How to Start a Haulage Business

With increasing demand for consumer goods in all kinds of different places, there is a large market to be targeted by anyone looking to make a start in the haulage business. A competitive industry with large players jockeying with smaller start-ups, it is a trade in which those who find a niche while managing to keep their costs as low as possible will be rewarded.

Haulage

Right Qualities

If you want to start a business in the industry then you ought to have a keen eye for efficiency so you can make sure your services are profitable. You need to know how the cost of commodities like petrol is changing on a daily basis and what they mean for your business as well as your ability to turn a profit. Then you need to work out what it is you want to offer your clients.

You may win more business if you find a niche, as long as there is a large enough market for you. For example you may go for livestock, waste disposals, parcel delivery, or vehicle transportation. But bear in mind that when transporting certain goods you will need to comply with the appropriate statutes and regulations.

Business Model

Then you need to assess your business model so you can build the right fleet. The larger your fleet, the greater your overheads, which will mean you need more work to make a profit. It is better to start off small and ensure you have the capacity to grow profitably and sustainably.

Finding the right vehicles is important too, whether you want diesel or petrol, or a more environmentally conscious option. If your vehicles are over 3.5 tonnes you will require an operator’s licence. Finding an operations centre to store vehicles and goods is vital too, with easy access to roads an essential factor to consider. Among the regular costs you will incur are fuel, vehicle duties and maintenance, warehouse rent and insurance. Insurance is mandatory of course, and when looking for the right insurer for you it may well pay off to head to a specialist in the industry.

Public liability insurance and professional indemnity insurance are essential too, as is employer’s liability insurance when you hire staff. You can find insurance for your drivers by visiting a provider like One Sure Insurance. You must also comply with tachograph legislation to make sure your drivers aren’t working too long, as breaking these rules can lead to serious penalties. If you consider all of these factors one by one you can get on with building your business and making it a success.

Photo credit: JohnGreyTurner / Flickr

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