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How to Start a Box Truck Business

How to Start a Box Truck Business
Written by Okosun John

Here is a detailed step-by-step guide on how to start a box truck business.

Today I will be sharing with you a step-by-step guide on how to start a box truck business.

This post is for you, if you are thinking about starting a box truck business or if you are have already started.

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I’m going to walk you through;

  • what a box truck business actually is
  • starting a trucking business checklist
  • box truck business startup cost and
  • how to get box truck contracts (loads)

This is going to be a long ride for you.

In case you don’t know, the box truck business is one business you start with one truck. Aside from that you also own a box truck business without driving.

with that said, I’m just going to jump right into it…

What is a Box Truck Business?

A box truck company is part of the transportation industry, which involves moving items (loads) from one location to another.

Packages, furniture, big food products, and other cargo that require local delivery are examples of these types of deliveries.

A box truck is required to run a box truck business.

What is a Box Truck?

A box truck is a chassis cab truck with enclosed rectangular cargo space, also known as a straight truck, box van, or cube van.

Box trucks are typically 10–26 feet long and can be classified as Class 3–7. (12,500 lb. to 33,000 lb. gross vehicle weight rating).

They frequently have a back roll-up door that enables access to the cargo space.

Box trucks are ideal since they are intended to drive through urban areas while having adequate cargo space to transport rather substantial goods.

Is Box Truck Business Profitable?

Yes, a box truck business is profitable, but it’s also competitive. It’s important to know how to run a box truck company if you want it to succeed.

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More importantly, understanding how to manage the financial aspects of the business will put you on the correct track.

In a populated city, the box truck business will prosper, as these trucks will be utilized to transport products to and from the market, as well as move furniture from one apartment to another.

This box truck business will gain popularity in cities where such activities are common among both individuals and enterprises.

In such a place, owning a box truck could be a step toward financial independence.

Is Starting a Trucking Company a Good Idea?

Yes. starting a trucking company, is a good idea because trucking is a lucrative business.

Trucks deliver almost 70% of products worth $700 billion across the United States.

Whether you’re an owner or an owner-operator, this opens up new revenue and profit potential for your trucking company.

Starting A Trucking Business Checklist

Are you looking to see how you can make a hundred thousand dollars of passive income in the trucking business?

Credits: Pixabay

Next, we’re going to be talking about starting a trucking business checklist.

The box truck business is very lucrative. It’s a lot simpler and a lot easier to get into.

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We’re going to talk about how to start a box truck business.

Business Name and Logo

Having a business name and logo is critical to your business.

You need your clients to know you by name and also you need a logo that can be used to recognize your brand.

To create a logo, you could hire a graphic designer or use a free tool like

Your business would be effective if your name doesn’t match. So, get busy and get a cool name that matches your business.

Competition Research (How to Get Clients for Transport Business)

The box truck business got to be really competitive. Questions like how to get clients for transport business always pop up.

Well, this is exactly why you need to analyze the market.

You need to check out what other owners are doing and with the right information, you could decide if learning how to start a box truck business is the right thing to do.

Box Truck Business Plan

You’ll want to start your box truck business with an organized plan, just like you’d start new employment with a fresh vision and set of goals.

A business plan is a road map to success that can be adjusted as your company expands. It assists you in getting organized, identifying goals, articulating your value offer, and identifying potential barriers.

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Writing a business plan may appear to be a hard process.

However, to make it easier, you can download a box truck business plan pdf online and make adjustments to it.

You can also free trucking business plan pdf on the internet.

Register your Business & Legal Requirements

You must first set up an LLC for your box truck business before continuing on how to start a box truck business.

Why are you doing this? In most situations, forming a corporate structure such as an LLC will help protect some of your assets held outside of the company if the company is issued.

You can employ a lawyer to assist you with this, or you can use one of the many internet resources available to help you establish your business entity.

Business Account and Credit Card

You should set up a separate bank account for your box truck company. Make sure that account is used to track all business revenue and expenses (and only business revenue and expenses).

Having a separate account keeps things organized in terms of recordkeeping and accounting.

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It will undoubtedly make things easier when it comes to filing taxes.

Credit cards can be quite beneficial to a new box truck company. It’s a good method to improve your company’s credit score, which can come in handy if you ever need to take out a loan to develop your business.

Obtaining Funding & Grants to Start A Trucking Company

Starting a box truck business could be really expensive when compared to other side hustles.

You would need a truck and a handful of licensing…

so how do you get the funds to cover this?

There are various ways such as

  1. Self-financing
  2. Credit Cards.
  3. Bank loans
  4. Partnership etc.

Licenses and Permits

Depending on your service and where you operate your box trucking company, you may need a variety of licenses and permits before beginning operations.

Most states require that businesses obtain the necessary licenses and permits which includes the following:

  1. Commercial driver’s license (CDL)
  2. USDOT number
  3. Motor Carrier Operating Authority (MC number)
  4. BOC-3 filing
  5. International Registration Plan (IRP)
  6. International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) decal

Purchase Business Insurance

You will need to purchase business insurance for your new trucking firm as an owner-operator.

You can do this, by contacting many agents and considering what they offer. This is the most effective strategy to acquire the best premium.

Remember you need insurance to cover the unexpected damages which would have made you bankrupt.

Create a website

This is an important stage that should not be overlooked. Your company must have a website. Particularly if you plan to provide services to the general public (e.g., offering local moving services, etc.)

Here are two affordable options to try out: Hire a developer or build a website from scratch.

Your website doesn’t have to be too complicated or expensive to create.

Box Truck Business Start Up Cost

In this next section, I want to break down the box truck business start-up cost

Credits: Pixabay

so, let’s get right into it.

The first thing you would do is to set up your business as an LLC and that would cost about $100. The next would be to get your operating authority.

so, as a part of the process of getting an operating authority, you need to fill out the DOT application of the DLT & MC application with the FMCS and that would cost about $300 for the filing fee.

The next thing you have to do is complete the BOC 3 filing which you can find online.

You’ll see them for different amounts anywhere from $30 to $100.

If you don’t already have a box truck, then you would need to buy a box truck for about $20,700. This totally depends on you.

You could get a bigger box truck or even rent a box truck.

After purchasing the box truck, you would be needing commercial liability insurance.

For this, you only need a down payment which would be roughly $4,200.

With that done, getting your operating license should take like 20 days. After which you have to get International Registration Plan plates which cost about $1600 for 1year.

Next, you would have to fuel tax license (IFTA) which costs $25. Having this license allows you to pay for fuel taxes since it’s a semi-truck business.

It costs $62 to get a Unified Carrier Registration program (UCR) filing fee. While the 2290 filing fee can be gotten for $550.

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However, this is for 1-year and it depends on the gross weight of your truck.

The next thing is to get the DOT decals and your company name put on your truck. This should cost about $150 for both sides of your truck.

You now have to get a DOT inspection. If you bought a box truck with a valid DOT you don’t need to pay anything for this.

To get a Fire extinguisher would cost $30 while ELD and logbooks would cost $160.

You could rent a trailer for $1000 and get a GPS for about $300.

As part of being a trucking business owner, you have to be enrolled in the drug program which would cost you $300.

You also have to complete supervisor training which can be done online for $50.

 so total if you add up everything, the box truck business start-up cost is $29,550.

That cost can vary.

A lot of people might get a more expensive truck or even get a free truck.

It’s really just going to depend on your truck and trailer and what type of operation you’re running but roughly $30,000 box truck business start-up cost would be fine.

If you’re in the process of starting your trucking business and you tripped up on something,

or you haven’t started the process you’re not quite sure where to start, you need somebody to coach you.

This could add to the total box truck business start-up cost.

Box Truck Business Start-Up Cost
Box Truck$20,700
IRP plates$1600
Fire Extinguisher$30
ELD and Logbooks$160
Drug Program$300
Supervisor Training$50

Box Truck Business Opportunities: How to Make Money With A Box Truck

It’s right about the time we talk about how to make money with a box truck.

highway truck
Credits: Pixabay

There are a lot of ways to make money with a box truck. So, if you have a box truck sitting in the garage, you might want to warm it up.

Let’s look into it.

Amazon Box Truck Contractors

Next on box truck business opportunities, is how to start working with an amazon third party.

Amazon is a major eCommerce website. Now, most of the times amazon requires the services of trucks to move products from their warehouse to the post office.

As a box truck owner, three are 3 ways to make money from amazon (get jobs)

  1. Direct delivery contracts
  2. Amazon relay website
  3. amazon box truck contractors

Direct delivery contracts require you to have a big company with a lot of trucks. You would be required to dedicate a lot of trucks to deliver these products each time.

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Amazon relay program allows you to get access directly but however, it takes time to get approval.

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if you don’t want all of those headaches, you go through amazon box truck contractors.

These are companies that have dedicated run with amazon but they hire box truck owners to do the delivery.

They are more like middlemen between box truck owners and amazon.

If Amazon is paying these amazon box truck contractors $600 per mile, they would pay you less. For example, $400.

in that case, you don’t have to worry about the paperwork. You can easily find amazon box truck contractors on your local craigslist.

Amazon Box Truck Owner Operator Salary

The average monthly salary for an Independent Contractor Owner Operator Amazon in the United States is $8,235 as of February 12, 2022. – ZipRecruiter.

The typical income for an Amazon Independent Contractor Owner Operator ranges widely (up to $9,333).

Implying that there may be numerous prospects for growth and improved pay based on skill level, location, and years of experience.

Independent Contractor Box Truck Jobs

Independent contractor box truck jobs allow you to find your own contrasts. A lot of companies would want to hire you as an independent box truck contractor.

Because you control who you work for at any one time, becoming an independent contractor needs some experience.

You get to choose and execute the contracts you believe are the best for you.

The amount of money you make is also determined by how much work you are willing to do.

You’re also the driver of your box truck, so you’ll have to deal with things like vehicle breakdowns and unexpected charges.

Nonetheless, you receive the entire profit, not just a fraction of it.

independent contractor box truck jobs you can do includes;

  1. Moving Furniture
  2. box truck delivery contracts
  3. Junk removal jobs
  4. Hauling services etc.

I have written a post with over 29 independent contractor box truck jobs you can do.

So go check it out…

You are tasked with the primary responsibility of locating jobs in order to earn money as an independent contractor.

It is preferable if you remain profitable, and in order to do so, you must be informed and aware of some unspoken business standards.

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If you want to be able to run successful independent contractor box truck jobs, you must be realistic about your strengths and limitations.

For example, if you want to profit from your business, you must be aware of your charge per mile and never go below it.

You must be aware of the dimensions of your truck.

Knowing the dimensions of your vehicle can help you figure out what sorts of contracts you can take on and which ones you should avoid because they are beyond your truck’s capacity.

Finally, if you want to be successful as an independent contractor, you’ll need to know how to find work.

Box Truck Owner Operator / Contractor Salary

If you need a quick salary calculator, the average salary of a Box Truck Owner Operator is $53.02 per hour. This equates to $2,121 each week or $9,190 per month. ZipRecruiter is a website that helps people find jobs.

The typical compensation for a Box Truck Owner Operator ranges widely (up to $94,500), implying that there may be several prospects for promotion and higher pay dependent on skill level, region, and years of experience.

FedEx Routes

Do you want to be free of having to worry about securing box truck contracts in the future?

Purchasing a FedEx delivery route that covers a specific zone is one proven way to do this. 

This means that for each delivery made within that area, you will earn money. 

You don’t have to be concerned about contracting for your box trucks. 

FedEx takes care of everything because they send shipments to you every day; all you have to do is make sure they arrive on time.

It has the potential to be an extremely profitable business that can run itself if properly structured.

The day-to-day operations of this company may be handled without your involvement if you have management and reliable drivers.

Best Box Truck Contracts; How to Get Box Truck Contracts (Loads)

To dive more into the box trucking business,

highway truck
Credits: Pixabay

we’re going to be talking about how you can book loads and find work for that box trucking business

because if those wheels aren’t turning, you’re not earning

so, let’s dive into it.

First, before booking any loads or finding any kind of work, it’s very important that you identify all of your monthly expenses.

What you need to do is to calculate all those monthly expenses and divide them by 30.

This will help you to know how much it’s going to cost you every day to run that box trucking business.

if you have a truck note, put that in there. such as;

  • fuel
  • driver pay
  • insurance
  • taxes
  • e-log etc

The most important thing you’re going to have is money into escrow.

These trucks are going to break down it’s not a matter of if they break down rather it’s a matter of when they break down.

When you have money put aside into your escrow account, the breakdown of trucks is not going to affect you because you’re already prepared and you already have money put aside to fix that truck.

so, it’s very important that you identify how much it’s going to cost you to run your box trucking business on a day-to-day basis.

Once you identify all of your pro-rated expenses on a day-to-day basis it’s time to move on to the next step and that’s making money, finding those loads, and keeping those wheels turning so you’re earning.

Depending on the kind of box truck you drive, we are going to be focusing on these types of contracts.

  • 16-foot box truck contracts
  • 26′ box truck contracts

Do you want to know what kind of 16-foot box truck contracts you can get or how to get box truck contracts with amazon?

Whichever below are the find best box truck contracts

Load Boards

When finding the best box truck contracts for any trucking business the most common practice is going to be the load boards.

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There are different load boards you can join. There is Trucker Path, DAT, etc just to name a few.

A lot of success stories and reviews on DAT shows it’s very beneficial for non-cdl box truck contracts.

On DAT you can find real live loads that you can pick up in your area.

A lot of times you can pick a different area that you want to travel from.

For example, you’re in Michigan and you want to travel to Ohio.

DAT is going to show you if there are loads available in Michigan that need to be delivered to Ohio.

Another advantage of the load boards website is that, can look all across the country and see what the average loads are paying per mile.

A lot of different companies identify how much they’re going to be paid per mile and they don’t move their truck unless they make that amount per mile.

so, it’s very important that you identify how much it costs to run your business every day for each truck so that you can know how much you’re going to charge per mile.

identify all of your expenses prorated every day to run that business and then choose a bottom line as far as how much you’re going to charge per mile.

just keep in mind that sometimes you may have to take less to get out of certain areas because some areas are better than others.

The power of negotiating when you’re calling to book these loads have a price in mind because when you look on these load boards sometimes, they have a price

and sometimes they don’t so it’s going to be about negotiating these rates.

Hence, always negotiate the amount you are collecting per mile for your box truck.

Driving for dollars

Another way to book loads and to find work for your box trucking business is driving for dollars.

if you have ever heard of driving for dollars then it has to be from those in the real estate industry.

it means when they’re driving around for properties. They’re looking to wholesale or even resell for profit.

In the trucking industry driving for dollars can be practiced as;

 if you’re driving your personal car or even in your box trucking business anytime you see a dock, write the name of that company and call and ask to speak to the shipper.

When speaking to the shipper let them know you have a box trucking business in the area and you are interested in working with them.

Chances are if you call a million different people you can get that one call that can get you a contract.

In this industry being dedicated and consistent is important.

When you finally do land that contract with these companies shows up on time.

if you’re not going to show up on time also communicate. With this, you can grow your business.

So, drive for dollars anywhere you go and just stay on the phone and keep calling.

The more you call the more chances you’re going to land a contract.

Amazon Relays

Another way for finding loads and booking loads is going to be amazon relay.

if you’ve been looking into the box trucking industry then you would find that amazon relay is a lucrative business.

A lot of people are finding very much success using amazon relay.

The secret for how to get box truck contracts with amazon is to go on their app between 2-6 am.

I’ve heard that if you go on between 2-6 am you’re going to find so many different loads in your area.

You may not even need to leave the state for these loads.

They’re going to have what they’re charging per rate and you can see all the details you need on the amazon relay app.

One thing to note is it takes a while to get approved with amazon relay.

It can take up to two weeks to get approved so just keep that in mind find different avenues until you get approved on amazon relay and also you need to know how much insurance.

You need to have insurance before you can get on the amazon relay.


Dispatchers are very helpful for your business when starting off because they’re going to book loads for you.

so, if you book a load from Michigan to Ohio and you’re on your way to Ohio to drop off that load.

Chances are your dispatcher is looking for live loads for you on your way from Ohio back to Michigan or even to a different destination.

The dispatcher is going to do all the work for you and they’re only going to charge you a small percentage.

Most of the time it’s going to be 10 percent.

Also, the 10% is going to be a tax write-off so get you a great accounting but it’s a cost of doing business.

Finding a great dispatcher is vital to your business because you want to keep those wheels turning since you’re earning money.

You want them to maximize your profits.

if the load is showing on the load board for $500 and your dispatcher’s calling to book that load for $500 every time.

it’s not going to make sense because you want to maximize all your profits.

You want your dispatchers giving you the max dollars because the more you’re getting paid, the more they’re getting paid.

All dispatchers aren’t good dispatchers.

A lot of times they’re dispatchers that are new to the game and they’re not giving you what you deserve.

So, make sure you’re getting above your bottom dollar.

if you’re not getting what you deserve then talk to other drivers going on the road in other companies.

Get referrals on different dispatchers to work with.

it’s best to get referrals because you know that they’re running for this business so the chances are they’re doing good.

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Hence, they could be doing good for you as well.

Identifying and finding a great dispatcher is going to be very beneficial for your business because the more they negotiate loads the money you both make.

Always over-communicate in this industry. The more questions you ask the more you know and the fewer problems you’re going to have to find a great dispatcher. and

keeping dispatchers is going to be very vital for your business.

it’s going to take so much pressure off of you as far as finding loads is concerned.

so, look into that.

About the author

Okosun John

A B.Eng. holding mechanical engineer with love for content creation and web development.

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