How to Start a Trucking Company

Business Management

Plenty of Room For More Carriers

There are many benefits and challenges to starting your own trucking company. Whether you are a driver, a dispatcher, a fleet manager, or someone entirely new to the industry, you need good information on what it takes to start a successful trucking business today.

In addition to being the backbone of the U.S. economy, trucking is one of the country’s fastest-growing industries. A recent report by the American Trucking Associations predicts that freight volumes will increase 29% over the next 11 years. At the same time, trucking continues to be affected by a shortage of qualified drivers. Some experts predict that an estimated national shortage of 48,000 drivers today could expand to more than 200,000 drivers in the next decade. The continued expansion of trucking freight, coupled with a growing shortage of trucking capacity, means there is plenty of room for new trucking carriers.

How to Get Rolling

There are many steps involved in gaining your authority and even more to consider before hauling your first load. Here is what you need to do to start your trucking company:

Have a Business Plan

Before gaining your authority, you need to establish some general goals for your trucking company. Where will your trucks operate? What industries will you serve and how will you adapt to downturns in the freight industry? Having a strategic plan for your company can spell the difference between success and failure in the highly competitive trucking industry.

Legally Establish Your Company

Like any other business, your trucking company is a legal entity. Determining your company’s legal name, structure, official identifications and tax reporting are all necessary steps to getting started.

Acquire the Necessary Licenses and Permits

Trucking is a heavily regulated industry that demands an entire checklist of permits and other requirements for a new trucking company. To gain your authority, you’ll need a commercial driver’s license, DOT and MC numbers, unified carrier registration, an international registration plan, an IFTA decal and a BOC-3 form. There are even more regulatory requirements if you plan to haul government or international loads.

Secure Trucking Insurance

Finding the right insurance is critical in a high-risk industry like trucking. There are two basic types of insurance—employer insurance and commercial business insurance. It is wise to carry both forms of insurance to make sure your trucking company has enough coverage.

Look for Fuel Discounts

Diesel fuel makes up 34% of operating expenses, on average, for trucking fleets. Finding a reliable fuel card and other discount programs can give your new trucking business a head start financially.

Decide on whether to buy or lease trucks and equipment. If you plan to build a trucking fleet, leasing trucks and equipment (link)— instead of buying them—might be a smart financial choice.

Helping You Get Started

There are many opportunities in trucking, but running a new business requires careful planning, discipline and hard work. Government regulations, long payment cycles and demanding customers make it more challenging than ever for new and small carriers to succeed.

While we cannot guarantee your ultimate success, we at RTS Financial believe How to Start a Trucking Company is a great resource for understanding everything involved in getting your authority and breaking into the business.

Once you have your fleet up and running, RTS Financial has more free guides to help your business, including Financial Management for Trucking Companies, The Complete Guide to Fuel Savings and The Guide to Getting Paid Faster.

We wish you the best of luck in your new endeavor!