I heard via the ‘pipeline’ that you are thinking of starting a transport company.
Is this true? What are you going to transport? Note, this list is not complete, it is just to give you an idea; chemical requirements, volume, packed or liquid, cross border, product in bond, single load, containers, contractual obligations, part loads, full loads, single product or mixed product loads, chemical compatibility, parcel or meter deliveries (for liquid) pumping or gravity off-loading (tanks situation either above and below ground). If it is packed loads, would it need to be warehoused and dispatched in smaller quantities (picked, packed and checked), double handling, cross docking, smaller vehicle distribution, own distribution, courier distribution, direct collect, documentation, POD’s, warranty (where applicable) and stock keeping and invoicing programs etc.?
Next question is related to the most cost effective / efficient transport method: is it by road, air, sea or rail? Will you be the transporter e.g. you own the road trucks and trailing equipment or only your road trucks and the client’s trailing equipment, or will you be loading the rail tankers from your rail siding, or will you take the product to the airline or shipping line? Will you do your own forwarding and clearing or will the customer do it or will you both contract it out?
Once you know your target market, preferred product/chemical, volume etc., obtain the required operating/trade licenses, Tax registration (SARS) registration, bond registrations, business registration and various permits e.g. waste water recycling, discharge to sewer etc., depending if you are going to have truck washing and workshop facilities on site also depending on legislation in your country.
What option would be the most economic / effective; full maintenance lease agreements for your road vehicles, rail agreements, single wagons or block trains, shipping agreements, premises, warehousing, movable racking/narrow isle /movable isle, refrigeration (if required) hard surfaced space for container stacking (if required) and obtain other auxiliary equipment such as spreaders and/or forklifts. Evaluate compatibility of infrastructure amongst other things, access routes, docking station height to vehicle load bed heights, access to main roads, turning circles for interlinks etc.
If you are going to operate a fleet of road vehicles in Southern Africa, register them as either as “G” for general haulage or “D” for Dangerous goods haulage and train your drivers according to the product he/she will be transporting + a PrDP or PrDPD depending on vehicle registration /product etc. Follow your country’s legislative requirements for dangerous goods and/or road transport requirements and/or cross border transport agreements etc. If you are moving the goods by rail, enter into a rail agreement, same apply to shipping lines, and you are in business.
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