Thousands of trucks, trains, ships and freight trucks across the country carry goods daily. Trucks alone handle about 71 percent of the USA’s cargo by weight. In 2016, over 33.8 million trucks were registered for commercial use. Without freight forwarders, commercial truck drivers would not know where to go. These professionals play a vital role in the transport sector and economy of the country.
If you are wondering how to become a truck shipper, research the market and legal requirements. Then you can decide whether you want to run your home business, rent an office, or join a trucking company. In this article, you’ll get to know things about truck dispatching services that will help you to start your own dispatching business.
1. Understand your responsibilities
Independent shippers are responsible for providing information to trucks for the collection and delivery of the goods. Some assign clients or workers to clients. Others get individual loads to fit trucks that have much space. You should have enough information about truck dispatcher services.
Most shippers process all invoices and documents on behalf of their customers. Some even offer 24-hour support. All of these activities require specific equipment.
As an independent professional, you are responsible for renting space and equipment. You can also work from home to reduce costs and gain flexibility. The following few points should be kept in mind while starting a dispatching business:
- Stand by the Law
- Once you have decided to start your own shipping business, you need to research the trucking license requirements. Although this position does not require any graduate education, a high school diploma is still necessary to obtain the license.
- After receiving EIN, select a business establishment. Depending on your preferences, you may apply for sole proprietors, limited liability companies (LLC), corporations or partnerships. This determines the amount of tax payable and other legal obligations. If you intend to have employees, ask them to complete Forms W-4 and I-9.
- However, you still need to know how many hours truck drivers can legally work per day. Under U.S. law, they cannot drive more than 70 hours in eight days or accumulate 11 hours in 14 hours. If you are shipping across international borders, there are some laws you need to be aware of.
2. Prepare a contract
Make sure you have a plan on how to ship trucks from your home. Start by writing a contract that describes your services and prices. Ask your clients to sign the contract before you start doing business together.
3. Configure your home office
Prepare your desk for work. At the very least, you need a rugged computer and a printer connected to the internet. Basic computer skills are essential. Invest in a high-quality telephone system so you can communicate effectively with drivers, suppliers and partners.
Also, consider the type of software required. As a freight forwarder, you are responsible for creating truck routes, researching goods, viewing driver log files, and creating billing reports. Make sure you have the software inside.
4. Promote your business
Now that you know how to start a trucking business, you need to take the necessary steps to make it happen. Once you meet the legal requirements, you need to build a website and promote your services. Build relationships with trucking companies in your state and internationally. Join industry-related forums and discussion boards, initiate conversations and promote your business.
Take the time to build relationships with the trucking community. Be proactive on social media, invest in sponsored ads, and share industry news and advice online. Work with government agencies, manufacturing companies, and local organizations for marketing your business. The more you present yourself, the more likely you are to succeed.