How to Start a Haulage Business
Are you interested in starting a Haulage business? If yes, then we shall be exploring steps, tactics and strategies to succeed in the business.
The business opportunities are enormous as long as there will be movement of physical goods from one point to another.
The business is lucrative considering the capacity of a Truck to lift large goods from one location to another. Products are always being transported from the Manufacturer, Farm or Store to the Retailer using these Trucks.
Products like Cement, Sand, Stones from quarry sites, Wood, Roofing sheets, Petroleum products and Natural gas are a few of the numerous products you can choose from.
Others include food materials, packaged goods, and drinks from the Manufacturer to retail or sales destination. The opportunities in haulage business are enormous.
Starting a Haulage Business
Starting this business is capital intensive, but with a good business plan and determination, you’ll create a successful business. To start, let’s look at the following:
- Decide whether to run the business yourself or lease out your Truck
The Haulage business can be done in two ways.
- Do it by yourself
- Lease it out
Leasing it entails you buying the truck and leasing it to a Haulage company to run the business for some time. Depending on the terms of agreement, the Company pays the owner of the truck some percentage on a monthly basis.
The Haulage Company takes care of the Driver’s salary as well as maintenance of the truck. Here the Haulage Company takes the risk, it’s really short cut to many things.
If you consider setting up the business by yourself, you should continue reading.
- Begin with a Feasibility Studies
It’s important to evaluate and know what you’re going into and to determine what type of goods that is often transported. Your feasibility studies should contain the following:
- What product is often transported and which will be advisable to transport?
- The type of Truck preferable for the goods you want to transport
- What is the cost of purchasing the preferred type of truck?
- The distance involved.
- The frequency of the movement of the goods.
- How much revenue to be generated?
- What are the risks involved in the business?
When you have the results of your feasibility studies, then you can proceed.
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- Decide the number of Trucks to purchase
How many Trucks should you buy? This depends largely on the amount of capital available or obtainable. You could decide to start with brand new Truck or a used one. In my opinion, you can begin with at least two trucks. This is important as it will make you always available. One vital point since the Truck involves moving goods which could be very heavy over a distance, it’s important to buy new trucks because they’ll will last longer and reduce the frequency of maintenance.
- Write a business plan
The Business plan should contain your business goals, mission for doing the business, why they’re achievable and the strategy for reaching them. Your business creates a road map for Bankers, Investors and other interested Parties on how they can join or fund the Business.
- Register the Business
Register the Business with a name that makes you unique and easily identifiable. You may register your Company as a Limited Liability Company or as a Sole Proprietorship.
- Get Business Licenses and Permits
Make sure you insure the business against possible risk. Get car registrations and valid Driver’s licenses for your Drivers. Obtain permit from your State and Federal Government before you can begin to operate legally and according to the rules.
- Hire qualified Drivers
Hire qualified Drivers that can drive and handle the Trucks with care. Give the Drivers the terms and conditions for working with you and the possible punishment in the event of default.
- Determine the distance you intent to cover
You cannot go everywhere. You should decide the route you intend to cover and the distance. It makes it possible for you to be efficient and effective.
- Determine the prices
Visit people who are already in the Business or browse online to get an idea of the prices other Haulage Companies charge for your set distance. Make your price very competitive.
- Find a location
Find a good location for your business. An open place with beehive of activity will attract Clients easily.
- Start the Business
Begin the Business by opening the business premises to the general public.
- Market your Business
Start telling people about the services you offer in your Business. You could make and distribute flyers, billboards and advertise via social media.
Risks involved in the Business
The Haulage Business, just like any other business, has its associated risk. And it is wise to consider some of the risk in this article so we can mitigate and take precautionary measures against them. The following are some of the risks involved in the business.
- Truck breakdown
When the truck is poorly maintained there is every possibility it will break down or can be involve in an accident.
- Bad Driver
A Driver that is not trustworthy and has poor maintenance culture has higher possibility of cheating and not maintaining the Truck properly. If it’s not checked, might affect the Business. A proper interview and assessment of the Driver is very necessary before engagement.
Too much load increases the chances for the truck to crash and reduces the truck strength and won’t last long.
- High Fuel Prices
With fuel prices fluctuating, there’s every possibility it can affect the business negatively. Higher fuel prices means spending more on fuel. The longer the distance, the more the Truck consumes fuel.
It is highly recommended that you do your due diligence before investing in the Haulage business.