How to start cargo tracking business
Cargo tracking business is big business.
Almost everything we use and consume passes through some sort of transportation across various networks from various parts of the world.
Unless a company is really big enough to own a fleet of assets for conveying shipments, they would always require the services of cargo tracking businesses which act as third parties to help them deliver their products to the desired destinations intact and on time.
Cargo tracking businesses otherwise called ‘freight brokerage businesses’ are businesses that generally do not handle shipments themselves.
Instead, they act as coordinators, matching suppliers (shippers) with carriers.
Their roles involve a great deal of communication
They are concerned with soliciting clients, negotiating shipping rates with carriers, and most importantly, tracking shipments as well as arranging alternative means if a problem arises in the supply chain.
If you are interested in starting a cargo tracking business, then you must judiciously learn the steps required for starting a cargo tracking business.
The following are some steps that you must critically consider if you are interested in starting a cargo tracking business.
How to start cargo tracking business
1. Select a Niche
This is probably the first step you would likely take if you are seriously interested in starting a cargo tracking business.
Undertake general research on all of the niches within the cargo tracking industry and determine which cargo tracking niche you want to focus on.
You could focus on a particular geographical location or area, or a particular type of cargo or shipping.
This will help position you as an expert within the cargo tracking industry which would consequently make marketing of services relatively easy for you.
2. Get Experience in your Chosen Niche
You must do well to get acquainted with the cargo tracking niche you have chosen.
Gather as much experience as you possibly can. Get well acquainted with what cargo tracking businesses do.
You should work for a cargo shipper or carrier or both to help you get prepared for starting your own cargo tracking business.
This will not only give you technical expertise but will help you go a long way towards securing contacts that are crucial to the success of your cargo tracking business.
You could even work as an agent for cargo tracking businesses to help you gain an edge before eventually
starting up your own cargo tracking business.
You should, in addition, not forget to seek advice and assistance from owners of established cargo tracking businesses within and outside your geographical location or area.
3. Get Registered and Obtain Licenses and Permits
Once you have made up your mind to start a cargo tracking business, the next step for you to take is to decide if you want to operate a sole proprietorship, a partnership, or a limited liability corporation.
Choose a great name not too difficult to pronounce, and proceed to the relevant government agencies in your location to get your cargo tracking business registered.
In the United States, cargo tracking businesses are required to register with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
In addition, you will have to make inquiries concerning the permits and licenses you will require for starting your cargo tracking business.
You should check with your local planning and zoning department or city business license to make inquiries regarding what you will need for your cargo tracking business.
4. Write a Business Plan
You will not be able to do without this one. You must write out a very good business plan if you are interested in starting a cargo tracking business.
The importance of having a good business plan is innumerable.
Having a good business plan would enable you to be able to apply for credits and loans with your bank.
You would require a business plan if you want to attract investors as well.
A business plan would, in addition, help you specify which cargo tracking niche you want to focus on, who your prospective customers would be, as well as marketing and strategies.
5. Determine Source of Financing
This is one thing you have to critically consider if you are serious about starting a cargo tracking business.
To start your cargo tracking business, you would most likely consider securing capital from creditors unless you have enough cash at your disposal already.
You could decide to obtain loans from banks.
A very good business plan would be required before you can obtain loans from banks.
Also, since you would be the mediator between the shippers and the carriers, you would often have to pay truckers for the shipment even before you have received the payment from the shipper.
You should build a very strong relationship with your bank so that you will be able to obtain a line of credit to help pay carriers before being paid by shippers.
6. Get a Surety bond or Trust Fund
Cargo-tracking businesses are required to have a surety bond or trust fund.
In the US, a cargo tracking business is required to have a $75,000 surety bond or trust fund.
If a cargo tracking business does not meet up with contracts with the shipper or carrier, the surety bond
or trust fund ensures that the cargo tracking business has the assets to cover the amount.
You can obtain a surety bond or trust fund for your cargo tracking business from an insurance company.
7. Choose a Process Agent
Cargo tracking businesses are required to have a process agent.
A process agent is a representative to whom court papers or documents may be served in the event of a legal proceeding that is brought against a cargo-tracking business or carrier.
Cargo tracking businesses must choose a process agent in each state where they have an office or establish contracts.
8. Get the Necessary Equipment and Facilities
Even if you do not plan on opening a standard office for a start, starting your cargo tracking business would require you to consider a few things when it comes to the material assets you need.
The first thing you would need includes a computer, a printer, a copy and fax machine, a landline phone and mobile phone, and some general office supplies.
In addition, you would need software for handling your accounting and customer information.
9. Contact Shippers and Carriers
Once you have successfully set up your cargo tracking business, you should start contacting shippers who need the services you provide.
Also, you should contact reputable carriers within the niche of your cargo tracking business.
You could get reliable, trusted, and reputable professional carriers by looking into online directories, as well as by direct references by other cargo-tracking business owners in your niche.
10. Market and Promote your Business
If you are interested in starting and taking your cargo tracking business to the next level, you can never go wrong by reaching out to others about your cargo tracking business.
Get a business card (just make sure to keep it simple). Reach out to your family and friends.
Have a website for your cargo tracking business.
Create an online presence for your cargo tracking business by promoting it on social media such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
You should advertise your cargo tracking business on the radio and television.