How to Start a Haulage Business in Nigeria


The logistics industry in Nigeria has been growing significantly over the past few years. This is attributed to a number of factors, but primarily low fuel prices and increased investment into new infrastructure projects.

This blog post will focus on how you can start your own haulage business in Nigeria, and what steps you should take to ensure it is profitable from day one!

Millions of Nigerians move their goods from one place to another every day, but not all businesses are created equal.

When it comes to the most profitable business in Nigeria today, the transportation business is one.

When you’re in the haulage business, there is no telling what items will come across your path. From foodstuff to animal hauling and petroleum products; it’s quite a diverse industry! One of the most important things for any newbie is being sure about exactly which type they want to be involved with as it defines all of their challenges ahead on this very broad topic.

It is challenging to start a business in Nigeria today, no matter what type of industry you want to venture into because there are a number of factors that can make or break an entrepreneurial endeavour.

New business owners should be aware of the many challenges that await them and take steps to mitigate those risks as much as possible before they begin their pursuit of success.

What is Haulage Business?

Haulage business is the business of transporting goods.

Haulage can be for any type of product, from food or oil to coal and even dirt on large construction sites. Haulments are needed in every sector that has a need for materials to be transported between locations.

Companies looking for Haulage services in Nigeria

You can work for major oil companies like Conoil, Oando, Total, or telecom industries such as MTN and Airtel.

All of these companies have strict entry requirements so you’ll need to follow the steps listed on their website in order to apply.

The big telecommunications firms pay per tonne moved but with all that distance calculation from your phone’s GPS, it might be worth going through some calculations first to know how much your dealing with them is worth.

Steps to Start Haulage business

##Research on the type of Haulage services you want to provide

You need to first find out the different types of Haulage services that are available and the best way to provide them.

This is the most important stage in your Haulage business because you need a niche that’s profitable and can be sustainable for long-term success.

What Vehicles are needed?

Find out about which types of vehicles are required, where they should be stored or driven from, what type of service(s) will require special licenses and permits as well as the cost of getting them.

Example of trucks for haulage business in Nigeria are Lorries, Tipper, Trailers, tankers, van, buses, 911 trucks.

Should you buy a used or new vehicle for your haulage business?

You’ll need to take into account many factors before making that decision. New vehicles will be more expensive than used ones, but new vehicles will also have a warranty that covers the majority of repair costs.

Also, if you will not be driving the vehicle it may be better to get a new vehicle to avoid compounding issues from breakdown of trucks to maintenance.

Capital Sourcing

Research on how much it will cost to set up a Haulage company and where you can get investment from.

You need to know what amount is needed for start-up capital, licenses, permits, insurance, and similar costs. You also need to find out if there are any grants or loans available and if a business plan is required.

How much capital is needed to start a haulage business in Nigeria?

You need to have about N7m to N50m for start-up capital. This includes the cost of getting licenses and permits as well as insurance premiums in Nigeria.

Licenses and Permits

Getting a permit or license is necessary if you plan on transporting goods over state lines or driving your vehicle at night with cargo lights lit.

Doing these beforehand will make the process easier and less stressful later on.

Make a Comprehensive Business plan

Adequately plan for the future of your company, including goals and objectives.

When writing a business plan, it’s important to include information on what type of vehicles you’ll need; where they should be stored or driven from; the cost of getting them as well as other permits and licenses needed; how much start-up capital will be required to purchase them; and how you’ll cover the daily running costs of a business.


Find out which type of insurance you require, how much it costs, where to buy it, and if there are any special requirements for your vehicles or staff members (e.g., Commercial driver’s license).

If you don’t have enough capital to invest in new cars or if you are planning on driving it yourself then vehicle insurance would be a wise investment for ensuring that if an accident does occur, you are covered.

Business Registration and Licensing

You’ll need to register your business with the government agency that oversees businesses, typically called a Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and also join other institutions that are related to the industry so that you keep informed.

The best way to do this is by visiting their website and following their instructions for registering new companies. This now take few days from the date you submit an application.

Vehicle Operation and Contracting

Once you have a vehicle, enter into an agreement with a driver who will operate it on your behalf. This is called contracting out your transport services before hiring staff members.

For each contract plan, there are different costs associated with running them such as insurance, registration fees, and fuel. You may as well decide to drive it yourself or hire a driver who is referred by another business person.

Vehicle Maintenance

You will need to have your vehicles regularly checked and serviced so that they are safe for passengers. And if you have enough capital, it would be wise to invest in the purchase of new cars since older ones may break down at any time without warning.

Vehicle documentation

It is important that your vehicle’s documentation is in order at all times. This includes an updated license, registration certificate, and insurance policy as well as the driver’s license of your employees.

Working with Marketers

If you’re in the business of hauling goods, then this is a must. You can’t spend all that money on acquiring your haulage vehicle and now it just sits around doing nothing.

You can register with one or more freight companies: they’ll give you an agreed amount monthly for use of their vehicles to transport cargo from point A to B.

The best way to make money driving a haulage vehicle is by renting it out. You can either rent the truck for 900k-1.5m per week, what you paid in return; this depends on how much people are willing to pay for an item, which varies depending on where they’re from.

Some challenges of Haulage Business

Some of the challenges you may face include:

– The lack of availability of vehicles with adequate capacity for carrying items

– Inadequate infrastructure and logistics networks – Limited number of skilled drivers that can operate heavy trucks

– Lack of awareness about the existence and benefits of a haulage business in Nigeria

– High operational costs due to lack of fuel and maintenance stations, poorly organized freight terminals…


The article has provided you with all the information that is necessary to start a haulage business.

You will need to find an appropriate location, buy your vehicle and equipment, hire new staff members as well as take care of any administrative tasks such as license applications or bank accounts for your company.

It’s not easy but it can be done if you are committed and put in the effort required!


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