The shipping industry is an old and efficient mode of facilitating international trade. Currently, there are 55,000 active cargo ships with over 1.5 million sailors worldwide. The industry is also known to produce the smallest amount of CO2 emissions per mile, making it an eco-friendly way to transport goods worldwide. Suppose you are fascinated with the industry and want to start a shipping company. In that case, please read on for more information.
- Be conversant with the business
You don’t start this or any business without knowing what you’re signing up for. Going in without information will set you up for failure and frustrations. Therefore, it’s imperative to study the industry to determine the parameters and procedures involved. The industry also heavily depends on international laws, so keep this in mind. You also need to research the financial aspects, trading practices, and theories to help you succeed in your ventures. Since your goal is to make profits, you’d also want to understand the foreign markets, insurance coverages, warehousing, and customs regulations. By all means, understand your competition’s business strategies to have the upper advantage over them.
- Determine the delivery service to offer
It’s not realistic to handle all shipping categories, especially if you’re now starting the business. That said, decide what goods you wish to specialize in. For instance, you can choose between perishable, dangerous, or hazardous goods, among others. Also, it’s prudent to carve out a niche for yourself to boost your chances of getting more clients. For example, you can choose drop shipping, cargo shipping, home-delivery shipping, or container shipping as your niche. It’s also essential to determine your target market. Do you wish to serve corporate institutions, small businesses, schools, or sports organizations? Knowing who you want to serve will help you adequately plan your business.
- Prepare your business plan
Although a mental idea of your business is incredible, you also want to document the details in a business plan. Not only will you have clarity of your goals, but you’d also improve your focus and set strategic priorities to launch and grow your business successfully. Moreover, your potential investors need information on what they’re supporting, which your business plan can provide. Consequently, include your selling proposition, marketing plan, financial projections, budget, core competencies, etc., for a more comprehensive business plan.
- Ascertain your source of funding
Research shows that over 50% of US businesses collapse due to a lack of funding. Therefore, it’s crucial to determine where your funds will come from. However, it would help calculate your start-up costs to figure out how much you need and where to source it. For instance, you’d need equipment like industrial postal scales and other vehicles, as well as insurances, licenses, and permits. After determining your start-up costs, you can then get the needed funding. For instance, you can go for bank loans or apply for business grants from donor organizations. You can also leverage business investors and soft loans from family and friends.
It’s also prudent to determine your office location, prioritizing space to erect warehouses, container storage, and delivery vehicles. Although it might seem challenging to start a shipping business, you can go through with the proper steps. Hopefully, these tips have been helpful.