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How to Start a Successful Haulage Business in Nigeria


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 Haulage is the movement of heavy goods by land from one place to another.
      Starting a haulage business anywhere needs good capital but it is also a lucrative business.

       Haulage activities in the country is done mainly by road due to the underdeveloped nature of the rail way transport system. And most of the commodities transported through this medium includes, building materials, household furniture, machinery equipment, construction materials, farm products and petroleum products as well.

haulage-business-in-nigeria
Haulage business in Nigeria
       Haulage activities will continue to be on the rise because of the constant increase in economic activities in the country. And as the country's population continue to grow, the appetite for imported goods continue to increase and now, more advanced and developed countries wants to sell and bring their products/goods to the country. And this have resulted to more participants in the haulage business.
   Let me take you through the requirements and benefits of how to start a haulage business in Nigeria;

1. Decide on the area of the haulage business you want to engage in: this is because the business comprises of different segments and you have to decide which area you want to focus your attention on. Decide if it's the movement of petroleum products or heavy duty machinery or farm products that you want to engage in, it will help you decide on the type of truck to purchase.

2. Funding and buying of your trucks: After you have decided on the area of the business you want to go into, the next step is to find a way to buy the right trucks. As earlier said, this business is capital intensive and making provision for the purchase of your trucks will surely eat deep into the funds of the business. A brand new truck that can carry say like 40feet container is bound to cost you about #4-5million naira, excluding shipping. But remember you do not need to plunge your new business into a lot of debts, so you can always go for the lease or hire purchase settlement with a truck dealer.

3. Register your business: I cannot over emphasize on this. For you to be able to start and operate your business legally and without any interruption, you need to go to the right government authorities and get your business registered. Ensure you get all the necessary documents and permits in other not to have any problem with the law. Also try to join/register with a truck or road transport user's association close to your business location as this will help facilitate smooth running of your business.

4. Insure your trucks and products:  As a law in Nigeria, every road user must have a proper insurance paper, be it personal or for commercial purposes. So be sure to insure your trucks with a reputable insurance company and also make sure the insurance covers whatever goods/products the truck might be carrying at any given time. This is a safe way to protect your business from any unfortunate circumstances.

5, Market opportunities for your business: this involves getting or searching for the necessary detailed information about how to run and sustain your business. For instance, you can start by carrying out low cost adverts in local newspaper, television, radio or even the good old face to face or words of the mouth advert.

6. Hire/Employ trusted drivers: this is major aspect in this business that can cause the failure or success of it. First of all, the number of drivers you are to employ depends on the number of trucks you have on ground. But whatever the case is, you need to ensure that the drivers is well trained with experience in truck driving and that they are licensed as well. Also, as it is practice in this line of business, you are expected to pay your drivers what is called "outstation allowances"  This means, you get to pay them for trips made to other parts of the country as the case may be.

CHALLENGES IN THE HAULAGE BUSINESS

1. Bad state of the road: this is one major challenge faced in the country by owners/drivers of truck and in the haulage business. It is already known that the state of most of the road in the country is nothing to smile about and this bad roads so far have contributed to 90%percent of truck accidents or given serious damages to the truck and this can lead to delay in the delivery of goods to clients which in most cases the owner of the truck will incure whatever losses that comes up.

2. Multiple revenue collection: this is another challenge to deal with in Nigeria. Most truck owners/drivers have to contend with the various taxes/revenues carried out by different government agencies in different locations. For instance, you have the police checkpoints, army checkpoints, road safety, councils revenue collectors and of course the agberos(local touts) to deal with. All this can put a strain on the business.


3. Low quality lubricant: sometimes, drivers experience the bad luck of buying diluted diesel which might car serious break down of the truck.

4. Bad and dishonest workers/drivers:  As already established, drivers are the backbone of this business. So you have to be careful when choosing/employing drivers in other not to be sadden with a poorly trained, rude and dishonest one who might end up abusing/destroying your trucks.

      Every business have its own challenges and work but there is always a reward for hard work and that is success.