Starting a Road Haulage Firm

  • Price: £5.99
  • Published: February 2017
  • Type: Business Opportunity Profile
  • Format: PDF
  • Qualifications and skills
  • Key market issues and trends
  • Trading, commercial and legal issues
  • Legislation
  • Further information

Road haulage firms are contracted by manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, retailers, freight forwarders and logistics operators to transport goods and materials around the UK and Europe. They typically carry freight throughout the supply chain in a wide variety of sectors, such as food, timber, recycling, pharmaceuticals, textiles, aerospace, agriculture, construction, automotive, plant hire, chemicals and furniture.

Haulage firms' services include moving full, part or 'groupage' loads, providing 'just-in-time' (JIT) deliveries, transporting temperature-controlled loads and providing express deliveries.

Some hauliers start up with just one vehicle which they drive themselves, while others operate a fleet of vehicles and manage a team of drivers. Some fleets include small panel vans for transporting smaller consignments and loads, as well as box vans, flatbeds, drop sides, curtain sides, fridge trucks, tankers and articulated vehicles ('artics').

Road haulage is a highly regulated industry that is subject to a considerable amount of legislation, for example relating to the licensing of haulage operators and drivers, working time restrictions and road safety. Additional permits are required to transport goods internationally and specific documentation is required in order to carry dangerous or hazardous loads.

This profile provides information about starting up and running a road haulage firm. It describes the skills required, the training available, the current market trends and the key trading issues. It also explains the legislation that must be complied with and provides sources of further information and support.

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