Executive Chronicles | Start Trucking Today: Top Tips to Start a Commercial Trucking Company | According to the US Department of Transportation, there were 799,342 private carriers providing for-hire services. While this may sound like a lot, there is still plenty of freight shipping demand for you to start your own trucking company. You just need to know how to do it.
This guide will show you how to start a trucking company with several tips and tricks.
What Do I Need to Start a Trucking Company
You need to have trucks and drivers to start your business. It’s also smart to develop a business plan that outlines the details of your new venture. Finally, file the necessary government licenses and registration to let you legally operate a commercial trucking service.
- US Department of Transportation (DOT) number
- Federal Authority
- File a BOC-3 and start a trucking insurance policy
- International Fuel Tax agreement sticker
- UCR permit and International Registration Plan (IRP)
- Employment Identification Number (EIN) for the IRS
- Install FMCSA-compliant electronic logging devices
Cost to Start a Trucking Company
Knowing our operating costs upfront is crucial for setting appropriate rates. Otherwise, you will find yourself operating at a loss. Start with fixed costs that don’t change from month to month.
These include your permits, insurance for commercial truckers, truck payments, and phone. Then calculate your variable costs. These are costs that change based on how many miles you drive. These include tolls and fuel.
Use these two numbers to calculate your cost per mile. Now you know you must charge more than your cost per mile to ensure you make a profit.
Choosing a Market Niche
Within the freight industry, there are several niches. Start your trucking company to service one of these, and you reduce your competition and improve your core competency. This decision will influence the equipment you buy, the lanes you service, and the rates you charge.
As a small upstart carrier, it’s best to choose a niche that the major national carriers don’t service. You won’t be able to compete with their volume in the beginning. For example, hauling meat or produce can provide you with a recession-proof transportation business that has a year-round demand.
Join a Load Board
Once you have the trucks, drivers, and business in place, you need to secure loads. The easiest way to do this is by joining a load board. This is an online portal or app that lets people post their transport needs.
You can then search through the needs and bid on them. If you win the bid, you transport the shipment and get paid. As you provide a quality service, you can develop a customer base where people call you directly.
Start Your Trucking Company Today
Follow this basic advice about starting a trucking business, and you will be well on your way to having a successful business. If you want to start a trucking company, it’s smart to start small with a single niche and truck. Then you can build and scale up as you grow your book of business.
Ensure your trucking business is successful by reading our other business articles.