The movement of goods is a lucrative industry. With today’s global economy, items made in one country are often bound for another, and consumers expect to get their internet orders at their doorstep within just a few business days. Though rail, air, and ocean liner are all popular options for transporting goods, none beat the versatility, speed, and affordability that trucking provides.
Logistics companies have formed which provide transportation services, commanding fleets of trucks and hiring a team of truckers. These “cowboys of the highway” spend hours, days, or even weeks on the road, making sure that products get where they need to be in the shortest time possible.
Though some of these truckers drive company vehicles, some have the option of owning their own and either contracting their services to a transportation company, or else finding their own way of getting contracts. However, this can be difficult for a trucker to manage on his own, so some bond together to create a cooperative where they divide the cost of a dispatcher, a contract searcher, and a translator so that they can get contracts for shipments while maintaining their flexibility and status as an independent trucker.
Starting a trucking cooperative is definitely worth doing if you are an independent driver who owns your own truck and if you have your own trucking authority. Don’t know how to start making more money and maintaining the flexibility that being self-employed offers you?
- Find like-minded truckers
After years of being on the road, listening in on the radio, and mingling at truck stops and inspection points, you have probably made a few friends in the trucking industry. Some might share your frustration of being forced to do certain routes or having a chunk of your pay taken by some corporation. Ask them if they would be interested in joining your cooperative where you would all maintain your own independence, but together, invest into some of the services you would need to compete with the bigger logistics companies.
- Find Contracts
There are a few portals that the industry uses to post and bid on loads. However, it can be very time consuming to find desirable shipments and secure them before anyone else does. Having someone watch the portal for you and arrange your routes for you is a very useful person to have and will ensure that the members of your cooperative stay as busy as they want to be and have minimal down time. If hiring an outside party is not a possibility at the time, maybe make a schedule where the members take turns finding contracts for the rest of the team.
A dispatcher is your link between the base, the customer, and the truckers on the road. This is the person that you call with any delays, you rely on to find you mechanical service is something happens to your vehicle, and will get you more information on unloading at your destination, etc. If your cooperative starts out pretty small, you might be able to combine this function with that of finding contracts.
Depending on the destinations you are shipping to and from, you might need your paperwork translated into a different language. Don’t let this barrier stop you from securing lucrative contracts! Simply find a third party company that can provide you with the best transportation and translation services the industry has to offer. By outsourcing this work, you don’t need to hire anyone full-time and you have a guaranteed quality of service that you pay for on a per-need basis.
Starting a trucking cooperative can give you a lot of benefits, from comfortable routes, flexibility, and more say in how and when you work. Also, if you cut out the middle man, you have a greater share in the profits you raise with your work. Take your work life into your own hands and become a savvy independent trucker with an edge!