In a world more focused than ever on reducing emissions and protecting the environment, PNE Pioneer and Newcastle Impact Incubator member Bud Couriers are going the extra mile and providing a sustainable alternative in Newcastle's logistics sector.
Bud’s Couriers is a local zero-emission delivery service within Newcastle and Gateshead, with a passion for sustainability and outstanding customer service. Using a range of vehicles from electronic bikes to trailers and large electric vehicles, the company aims to help local businesses simplify delivery in the city, whilst paying an extra level of care and service to their customers.
Owner James has always been interested in the 90’s New York courier scene, which relied on improvised bikes with no brakes, resulting in spectacular (and often dangerous) deliveries. These early mavericks inspired James to explore how businesses in the region deliver their goods and products, resulting in Bud Couriers, a sustainable delivery company which is taking Newcastle by storm (and he has brakes!).
“We would like to play our part in helping the community reach its green targets and become an authority on Newcastle’s sustainable city logistics. As well as providing fairer working opportunities to bike couriers.” - James Tyer, founder of Bud Couriers.
James tested his concept during the UK coronavirus lockdown, starting with one or two clients. Originally, Bud Couriers relied on using regular bikes but quickly pivoted to electric cargo bikes when their growing customer base wanted faster deliveries and to move bigger goods around. Benefiting from a unique, customisable design, James and his "buds" can navigate the tight, winding streets of Newcastle carrying large loads.
James is part of both the PNE Pioneers and PNE Impact Incubator projects. He first attended PNE's two-day intensive business programme and then applied for the PNE Pioneers and Newcastle Impact Incubator project where he received a £1,300 grant to help support the development of his business. Bud Couriers also won an award at the Startup Awards North East, beating a competitive field of the region's brightest entrepreneurs to lift the trophy!
The team has expanded to 3 with James taking on more riders. In the future he wants to purchase an electric van for longer trips. He hopes to work with local authorities to open a base in North Tyneside to extend the range of his business, with the ultimate goal of working nationally.
Newcastle is like a small city – it’s a thriving city but not too populated like other big cities (London or Manchester). So, if you have an idea then DO IT, because “I feel like Newcastle is 3-5 years behind and whenever a new idea or thing is being introduced, some people are sceptic at first, so you usually must wait until people accept the idea or your business. But eventually, they will.”
Reflecting on how PNE has helped his business to progress, James now feels more confident in himself and his business. From all the support he has received and the progress of his business he now feels like his business is more credible, in comparison to when he first started business in his mum’s garage. Being a member of the Newcastle Impact Incubator has enabled James to create a base in the city centre, with an office to have meetings, a hub to store his bikes, and a network of peers to tap into.
When asked about what advice he could give to aspiring entrepreneurs, he said “There’s never a right time to start. Do it messy. Do it small or big? There are always a lot of excuses to stop you from doing things. But if you want it then just do it, regardless of how small it is.”