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Commercial trucking companies are part of the US economic infrastructure, moving goods across the United States 365 days a year. There are no direct government grants for commercial trucking companies, however there are federally-funded grant programs to help commercial trucking companies obtain the financing needed to operate their businesses.
According to www.truckinfo.net, in fiscal year 2008-2009, the total revenue for the American trucking industry was estimated around 225.5 billion dollars. Common carrier and for hire commercial trucking companies generated 97.9 billion dollars of revenue which out-gained air transportation by 19 billion dollars. Private trucking fleets generated revenue estimated at 121 billion dollars.
THE DOT provides grant funding to state DOT agencies for business development. This funding creates financial programs for businesses that do commercial trucking. A requirement is that commercial trucking companies be certified and approved by the USDOT to operate as a commercial or private carrier.
Types of programs
There are several types of programs funded through the USDOT and the SBA. An example of a grant funded program is the DOT Short Lending program. To apply for this program, a commercial trucking or transportation business must not be a start-up business and must have obtained special certifications through the USDOT and SBA. The maximum loan amount for commercial trucking companies is $750,000. The loan is treated as a revolving credit line.
SBA financing programs
The SBA has several programs that are financed by federal funding to help commercial trucking companies obtain operating funds. The 7(a) Loan Guaranty program can be used to assist in annual operating cash and the 8(a) Loan program can be used to obtain working capital loans and loans for fleet management and maintenance equipment.
Government procurement contracts
Your commercial trucking business can use the government procurement system set up by the USDOT. You can participate as a contractor or sub-contractor, which opens your firm up to many financial opportunities. Many commercial trucking companies funded their business with a basic procurement contract while establishing business relationships with vendors. If your company needs a loan, a procurement contract can act as collateral to obtain a loan or line of credit.
If you own a trucking company, the best financing is through affiliation with the programs developed by the federal government. These programs also have provide business development modules in areas of technical training and import and export development services to the transportation industry. Become affiliated with a USDOT specialist by contacting your state or federal DOT office.