Do you run a trucking company? If YES, here is a detailed guide on how to get trucking contracts from government or companies like walmart, amazon, Medicaid.
Moving freight is one of the lucrative businesses one can start in the United States. But setting up this business requires that you put down a whole lot of money, this means that your startup capital would usually be on the high side because you need to purchase a truck and set up the business. You also have to carry some reasonably financed insurance before you can even get registered.
Having spent that much money, it would be in your best interests if you are able to get enough load hauling contracts that would keep you in business for a long time, so as to ensure that you are able to recoup your investments.
One way tucking companies are assured of recouping their investments in a short time and go ahead to start making profits is if they can get contracts from big companies including the government of the state or federation.
It is worthy of note that one of the largest shippers in the united states is the federal government. The government has been known from time immemorial to outsource loads of jobs to small fleets and owner-operator trucking businesses, so you should never worry about your small business being qualified enough to win a contract from the government. What you need to worry about is how to position your business to win these contracts.
In addition to the federal, city and state governments, big companies always have the need to move something. An example of one freight that government moves is from the Postal Service. Each day, this government entity moves tons of freight via independent contractors.
There are steps involved before you can be qualified to be a government contractor. For starters, the government requires small business owners to go through a rigid qualification process. But, once you qualify, you’ll be eligible to take a piece of the billion dollar pie.
In this article, we would show you the steps you have to go through before you can qualify to win freight hauling contracts from the government, and places you can find these contracts.
How to Find Government and Big Company’s Trucking Contracts
- Partner with a company already receiving contracts
One of the easiest and most beneficial ways to get trucking contracts with the government and from big companies is for you to partner with a company that is already hauling under a government contract. In fact, the Department of Transportation recommends partnering with another firm as a way to strengthen any bid you make for freight services.
According to the Department of Transport, the government gives incentives to firms that subcontract work to small businesses. For this reason, these huge firms are usually quite willing to subcontract their jobs to smaller firms.
DOT views subcontracting as a way for smaller companies to get involved without the need to invest capital to meet the overall government bid requirement. The agency says that more than 50% of its subcontracting opportunities are awarded to small businesses, often through a larger, primary contractor.
DOT writes that Any federal contractor receiving a contract for more than the simplified acquisition threshold must agree in the contract that small businesses (including veteran-owned, service-disabled veteran-owned, HUBZone, disadvantaged, and women-owned businesses), will have the maximum practicable opportunity to participate in the contract consistent with its efficient performance.
- Go through the SBA
Another good way you can get trucking contracts with big companies is to go through the small business administration. The Small Business Administration (SBA) offers a service, a Subcontracting Network website, Sub-Net, where prime contractors may post subcontracting opportunities for smaller businesses looking for opportunity. The database lists opportunities by state.
SBA also offers marketing programs and other administrative help to assist small businesses with preparing and submitting a proposal for government contracting work. SBA suggests developing a network of potential firms you can work with on DOT opportunities and to get involved with your local Chamber of Commerce to network and learn about opportunities and potential partners.
- Establish contact with the GSA
Another resource you can look out for when sourcing for trucking contracts with the United States government and from big companies is to make use of the GSA. The GSA provides government agencies with cost-effective transportation services, including the military.
Its website includes links to current trucking opportunities. Those opportunities call for “Request for Offers” (RFOs). RFOs can only be accepted by a “Transportation Service Provider” (TSP) that has been approved by the Freight Management Branch and agree to “abide by the Standard Tender of Service (STOS) terms, conditions, and associated supplements.”
- Visit FedBizOpps.gov
Yet another place you can get Federal trucking contracts from is the FedBizOpps.gov. The majority of trucking opportunities are listed on FedBizOpps.gov. The site currently lists over 32,000 active opportunities – but not all in freight movement. At the site, you should register as a “vendor” as someone who wants to sell a service or product to the government. Company and personal information must be submitted before you are considered.
- Use the System for Award Management site
Yet another viable area you can get government contracts from is the System for Award Management site. You can register your trucking company to do business with the government in this site.
How to Qualify to Get Government Trucking Contracts
Qualifying for overeat contracts usually comes first before you can start talking about bidding. Businesses of all types and sizes are allowed to bid for government contracts through municipal and state governments, as well as United States federal agencies.
These contracts are usually offered for goods and services, or technical assistance and research, including freight moving. For businesses wanting to get their foot in the door, there are steps to take and qualifications to meet before you can successfully win a contract bid.
- Start with research
When eyeing government trucking contracts, the first thing you have to do is to start with research. At any given time, government agencies may procure anything from town cars to paper towels. The key is to make sure that you are able to move what the government is looking for so that you can successfully bid on the contract.
The only way to know what your state or local government needs is to check out municipal government websites and the Federal Business Opportunities website.
- Your business must fit within the description
Before you can bid for a government contract, your business must fall within the requirements of the government. If the business is reserved for big companies, then you should only bid if your company is within that capacity, but don’t bid otherwise. If the contract specifies small businesses, then bid if you fall within that criteria.
By law, small businesses receive a large percentage of government contracts, so it’s important to understand the guidelines for submitting bids, as well as what constitutes a ‘small business’ in the eyes of the government.
The government has rigid guidelines about what makes up a small business. To complicate matters, the guidelines vary according to industry. To find out if your company qualifies as a small business in your industry, choose the primary North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code for your business
Then, take a look at the Table of Small Business Size Standards to find the code that lists the gross profits and maximum number of employees that a business in your industry can have and still be considered a small business by the government.
It’s important to know that when searching for contracts, you won’t be limited to your primary NAICS Code. All you need to do is meet the requirements of the solicitations you’re looking for.
- Get your DUNS number
Before you can even register to do business with the federal government, you must have a Dun & Bradstreet — DUNS — number for each physical location you operate your business from. The process is fairly straightforward, and you can obtain the number for free and have it within one day using the DUNS request service.
The DUNS number is a unique nine-digit identifier for businesses, and it is assigned once the ‘identity resolution process’ determines a company is unique from any other business in the Dun & Bradstreet data cloud. DUNS Numbers are often used as a reference by business partners or lenders to predict the financial stability of a company — a requirement to apply for government contracts.
- Register your business on SAM
You need to create a user account, and register your business on the System for Award Management (SAM) website if you want to get a contract from the government. Registration is free, and there are tools available that allow you to keep track of your registration status.
You can register by following the instructions in the SAM User Guide. SAM also serves as a marketing tool because government agencies and contractors in search of subcontractors use the database to look for businesses based on size, location, experience, ability, and ownership.
Once your business is registered in SAM and you’ve filled out your small business profile, you’ll automatically be entered in the Dynamic Small Business Search (DSBS) database. Contracting officers use the DSBS to search for small businesses that can fill their contracting needs.
- Put in a proposal
Proposals differ but will typically include developing a capability statement and small business profile, as well as a Dynamic Small Business Search profile. After you submit your bid, you may be asked to give an oral presentation. This will likely happen when the agency has narrowed their decision down to two or three bidders.
During the federal procurement process, you may be contacted regularly for more information. This is great because it means that they are interested in your proposal.
All things considered, researching the market and crafting an error-free proposal are the hardest parts of winning a government contract.
What Government Contracts Require
When bidding for a government contract, there are certain things you you have to keep in mind. Some of them include;
- Time and resources
A lot of businesses, especially the new ones, may not be aware of the number of hours and resources required to pursue and manage a government contract. For example, part of applying for federal contracts involves completing Representations and Certifications.
These provisions require you to represent and certify to a variety of statements ranging from environmental rules and compliance to entity size. Representations and Certifications are designed to ensure that you are in compliance with laws and regulations and this is an extremely detailed part of the process.
In addition to taking a great deal of time to complete paperwork, there are legal implications as well. If you’re going through this process for the first time or on your own, it’s advisable to obtain a legal review so you don’t make a mistake.
- Liability Insurance
In addition to the time, resources, and credentials needed to obtain a government contract, there may be additional requirements as well. Government contracts, similar to many large commercial contracts, may require additional liability insurance. This is more especially as you are into the trucking business that typically requires more than the average business insurance.
- Special invoicing and payment terms
Invoicing and payment terms may differ from standard business contracts. It’s common for government contracts to be monthly, net-60, which means you may not receive payment for 90 days. Any mistakes can lead to a delay in payment for several months.
There may also be special invoicing requirements. Government contracting requires you to keep track of your funding and notify the government when you’ve reached 75% of your funding. Failure to do so may carry a penalty. It’s therefore important to read contracts very carefully to ensure that you understand your responsibilities as a contractor.
Entrepreneurs interested in contracting with the government often solely focus on certifications and requirements. But checking all the boxes and becoming part of the pool of applicants is just one part of the process. Another helpful item is pursuing 8-A status as a small disadvantaged business.
This program contains certifications such as the Women-Owned Small Business program or Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business program, which can give you a leg up in obtaining government contracts, as many government contracts have a small business set-aside for this purpose.