Ecommerce and online shopping is growing incredibly rapidly. It may one day even outpace shopping in brick and mortar stores. People order everything from clothes to toys to food online these days.
And after the pandemic, ecommerce shows no signs of slowing down. What does this mean for the savvy entrepreneur? Well, all those goods need to be shipped. Which means more trucks are needed to handle the increased shipping.
This is a golden opportunity to start a trucking company and carve out a piece of the pie for yourself. It won’t be easy or cheap to get started, but it can make quite a bit of money when done correctly.
In this article, I will go over several of the things you will need to do to get started with your own trucking company.
1 – Get legal
Any business needs to be on solid legal ground before you get going, but with high liability activities like trucking, it is more important than any other.
This includes having your business entity set up with the right tax liability and also insurance needs to be in order. A lawyer like Lamber Goodnow can help with advice on what happens if one of your trucks is in an accident.
As far as your business structure goes, you should either be a corporation or an LLC to cover yourself in any future liability. You’ll need to register your business and also appoint a registered agent with the state you plan to operate in.
2 – Licenses and permits
If you plan to drive the first truck yourself then you will need to get a CDL or commercial driver’s license. If not, then your drivers will need them. It takes a while to get one and there are different classes for the various sizes and uses of your trucks so make sure your driver’s have the proper ones.
There are other permits required by the Department of Transportation such as a USDOT number, a Motor Carrying Authority number and various others. This process is more straightforward than it sounds, but can take a while.
3 – Buy or lease?
When starting out, it is natural to want to save as much money as possible. In which case, you may want to lease your truck or trucks. In the long run, however, you will end up spending more money when you lease.
Buying will set you back quite a bit in the beginning but over time should end up costing you less. If you are bootstrapping to startup quickly, then buying a used truck may be your best option as long as you plan on upgrading as soon as the contracts start coming in.
4 – Find your clients
Once you have all the legal aspects sorted and your fleet ready to roll, you will need to find your clients. These are the companies that need a transport company to ship their goods.
Your best bet is to do some massive cold calling. Find what your ideal client is and then start sending emails or making phone calls. Department stores need trucks to go to the distribution center and pick up and then deliver to the locations where it is needed. Usually the big ones have their own fleet, but smaller ones like to hire out to cut costs and less hassle.