Trucking can be a profitable business, and there are several ways you can invest in this industry without becoming a truck driver.
The US trucking industry raises more than $700 billion each year.
If you want to be part of the growth of this industry, how can you invest in trucking without driving?
If you don’t want to be a truck driver or owner operator, you can invest in trucking and make money by renting or leasing a truck, starting your own trucking company, offering truckside advertising opportunities, buying a bread delivery or FedEx route, or starting a trucking school.
This is only a short answer to how you can be part of trucking. Read on to learn more about investing in trucking and what type of trucking is the most profitable.
Ways to Invest in Trucking Without Driving
If you don’t want to become a truck driver, you can still be part of the trucking industry and profit.
Did you know? According to Cargo Transport Alliance, the gross average of most of their trucks ranges between $5,000 and $7,000 (or more).
An owner operator can make between $2,000 and $5,000 per week, while an investor can earn an average weekly profit of $1,250 (or more).
There are various ways to invest in trucking; here’s how:
Buying a Truck or Trailer and Renting It Out
One way you can invest in trucking without driving as a passive income opportunity is to buy a truck or trailer and then lease it out.
Opt for a second-hand vehicle – the costs of which start at $40,000 and go up to $200,000 for a commercial truck.
If you have more cash at hand, consider buying a new truck or trailer, the costs of which range between $100,000 to upward of $200,000.
Once you have your truck, you can lease it out. The pros of owning a truck and renting it out include that you don’t need to worry about:
- Acquiring and managing drivers
- Handling breakdowns
- Dealing with truck maintenance
- And other issues that relate to driving the truck
Did you know? Renting and leasing a truck isn’t the same.
Renting a truck:
- Like renting out a car
- Very passive where you easily make money
- Usually short-term or on a project basis
- The rentee has limited use of your truc as set out in the truck rental agreement
- Usually airports or shops rent trucks
Leasing a truck:
- Usually for a longer time
- Fleet leasing companies, carriers, or auto dealerships typically lease trucks
- For the lessee, leasing a truck is like buying one since they pay the lease until they buy a truck, lease another, or don’t need a truck any longer
Getting Your Truck and Leasing It to a Carrier
You can also lease out the truck you bought.
When you lease the truck to a carrier, which is a trucking company that has all the necessary and required licenses and authority, you fulfill loads for them. Or rather, your truck does since you don’t need to worry about driving the truck.
The benefits of working with a carrier makes them responsible for challenges, including:
- Arranging insurance
- Providing truck maintenance
- Handling fuel tax
- Handling the paperwork
- Finding loads or freight
- Providing drivers
- Providing dispatching services
In essence, the carrier will be responsible for the majority of the operational and administrative hassles involved in running the truck.
Start Your Own Trucking Company
Another way to become involved in trucking without actually driving the truck is to buy your own truck (or fleet of trucks) and start a trucking company.
You can rent or lease your trucks, or take a more hands-on approach.
When you are more involved, you are responsible for:
- Hiring your truck drivers or making use of owner-operators (freelance truck drivers)
- Finding loads
- Maintaining the trucks
- Repairing the trucks
- Adhering to all trucking regulations, paperwork, and licensing requirements
Leasing Your Truck to an Owner Operator
Owner operators can either own their own trucks and work under their own authority. Or they can lease their trucking equipment from a larger trucking company – aka you.
You will then be responsible for most of the administrative work (possibly including dispatching). It’s your responsibility to provide all the necessary permits.
In exchange, you’ll take a fee or percentage from the gross of each load you source and assign to the truck owner operator.
The owner operator will be in charge of maintaining the trucking equipment they lease from you according to the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) requirements.
Mobile Truck Advertising
Another way to earn passive income from trucking and not be involved in driving is to rent out your truck for mobile advertising (or truckside advertising), which is part of billboard advertising.
You can also consider offering TV truck advertising that utilize LED, digital, or video to help a company increase their brand awareness.
Organizations pay anywhere from $800 to $3,600 per truck to advertise their business for an eight hour period. So for a week (168 hours), the company will pay $16,800 to $75,600.
There’s no limit on how much you can earn from truckside advertising.
Investing in a FedEx Delivery Route
Another lucrative passive income idea is to buy a FedEx delivery route. When you invest in a FedEx route, you buy the rights to make deliveries in a designated territory.
Your truck drivers and managers will be responsible for the daily delivery obligations, and you get paid for every successful load that’s delivered.
While you can own your own trucks, in most cases, the FedEx route for sale comes with a truck. This is part of the package.
You should know there are two kinds of FedEx routes you can invest in:
- FedEx Pick-Up and Delivery (P&D) Routes – local deliveries with box trucks or vans
- FedEx Linehaul Routes – longer routes requiring semi-trucks
The benefit about buying a P&D route is that FedEx has a steady flow of deliveries daily, so there’s a steady income you can rely on. Plus, it’s less complicated and expensive since you can use vans or box trucks for these deliveries.
Your main responsibility is ensuring the deliveries are successful – the loads are delivered on time, every time.
However, a Linehaul route can be more profitable.
In terms of profitability with FedEx routes, you are looking at:
- 10-25% of the gross revenue for a FedEx Ground P&D Route
- 20-30% of the gross revenue for a solo run on a FedEx Linehaul Route
- 40-45% of the gross revenue for a team run on a FedEx Linehaul Route
According to FedEx Ground, the annual revenue per business (aka route owner) was $2.3 million in 2021.
This doesn’t take into account any deductions for operating costs and is only the revenue if you have a single route – most business owners have multiple routes.
However, your return on investment will likely be between 30% to 40%.
Start a Trucking School
There’s also the option of starting a trucking school. This is a highly profitable venture; however, you’ll need $10,00 to $50,000 in start up costs, according to the Entrepreneur.
A standard tuition fee is between $3,000 to $4,000 per student, and if you offer a 6-week course with a limit of 10 students, you can earn around $315,000 per annum.
However, a private trucking school tuition goes up to $8,000 to $10,000, which more than doubles your earnings.
Buying a Bread Route
A last way to earn money from trucking without driving is to invest in a bread route. This concept is similar to owning a FedEx delivery route – you make money by delivering bread in your designated territory.
Your deliveries would be to retailers and supermarkets that sell the product.
The benefit of owning a bread route is that some of the distributorship arrangements are exclusive.
So if a retailer in your area wants to stock the brand of bread, they need to buy through you since only you can deliver the product to them.
Having a bread route ensures you have a reliable source of income. The average return on investment can be between 40% to 60% (if not more!).
A final way, and the most passive way, to invest in trucking is to purchase shares on the stock market.
Many trucking companies are listed on the stock exchanges, and if you have an investor’s account, this is a very passive way to invest in an industry that is needed even during a recession.
What Type of Trucking Is Most Profitable?
Generally, the highest payest jobs in the trucking industry are those that require more skills and involve moving difficult or dangerous loads, often over riskier terrain.
The types of trucking that are the most profitable are:
- Ice road trucking
- Tanker hauling
- Hazmat hauling
- Mining industry trucking
- Luxury car hauling
- Oversized hauling
- Private fleeting
- Box trucking
- Refrigerated trucking (reefer)
- Line haul trucking
Curious to know which companies rank as the highest paying for truck owners and operators? Check out this Indeed.com article on the 33 top paying companies for truckers.
My Last Thoughts on Investing in Trucking
You can make a profit when you invest in the trucking business; however, it is a very competitive industry. Having a sound business plan and learning about trucking are essential before you just jump in.
Do thorough research, see where the best opportunities to make money from trucking without driving is, and then go for it.