How to Open a Trucking Company in 10 Simple Steps
There is certainly no shortage of trucking companies in the U.S. right now. According to the American Trucking Associations, there are almost one million of them scattered throughout the country at the moment.
But there’s always room for one more. With about $800 billion in revenue generated by the trucking industry every year, there is plenty of trucking work to go around.
Would you like to jumpstart your very own trucking business? You should begin by figuring out how to open a trucking company before you break ground on it.
Here are ten simple steps you’ll want to take to get your new trucking company up and running in no time.
1. Decide Where You’re Going to Open Your Trucking Company
Are you going to open up a trucking company in your city? Or would you be better off going to a different location to open it up?
You should do your research on the local trucking market and see what kind of shape it’s in. If there’s a real need for trucking companies in your immediate area, you can open your company there. If not, you may want to look elsewhere.
You should also consider how accessible your location will be for your truckers. You want to position your company in an area where truckers will have no problem jumping on major highways.
2. Think About What Your Trucking Company Is Going to Haul
Your trucking company can haul any number of things for companies that need trucking services. From electronics to food, you’ll be able to choose what you want your trucking company to haul.
It’s a good idea to do this ahead of time so that you invest in the right trucking equipment for your company (more on this later!). If, for example, you’re going to specialize in picking up and delivering perishable items, you’ll need to buy or lease at least one refrigerated truck.
3. Come Up With a Great Name for Your Trucking Company
When you’re in the process of figuring out how to open a trucking company, you’ll want to brainstorm some ideas for it. The name should be something catchy that also explains what exactly your company provides.
For some trucking company owners, the name comes organically right away. Others have to spend more time kicking around ideas before settling on a name they like best.
4. Create an Airtight Business Plan for Your Trucking Company
Once you know where you’re going to open a trucking company, what it’s going to haul, and what it’s going to be called, you can create a business plan for it. Your business plan should include things like:
- Executive summary
- Market analysis
- Marketing strategies
- Revenue projections
Your business plan will set your company up for success. It’ll also make it easier for you to obtain funding from investors and lenders if you need money to get your business started.
5. Obtain the Right Licenses and Insurance for Your Trucking Company
There are a number of licenses that trucking company owners need to get to start making pickups and deliveries. A commercial driver’s license, better known as a CDL, is one of the necessary licenses, but it’s far from the only one.
You’ll also need to get a USDOT number, an MC number, and potentially even an International Registration Plan, depending on whether or not you’re planning to make trips across state lines.
Additionally, there are many types of insurance that trucking companies should have. You should consider signing up for liability insurance, cargo insurance, and passenger accident insurance for your business.
6. Purchase or Lease Trucks for Your Trucking Company
It won’t be possible to learn how to open a trucking company without trucks. So make sure you’re in a position to buy or lease at least one truck for your business.
That truck should be, as we mentioned before, capable of carrying the type of cargo that you plan on hauling. It doesn’t have to be the fanciest truck in the world. But it should be something that’s safe and reliable.
Over time, you can add more trucks to your fleet, including one that can carry specialized cargo.
7. Hire Truckers to Work for Your Trucking Company
Outside of investing in trucks for your trucking company, you’ll need to hire truckers to work for you as well. Ideally, you should look for experienced truckers with a great driving history.
You may have to pay a little bit extra to attract the best drivers in the business. It’ll be well worth it for you to pony up some extra cash to get truckers who will represent your company well.
8. Set Up an Accounting System for Your Trucking Company
You’re probably not setting up a trucking company because it’s fun. You’re doing it to make money.
Make sure you’re able to make as much money as you can by creating an accounting system for your business. Your system should allow you to keep track of all the money coming in and out of your business.
You should also use your accounting system to prevent trucking fraud. You don’t want to give fraud a chance to hurt the way your company does business.
9. Market Your Trucking Company’s Services to Companies in Your Area
You can spend months learning how to open a trucking company, but if you don’t learn how to market it right once it’s open, it’ll all be for naught.
Marketing your trucking company’s services might involve cold-calling companies in your area that could benefit from them. It might also involve using social media to your advantage.
Regardless of which approach you take, you should make marketing a top priority. It’s what’s going to bring in business and turn your company into a success story.
10. Grow Your Trucking Company Slowly
From the start, you’re going to want to see your company grow by leaps and bounds. But it’s important to have realistic expectations for it.
If your company grows too fast, it could actually hurt your business in the long term. Slow and steady growth will be better for you and will allow you to provide great trucking services to your customers at all times.
Now That You Know How to Open a Trucking Company, Go Get Started
Learning how to open a trucking company is the first step you should take when doing it. Now that you know the steps you’ll need to take, get out there and begin taking them.
You can make your trucking company profitable within just a year or two when you approach it right. You’ll be amazed by just how lucrative the trucking business can be for the best companies.
Browse through the posts found on our blog to get more excellent business advice.