Did you know that the American refrigerated shipping market size grew to $12.2 billion in 2023?
Retailers rely on long-haul refrigerated shipping to get the goods they need, fill orders on time, and keep their customers happy. That makes this indispensable industry a perfect fit for aspiring entrepreneurs looking to start a new business.
We’ve put together this solid advice for anybody who wants to break into refrigerated trucking and start their own trucking business. These simple tips are designed to get you started right away.
Read on for everything you need to know.
Requirements for Refrigerated Transportation
If you’re considering starting a refrigerated trucking service, it’s worth familiarizing yourself with the basic requirements. Here’s what you’ll need to get started:
- An appropriately sized truck for your needs
- Refrigerated carrying box or drop trailer
- Gas compressor and refrigeration unit
- One or more truck drivers
- Support staff to assist drivers
- Loading facility or center
- Admin team to manage accounts and client orders
When designing your business plan, use this list to help you determine what your initial upfront costs will be. This will give you an idea of the plan’s viability and help you decide how much outside investment you’ll need.
Choose a Product
With this list of requirements in mind, it’s time to decide which niche of products you want to transport. While your trucks can transport a range of items in a single setting, these commodities will usually be similar in nature.
Because different freight needs to be refrigerated at different settings temperatures, you need to be clear on what you’ll be transporting. You should also look at local supply and demand to find a good niche for your area.
Here are some products and items which need refrigerated delivery:
- Fresh fruits and veggies
- Frozen foods
- Ready-to-eat meat products
- Tobacco products
- Pre-prepared meals
Your choice of products to ship can have a huge impact on the viability of your business, so be sure to do your research and weigh the pros and cons of each.
Create a Business Plan
Even the very top truck companies start with a simple business plan, and if you want to be successful, you’ll need one too.
When it comes to building a business plan, don’t be tempted to cut corners. Thorough planning and research will ensure that all your internal and external procedures run smoothly.
Your business plan should always include the following:
- Cost and feasibility analysis
- Time and schedule
- Competitor analysis
- Area of operation
- Installation and start-up costs
- Budget and re-investment
Getting your business plan right is a must before approaching potential investors. That way, you’ll be able to clearly demonstrate how your business will operate and turn a profit.
Do Your Market Research
Market research is crucial because it gives you a clear idea of local competition and trends. You should investigate other local trucking companies to find out what they charge for different services.
Check out their reviews and testimonials to see what previous companies liked about each service and what could have been done better. This gives you a competitive edge because it allows you to offer stellar service where your competition is falling short.
Strong market research also offers valuable insight into consumer trends and may help you identify an emerging market for your niche.
Learn About the Industry
Learning details about the refrigerated trucking business puts you in a great position to start your new business. However, the market’s competitive nature means a local trucking company isn’t likely to share its knowledge with you.
But, you may still be able to benefit from experienced industry advice. Try contacting freight companies outside your local community. Be persistent, and once they realize you’re not going to be in direct competition, they may offer you tips and pointers for your own business.
Finding a business mentor is an excellent way to learn the ropes quickly and create the first links in your business network.
Consider Business Brokerage
Starting a freight truck business from the ground up can be a huge undertaking. That’s why some entrepreneurs choose to acquire an established business instead.
There are many benefits to purchasing a functional business. For one, a lot of the business planning and logistics will already be running smoothly. Furthermore, the company you purchase will already have existing industry contacts and clients.
Business brokers for freight are qualified to help you find and acquire the best trucking company possible. They have industry experience in all aspects of freight brokerage and can walk you through the process from start to finish.
Make Great Hires
A good team is the backbone of any successful company, and a carrier freight service is no exception.
Refrigerated trucking companies need staff they can rely on. From drivers and loaders to admin and logistics staff, everybody should be on the same page: driving the business forward.
As a business owner, make sure you carefully interview and vet your new hires. Taking the time to employ the right people will save you time and money down the line.
If you’re a truck driver who wants to join a dynamic freight team, we’ve got openings available now – check them out here.
Start In Refrigerated Trucking Today
At Morris Trucking, we understand the essential role refrigerated trucking plays in the industry. We hope this guide helps you make a start in this exciting and rewarding sector.
If you’re looking for freight logistics and solutions, we’ve got you covered. Contact us today to get started.