Logistics plays an important role in the functioning of countries’ economies, and in the United States, the trucking industry is at the heart of logistics throughout the country. Whether it’s its journeys from manufacturers to retailers or e-commerce-driven efforts, the trucking business hasn’t slowed in decades and has only seen more imminent growth. Within the United States alone, nearly 70% of goods delivered are delivered via truck.
Without the significant ebb and flow of the trucking industry, the US economy would literally grind to a halt, and thus the scope of trucking may not shrink sooner. If you’re looking to run your own trucking business, know that it involves much more than getting USDOT and a CM numberAnd here are five steps that are likely to help you succeed:
one. find your niche
To operate successfully in the trucking industry in the United States, it is important that you recognize a gap in the market and either fit in or discover your market niche to serve. Given the high demand for truck logistics, the competition in this industry is fierce. A basic game plan is to look for markets that larger players tend to avoid, such as specialized freight forwarding. The corresponding vehicles, equipment, freight routes and fees are likely to be decided only after you have chosen your niche.
two. Write a business plan
Once you’ve figured out your niche and market, the next logical step is to write a business plan. Basically, this would involve making decisions regarding the type of vehicles and equipment your company would need. It would also involve deciding whether to buy, rent or lease those assets. The location of your fleet base, truck hiring proceduresapplicable fees, target consumer base, secondary consumers, etc., will also be factored into your business plan.
3. Registration and corresponding permits
Registering your trucking business and acquiring all the relevant permits is essential to start your operations. Depending on the state in which you register your business and choose to operate, the number of licenses and permits you may need may differ, but the basic requirements are generally the same throughout the country. Some of the basic requirements include obtaining a USDOT number from the Department of Transportation, the carrier or MC number from the FMCSA, and a commercial driver’s license. You’ll also need to obtain commercial trucking insurance for your fleet and day-to-day operations.
Four. Maintain a dedicated office space
Running a trucking company efficiently involves much more than just hiring drivers, assigning trucks, and finishing it off. There is tons of paperwork associated with running trucking operations efficiently, which involves establishing fleet routes, planning deliveries and pickups, assigning them to contract drivers, ensuring all work schedules are met, business development, and more. By using relevant software and applications in all these processes, a team of two could easily handle all the administrative work. You should look to use event scheduling apps, accounting software, and CRM software to run operations smoothly.
5. Ensuring Compliance Compliance
As a trucking company, you would be eligible to comply with multiple federal and local government safety rules, regulations, requirements, and protocols. These imply control noise emissions, gas emissions, anti-idling and fleet maintenance to reduce the environmental impact of logistics. These also involve meeting human resources regulations where drivers can only drive for up to 14 hours maximum, with a 30-minute rest stop for 8-hour shifts. Companies must ensure compliance by having drivers use mobile apps to clock in and out of their work shifts.
Trucking is the backbone of the US economy, with small trucking companies accounting for nearly 80% of this market share. Starting your own trucking business is not as daunting as it sounds if you take the right steps and head in the right direction.
Also posted on Medium.