • Investment = From $64,950
  • Ongoing Fees = 30% royalty and 1% advertising fee
  • Training = 2 weeks initial training

Social Media Presence 

  • Facebook = 1.2k followers
  • Instagram = 147 followers
  • Twitter = 8 followers
  • LinkedIn = 1.1k followers

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*Note: And of course, please contact the brands direct for the most up to date information, as while we've done our best to be as accurate as possible, we know some of this information can be a moving target at times unfortunately!