Starting your own trucking business can be a fun and lucrative way to spend your time. However, many expenses go along with starting your own business, including insurance, licensing, and buying and outfitting a truck. How much does it truly cost to start a transport business?

Introduction: Defining the Transport Business

The transport industry is a multi-billion-dollar business, and it continues to grow as more people discover the convenience and cost-effectiveness of delivery. Also, as e-commerce becomes more prevalent, the need for deliveries increases. Whether you’re looking to start a transport business or already have one, the first step is to define exactly what the transport business entails.

The Costs of Starting a Transport Business

A freight shipping business is rewarding and profitable but costly to launch. You’ll need to pay upfront for truck leases, fuel, uniforms, insurance, and any permits you may need. The equipment costs will depend on the size and scope of your business: for a small business with limited deliveries, a two-wheel-drive pickup truck and trailer may be sufficient.

Owning and operating a trucking company requires significant investments in terms of time and money. Not only do you need to purchase commercial trucks for sale, but you may also need to incur the costs of hiring drivers, renting office space, and purchasing necessary equipment.

That said, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average cost of renting office space in the trucking industry in 2017 was $7.98 per square foot. This is more than three times the cost of $2.42 per square foot for office space in other sectors of the economy.

The Cost of Vehicles and Equipment

Equipment and vehicles can incur high costs, especially for small businesses. Determining which equipment is needed for your business, budgeting for new purchases, and determining when to replace or upgrade equipment are all very important for the health of your business. Of course, the payments on financing new purchases need to be calculated to determine business cash flow.

The Cost of Insurance

Running a transport business requires a number of different permits, licenses, registrations, and fees. While many local jurisdictions require only a single license, larger businesses that deliver goods across state lines may need to obtain a number of permits. Regardless of your business’s size, there are several common business insurances that all transport-related businesses are required to have. All businesses must carry general liability insurance, which protects against injuries or property damage your customers sustain as a result of your business. Depending on the specifics of your business, other business insurances may also be required, including commercial auto insurance if your business transports goods, and workers’ compensation insurance if you have one or more employees.

The Cost of Licensing and Permits

The cost of starting a business can be unpredictable. But a business expense that is largely unpredictable and can often surprise business owners is the cost of licensing and permits. Transport businesses can be complex, depending on the business you start. A trucker who drives trucks for local businesses is not the same as a truck driver who transports goods between the states and nations. So, how much it really costs to start a transport business depends on which type of business you open. But, on average, you can expect to fork over $4,000 to get your transport business off the ground.

The Cost of Fuel and Maintenance

Are you thinking about starting your own truck transport business? You might be wondering if starting a truck transport business is really worth the financial commitment. You need to be aware that starting a truck transport business can be costly, both upfront and ongoing. But starting a truck transport business is also rewarding and has the potential to give you financial freedom if done right.

The Cost of Advertising and Marketing

Starting a trucking or transport business can be a massive investment and cost. The costs can quickly mount from the price of the vehicle itself to the cost of insurance and licensing to the upfront cost of advertising. However, the good news is that you can save a lot of money through the use of various avenues, such as the internet. Fleet owners can advertise on social media and similar other platforms for cheap to help attract new business.

The Cost of Employee Salaries

Another factor is the cost of an employee. The employee is an important pillar of any business. Without them, your business would not function.

Starting and operating a transportation business can be an exciting endeavor but requires a lot of hard work and dedication. Will you be able to provide enough transportation options in your area? Will you have enough drivers to cover the demand? And, perhaps most important: how much will it cost to start? In order to succeed, you will need to plan carefully, fully understand the financial aspects of the business, and be prepared to make investments along the way.