Cargo Van G3 Transfer Corp. New Driver

John Garrett

New Recruit
Owner/Operator
Offline
Hi everyone great to be on a this site. I am a retired Project Manager that has decided not to sit at a desk for the rest of my working years so I purchased a Ford Transit 250 cargo van and started an S Corp. I have a great driving record but no experience in the trucking business other than what my Brother has taught me (he is a big rig driver). I got my first work yesterday coordinating 2 loads through UShip from San Diego area to LA. Pay was ok but the deadhead home on Friday in LA traffic sucked. I have a few questions:
- Should I think about leasing on with a large expediter and does anyone know of a good one for Cargo Vans in the West?
- Cargo Van work seems to be hard to find any suggestions?
- Noticed that insurance for a Cargo Van that is not sure exactly what the load will be each time seems to be expensive. Got insurance through Progressive with cargo coverage up to 25K. How does this sound to you all?
Any suggestions would be appreciated.
 

Grizzly

Veteran Expediter
Owner/Operator
Offline
Question: before purchasing the van, setting up the s corp & setting up the website did these thoughts ever come to mind:

How will I acquire business? Where will the freight come from?
Insurance needs/cost?
Van landscape? What are the current market conditions?

What advice did you get from your brother?

Did you do any reading on this site prior to jumping into this endeavor?

It appears that the cart is before the horse ..
 
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John Garrett

New Recruit
Owner/Operator
Offline
Good Questions Grizzly - I did setup a business plan with some assumptions in advance. Many of my assumptions were based on a model I put together for my brother and his big rig business. I did some research that said getting business in the Van arena would be more challenging than larger trucks. My brother said I should stick to delivering for Amazon or such with a Van (I don't want to deliver packages door to door). Unfortunately I did not find Expediters Online until I started looking more actively for business. I really thought that Uber Freight would be active in helping get business, however, they do not sign up Vans.

You are right, I did put the cart before the horse but now here we are. I really enjoy driving the Van and have committed to fund this endeavor for one year and even expand if I find the opportunities to do so.

At this point I see two directions:
1. Continue to advertise expediting services locally - get on Yelp - pass out cards - Use UShip and other apps - etc.
2. Or, sign up with an expediting company that is active in California and beyond.

If you know of any west coast companies or have any other suggestions I would appreciate it. I will start looking through old posts as well.
 

Ragman

Veteran Expediter
Retired Expediter
Offline
....... have any other suggestions I would appreciate it. I will start looking through old posts as well.
Something to consider....... Carriers will want you to be OTR, that is, not dead heading home every night. If going home is what you want to do, consider a same day delivery service.
 
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John Garrett

New Recruit
Owner/Operator
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Understood - I am ok with this if the pay works out. Not sure I would want to sleep in my Van. May need to stay with people I know, Air B & B or cheap hotels. I talked with one company, however, they only operate in the mid west.
 

Ragman

Veteran Expediter
Retired Expediter
Offline
.... I talked with one company, however, they only operate in the mid west.
And therein lays your problem.....

The vast majority of expedited freight is in the manufacturing sections of the country or at least east of the Mississippi.

Perhaps Mailer will pop in with some advice. He's based in Cali.
 
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brokcanadian

Veteran Expediter
Owner/Operator
Offline
Thanks Brokcanadian - do you use any load boards? How do you get customers?
No, I'm "leased" to a carrier (big one in Canada) so the jobs pay well, mostly their direct clients.

I'm investigating other boards. But, I've been investigating since 2016...as soon as I find something useful, this forum will be the first to know

Edit: I was a courier briefly in my local area (2 days) if I HAD to do it, I was making $350 a day on barely a quarter tank of fuel...being close to major urban area helps. To be home every night, it may pay the bills.

No it isn't worth it. Lost 10 lbs both days, and it rained on me second day :p
 
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Solar

Expert Expediter
Owner/Operator
Offline
My wife is from Portland. She doesn’t understand why we’re always in the eastern half of the US. She points to San Diego, Los Angeles, SF/Oakland, Portland, and Seattle and says there’s plenty of industry out there, and lots of $.

I say, if all there was in the east was Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Louisville, Lexington, Nashville, and Memphis, then Expedite in the east would suck to.
 
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brokcanadian

Veteran Expediter
Owner/Operator
Offline
My wife is from Portland. She doesn’t understand why we’re always in the eastern half of the US. She points to San Diego, Los Angeles, SF/Oakland, Portland, and Seattle and says there’s plenty of industry out there, and lots of $.

I say, if all there was in the east was Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Louisville, Lexington, Nashville, and Memphis, then Expedite in the east would suck to.
If the shippers got their act together and / or planned ahead, there'd be no more $1 a mile for a cargo van. Already we lost our most frequent customer to them buying their own 5 ton. Shipping all freight once per day instead of several van loads
 
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Solar

Expert Expediter
Owner/Operator
Offline
It’s a industry based on mistakes.

Someone has to drive that 5 ton, and they will probably be paid better than your average Expediter, because they must me reliable.
 

Treadmill

Veteran Expediter
Owner/Operator
Offline
Hi everyone great to be on a this site. I am a retired Project Manager that has decided not to sit at a desk for the rest of my working years so I purchased a Ford Transit 250 cargo van and started an S Corp. I have a great driving record but no experience in the trucking business other than what my Brother has taught me (he is a big rig driver). I got my first work yesterday coordinating 2 loads through UShip from San Diego area to LA. Pay was ok but the deadhead home on Friday in LA traffic sucked. I have a few questions:
- Should I think about leasing on with a large expediter and does anyone know of a good one for Cargo Vans in the West?
- Cargo Van work seems to be hard to find any suggestions?
- Noticed that insurance for a Cargo Van that is not sure exactly what the load will be each time seems to be expensive. Got insurance through Progressive with cargo coverage up to 25K. How does this sound to you all?
Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Your cargo insurance at $25k is too low. The standard is $100k coverage for cargo and most carriers won’t even talk with you.
 

Grizzly

Veteran Expediter
Owner/Operator
Offline
Good Questions Grizzly - I did setup a business plan with some assumptions in advance. Many of my assumptions were based on a model I put together for my brother and his big rig business. I did some research that said getting business in the Van arena would be more challenging than larger trucks. My brother said I should stick to delivering for Amazon or such with a Van (I don't want to deliver packages door to door). Unfortunately I did not find Expediters Online until I started looking more actively for business. I really thought that Uber Freight would be active in helping get business, however, they do not sign up Vans.

You are right, I did put the cart before the horse but now here we are. I really enjoy driving the Van and have committed to fund this endeavor for one year and even expand if I find the opportunities to do so.

At this point I see two directions:
1. Continue to advertise expediting services locally - get on Yelp - pass out cards - Use UShip and other apps - etc.
2. Or, sign up with an expediting company that is active in California and beyond.

If you know of any west coast companies or have any other suggestions I would appreciate it. I will start looking through old posts as well.

I understand your position and where you're coming from. Here's a few thoughts ...

Just because you're offering a service, which you wish to faithfully provide, doesn't necessarily mean there's a market for it. As mentioned the opportunities for expedited freight on the west coast are considerably less. Some of us do take runs out to the west coast occasionally but it's not the bread & butter of the business.

Why would a company choose your services over an established company? By definition these are HIGH priority shipments. Stuff that companies need urgently. Established contacts are more reliable.

Minimum insurance requirements are $100K cargo, $1M liability ... with an unlimited radius. That last part is what makes it costly. I imagine your insurance covers a 500 mi radius from your residence ... translation = local deliveries. You will not get access to any long distance freight without the right insurance.

Not only will you be required to sleep in your van, you must LIVE in it for long periods of time. We live in our vehicles for 250 ...275 ... 300+ days a year. If you're not willing or capable of doing that, you are not a desirable candidate. I can't go through all the circumstances that require you to sleep in your van but here are a couple ... You pickup a shipment on Fri to be delivered on Mon. You arrive at the destination on Sat night, for whatever reason. You will be sleeping with that freight until unloaded. When we go out on the road, 4-8 weeks at a time, we're on call 24/7. Unload Tues at 1 pm after a long drive ... no hotel ... you may get a booking at 9 pm to do a run. Hotels simply don't work into the equation. Not to mention the cost, it's simply doesn't make any financial sense. The money isn't there.

Try sniffing around the airport for local opportunities ...
 

Mailer

Veteran Expediter
Owner/Operator
Offline
.... I talked with one company, however, they only operate in the mid west.
And therein lays your problem.....

The vast majority of expedited freight is in the manufacturing sections of the country or at least east of the Mississippi.

Perhaps Mailer will pop in with some advice. He's based in Cali.

Actually my carrier is in the east. Been with them for almost 7 years now, rate is average. I have almost zero debts and always looking for ways to cut the operational costs. So, its survivable.

My carrier and I, we kind of made a gentleman agreement that I get the first offer for all the local and regional loads( of course, it's not a guarantee) and stay mainly in the west regions.

I'm pretty much done with the OTR. I wanted to continue with the driving but also want to be home 90% of the time. And, this is where I am at right now.

So if you want to stay close to home, find the carrier that have contracts with local and regional clients. Build relationships with your carrier, take all the loads offered and be patience. At the end of the day(well...may be months or years, Lol...), your carrier will take care of ya.
 

John Garrett

New Recruit
Owner/Operator
Offline
Mailer - by carrier do you mean someone you have leased on to? I am still waiting for California to complete my Motor Carrier Permit. Once that is done I will start trying to get local/regional work from select brokers. The good thing is that I don't really need to work full time. I just want to make about $50,000 per year. Any suggestions of carriers that I might inquire with?
 

Grizzly

Veteran Expediter
Owner/Operator
Offline
MC# have a birthday. Brokers will be able to see the exact date & that's is brand new. Industry standard is .. you will not get close enough to sniff any freight until MC# is min 1 year old. Expect those broker calls to be ice cold.

Work to salary expectations are not realistic.

More research ....
 
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Grizzly

Veteran Expediter
Owner/Operator
Offline
Another thought ....

The age of your MC# will affect your eligibility to acquire insurance and the cost. Again, min one year for insurance companies makes a difference.

Recommendation, call insurance companies and brokers now. Find out what's down the road ..
 
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