The US Department of Labor suggests that almost every product a consumer buys has been shipped by truck or cargo van at some point during the shipping process. Put your straight truck and cargo van to use. Straight trucks and cargo vans get a lot of use during holiday seasons such as Christmas and Valentine’s Day. The business model also enjoys making profit from deliveries that must be delivered within a short time-frame such as same day or the next day. Things You’ll Need: • Global shipping accounts • Cargo vans • Straight trucks • Utility trailer • Global Positioning System (GPS) Guidelines: Already Own a Cargo Van or Straight Truck (1) Compete locally instead of trying to compete with the global leaders like FedEx and UPS. Focus on building your business with residents and commercial entities within your state and surrounding states. Gear your advertising within a three-state radius and build from there. (2) Reorganize your shipping business. Re-define your business goals. Charge by the mile and the weight to make sure you are maximizing your profit potential. (3) List your business with online directories so that customers can find you. Advertise in local business magazines. Rent billboard ad space to promote your business name and contact information. (4) Open business accounts with the global and national delivery companies. Use them as partners to extend the reach for your customers. Instead of going elsewhere, the customers you acquire can piggyback on your account. (5) Strap a utility trailer to your straight truck so you can accommodate businesses with large commodity shipments. (6) Install global positioning system (GPS) to ensure that your deliveries are on time. Equip drivers with cell phones to use for keeping in contact with your central location and with customers. (7) Provide daily delivery service to a specific route to encourage consistent repeat business. For example, make regular pick-ups and deliveries throughout the full distance of the busiest city streets. Assign a cargo van and a driver to that regular route. (8) Appoint a sales person to solicit business. Sales professionals do not have to be full-time employees; you can use contractors who work solely on commission. Pay them when you get paid for the shipment. (9) Require drivers to sell services. Equip them with sales order forms and brochures. Send drivers to free sales seminars so that they can practice and learn sales techniques. Corporate Partnership (10) Partner with a big shipping company to assist with its ground delivery service. FedEx sells routes and access to their customer base. Choose a service to provide from FedEx Custom Critical, FedEx Ground or FedEx Home Delivery. (11) Complete the online information request form. Enter information about your business and experience. To qualify, you will need to be registered as a legal business entity with your state. A representative will contact you to review route rates and your eligibility. (12) Discuss rates and truck options with the FedEx representative. Rates for routes and trucks start at $75,000. The representative will have to provide you with detailed information; the information is not released to the general public. (13) Buy your route and straight truck or cargo van if your current vehicle does not meet the specifications. Your vehicle must carry a logo. Deliver on the specified route. (14) Acquire your own business liability insurance and auto insurance.
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