Starting a trucking business in Zimbabwe is a highly profitable venture if operated efficiently. Road freight transport, or trucking, is essential to the economy of Zimbabwe. It occupies a unique socioeconomic position linking supply to demand and linking many industrial sectors. Trucking transport is the  mode of transport that brings most goods to their final destination.  The trucking industry is indispensable to manufacturing, agriculture trade, and the well-being of the economy of Zimbabwe.  

Trucking business industry employs thousands of people in Zimbabwe. It offers the primary means for moving domestic, trans-border, and international cargo. This article will outline how to start a profitable trucking transport business in Zimbabwe, and the trucking business plan. Before you start a trucking business in Zimbabwe, you have to decide on the size of your business i.e. the number of trucks you will be starting with, and your target market.  You should always carry out a feasibility study, market research and write a business plan before you venture into any business. Do not make the mistake of starting a trucking business or any other business just because someone is doing it and he/she says it’s profitable.

What you need

Premises

You will need a garage for the trucking transport business. This is where you will be operating from, and where your offices will be based. You may buy or rent a garage in the industrial areas e.g. if you are operating from Harare you may get a Garage in the Southerton and Workington industrial areas. 

Vehicles and Equipment

You will need to purchase trucks for your trucking transport business. Most people purchase the vehicles online from the United Kingdom and Japan. You can also purchase the trucks from truck sales in South Africa e.g. Mussina, and from local companies in Harare. The kind of trucks you need will depend on your target market and the capital you have. You can buy a second hand trailers for your trucks from local companies/individuals in Zimbabwe. When choosing trucks to buy, there are several factors you have to consider. These include: fuel usage, availability of sleeper cab, financing costs,  engine horsepower , automatic vs manual, new vs second hand, gross vehicle mass e.t.c. 

If you have limited capital, you can start with 1 truck. You can then purchase more trucks in the future from the profits of your trucking business.  The other equipment needed for your trucking business includes tents, ropes, garage equipment and repair tools. The drivers should always travel with basic repair tools such that if they encounter minor problems along the way, they can always fix the trucks. 

Insurance for your trucking business

You are required by Road Traffic Act to have Third Party Insurance for your trucking transport business. This is a legal requirement, and you cannot operate a trucking business without this insurance. This is the most basic cover and protects the client (or insured/policyholder) against loss or damage to third Party Properties in the course of driving, and death or bodily injury to these Third Parties only.

It’s also better to take fully comprehensive insurance for your trucking transport business. This is the most extensive and complete form of motor insurance cover, which covers third party insurance, fire and theft, and also provides accidental damage to the policyholder’s vehicle. There is also need to have Goods in Transit insurance cover when operating a trucking business. Goods in transit insurance covers goods against loss or damage while in transit from one place to another or they are  being stored during a journey. You can take this insurance out for goods being distributed in your own vehicle or by a third-party carrier, both domestically and abroad. Policies often specify the means of transport to be used. Customers usually require that you have you Goods in Transit insurance before they hire you for a trip.

It is important to protect all of the assets of the business. Appropriate and adequate insurance coverage is an important part of this. Insurance cover can be arranged through an insurance company directly, through an agent of an insurance company, or through an insurance broker. There are many insurance companies in Zimbabwe. All insurance companies and brokers in Zimbabwe must be licensed with the Insurance and Pension Commission (IPEC).

Licenses for trucking business

To operate a trucking freight transport business in Zimbabwe, you need to pay Vehicle license fee, obtain an Operator’s license, a route authority, and certificate of fitness from the VID. If you are operating a cross boarder freight transport business, e.g. Harare to South Africa, you will also need a Bilateral Permit. You also need a  Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (CoMESA) Carrier licence when operating inter-country transport business in Southern Africa.

Management and Staff

The number of employees you need will depend on the size of your trucking business. There is need for employees to handle finance and accounting issues. For a small transport business, this can be done by the owner of the business. As the business grows, there is need to hire full time staff that will be responsible for all the day to day transactional accounting for the trucking transport business, and management of the organization’s cash flow, ensuring there are enough funds available to meet the day to day payments. Marketing staff is also required.  They are responsible for marketing the company and its trucks through various means which include advertising. You need to retain and acquire new customers to be profitable in the trucking business.

You require a fully functional operations department. The operations department is responsible for handling the operations of the trucking company. It includes supervisors, drivers, assistants, logistics personnel, mechanics etc. It is responsible for organizing the trips, transportation of the goods, studying the routes etc. They are responsible for allocating trucks to the clients, allocation of the drivers and mechanics. They are also responsible for acquiring fuel needed; spare parts, tires and anything which the company needs to operate. Operations staff take care of all the logistics, managing the flow of goods from the point of origin to the destination in order to meet requirements of customers or corporations.

Market for Trucking Business

The market for the trucking industry is huge. The National Railways of Zimbabwe is the only rail operator in Zimbabwe, and it is facing huge challenges, with most of its trains no longer operating. Many shippers use trucks to avoid railways’ poor service. The rail sector in general
does not compete with trucking industry in Zimbabwe. The rail service in Zimbabwe has lost its market share to trucking business, and it is hard put to reclaim it in the short and medium term.

The customers for trucking business are from  various industries. Agriculture industry-transporting cabbages, tobacco, maize, soya beans, potatoes, sugar cane, beans. Construction Industry: materials to be transported include bricks, sand, cement, timber, steel, construction equipment etc.  Raw Material Suppliers ship large quantities of materials to large manufacturers e.g. coal, scrap metal, steel, copper, manganese, mining equipment.  Coal is big
business in Zimbabwe. The coal is sourced from Hwange and transported to various parts of the country.

Manufacturers often outsource the distribution of their goods to businesses that specialize in serving one type of retailer or business e.g. transporting bread from Bakers Inn, transporting mealie meal from various millers e.t.c..  Fuel is also big business as companies like Noczim need to transport diesel around Zimbabwe. Large wholesalers and supermarkets like Food World get their supplies from South Africa, and the goods are transported by Zimbabwean trucks. 

Profitability of the trucking transport business

The trucking freight transport business is very profitable when it is operated efficiently and managed properly. The trucks need to be serviced regularly to ensure that they are always in roadworthy condition. Ensure that you are running cost-efficient vehicles. Keep a record of vehicle-related costs and services.  You need to properly account for all the money the trucking business generates. Do not mix personal and business funds. To be successful in the trucking business, you should be able to get goods to transport frequently, and contracts. Thus it is of great importance to have a solid marketing strategy. You should provide good service with excellent customer service. The trucking business in Zimbabwe is very lucrative.  Local trucks will get an average of $1000-$1200 when carrying a load from Harare to Bulawayo. 

Pre-written Business Plan for Trucking Transport Business

For an in-depth analysis of the trucking transport business in Zimbabwe, purchase our business plan. We decided to introduce the business plans after noting that many Zimbabweans were venturing into the trucking business without a full understanding of the industry, market, how to run the business, the risks involved, profitability of the business and the costs involved, leading to a high failure rate of their businesses.

Our business plan will make it easier for you to launch and run a trucking transport business successfully, fully knowing what you are going into, and what’s needed to succeed in the business. It will be easier to plan and budget as the trucking business plan will lay out all the costs involved in setting up and running the business. The trucking business plan is designed uniquely for the Zimbabwean market.

Very insightful and relevant homegrown solutions. Empowerment begins in the mind and this is it…
K Muzenda

The trucking business plan can be used for many purposes including:

  • Raising capital from investors/friends/relatives
  • Applying for a bank loan
  • Start-up guide to launch your trucking business
  • As a project proposal
  • Assessing profitability of the trucking business
  • Finding a business partner
  • Assessing the initial start-up costs so that you know how much to save
  • Manual for current business owners to help in business and strategy formulation

The trucking business plan includes, but not limited to:

  • Market Analysis
  • Industry Analysis
  • Financial Statements (income statements, cash flow statements, balance sheets, break even analysis, payback period analysis, start-up costs)
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Risk Analysis
  • SWOT & PEST Analysis
  • Operational Requirements
  • Government regulations, Licence requirements and Licence Fees
  • Operational Strategy
  • Why some Zimbabweans in trucking business fail, so that you can avoid their mistakes
  • Ways to raise capital to start your trucking transport business in Zimbabwe

We decided to make them affordable for anyone who would want a trucking business plan, and the price for pre-written business plans is only $12.50 for soft copies, and $16 for hard copies.

You can purchase via Paynow using EcocashTelecash and Vpayments. You just click Pay now (scroll down)  and you will then be taken to Pay now website where you make the payment. Just follow the instructions; you will be done with the payment process in 2 minutes. We will email the business plan (PDF format, Microsoft word format, and a Microsoft Excel file with the financial statements)  to you within 24 hours, using the email address you provided when you were paying.

If you have a MasterCardVisa Card or a PayPal account, you can purchase the business plan via PayPal.  You just click Buy now (scroll down) and you will then be taken to PayPal website where you make the payment. Just follow the instructions; you will be done with the payment process in 2 minutes. We will email the business plan (PDF format, Microsoft word format, and a Microsoft Excel file with the financial statements) to you within 24 hours, using the email address you provided when you were paying.

You can also purchase hard copies and/or soft copies at our offices in Harare. Visit  StartupBiz Zimbabwe on the 3rd Floor, East Wing, Globe House (opposite Topics) , along Jason Moyo Avenue, between Angwa Street and First Street, Harare . Hard copies cost $16 and soft copies cost $12.50.

For any questions, other payment options, email us on shop@startupbiz.co.zw , call/whatsapp us on +263 778 798 072.

Trucking Business Plan ($12.50)

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