One lucrative business to consider starting in South Africa with a high profit potential is a trucking business.  Road freight transport, or trucking, is essential to the economy of South Africa, occupying a unique socioeconomic position linking supply to demand and linking many industrial sectors within South Africa. As the mode of transport that brings most goods to their final destination, the trucking industry is indispensable to the well-being of the South African economy. The trucking industry generates a significant portion of the South African GDP, employing thousands of people, and offering the primary means for moving domestic, trans-border, and international cargo. This article will outline how to start a trucking business in South Africa, and the trucking business plan – PDF, Word and Excel.

Trucking Business Model

When starting a trucking business, first you need to determine whether you will provide short-haul or long-haul trucking services. Short-haul trucking mainly focuses on moving goods locally, unlike long-haul transportation or “over the road” trucking that involves driving hundreds of kilometers outside the country. In some cases, short-haul routes allow truckers to complete a number of deliveries on the same day. If you opt for the short-haul trucking business, you can deliver fast-moving consumer goods such as packaged foods, beverages, toiletries, candies, cosmetics, over-the-counter drugs, dry goods, fruits, and vegetables. For long haul trucking, you can offer cross-border transportation of various kinds of cargo, including agriculture produce and mining supplies. After determining whether you will provide short- or long-haul trucking services, you need capital for your new business. There is no need to overwhelm yourself with too many trucks the first time around. You can start with one truck and then expand from there. Consider getting a loan large enough to cover insurance, truck down payments, permits, and other costs. Other sources of funding include selling properties or using your own savings. Whether you choose short- or long-distance trucking, make sure your revenue is not dependent on a single client. One way to spread out your revenue sources is to make sure that no single customer provides more than 20% of your revenue.

Market Research

If you’re passionate about the transport sector then a trucking and logistics business can be the right business for you. However market research is essential before you venture into the trucking transport business in South Africa. You need to comprehensively know how the trucking industry operates. You must study the market to know which niche is best in as far as profitability is concerned. The possible niches to cater for are numerous so you must know which ones are strategic to you. There’s a lot of competition in the trucking industry so you must study your competitors. Note the loads they’re hauling, the types of clients they’re serving, the routes they’re serving, amongst many other things. Your focus will be to try to see their shortcomings or gaps that you can capitalise on. At times hauling smaller and exclusive types of loads can be wiser than trying to haul heavy duty loads wherein there’s lots of competition. In studying your competition you’ll also be finding out general rates charged and operating frameworks. That’s why it is essential to have a trucking business plan before you venture into this business.

Vehicles & Equipment

You will require trucks to start the trucking business in South Africa. The kind of trucks and trailers which you require will depend on several considerations. The first and foremost one is what type of loads do you intend to cater for? There are different types of trucks and trailers which depend on the kind of goods you want to transport. Then another key consideration is, are you going to purchase outright or you shall lease both the trucks and trailers? Are you going to purchase brand new trucks or used trucks? In principle, purchasing new trucks and trailers is better. However that’s not always possible owing to the huge amounts of money required for that. This can force one to consider buying used trucks and trailers which is relatively cheaper. This isn’t always the best path to take because used trucks and trailers might require lots of repair and maintenance which can end up pushing operating costs through the roof.

You have to take into consideration a variety of factors when deciding on which trucks to buy. Some of these factors include: fuel consumption of the truck, gross vehicle mass (G.V.M), engine horsepower, transmission mode (automatic vs manual), sleeper cab availability, availability of spares,  financing costs and maintenance costs. Trucks can be purchased locally from within South Africa or imported from outside South Africa. The freight trucking business in South Africa can be started with just one truck especially if you have limited funds. If you reinvest your profits, you will be able to purchase more trucks and grow your fleet. The other equipment needed for your trucking transport business in South Africa includes tents, ropes, garage equipment and repair tools. The costs of the vehicles and equipment should be included in the trucking business plan.

truck business south africa


Truck Servicing and Repairs

Truck servicing and repairs are an important aspect of running a trucking business. It helps to have a maintenance calendar for your trucks. This way, you can plan ahead and minimize downtime. There are basic vehicle parts you should look out for when it comes to truck maintenance. These include drive belts, which may need replacement when the truck starts to squeal. Car batteries also need to be changed from time to time. Check your truck’s brake pads and replace them when necessary. Also, make sure that your hoses are in good working condition with no leaks. There are some preventative measures that you can take so that your trucks run smoothly for a longer period of time. These include oil changes, checking tire pressure, changing fuel filters, replacing spark plugs, and flushing the cooling system. This will save you a lot of money and downtime. You can imagine the opportunity cost your business would have to incur if you had to take one truck off the road.

Staff And Management

Your staffing and management requirements will depend on the scale of your cargo trucking business. At the minimum, you need truck drivers. You require an operations department for your trucking and logistics business. The operations department is responsible for handling the operations of the trucking company. It includes supervisors, drivers, assistants, logistics personnel, mechanics and the operations manager. The operations team have the duty of organising the trips, allocating trucks to the clients, transportation of the cargo and allocating drivers to trips. Other duties for the operations department include acquiring fuel; spare parts and anything which the trucking company needs to operate. In summary, the operations team are responsible for all the logistics of the trucking business and managing the movement of cargo so as to meet the the requirements of the clients. 

Marketing staff are also a necessity for a trucking business. To be successful in the trucking business in South Africa, you should get many trips. Your trucks should always be on the road. This is only possible if you put time and money in marketing your trucking and logistics business. Finance and accounting staff are also required to manage the finance and cash flow of the business. Many trucking and logistics businesses fail because of poor cash flow management. The trucking and logistics business plan should cater for the wages and salaries costs of all your employees.

Services Offered

You can offer a variety of services that fall under the bracket of transporting cargo from point A to B. Some of the clients to cater for are fast-moving consumer goods outlets that might need stock to be transported from suppliers. Local or cross-border transportation of various kinds of cargo from agriculture produce or supplies to mining produce or supplies – the list is endless. The services you’ll offer will depend mostly on the types of trucks you’ll be having.

Market Analysis

South Africa has been experiencing a record trade surplus, with exports far outweighing imports. This has been influenced by an increase in the demand for South African products by the country’s trading partners. Key products that have been driving exports include agricultural commodities such as citrus, maize, apples, and grapes. There has also been a rise in the demand for manufactured goods, including local machinery, equipment, and motor vehicles. The demand for precious metals has also increased. As such, there is a need for logistics services, including trucking services, to transport these various products locally, regionally, and internationally. There are various small to medium-sized companies providing logistics services to meet the need for transport services. The market remains competitive, with domestic and international freight and logistics companies dominating. However, there is room for more service providers, especially in road transportation.

Sales and Marketing Strategies

A number of trucking companies depend on load boards to find customers. You can consider using these online marketplaces since most owner-operators, freight brokers, and individual shippers provide information about available loads and transportation needs on the platforms. In addition to using load boards, consider establishing a website where you can list your services and provide contact details for potential clients. Another effective way to market your trucking business is by joining trade associations and attending industry events. Such events can help you acquire new clients. You can also take advantage of the various social media platforms to promote your business. An online presence for your trucking company will help you generate leads and stay relevant. Not forgetting referrals and online reviews, encourage your regular clients to post reviews on your website and take advantage of referrals. A lot of business people underestimate the power of referrals, but a good word can attract a lot more clients than other forms of marketing.

You must leverage more on joining certain strategic groupings such as trade or industry groups (physical and online). You must also be on the lookout for networking initiatives or events. Building working relationships with other truckers or trucking companies is also key to marketing your services. In looking for loads the most recommended approach is to contact and engage clients directly. Skirting middlemen will lessen costs and widen your profit margins. The trucking business plan should have a proper marketing plan for your business.


The market is highly clustered and segmented but vast. What determines the size of your potential market is how well you choose to niche. The crux of a trucking business is being able to regularly find clients with loads they need hauled. Marketing is crucial because if you aren’t quite known, landing clients can be difficult. The universal principle of having a website and being actively present on social media is important here. Don’t just have personal accounts alone but also join online trucking forums.

The are several potential customers for a trucking and logistics business from various industries. The mining industry, agriculture industry, construction industry, manufacturing industry and retail industry provide a huge customer base for a trucking business in South Africa. Companies and individuals need transportation services for bulky goods everyday.

Keys to Profitability

When running a trucking company, there are several ways you can increase profit. One effective way is by simply cutting costs by saving on fuel, improving your routes, and reducing idle time. Consider getting a fuel card for your trucking business, finding and using the shortest routes to save both time and money. You can do this by making use of accurate GPS routing software. Performing regular maintenance on your trucks will make them perform better and last longer. Make sure that you do not wait for problems to arise. Try negotiating better rates with your clients for higher profit margins too. Even though brokers and load boards can be helpful for finding customers, they can be costly. It is imperative that you develop your own network of clients with whom you can negotiate for favorable rates.


For an in-depth analysis of the trucking business in South Africa, purchase our trucking business plan. We decided to introduce the business plans after noting that many South Africans were venturing into the trucking and logistics business without a full understanding of the industry, market, how to run the business, the risks involved, profitability of the business and the costs involved, leading to a high failure rate of their businesses.

Our business plan will make it easier for you to launch and run a trucking transport business successfully, fully knowing what you are going into, and what’s needed to succeed in the business. It will be easier to plan and budget as the freight trucking transport business plan will lay out all the costs involved in setting up and running the trucking business. The business plan is designed specifically for the South African market.


The trucking and logistics business plan can be used for many purposes including:

  • Raising capital from investors/friends/relatives
  • Applying for a bank loan
  • Start-up guide to launch your trucking transport business
  • As a trucking project proposal
  • Assessing profitability of the trucking business
  • Finding a business partner
  • Assessing the initial start-up costs so that you know how much to save
  • Manual for current business owners to help in business and strategy formulation


The business plan includes, but not limited to:

  • Market Analysis
  • Industry Analysis
  • 5 Year Automated Financial Statements [ Income statements, cash flow statements, balance sheets, monthly cash flow projections (3 years monthly cash flow projections, the remaining two years annually),break even analysis, payback period analysis, start-up costs, financial graphs, revenue and expenses, Bank Loan Amortisation]
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Risk Analysis
  • SWOT & PEST Analysis
  • Operational Requirements
  • Operational Strategy
  • Why some South Africans in the trucking business fail, so that you can avoid their mistakes
  • Ways to raise capital to start your trucking business in South Africa

The Trucking Business Plan package consist of 4 files

  1. Trucking Business Plan – PDF file (Comprehensive – 82 pages)
  2. Trucking Business Plan – Editable Word File (Comprehensive – 82 pages)
  3. Trucking Business Plan Funding Version – Editable Word File (Short version for applying for a loan – 44 pages)
  4. Trucking Business Plan Automated Financial Statements – (Editable Excel file)

The financial statements are automated. This implies that you can change eg the pricing rate per KM, number of trips done etc, and all the other financial statements will automatically adjust to reflect the change.


We decided to make the business plan affordable to anyone who would want to start the business, and the price for the pre-written business plan is only 500 Rand.

We have several payment methods which you can use.

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The business plan package is a zipped compressed file containing the PDF, Word and Excel documents. To open the package after downloading it, just right click, and select Extract All. If you have any problems in downloading and opening the files, email us on and we will assist you.

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Click Buy Now below to purchase. After you have purchased, you will instantly see the download link for the business plan package on the screen. We will also email you the download link. Get instant access to the business plan now!

If you want to purchase multiple business plans at once using Instant EFT then  click here: Business Plans Store

The business plan package is a zipped compressed file containing the PDF, Word and Excel documents. To open the package after downloading it, just right click, and select Extract All. If you have any problems in downloading and opening the files, email us on and we will assist you.

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