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How To Start A Small Courier Or Freight Business

Monday, 30 April 2018 at 11:19

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If you’re considering setting up a haulage company, a freight exchange can be a useful way of finding business but they have pros and cons as you will read below.

What is a freight exchange?

First thing’s first though, you’ll need to understand what a courier exchange actually is.

Offering an online platform for courier and haulage companies, a freight exchange is a searchable database of available freight that needs delivering. It also allows drivers to advertise their available capacity so freight providers can match their goods with drivers.

The main idea is that vehicles can optimise their return journeys by picking up additional freight – improving efficiency.

They can also be used to build valuable contacts within the haulage industry.

There is normally a fee to pay for both advertising and searching, often on a monthly-subscription basis. It’s also worth noting that the quality of exchange services can vary considerably and rates and prices can differ too from platform to platform.

Should you use a freight exchange when setting up a haulage company?

I recently decided to quit my haulage company and go it alone as an owner driver, but I’m really struggling to get my new business off the ground. Anyone care to recommend a freight exchange to get the business ball rolling?

Forum user Cliff says:

“Are you talking about an owner driver with a van or truck? I have been a truck driver 32 years and have set up again with a van, Merc Sprinter. I am a member of two freight exchanges, but it depends what you’re using.

“I’m on Loadup and there is a lot of work for trucks but I can’t tell you what the rates are like. Plenty of work for vans UK/European but the rates are rubbish, although I did make one contact which has given me a lot of work.”


All freight exchange companies rates of pay are rubbish.

These services are a back-load specialty and only pay a peppercorn rate, they assume you have made your money on the main trip and the return rate is all profit.

There are quite a few of them, all wanting a subscription to let you in.

You are better off trying to forge your own contacts, but this isn’t easy or every driver would be doing it.


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