Thinking of starting your own transport and logistics company in Ghana? Although getting started isn’t difficult, however, staying successful as a logistics company can be quite challenging.
With most Ghanaians coming to embrace online transactions, there is a huge market for logistic companies. Also, with import and export being on the rise, the market for logistic business is on the rise.
However, as a smart entrepreneur, you need to do thorough research to understand the in and out of the business. It’s also worthy of note that transport and logistic business is capital intensive and as such you need adequate planning to be profitable.
Having said that, in this guide, you’ll get to know everything it takes to start a profitable transport and logistics business in Ghana.
What is Logistics and Transport Business?
A logistic and transport company basically deals with the storage and delivery of products of other businesses. Logistic companies may specialise in the import and export of goods in and out of the country. Others may concentrate on the transportation and delivery of goods within the country.
Whether shipping, trucking or conducting air transportation, a successful logistics company will need to have some means of freight transportation at its disposal.
It’s important to note that logistic business requires highly-specialised operations that need patience, persistence and planning. As a logistics provider, you will be tasked with the challenge of coordinating the warehousing, inventory, shipping and/or security requirements of your clients’ merchandise.
How to Start a Transport and Logistic Business in Ghana
Below is a step by step guide on how to start a successful transport and logistics business in Ghana.
Step 1 – Choose Your Mode of Operation
Before you get started, you need to define your mode of operation. As earlier mentioned, there are many areas of specialization when it comes to logistics business. You can either choose to specialize with import or export of goods. You can also choose to specialize in the transport and delivery of merchandise within the country.
What will be your mode of operation? Will you be using minivan, buses, bikes, trucks? Will you specialize within a particular region or not? Are you going to narrow it down to a particular industry? These are questions that you need to answer before you get started.
Your mode of operation will give you a brief overview of your estimated amount of investment needed for your logistics business.
Step 2 – Develop a Business Plan
Writing a business plan will help you define the goals and objectives of your business and how you intend to achieve them. It will also help you figure out how you would secure funding so solve your early cash flow needs. Do you have the required start-up capital or will you take a business loan from a bank? All these will be answered by a business plan.
Step 3 – Funding and Investment
You need to seek for funding and investment for your business. The amount of money needed to start a logistic business in Ghana will depend upon the services you wish to start.
If you’re offering a simple brokering and freight management service, you’ll require less capital compared to a third-party logistics service. It is important to identify the service niche that you wish to target and prepare an investment plan based on it. You can obtain loans or get a partner to put up the business.
Step 4 – Get Office Space for Your Company
With everything in place, you need to get a physical office for your logistics company. This will give your clients enough confidence in your company. If you are extending to warehousing, you need to get a secured space for your warehouse. It should be located near the wharf if the warehouse will be used for short time storage for shipped consignments.
Step 5 – Set Up a Website for Your Company
You need to set up a functional website for your logistic business. This will serve as an intermediary between you and your clients. Your websites should have all the necessary pages like the about us, contact us, frequently asked questions etc.
Your website must have easy navigation so that your customer can get all the information they need. This will help build trust between your business and your customer base.
Step 6 – Register Your Business
With everything in place, it’s time to legalize your business. You need to register your business with the Registrar General’s Department and get your certificate of incorporation. Thereafter, register with the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC).
You also need to file your tax returns which require business registration. Furthermore, you’ll need other forms of permit to start your business.
Step 7 – Acquire the Necessary Equipment
You can’t start a logistic business without having the necessary equipment. Once you’ve got your capital, you need to purchase all you need to run your business.
Depending on your mode of operations, you will need to get a vehicle, minivan, minibus, motorbike etc. Additionally, you’ll need a courier delivery box, receipts as well as mobile phones for easy communications.
Step 8 – Get Insurance Cover
You need to get insurance cover for your business, due to the risky nature of logistic business. For instance, if your company’s truck with a load full of products gets involved in an accident that resulted to the loss of the products, your logistics company will be responsible for paying back the cash worth of the products damaged.
One way to reduce the risks involved is by getting an insurance cover for your logistics company that will cover both foreseeable and unforeseeable damages in the future. The insurance premium may be expensive but it will save you a lot of expenses and court matters in the future.
Step 9 – Hire Staff for Your Business
With everything in place, you’ll need to hire staff that will help in the smooth running of the business. You’ll need drivers or riders who are familiar with the routes of your operation.
Apart from drivers, you also need other employees that will attend to customers when they visit your office. You have to train, retrain, and keep training your drivers and staff because their actions and inactions affect the growth of the business especially the drivers.
Step 10 – Promote Your Business
Advertising is very important in running a successful logistics business in Ghana. Nobody will get to patronize your business if you don’t promote it. You need to advertise your logistics business both offline and online. Connect with e-commerce business owners and offline organisations. Fortunately, it is easy to market your business now due to the advent of the internet.