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How to Start a Successful Transportation Business

Did you know that the Australian logistics market was valued at USD 81.28 billion in 2021? This simply shows how successful the transportation industry is in Australia. If you want to start your own transportation company we’ve got valuable tips to get you started. 

In this post, we’ve provided basic steps that will be the foundation of creating a successful company. You’ll find out how to create a solid business plan to attract investors. This will help you raise capital to start buying trucks and equipment such as ratchet load binders and load chokers.  

Decide What Type of Transportation You Want to Do 

Australia has different transportation niches. However, there may be a transportation niche that won’t have too much competition. 

When you decide what type of transportation company you want to build, consider the area you live in. For example, in Melbourne, there may be a gap in the market for lumber logistic companies. 

Here are some transportation services you can go into:  

  • Courier business 
  • Airport transfer services 
  • Automobile transportation 
  • Equipment and machinery logistics 
  • Shipping container transportation 

Ensure the type of transportation business you want to build will be profitable in the area you live in. For example, if you want to transport automobiles, ensure there are businesses in your area that can benefit from your services such as car showrooms or race tracks. 

Create a Business Plan 

Most start-up companies create a business plan that provides an overview of their planned future success. A business plan can also help you get a loan from the bank or attract investors to grow your company. This document should clearly state the following: 

  • Mission statement 
  • Location 
  • What your services entail 
  • Market analysis 
  • Sales strategy 
  • Financial projections
  • Marketing plan 

With a well-developed business plan, you can see the beginning stages of your transportation company and where you want to be in the future. You’ll be able to plan for growth and clearly see what risks are involved so you can avoid them or obtain solutions ahead of time. 

Apply for License and Permits

After establishing your transportation business you must apply for the correct license and permits. In most cases, transportation companies may need more permits compared to other organisations. This is especially true if you’re transporting hazardous materials or precious cargo. 

In Australia, if you run a transportation company you’ll have to comply with federal, state or local legislation. State or territory governments manage permits and licenses for transportation companies and you may need the following: 

  • Towing license 
  • Local and international trade regulations 
  • Warehouse licensing 
  • Heavy vehicle licensing and accreditation

Without the proper licensing and permits you could incur expensive fines. You could also risk the government closing down your business. So, ensure you adhere to the legislation and the permits you need to operate your business. 

Make Purchases to Build Your Fleet 

Once you’ve attained your licenses and you have a proper business plan in place, it’s time to start making purchases. You’ll need to buy trucks and equipment to secure your cargo. You can start off small such as buying four or five trucks and purchase more as your business grows. 

Additionally, buying the right equipment will set you up for profitability. Purchase equipment specific to what you’ll be transporting. For example:

  • A ratchet belt is used to secure lumber, furniture or lightweight vehicles to the back of trucks. 
  • If you’re transporting food items you’ll need fridges and airtight containers to prevent contamination and fermentation. 
  • You may also need route planners or systems to improve last-mile delivery. 
  • You’ll need the right trucks for the type of products you’re shipping. Open bed trucks can be used to transport other vehicles or lumber. Closed truck beds are used to transport hazardous materials, furniture or food. 

Hire Experienced Staff 

You won’t be able to run a successful transportation business without experienced employees. For one thing, truck drivers need a state-issued trucking license. 

You should also hire drivers that have a certificate III or IV in Driving Operations at a Registered Training Organization (RTO). Additionally, truckers must pass the Heavy Vehicle Competency Based Assessment (HVCBA). 

Drivers aren’t the only employees in a transportation business. You may also need the following staff: 

  • Accountants
  • Warehouse staff 
  • Administrators to organise filing 
  • Operation managers 
  • Sales representatives 
  • Financial managers 

As your transportation business grows you’ll need more employees to run your organisation so that you can meet the demands of your customers. Plan for these HR expenses well in advance.

Keep Up with Maintenance and Regulations 

Trucks, equipment and warehouse machinery will need regular maintenance checks to ensure the safety of your employees. Truck drivers may also need to undergo regular drug and alcohol testing to keep up with government regulations. 

Final Thoughts  

Starting a transportation company in Australia can be incredibly profitable if you have the right strategy, equipment and team. Use the tips in this article to help you build yours and ask questions below if you need some guidance

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