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How to Start a Box Truck Business

There will always be a demand for deliveries, so it's a safe industry to get into. We'll show you how to start a box truck business successfully.

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The freight and logistics market size in the US is valued at $1.29 trillion, and it’s projected to grow to $1.57 trillion in 2029. The world is driven by logistics, and there’s no sign that this industry will slow down any time.

You might’ve once considered becoming a truck driver, but were discouraged since you have to get a commercial driver’s license (CDL). But there’s a way around this: box truck driving. With this, you can get right into hauling freight!

Keep reading to see how to start a box truck business. When you see how easy it is, you’ll wonder why you didn’t think of this career path sooner.

Do Initial Research and Planning

Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as “buy a box truck and start driving.” Your reach probably won’t be the entire nation, so you need to be smart about who you cater to. 

Are you going to do the deliveries yourself? Are you going to rent out the box truck on a daily rate for others? Are you going to deliver for a larger company such as Amazon?

Understand the demand for box truck services in your particular area so you have a solid starting plan. Identify both potential clients and your competitors, then draft a detailed business plan. 

In the business plan, explain your business goals and target market. This can include things like the specific services you’ll offer, pricing strategy, marketing plan, and financial projections. All of this information can help you secure partners and funding (if necessary).

Register Your Business

Starting a trucking company is a fantastic idea, and you’re not going to be the only one with it. To stay one step ahead, you’ll want to register your business as quickly as possible, especially if you already have a name in mind.

Check that your business name isn’t already taken, then decide which type of legal structure suits you best. Many entrepreneurs create limited liability companies (LLCs), as there are numerous benefits, such as tax ones.

Don’t worry if you aren’t sure which business structure is right for you. You can use business registration services such as those offered by us at Business Anywhere. We’ll advise you with our years of experience and knowledge. And when you’re ready, we’ll get you all set up.

Obtain the Necessary Permits, Licenses and Insurances

After registering your company, ensure that you get all the necessary permits and licenses to operate legally in your area. You’ll also want to have the insurance to cover both the driving commercially and the items you’ll transport. If other people will be driving the truck, make sure your insurances cover that too.

An important thing to do is to sign up with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). You’ll have to check with them on whether you need a USDOT number and an MC number.

On top of that, you’ll need a qualification file with the FMCSA. This goes for both you and any employees you may hire.

If you’re going to hire employees (more on this later), then you’ll have to obtain an employer identification number (EIN) too.

Get a Box Truck

Now for the most important part, which is obtaining the box truck you need to run your business.

You have three options here: buying, leasing, or renting. Buying will be cheaper in the long run, but it’ll require a larger upfront commitment. Other factors to consider include the condition, size, and specifications of the truck.

After you’ve purchased, leased, or rented your box truck, then the next step is taking out a commercial car insurance policy; this is required by law, and it’s wise to have it anyway. You can get both liability and collision coverage. Plus, it not only covers your truck, but also cargo and any business liabilities.

Secure Financing

If you’re able to fund the business all on your own, then that’s great! However, in many cases, box truck business owners will need some outside help. For example, you may not be able to afford a truck outright, but if you really want to own instead of rent, then you’ll have to consider the possible routes to take.

Think about other costs you’ll have on top of your truck purchase and insurance, such as equipment and operational expenses. Depending on how much everything costs in total, you can think about using your personal savings, finding investors, or taking out business loans.

Set Up Your Operations

You need to handle your clients’ items safely, so invest in high-quality tools and equipment for transportation and delivery services. For instance, you should have sturdy pallet jacks and straps if you’ll be moving pallet loads.

If you don’t plan on driving the box truck yourself, or if you’ve bought several and need help operating your business, then hire experienced drivers. Conduct thorough interviews and ensure they have the required licenses and certifications that prove they’re responsible and reliable people.

Lastly, no matter if you’re working alone or with employees, you’ll have to establish processes. Efficient operational processes are necessary if you want scheduling, dispatching, tracking deliveries, and managing paperwork to go smoothly.

Set Your Pricing and Billing

Remember the market research you did earlier? This is where it’ll come in handy.

Determine competitive yet profitable pricing for your services. Base them on what your competitors are charging, plus factors like distance, weight, and special requirements.

As part of your operational processes, you should establish clear billing and invoicing procedures as well. Consider offering various payment methods for convenience, as this can be a unique selling point (USP) that puts you above your competition.

Create a Brand Identity and Market Your Company

To attract customers, you’ll first need a strong brand identity. That way, they’ll remember you and call when the time’s right. To be effective, you’ll need a logo, website, and marketing materials.

Once that’s done, create social media profiles and a website to showcase your services. Take out online ads to reach your target audience, and if they interact with your social media accounts, make sure to engage with them to build a reputation. Don’t forget to use other channels too, as multichannel marketing is the optimal approach.

Networking is beneficial too. Not only should you network with potential clients, but also suppliers and industry professionals to generate leads and partnerships. You can try contacting freight brokers or using load boards and local matching sites.

Be Compliant and Safe

Your box truck is key to the success of your company, so do everything you can to protect it. This includes both maintaining your truck and practicing safe driving skills.

Compliance is also important for legal reasons. Transportation regulations to watch out for include weight restrictions, driver hours-of-service rules, and vehicle maintenance standards. To minimize risks and ensure the safety of your team and clients, implement safety protocols for drivers and cargo handling.

Know How to Start a Box Truck Business

Now you know how to start a box truck business. There aren’t many steps from conception to fruition, so it’s doable, so long as you put in careful planning, dedication, and hard work.

By following the outline we’ve given you, LLC trucking shouldn’t be too difficult for you. As long as you stay focused on providing excellent service, you can build a successful and sustainable business in the lucrative transportation industry.

Would you like to start an LLC for your box truck business? Then sign up with Business Anywhere now.

About Author

Picture of Rick Mak

Rick Mak

Rick Mak is a 30-year veteran businessman, having started, bought, and/or sold more than a dozen companies. He has bachelor's degrees in International Business, Finance, and Economics, with masters in both Entrepreneurship and International Law. He has spoken at hundreds of conferences around the world during his career on entrepreneurship, international tax law, asset protection, and company structure. Business Anywhere Editorial Guidelines

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