A career in shipping is one that will always be in demand. For this reason, plenty of business owners are ready and willing to commit to shipping business models. However, even a lucrative job is work, and you’ll need to be ready to give it your all if you want to succeed. Here’s what you need to know in order to build a successful shipping company.
The primary concern for any shipping company is going to be transportation. After all, shipping in all its forms is simply moving cargo from point A to point B. However, simply having transport for the products you’ll be moving isn’t enough. These vehicles will need to be maintained regularly in order to prevent progress halting mechanical failures, for example. Likewise, these machines will need to be fitted with certain gear to facilitate shipping. For example, installing GPS for commercial trucks is necessary for modern shipping that promises customers up to date information regarding their shipments.
Another important consideration to make when operating a shipping company is weight. The weight of your vehicle, cargo and fuel included, will dictate its energy efficiency, and this can have two major downsides if it’s mismanaged. Using more fuel increases your operational costs, for starters, but it will also increase the chance of running out of fuel during a trip. However, you can’t simply avoid heavy loads, because that starts to diminish the value of each trip, leading to a similar outcome. Looking for the sweet spot at which the weight is appropriately balanced between cost effective and lucrative will serve you well.
Part of the trouble with running a shipping outfit is that your customer base is necessarily based around the needs of other businesses. Finding clients for your shipping business can be as simple as studying the state of the market at large, because that kind of information can paint a picture of what needs the market is meeting adequately and which it isn’t. The latter in particular can help you find an underserved demographic to focus on. It’s also important to understand the basics of the supply chain, because the primary role of shipping companies is to facilitate exchanges between manufacturers and retailers. Distributors and shipping companies are similar on paper, but the difference is that distributors typically provide added value in addition to the delivery of the requested products. However, shipping makes up a large part of the responsibility of a given distributor, making distribution a potential alternative to shipping alone, especially when you consider the fact that you’ll otherwise be working with distributors as your primary demographic.
As with any industry, the shipping industry has a set of regulations associated with it, and the specific regulations impacting your business depend heavily on a few factors. For starters, domestic shipping and international shipping tend to have wildly different rule sets. In some instances, you’ll need to have a shipping license, whereas there’s no such requirement in many others. Knowing the laws surrounding the shipping industry is essential, especially as it pertains to international shipping. Because policies tend to differ from country to country, you might be dealing with two completely different sets of rules on each end of your international shipping runs. Likewise, you’ll be on the hook for providing your staff with good working conditions and appropriate safety measures under penalty of law. Staying within the letter of the law can be complicated if you haven't done your homework, so the best way to keep yourself from being blindsided is to consult an expert in business law and take notes.
There will always be a demand for shipping services, and the trends are showing an increase in commerce overall with the advent of e-commerce alternatives to traditional shopping experiences. However, in order to claim a spot for yourself in this lucrative market, you’ll need to plan with success in mind. These tips give you a great foundation, but it’s up to you to build something with it.
Publish Date: February 12, 2021 9:32 AM