Entering the shipping container industry makes a great deal of sense for any aspiring businessman. For starters, the logistics business has a lot of profit potential since there would always be companies who require to a number of their goods transported across various parts of the world. This, in turn, allows you to establish a lasting relationship with any customer.
Add to that is the fact that the shipping container business is recovering nicely since suffering from the crash of the financial market in 2008. At the same time, shipping container companies can look forward to seeing more business on the horizon as the International Monetary Fund expects the global economy to grow by as much as 3.5 percent in 2017. This means more trade and more goods getting shipped in containers all over the world.
That said, just about anyone can open a business involving shipping containers near Houston today. The key to launching it successfully is to approach the entire process strategically.
Create an Effective Business Plan
Before you do anything else, you need to come up with a business plan. A business plan basically details your new company’s road map so that you can plan for the future and avoid any problems as much as possible. It’s essentially your business’ foundation, its guidance of growth in the coming months and years.
Generally, a business plan comes with several essential parts. It begins with an executive summary that states your purpose for writing a business plan. Here, you can state if you are on the lookout for a new business partner or investor. It’s also important to make sure that the financial section of your business plan includes accurate and timely forecasts in the industry. This is especially critical if you plan to present your business plan to lenders in order to secure more funding for your business.
Scope out the Competition
Even if you haven’t actually started your operations yet, it helps to already know a great deal about your competition in the market what makes their business successful, in particular. Look closely at them and assess their strengths and weaknesses. Study them both online and offline. Pay attention to how they promote themselves to the market. This is a good way to know what makes for effective marketing in the industry.
At the same time, figure out what can help differentiate your new business from theirs. Perhaps, there’s something they don’t offer yet that you can capitalize on.
Secure Your Certifications, Licensing and Insurance
Transporting items everywhere means there are a number of certifications and licenses that your business needs to secure. These include your new company’s sea licensing and air certification. At the same time, you also need to secure insurance coverage for your employees as well as marine insurance that would provide you with liability coverage in case of any damaged or lost shipment.
Consider Starting Small
Especially if you don’t have investors or additional funding secured yet, it’s a good idea to keep your business operations small at first and then gradually grow it as you profit. After all, you also want to get a sense of the demand first before you invest in more containers. This way, you’ll also require less space to store them when they are not being used to transport anything around the world.
At the same time, if you think you’re not just ready to purchase your own cargo plane just yet, you can consider just leasing a plane instead. This is a great way to keep your expenses relatively smaller initially.
Once you are all set up with your cargo containers, licenses, certification, and insurance, it’s time to start bringing in some money to the business. The best way to do this is get shipping contracts or letters of intent from various companies. Ideally, you want these contracts to be long-term as you can definitely use these to secure more capital.
Just follow these steps and you can set up your shipping container business easily. The moment it’s finally up and running, you can certainly look forward to getting a constant volume of business from your clients. When this happens, don’t forget to take the time to celebrate your success.
IMF Raises Growth Forecast for the Global Economy, fortune.com
Steps to Start a Sea & Air Cargo Company, smallbusiness.chron.com
BIMCO outlines shipping industry outlook for 2017, americanshipper.com
Starting a Freight & Cargo Containers Business, gaebler.com