How to start a trucking company in South Africa

How to start a trucking company in South Africa

This is a guide on how to start a trucking company in South Africa.

The trucking industry is one of the most important industries in South Africa. Logistics are at the heart of any successful economy; we need to move goods from city to city. Trucks make it so easy to transport our goods, this is why the trucking business is very lucrative. It’s highly unlikely to fail in this business, but it has high start-up costs.

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Here are some of the requirements of starting a trucking company in South Africa.

1. Business plan

I personally am not a very big fan of business plans but this industry requires a lot of research. You will need to draft a solid business plan before going into the trucking industry. You can download templates that guide you on how to write the plan or hire someone who will do it for you.

We highly recommend reading this article about how to start a business in South Africa. It covers a lot more aspects not discussed in this post. A trucking company is a serious investment that should be taken very carefully. Your business plan will lead you into doing market research, which is super important.

2. Licenses and permits

You will need to register your company with the CIPC, this will cost R175. In order to run your business successfully; you will have to complete a National certificate in professional driving.

The purpose of the qualification is to ensure competent professional driving competence in the road transport sector, thus improving earning capacity of professional drivers as well as transport sector professionalism and economic growth. This qualification is run over 12 months.

3. Buy the right equipment

Equipment can mean the difference between success or failure. Your equipment should match the requirements of the goods you will be moving. Don’t just buy a vehicle, this should be easy if you have conducted your market research.

You should consider whether the vehicle will accommodate the needs of the cargo, you might plan to move frozen goods or perishable goods. Renting might be the better option if you are on a tight budget. Decide on whether you want a new or used vehicle.

4. Insurance

You will need to have insurance for your trucking company. Get liability insurance, cargo insurance, physical damage insurance and passenger accident insurance.

5. Get clients

This is often the most difficult part, a lot of traditional forms of marketing don’t work that well in the trucking industry. This is because the trucking industry is primarily a business to business industry. A lot of your clients will be other businesses and not ordinary consumers.

You will need to build relationships through networking, contact local shippers and advertise your services to them. You can also join groups and unions that are focused on the trucking industry.

6. Hiring drivers

Your drivers need to have a valid driver’s license. Recruit qualified and experienced drivers, you might have to pay them a bit more but you will save a lot of time as you won’t need to train them.


This was a guide on how to start a trucking business in South Africa. Do you have any thoughts or questions? Comment below.

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