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4 Major Things to Consider When Starting a Shipping Business

by Olufisayo
Starting a Shipping Business

Shipping businesses are growing rapidly – there is an unending demand for products and materials to be transported across the world in various ways and forms. From small products delivered for online shopping, to large pieces of raw material traveling far distances, shipping businesses make the world go round.

Getting into this industry might be tough, but it’s certainly worth the effort of figuring it out. Here are some things to keep in mind when you want to start.

Mode of Transport

Choosing which mode of transport you will be using in your business is an important factor to consider ahead of time. This will impact many other facets of your business, such as what items you can and will be shipping, as well as ownership of your transport.

For example, if you opt for a fleet of trucks, you will need to start building up your fleet and hiring drivers. On top of owning the vehicles, you’ll be responsible for maintaining them. In the example we used, you’d need to look into truck washing services as well as professional maintenance for the vehicle.

What To Ship

As mentioned, the mode of transport you use will determine what you ship. Alternatively, you could switch these two around and decide on what kind of products or materials you’ll be shipping first and then decide on a mode of transport based on that. What you decide to transport will also have a major impact on your business – how difficult the day-to-day work is, how profitable it is, the type of vehicles you’ll need, travel time, money to invest, etc.

Some examples of what you could transport are finished products as a courier company, livestock, oil, wood, cement, or other building materials. Almost anything you could imagine needs to be transported in some way, so the options for what you would like to be transporting are nearly endless. Do some research and speak to others in the business to find out more about regulations for certain items and what might best suit you and your business ideas.

What Does it Cost?

Any start-up business is going to take some capital investment, and this is something that you should be prepared for. Knowing how much your business will cost you, in the beginning, is an important step, so try to get a clear idea of what you’ll need to spend.

When it comes to a shipping business, you’ll naturally need to think about your transportation system such as the truck fleets discussed in the previous example. Try to determine how many you’ll need in the early stages of your business and how much you will realistically be spending on each one. You’ll also need to think about other costs associated with transport – licensing, drivers and training, fuel, tolls, the maintenance we mentioned earlier, etc. All of these can add up tremendously.

Other operating costs of a business will also come into play. Accounting fees, paying staff members, legal fees, etc. might not play a role in the initial capital investment, but will all form a part of your monthly expenses down the road.

Finding Contracts and Customers

Naturally, the most important part of your business venture will be to secure contracts for your business in order to actually make money. While we have already established that the shipping business is booming and not going anywhere anytime soon, this doesn’t necessarily mean that finding the right contracts for your business is always going to be easy.

Just as with any other business, marketing plays an important role. Leveraging the internet is always a good and affordable option: a well-developed website for your clients and potential clients will take you far in a shipping business, especially if you allow clients to track their orders online. This is an important part of any shipping business in 2021.

Final Thoughts

While there is plenty to consider, plan and save up for, a shipping business can be extremely lucrative in the long run. Take care to do your research and plan carefully ahead of time before jumping into anything officially. Making impulsive decisions is dangerous in any industry, but when you’re placing large amounts of capital in items like trucks, it can be even more so.

Make sure that you’re aware of all laws and regulations that might impact you and your business, expenses you might incur, and training and certifications you’ll need to invest in. Once everything is thoroughly planned, you’ll be good to go.

Photo by Tom Fisk from Pexels

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