Trucking Business Plan

Trucking Business Plan

Trucking usually composes of transporting goods by road to local, national or international destinations. A range of vehicles can be used, from light commercial to maximum weight 41 tonne articulated vehicles. For some operations you can use a tractor unit to pull the customer's trailer. As well as trucking it can be profitable to offer additional services such as packing, stock control; tracking, storage or warehousing.

Your company will provide excellent customer and client service by making timely deliveries, hiring the best drivers, and having a competitive pricing structure. Your Trucking will be focusing solely on the freight of widgets. There are two distinct customers in this niche market, manufacturers of the widgets, and the buyers of the widgets who are processor manufacturers.

A trucking business will transport goods by road to local, national or international destinations. A range of vehicles are used, from light commercial to maximum weight 41 tonne articulated vehicles. For some operations the trucker may use a tractor unit to pull the customer's trailer. A trucking business may specialize in a particular type of vehicle (e.g. refrigerated vehicles, car transporters) or in the transportation of certain goods. Loading and unloading may be organized by the customer or may be the driver's responsibility, depending on the operation. Additional services such as packing, stock control, tracking, storage or warehousing may be offered.

The trucking industry continues to experience difficulties. Competition has increased due to escalating fuel costs and taxes which can make operators uncompetitive. This has led some operators to consider 'flagging out', basing their operations abroad in order to benefit from the advantages of lower costs. Environmental concerns and traffic congestion are further pressures on the industry.

The Government is keen to transfer some freight traffic from road to rail. Truckers are also reliant on the success of other industries; any economic difficulties in other sectors may have an effect on the market.

However, the haulage industry could benefit from the boom in e-commerce as it will be necessary for online companies to set up supply and logistics infrastructures in order to satisfy the demand for goods deliveries.

World trade is likely to double in the next ten years which is good news for the freight industry. However there are a number of issues which need to be addressed within individual sectors of the industry. Traditional freight forwarders for example, could lose market share to companies who are more customer orientated. To compete they will need to focus on specific client needs, be more flexible and not insist on adhering to certain transport modes.

Shipping is a reliable yet slow method of transporting goods over long-haul distances hence the lack of growth in the market but the rapid rise of air freight.

Road truckers are facing difficult times with increasing fuel costs and strong competition. In order to increase tight profit margins many are looking at cost saving measures. Innovative solutions include reducing 'empty running', this combines deliveries and collections and tends, usually, to be popular with smaller companies. Air cargo carriers too are beginning to see the advantage of sharing space with the increase of airline alliances, a trend which looks likely to continue.

Based on value of service, trucking (excluding warehousing and logistics) accounted for 79%, or some $344 billion of commercial freight revenues last year, but only 45% of total ton-miles. This is because products transported by truck tend to be lightweight, manufactured goods that move short distances, rather than the heavy, long haul, bulk commodities that travel by rail and barge. Motor carriers specialize in higher-value freight that moves 750 miles or less and for which delivery is required within three days. Some 36% of truck freight (measured by shipping cost) never crosses country / state lines. Examples of this type of freight are food and consumer staples delivered locally, and manufactured goods shipped between commercial establishments or delivered to consumers or retail outlets.

Truckers have the largest share of the freight market. Unlike railroads, pipelines, or water carriers, they don’t face geographic limits caused by physical constraints, and can offer door-to-door service. They also pay relatively little to use the nation’s highway system. Railroads, by contrast, must build, maintain, and police their rights-of-way.

The trucking industry consists of two broad segments: private and for hire. In turn, for-hire truckers fall into two broad categories: truckload and less-than-truckload carriers.

As a trucking company you should be committed to providing the highest level of customer service possible. You will initiate numerous customer service programs to stay ahead of the competition and use state-of-the-art satellite communication systems in all company units. You will have an aggressive training and safety team. You want to ensure your customer's products arrive on-time and damage free.

Your company will likely be seeking financing for the acquisition of trucks, equipment, and funding operating expenses. In order to get finance you will need a trucking business plan.

Your mission for your trucking business is to provide services of the highest quality to your customers and your community. To maintain this superior quality you must present yourselves at all times with courtesy and honesty, and to hold the company and the customer's interest and well-being foremost in your minds.

The most important aspect of your business is trust.

It should be the goal of your firm to have 100% customer satisfaction in regards to quality, friendliness, time to completion and to discover new ways to exceed the expectations of your clients.

It will be necessary to have substantial funds available in order to start up a road haulage operation. An operating centre will need to be rented or purchased. The type of vehicles used will depend on the type of haulage and the scale of the business. Many truckers will purchase second-hand vehicles although there are often VED reductions for newer, more environmentally friendly vehicles. However the cost of such vehicles is likely to be high.

Second-hand vehicles will range widely in price. Checking Commercial Motor magazines is advisable to gauge prices. Specialist vehicles such as car transporters tankers or refrigerated vehicles will also increase costs. Vehicles may also be leased.

You must check your country and / or statelaws regarding operating licenses - certain vehicles will require one.

There will be a number of ongoing costs that will add considerably to the financial burden. These include substantial fuel costs as well as staff / driver salaries, promotion, maintenance and insurance. It will also be necessary to have funds available to cover the cost of operating for some time before payments are received and this could be several months.

If you are a high quality driver, you will be able to function independently in the trucking industry. The right job information websites are in fact specifically designed to help you succeed. People want excellent drivers to make their hauls, and if they can find you online, they will choose you for their jobs.

Writing a Trucking Business Plan is one of the most important steps in moving a new Trucking venture into reality; but it is not the first step - the first step is generating a great idea.

Maybe you already have an idea that you’re planning to move from concept to reality. Or maybe your idea is almost there, but you’re not quite certain whether or not you’re heading in the right direction. Or maybe you’re still struggling to find a n idea that matches your interests and abilities with a trucking service solid enough to make it in the big, cold business world.

Trucking Business Planning is about results. Make the contents of your Trucking Business Plan match your purpose and adjust the outline to match your type of Trucking Business Plan. For example, if you are developing an internal Trucking Business Plan for company use, you do not need to include a section about the Trucking Business. If your Trucking Business Plan focuses on well-known existing services and is intended for internal use only, you may not even need to include the details about the services.

Another example that comes up frequently is the level of detail required in your Trucking market analysis. Trucking Business Plans looking for investors need to have some convincing Trucking market data, but a Trucking Business Plan for a small local Trucking Business, to be used mainly by a small group of people close to the company, may not need as much research. Is there an opportunity to improve the company and the Trucking Business Plan by learning more about the Trucking market? Then do it. If not, it may be overkill.

Writing A Trucking Business Plan

Writing A Trucking Business Plan

Writing A Trucking Business Plan

Important ownership information that should be incorporated into your Trucking Business Plan includes:

  • names of owners
  • percentage ownership
  • extent of involvement with the Trucking Business
  • forms of ownership (ie., common stock, preferred stock, general partner, limited partner)
  • outstanding equity equivalents (ie., options, warrants, convertible debt)
  • common stock (ie., authorized or issued).

Management Profiles

Experts agree that one of the strongest factors for success in any growth Trucking Business is the ability and track record of it's owner / management. So let your reader know about the key people in your Trucking Business and their backgrounds. Provide resumes that include the following information:

  • Name
  • Position (include brief position description along with primary duties)
  • Primary responsibilities and authority
  • Education
  • Unique experience and skills
  • Prior employment
  • Special skills
  • Past track record
  • Industry recognition
  • Community involvement
  • Number of years with company
  • Compensation basis and levels (make sure these are reasonable - not too high or too low)

Be sure you quantify achievements (e.g. "Managed a sales force of ten people" - "Managed a department of fifteen people" - "Increased revenue by 15% in the first six months" - "Expanded the retail outlets at the rate of two each year" - "Improved the customer service as rated by our customers from a 60% to a 90% rating.")

Also, highlight for the reader how the people surrounding you complement your own skills. If you're just starting out, show how each person's unique experience will contribute to the success of your venture.

Bankers look for an ideal loan applicant, who typically meets these requirements:

  • For an existing Trucking Business, a cash flow sufficient to make the loan payments.
  • For a new Trucking Business, an owner who has a track record of profitably owning and operating the same sort of business.
  • An owner with a sound, well-thought-out Trucking Business Plan.
  • An owner with financial reserves and personal collateral sufficient to solve the unexpected problems and fluctuations that affect all Trucking Businesses.

Why does such a person need a loan, you ask? They probably do not, which, of course, is the point. People who lend money are most comfortable with people so close to their ideal loan candidate that they do not need to borrow. However, to stay in business themselves, banks and other lenders must loan out the money deposited with them. To do this, they must lend to at least some people whose creditworthiness is less than perfect.

By following the sequence of events outlined here, you will have the mechanics in place to begin the Trucking Business Planning cycle:

  • Draft the templates for your Trucking Business Plan.
  • Notify your team of your intentions to complete the Trucking Business Plan.
  • Schedule the pre-planning session.
  • Schedule the Trucking Business Planning session.
  • Assign homework and collect data.
  • Arrange the logistical and computer support for the planning session.

Trucking Business Plan

Trucking Business Plan

Trucking Business Plan

A note of caution: If you start the process, be prepared to carry through to the sustaining phase.

When you enlist help in putting together a Trucking Business Plan, you are probably asking the people around you to take on more than their usual workloads. To avoid overwhelming the office, create a reasonable schedule for getting the work done. To keep everyone motivated, share the importance of the Trucking Business Planning process.

If you are asking people to put in overtime, reward them for their efforts. A dinner out to celebrate important milestones in the Trucking Business Planning process can go a long way toward keeping enthusiasm high.

Because Trucking Business Planning involves a lot of brainstorming, discussion, vision, and revision, it generates a lot of paperwork. To keep track of it all, name one person to be the keeper of a loose-leaf notebook containing all the materials related to your Trucking Business Plan. If you are on your own, that person is you. If you are heading up a Trucking Business Planning team, make sure to assign a person who’s a natural-born organizer.

Finally, consider using business planning software to help you through the process. All sorts of tools are available — from freeware and shareware programs to full-service commercial software.

Great Trucking Businesses do not happen by accident.

They are planned that way!

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