If you have a box truck business and want to learn some of the best ways to get box truck contracts, you are in the right place.
In this article, we will discuss 11 ways for a box truck owner to get delivery contracts (or loads) for their box truck business. I’ll also include a bonus “alternative” strategy at the end where you can use your box truck to generate passive income (no driving required!).
Below is a table that will preview of what we’ll cover. If you want to jump straight to any of the topics, just click on the desired hyperlink in the table.
|Ways to Get Box Truck Contracts|
|Load Boards (including Amazon Loads)||Moving Job Websites||Fedex Routes|
|Dispatchers||Online Marketing||Bread Routes|
|Local Delivery Matching Sites||Mobile Billboards||Pound the Pavement|
If you would like to see a condensed version of this article in video format, check out my YouTube video on the topic below.
One of the classic ways to get contracts for your box truck business is through load boards. What are load boards? They are basically online boards that list loads for delivery that you can access. Many (but not all) charge a fee to use them.
The leading load board out there is DAT.
Because of their immense size and scope, they are able to offer leading edge tech and info, including unlimited searching, instant alarm match notifications, broker credit scores and days to pay, market rates, mileage routing and much more.
I have an affiliate relationship with them and secured a deal where if you use my link, you can get a free 30 day trial with full access to their network. So, you get to try out the leading load board for a full month for free. I would note that this deal is only for new subscribers.
If you are interested, just click below to take advantage of this no-risk offer.
Other loads boards include Truck Stop, Get Loaded and Trucker Path.
You can also contact freight brokers, 3PL companies and freight forwarders as well to see if they have box truck contracts or loads available for you.
Finally, Amazon has emerged as a big player in this space. I think their program is interesting, so I will devote the next section to it.
How to Get Box Truck Contracts with Amazon
You can obtain box truck contracts with Amazon by going on Amazon Relay and signing up as a carrier. To get accepted, you will need an active DOT number, a valid MC number, and a carrier entity type that is Authorized for Property and for Hire. You must also have a safety rating of “Satisfactory,” “None,” or “Not Rated” from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and have certain insurance policies in place.
Required insurance policies include commercial general liability, auto liability, trailer replacement coverage, cargo coverage, workers’ comp and employer liability.
If you want to learn more about these requirements, check out Amazon Relay’s FAQ page here.
What I love about Amazon’s program is that the size and scale of their operations allow you to have a consistent stream of loads. And you have a nice selection of different types of loads, including really short trips (like less than 20 miles) to much longer loads (100 miles or much more).
Another nice benefit is that you can book loads conveniently through their easy to use interface. In addition to accepting loads, you can assign drivers, access Amazon’s Relay Load Board, track performance, view and download payment details and raise issues.
You also get access to their mobile app which allows drivers to view and manage the status of their loads, report any delays, and use commercial navigation tools that are suitable for truckers.
Of course, Amazon requires all carriers and drivers to use their Amazon Relay products for all Amazon loads.
If you want even more load board options, check out full article on the best load boards for box trucks, which covers 8 awesome free and paid options.
You can also use truck dispatchers to find loads. Although they often perform a somewhat similar function to a freight broker, they exclusively represent carriers (that’s you). Truck dispatchers will scour load boards and arrange for high paying loads that are suitable for your business.
A simple Google search of “truck dispatch services” should produce a healthy list of companies you can explore working with.
Local Delivery Matching Sites
There are plenty of companies, and manufacturers, that need local deliveries made all of the time. Whether it’s supplies, medical equipment, or appliances, you can certainly fill that need with your box truck. Sites like GoShare can connect you to people or businesses that may need these types of deliveries.
Moving Job Websites
You can also offer to move items for companies or individuals. Whether its helping a person move out of their small apartment, or helping a small office relocate, your box truck may be the perfect choice for these types of jobs. You can get these types of jobs on sites like Taskrabbit, Thumbtack, and similar sites. You can also use sites like Dolly.
Note that if you are offering professional moving services, some states may require special licensing or permits. Check with your state to determine what requirements you need to fulfill to operate a moving services company.
If you are offering services to the general public, another way to get delivery jobs or contracts is to advertise your company’s services. Of course, online marketing is one of the most important channels out there.
So how do you crack that nut? It can be intimidating if you are new to online marketing, so I have pulled together these simple and proven online marketing strategies:
- Set up a Google My Business. If you want people to be able to find your local business on Google, you need to set up your Google My Business account. If you want to learn more about how to do this, check out this tutorial from Google.
- Get a great website that draws traffic to your business. Having an online presence is almost a requirement these days. So you need to have a website for your business. If funds are tight, you can do this on the cheap. In fact, Google allows you to build your first business website for free. But if you really want to draw traffic (and customers) to your website, you may want to hire an online marketing expert to help you optimize your website for traffic and leads.
- Get on Yelp for business and let your customers find you. They are an extremely well-known brand, and many people look there when searching for local businesses.
- Use Social Media Channels. In addition to advertising on Yelp, you can buy online ads from other online and social media outlets (Facebook, etc.). These ads can be targeted to the specific audience you want to get in front of. It’s a pretty nice way to get high converting leads.
This strategy is a bit off the beaten path, but if you buy a box truck that allows mobile advertising, you can get contracts from companies that want to advertise on the side of your box truck.
After all, it’s a huge amount of space that gets a lot of visibility, especially if you drive around during peak hours on busy roads. Plus, most people ignore or gloss over static billboards, but mobile billboards are still new enough that they draw eyeballs.
If you want to learn more about this strategy, including a step by step guide to start this type of business, check out my article on the topic.
Want to never have to worry about getting box truck contracts again?
One surefire way to do this is buy a FedEx delivery route that covers a designated territory. This means that you will make money for each delivery made within that territory. You don’t have to worry about getting contracts for your box trucks. FedEx handles all of that because they give you packages every single day – all you have to do is make sure they all get delivered on time.
It can be a highly profitable business and, if you structure it right, it can run itself. Once you have a manager and reliable drivers, the day-to-day operations of this business can be run without your involvement.
If you want to learn how to buy a FedEx route in 5 easy steps, check out my article on the topic here.
You can also buy a bread route and not have to worry about getting box truck contracts again.
What is a bread route? These are routes where you get a dedicated territory from a bread company, like Arnold’s or Pepperidge Farm and get a commission for each sale you make to stores in that territory. You will be using your box truck to make the deliveries, of course.
If you want to learn more about this strategy, check out my article on how to buy a bread route.
Governmental transportation contracts can be a lucrative and reliable source of income for a box truck business owner. There is a bit more paperwork involved in bidding for and securing these type of contracts. Often you will need to provide a formal RFI response (stands for Request for Information).
But if you become familiar with how to do this and can successfully outbid your competition, this can be a terrific way to get box truck contracts.
One great resource to find these government contracts is governmentcontracts.us. I searched for box truck contracts and it popped a pretty decent number of results. Here’s the link to that site.
If you are a minority owned business, you can apply for a Minority Business Enterprise Certification. It opens you access to various governmental contracts.
As you may know, governmental entities dedicate some portion of their contract to minority owned businesses and if you qualify, you can take advantage of this favorable treatment.
Want to learn more about how to apply for an MBE? Here’s a link to help you get started.
If you prefer a bit more a specialized option within the government, you can try your hand at getting box truck contracts with the United States Postal Service (USPS).
There are a number of ways you can apply. First, for smaller jobs, you can simply reach out to your local contracting offer at the USPS. Here is a list of phone numbers for the various regional officers.
You’ll need to own your own vehicle, be at least 21 years old and reside in or near the county you wish to provide services in. The USPS has basically three categories of contracts: air contracts, rail and water contracts and highway contracts. For box trucks, you will want to apply for highway contracts.
To be able to bid, you will need to complete the PS Form 5426, which you can access here. You will need to submit the form to the contracting officer at the Distribution Networks Office in the area where you currently reside.
Once approved, you will be put on the USPS mailing list for contract bids and they will send you info as opportunities pop up.
Alternatively, you can be proactive and search for bids online. For USPS, they operate through the Office of the Inspector General. You can find bids posted on sam.gov under “Contract Opportunities.”
Pound the Pavement
This final strategy is perhaps the most intuitive, but sometimes hardest to implement. There are going to be hidden opportunities that can only be discovered by calling companies to see if they have a need for delivery services, etc. You can reach out to small businesses, like hardware stores, appliance retailers, or even local manufacturers in your area to see if they are happy with their current delivery provider.
If you are a mover, you can advertise old school by pounding the pavement and putting up flyers, etc.
You never know what opportunities may pop up as a result of these tried and true strategies, so experiment with several of them and see what works best.
As promised at the top of the article, there is one more strategy you can use to make money with your box truck without even driving it. You can rent it out to people who need it.
Simply advertise your vehicle’s availability on sites like coop.com. They are a Ryder company so pretty reputable.
Another option is fluidtruck.com. They claim you can make around $15,000 per year for box trucks that are 19′ long or less and $25,000 per year for trucks that are 20’+.
It can be nice way to earn some passive income with your box truck (and not have it sitting idle on slow days!)
If you want to explore this topic in more detail, check out my full article on How to Rent Out Your Truck For Profit.
So there you have it – 11 great strategies for getting box truck contracts (and a cool bonus strategy that generates passive income).
If you want to learn more about the box truck business, check out my article on how to start a box truck business in 7 simple steps.
If you are interested in a more affordable option to get into the transportation business, check out my article on how to start a transportation business with one van.
For the ultimate guide to transportation business ideas, check out article on the topic here. I discuss over 30 business ideas that you can start in the transportation industry (with helpful info and tips on how to begin). We cover businesses you can start with semi-trucks, box trucks, dump trucks, cargo and passenger vans, pick-up trucks and even regular old cars. So whatever your budget and experience, there will be ideas that can work for you.