Do you want to start a haulage business? This article highlights 10 small business opportunities in the trucking industry for medium / large scale investors..

The Haulage and transportation industry is one of the fastest growing industries in Africa today. This is because a lot of goods are imported from different continents into Africa almost on a daily basis. Some of the popularly imported items are raw materials, drugs, consumer goods, petroleum products, motor vehicles and several other types of consumable and non-consumable goods.

Also, manufacturing companies are increasing in Africa. We now have different companies producing different products and these goods (both locally manufactured and imported) have to find their way from the ports and the factories toother parts of the country.

In Nigeria, the railway system would have been a great way to transport heavy duty goods from one place to another but the system is almost nonexistent. So, most business owners are forced to transport their goods by road. Some of them have vehicles to do this but some do not have because of the high cost of maintenance and because they do not import regularly. Some other companies have vehicles for haulage but due to high demand, they still have to engage the services of third party haulage companies to augment what they already have.

Today, I want to discuss opportunities in the haulage industry, using Nigeria as a case study. A lot of people in Nigeria have been making money from this business and keeping it a ‘Hush-Hush’ secret. People make as much as N800, 000 in a month from just one truck and that is a whole lot of money if you ask me.

However, the income you would earn would depend on the industry you work for, the size and soundness of your truck and how many trips your truck can do monthly. With a little less than N4million, you can get a fairly-used truck or tanker if you cannot afford a new one and with about N20million, you can get yourself a brand new truck or tanker. You can also get trucks on lease or ask your bank for a loan. Some business opportunities in the haulage industry include-:

Top 10 Small Business Opportunities in the Trucking / Haulage Industry

1. Quarry-: If you have a good tipper, you can work with Quarries to carry sand, gravel and granite. You can help them supply to their clients who are mostly construction companies, real estate developers or private individuals who are carrying out building projects.

On the other hand, you could work with construction companies. Construction companies need access to a reliable supply of raw materials on a regular basis and this is why they hire people who have tippers and haulage trucks to help them supply building materials to their construction sites. Some of the building materials you may be required to carry include cement, iron, roofing shits, doors, metals and a lot of other construction materials. Some construction companies also need the services of water tanker owners to help with supplying of water to sites without access to water supply. Tipper owners charge per trip and may earn as much as N30, 000 for each trip they make depending on where they go to.

2. Oil Companies-: Now this is where everyone wants to go because it is believed that this is where there is more money. Although this category of haulage business may be more profitable than others, it is also more risky. This type of business involves distributing petroleum products on behalf of oil companies like Total, Mobil, Conoil and several other oil companies. These petroleum products have to be distributed from the depots to other parts of the country and most of the time this service is contracted out to other companies.

However, these companies have tough rules and conditions to be met with before they can do business with you therefore; it is smarter to become an affiliate with someone who is already grounded in the business. This person would run the business on your behalf and send you a paycheck at the end of the month.

3. Manufacturing-: There are also opportunities for haulage business owners in the manufacturing industry. A lot of manufacturing companies need to distribute their goods to all parts of the country. Find out about the big manufacturing companies in your area and what is required to become a haulage contractor with them. I am sure you can find opportunities with them.

4. Agriculture-: A lot of food items that we consume in Nigeria come from the North. Items like Beans, Tomato, Onions, Cabbage, Cucumber, Lettuce, Potatoes, Yam and a lot of other food items come from the North and the Middle belt. This is why on a daily basis; you would see a lot of trucks plying these routes laden with food items. This is a big opportunity for people who want to invest in the haulage industry too because people who buy foodstuffs from the North always need people to help them transport it down south.

5. Exportation-: The exportation industry is also picking up. A lot of agricultural and mineral products are being exported from Nigeria to other countries and these items need to be transported from where it is sourced to the ports for exportation.

6. Waste Management-: Have you ever heard of scrap metal business? It is a business that involves recycling of scrap metals for reuse and resale and people with big trucks can also make money from this business by helping to transport scrap metals.

7. Truck Leasing -: If you have enough money, you can invest in truck leasing business. You would purchase some trucks and then charge people for hiring them.

8. Truck Management-: A lot of people want to go into haulage business as a part-time business but either lack the expertise or time to manage the business profitable. If you possess in-depth knowledge about the business, you can start a business which involves helping people to manage their trucks and earning commission for it.

9. Truck Driving Services-: One major problem investors in the haulage business face is getting reliable people to drive these vehicles. A lot of truck drivers are unprofessional and reckless and as a result, cause a lot of damages and losses top their employers. What you can do is to have a network of highly trained, professional drivers that haulage companies can hire.

10. Truck Maintenance and Repair services-: Lastly, you can provide truck repair and maintenance services to haulage companies.

Ajaero Tony Martins