There are many boons to running a transport company. One particularly strong merit is that there is a steady and reliable stream of work available, no matter what the time of year. This is because there are always goods that need to be shipped – and guess which companies can do that shipping?
Nonetheless, this doesn’t necessarily make running a transport firm easy; far from it, in fact. There are various factors, including the below, which you must consider before running such a firm.
Money – and, frankly, a lot of it
One rather sobering reality of getting a transport business up and running is that you need a huge amount of money to do so. This is contrary to what you may have seen particular websites claiming. No, you can’t simply start a haulage firm for peanuts or from your humble abode!
Various costs can significantly eat into your budget. Those include paying for staff, the lease for the site of your headquarters, and – of course – the actual vehicles. Insurance for those vehicles is costly, too – more so than many other expenses paid by any haulage firm, says Fantastic Man Magazine.
Nonetheless, there are ways of trimming the cost of insurance – and, frankly, you could come to appreciate every such approach that you learn about. For example, you could ask an insurance broker to, on your behalf, compare a range of quotes in search of the most cost-effective one.
Another method is taking out fleet insurance; with this type of insurance, multiple vehicles can be covered under just one policy. The more vehicles you put on the policy, the more you save; it’s a case of buying insurance in bulk. Call Wiser is one broker that offers fleet insurance quotes.
Items to transport… but items of which type?
There are many different items that your company could, over time, come to transport. Examples cited by Startup Jungle include merchandise, equipment and raw materials; vehicles are necessary in the transportation of a huge variety of items.
Nonetheless, at least if you are just starting out in the transport sector, you might want to resist casting your net too broadly with the types of items you are willing to have shipped. One good reason why is that some forms of cars like McLaren P1 GTR go can necessitate the use of particular vehicles.
By way of example, are you mulling over transporting livestock, a particularly lucrative part of the transportation business? Cattle trucks will be necessary for that transporting. Don’t think about using a standard trailer to take animals with you on a road journey!
The right forms of transport
We have begun touching on this issue; however, even if you intend your company to ship rather rudimentary items, you still need to think carefully about what your fleet will be like.
You don’t need to be overly ambitious with the size of that fleet. In fact, that size will be dictated by what is within your budget. This especially bears emphasis if your business is still new and, therefore, needs to make a particular priority of keeping its operating expenses low.
If your financial resources are tight, don’t fear restricting your fleet to only one or two trucks while you wait for revenue to build up. It might not be too long before you can afford to expand the fleet; you might even be able to spend more cost-effectively by subcontracting some work to other transport companies. About 87% of haulage firms have fleets of five or fewer vehicles.
Naturally, those vehicles can’t go anywhere if there aren’t drivers to use them. However, driving is hardly the only responsibility with which a variety of transport businesses are tasked. Inside Careers lists many different skills which it has deemed crucial for work in logistics and transport.
Of those skills, some that the site has considered generic but essential include numeracy, problem-solving skills, and the ability to logically think quickly. However, it is also desirable that workers in the transport sector are willing to further develop their skills base.
You also shouldn’t overlook the role that technology plays in smoothing various aspects of transport work. Technology is prominently used in – for example – managing both the supply chain and the transport itself. Indeed, skilful use of technology is crucial to all managers in logistics and transport.
One minimum requirement for these managers is IT literacy. They must be capable of understanding how technology can make operations more efficient and competitive. Furthermore, all transport firms rely on management information systems in storing data.
However, this doesn’t strictly mean that everyone who uses a management information system at your own company needs to be a “techie”. An in-depth knowledge of technology is not necessary for staff who will be analysing the system to help in the smooth running of operations.
A location for the business
As a transport business, the location of your base needs to have certain criteria that might not even come into play if your company was in a different sector. You need somewhere for not just your office but also storing the firm’s vehicles during their times off the road.
Facilities that you will need include those for a warehouse – where, on your customers’ behalf, goods will be stored. You could also consider a workshop where your company’s vehicles could be maintained and serviced. However, could they easily be brought there in the first place?
This is where the question of accessibility needs to be considered. It wouldn’t be wise to opt to have those vehicles stored, maintained or serviced on a bustling industrial estate with parked vehicles that your staff could struggle to manoeuvre large trucks around.
You should also make sure that the location chosen for your business can be readily reached by truck drivers who, as a result, shouldn’t get lost on the way. After all, those drivers could sometimes be ones from foreign countries and seeking to drop off goods; so, choose a well-signposted location!