Have you ever wondered what steps get taken to get the goods we use on a daily basis into our homes? The whole process starts off with manufacturing. When the products we use are ready for shipping, various transport methods get invoked. For example, goods from the Far East travel on trucks, ships, and vans before they reach our front doors.
A lot of monitoring, moving and checking gets done at various stages. When stock arrives at our country’s ports, haulage companies move them on to the final stages of their journeys.
Haulage companies are enterprises in demand by today’s growing consumer markets. As we buy more goods, we need more transportation available to move them around the world. Are you interested in starting up a haulage firm?
Today’s business guide will show you how to do so. It will give you a walkthrough on the steps needed to set up such a company.
Have you got industry experience?
All too often I see people starting up haulage firms with little to no industry experience. That might be okay with other sectors, but not where transportation gets concerned.
Before you set up your new firm, I recommend that you spend some time gaining valuable industry knowledge first. Perhaps the best way to do that is to get a job working for existing hauliers.
You can learn about the pros and cons of the industry. And you can keep abreast of industry developments. The latter is something you might not know about when you first get into the industry.
It can also help you make your mind up if you’re unsure whether setting up such an ambitious enterprise is for you or not.
How much cash have you got?
I’ve seen websites that claim you can start a haulage business on a shoestring. Some sites even suggest you can set up such enterprises from your home! Of course, in the real world, nothing is further from the truth.
Putting aside staff costs, you need to pay for a lease on what will become your headquarters. You will also need to buy trucks, vans and other vehicles that your drivers will use on the road. And then there is the “big I”: insurance!
It’s no insurance that haulier insurance is expensive. In fact, it’s one of the biggest expenses any haulage firm will pay. It doesn’t matter whether you use the Auto Trader Trucks website or a local company for your insurance needs. The premiums you have to pay are significant.
Can you afford to cover all those costs during your initial stages of setting up in business? You might be lucky enough to have a lot of savings. Then again, you might not. Some folks will invite others with money to become partners in the business in exchange for capital investment.
It’s worth determining whether you have the funds (or the means) to invest money in your new enterprise. If you don’t, you won’t get far!
What methods of transport will you use?
Hauliers will usually have a fleet of trucks and vans at their disposal. The drivers they hire use these vehicles to deliver the pallets of goods your clients pay you to transport. The larger haulage firms may also use freight trains, ships and planes for long-distance shipping.
What you use will depend on what you can afford to run at the time. As a new business, it’s essential now more than ever to keep your operating costs low. Your goal is to build up enough revenue so that your new startup can grow.
If spending is a significant issue for your new firm, you might start your fleet off with just one or two trucks for now. That might seem bad, but you can always subcontract some of your work to other partner transport firms. Did you know that around 87% of haulage companies only have five or fewer vehicles in their fleets?
As you grow, you can start increasing your fleet and subcontract fewer deliveries to other companies.
What will you transport?
Some hauliers will move almost anything within the country or around the world. But what will your new firm accept from its clients? A few examples of lucrative contracts include waste disposal, parcel delivery and livestock.
It’s worth bearing in mind that, in some cases, you will need to use particular vehicles for a specific cargo. For instance, if you’re transporting livestock, you will need cattle trucks. You can’t just put animals into a standard trailer!
The ugly issue of insurance rears its ugly head here once again. For some types of cargo, you may have to take out extra insurance cover. What you need will depend on what you’re transporting and where you’re going.
Where will your new business get based?
The question of where your new enterprise will get based is an important one. Why? Because you need a suitable location for your office. You also need somewhere to store your fleet of vehicles when they aren’t in use. And you need warehouse facilities to store goods on behalf of your customers.
Many hauliers do their own servicing and maintenance. If that interests you, it’s worth ensuring that you can build workshop facilities for your fleet of vehicles.
Another point to think about is accessibility. Moving to a busy industrial estate where manoeuvring large trucks around parked vehicles is a bad idea. It’s essential your company’s home is one that has no accessibility issues.
Whereabouts in the country do you want to base your new haulage firm? Wherever you go, it needs to be a location where truck drivers can drive to without getting lost! Sometimes you might have drivers from foreign countries dropping off goods.
In an ideal world, you should choose a location near to a major trunk road or motorway. It also needs to be well signposted too. You might relish the idea of getting based at an idyllic rural location.
But it makes sense to base yourself somewhere that has familiar landmarks.