Green haulage is the process of transporting goods in a way that has minimal impact on the environment, such as reducing the CO2 emissions. Starting up a green haulage company involves major upfront costs and risks. However, it also provides plenty of benefits too. Green haulage can help business owners cut their operating costs while simultaneously making their services look more attractive to consumers.
In this article, we talk about what you need to know before starting a green haulage company. Additionally, we explore seven steps you should consider when starting a green haulage company.
What you need to know before starting a green haulage company
First, let’s look at some of the things you need to know before you even start thinking about starting a green haulage company. Firstly, you need to know that green hauling isn’t a legal term. Instead, it refers to a range of practices designed to reduce the impact of transportation on the environment. Green haulage can be difficult because it requires businesses to make changes to their entire logistics operations. This can be particularly tricky for long-distance haulage companies, given the distances they often need to travel. Finally, you need to understand that your customers are a key part of the fight against climate change. By becoming more conscious of where their products come from, they can help cut back on the amount of CO2 that’s released into the atmosphere.
Below are seven steps to consider when starting a green haulage business.
Step 1: Decide on your business structure
One of the first things you need to do when starting a green haulage company is decide on your business structure. There are a number of options available to you. You can choose to operate as an independent haulage company, with no formal links to other businesses. Or, you might decide to become part of a larger network. Another option is to look for franchise. This can be a great option for new haulage businesses, as it enables them to avoid the need to find funding. Franchising also comes with access to a proven business model and industry expertise. We will talk more about franchising in Step 3.
Step 2: Make your business plan
Once you’ve decided on which type of haulage company you want to start, you need to create a business plan. Your business plan will be the foundation on which you build your green haulage company. It will help you to identify your target customers and establish how much capital you need to get your business off the ground. If you’re struggling to come up with ideas for your business, there are plenty of business idea generators online, such as this one from Bplans. While you’ll probably want to alter your business model as you gain experience in the industry, it’s incredibly useful to have a written business plan. A business plan lets you plan out your future as an entrepreneur, and it can help you to avoid common pitfalls that new businesses often fall into.
Step 3: Find the right franchisees and partners
As part of your preparations for starting a green haulage company, you’ll also want to find the right franchisees and partners. Franchisees operate as part of your business, bringing in revenue and helping you to expand your operations.
Franchise partners provide you with a range of benefits. They can help you to avoid the need to find initial investment, and they can provide you with access to established supply chains and marketing materials.
Partners, on the other hand, are separate companies that you work alongside. They can help you to tackle the challenges that come with starting an entirely new business. If you are looking for haulage partners that can provide your company with a steady stream of haulage jobs, and help you grow your business, then you should apply to Amazon and DHL's forward freight partnership programme. Both companies have many success stories, one of which is LPJ Transport Ltd, which grew its business from one HGV to 14, with the support of Amazon.
Step 4: Select the vehicles and equipment
One of the most important steps in starting a green haulage company is choosing your vehicles and equipment. This is because the type of vehicles and equipment you choose will have a major impact on your CO2 emissions. Different kinds of vehicles have different CO2 emissions, so you’ll obviously want to choose the ones with the lowest possible emissions. CO2 emissions are measured in grams per mile. You can find out the CO2 emissions for different types of haulage by using this CO2 calculator. It’s recommended that you use this to select the least polluting alternative. You also need to think about the type of fuel you’ll use. Ideally, you want to use renewable fuels, such as biofuels. This is a good way to show that you’re committed to reducing your CO2 emissions.
Hydrogen powered HGV's are one of the many low carbon solutions you can base your haulage operation on. A good place to start would be to check out Octupus Hydrogen. They are one of the biggest suppliers of hydrogen cells for powering HGV. They also offer lease options for Hydrogen powered HGV.
Step 5: Hire the right staff
One of the most important decisions you’ll make when starting a green haulage company is who to hire. Hiring the right people can make a massive difference to your business, and it can help you to meet your environmental goals. When hiring staff, you need to make sure that you look beyond just CO2 emissions. You also need to consider the impact that your employees have on the wider environment. One way to do this is to hire staff who can work hybridly (remotely and in the office). Remote work has a range of benefits, and it can help you to reduce your company's carbon footprint. But, if your employee works fully remotely, they would increase their carbon footprint at home. So where possible encourage employees to embrace hybrid working, rather than full time remote working.
Lastly, you need to make sure that you hire people who are passionate about your company’s goals. Doing so will make your employees more likely to stay committed to your goals, and less likely to jump ship at the slightest sign of pressure.
Step 6: Establish your logistics network
The next step in starting a green haulage company is to establish your logistics network. This is the network of routes through which you transport goods. Your logistics network will have a major impact on your CO2 emissions. If you can reduce the amount of miles that each delivery travels, you can make a big difference to your CO2 emissions. Ideally, you want to find routes that minimize overall distance while also avoiding congestion. You can do this by using a route optimization software, or even Google maps.
Step 7: Run a marketing campaign
Finally, you need to start running a marketing campaign for your green haulage company. Marketing is one of the most important activities for any business, and it can help you to reach new customers. There are a number of different strategies that you can use to market your green haulage company. You can run a social media campaign, for example, or you can work with influencers. There are also a number of different channels that you can use to market your green haulage company. It’s recommended that you use a mix of online and offline channels, as this will help you to reach a wider audience.
If you don't have the funds for a paid marketing campaign then you can adopt an Inbound marketing strategy, where you attract, engage and delight potential clients with free digital content. This could be articles or blogs you post on your company website, or social media posts.
Starting a Green Haulage company can be an exciting venture. It can give you a chance to make a difference in your industry while also helping you to make money. However, it’s also a pretty big task. Before you start, you need to make sure that you have all the right elements in place. First, you need to decide on your business structure and create a business plan. You also need to decide on your partners and select the vehicles and equipment you’ll use. You also need to establish your logistics network and hire the right staff. Finally, you need to run a marketing campaign to attract new customers. When you’ve done all of this, you’ll be ready to start your Green Haulage company.