Logistics sector of India is booming with the rapid rise of e-Commerce companies. The rise of the sector gave birth to a large number of logistics startups built on different niches of the industry. One of the businesses that achieved prominence during the rise is the truck transport business.
Most businesses depend on trucks to transport their goods to retailers. A truck forms the bridge between the manufacturer and the retailer, as they transport the consignment from its source to destination.
Trucks are not only present in a road logistics chain but also needed for goods that are being shipped via air or sea. A truck must first carry the shipment to the airport or the port to be further transported to the plane or the ship. Therefore, trucks are an integral part of any logistics network design.
Is truck transport company a good business idea?
Truck transport is vital to the logistics sector. From groceries to cars, trucks are the vehicles that carry all types of goods to the retailers. This means that almost all industries are dependent on trucks to transport their end products which leads to a high demand for truck transport. Therefore, with the right strategy, entrepreneurs can make huge profits from a trucking business.
How to start a trucking business?
A trucking business, like all other businesses, needs an adept business strategy. Truck transport in India is heavily fragmented with many small players. Therefore, an agile business plan with the right resources can be the beginning of a successful and profitable trucking company.
If you are looking to start a truck company, here are some steps to follow:
1.Research the industry and find you niche
The logistics industry has different types of goods that need to be transported. Find what item you want to transport. Be it medical goods, machinery, automobiles or FMCG products, everything has a unique transportation method which allows these goods to be handled and transported with care.
Choose what you want to transport after reading any material you can find on transporting different materials and the logistics challenges related to it. This will help you narrow down your options and choose a profitable and convenient set of products that you as a beginner can transport.
2.Know your truck
There are different types of transport trucks in the market according to their end uses, for instance there are large container trucks for long-haul or mini trucks for regional delivery. Truck transportations services in India are increasingly exploring customised trucks to meet specific requirements.
For instance, a news report cited that Delhivery has partnered with Volvo to bring a customised logistics truck that features a tractor-trailer combination for its express cargo transportation in India. On a global level, many European and American logistics providers already use customised trucks for logistics.
Depending on the mission of a truck, it can vary with respect to the number of axles, to the size of the engine, fuel tank or cab, to the height of the chassis. Read thoroughly about trucks and consult an expert to get a clear idea on the types of trucks, major truck brands, fuel costs, mileage, etc.
3.Make a business plan
Once you have chosen the type of goods you want to transport and the truck you will transport it in, it is time to make a business plan. Set your business and financial goals and define targets for the next year.
These are some of the questions you should ask yourself while making a business plan:
- Should I lease or rent or buy trucks? Which is more profitable?
- Should it be a proprietorship, partnership or a one-person company or buy a trucking business that already exists?
- What is my pricing for transporting goods from the manufacturer’s place to the retailer’s establishment?
- What is the total budget for business expenses?
- What is my source of funds? Will I take a startup business loan or should I try venture capital firms?
- How many people should I hire and what should their payments be?
- What should my sales figures be for the first quarter?
- Can I increase my sales figures by 10% in two quarters?
4.Get the required logistics software
A truck transport business not only required expert drivers but also needs the right logistics software. Most logistics companies in India use a logistics system that can provide real time tracking of goods in transit, and this has become a pre-requisite post pandemic.
Therefore, having the right software solution (e.g., TMS software) with enough features that can handle your shipments smoothly should be selected. This software solutions subscription price must be factored in while creating the budget.
5.Get the required licences
In India there are some mandatory business licences that a logistics company must possess to operate legally. You will need to first register your company with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs and then register on the Startup India portal. You will need to get a valid vehicle license, GST registration, transport license, etc., to become a legal trucking company.
6.Open a business website
Build your website either by hiring a website developer or by outsourcing the task. Once the website is functional, sign up with local internet search companies like JustDial. These companies will give you potential leads for your business who you can convert into customers.
7.Advertise and find potential customers
Once you have a business website you can start advertising your business. Advertise your company online by creating official accounts of your company on social media websites like Instagram and Facebook to expand the digital footprint of your business. You can also research for clients on internet and reach out to them through their official websites. You should also create a marketing logistics strategy for your truck company to ensure you are able to grow your business systematically in an otherwise crowded and competitive market.
When you research the logistics industry to start your business, make sure you are reading about all the rules to follow after you have started the truck transport business. For instance, the transport bill is a crucial document that you will have to prepare prior to the movement of the goods. This document is to be given to your driver to prove the legality of your shipment.
Additionally, apply for commercial insurance to protect your funds in case of road accidents, especially if you are buying trucks for providing truck transportation services.
FAQs on truck businesses in India
How much does it cost to start a trucking business in India?
Starting a trucking company, though profitable comes with its own set of fixed and variable expenses. Let us consider some of the expenses involved in starting a truck business:
- Transport truck price: Cost of truck can range between ₹4 lakh to ₹80 lakhs
- Truck insurance: ₹15,000+ (approx.) for public goods transportation
- Driver expenses: ₹15,000 to ₹30,000 p.m. (₹2 to ₹4 lakh annually)
- Parking charges: ₹10,000 to ₹12,000 p.m. (varies according to location)
- Maintenance charges: ₹5,000 to ₹7,000 p.m.
- Miscellaneous charges: ₹10,000 p.m.
In short, whether you are buying a trucking business from someone or starting a new truck transport company in India, you need at least ₹40 to ₹50 lakh.
What are the different commercial trucks used in India?
Some of the commonly used trucks in India are:
- Pickup trucks
- Mini trucks
- Trailers and semi-trailer trucks
- Transit mixers
- Tipper trucks
- Dump trucks
- Basic trucks
- Light/heavy open body trucks
- Closed body trucks or container trucks
How much does a truck cost?
There are different types of trucks in India built by different brands/manufacturers. The price of these trucks range from: ₹4 lakh to ₹80 lakhs
These trucks have special features and are used for specific purposes.
How much does truck transportation cost?
Truck transport rates in India vary according to the load being carried, distance covered and more. For example, with nexLogistics, you can compare quotes from multiple logistics service providers for the best-rates. The prices are displayed upfront with no hidden charges. To know the cost of your shipment, use our shipping rate calculator for a free estimate.
Where to get funds to start a truck company?
There are several financial institutions and banks that offer commercial vehicle loans or trucking business financing to enterprises.