The trucking industry was worth over $700 billion in 2017. One year later, there were more than 48,000 people employed as truck drivers in the United States alone. According to the American Trucking Associations, about 71 percent of all freight is carried by trucks. As an entrepreneur, you have lots of opportunities to grow your cargo van business and turn it into a success.

Explore Your Options

From shipping furniture and old inventory to making local deliveries, there are dozens of ways to monetize a cargo van or straight truck business. For example, you could pick up outdated appliances from local businesses and households and take them to recycling centers for a fee. You can use your truck to bring building materials to commercial and residential construction sites.

Another way to make money with a cargo van business is to place ads on your car. As a truck driver, you're moving around all the time. There are many local and national companies that would be willing to pay for interactive on-vehicle advertising. Sign up on Wrapify, Carvertise and other online platforms to connect with potential clients.

Wrapify, for example, is a free service that connects businesses with car owners. Drivers can make anywhere between $196 and $452 per month depending on the ad size. It might not seem like much, but it does not require any effort on your part. You can easily earn a few hundred dollars just for the driving you're already doing.

Join Freight-Bidding Platforms

Comfreight, uShip, GoShare, Shipperoo and other online platforms enable drivers to bid on shipping loads and accept offers on customers’ shipments. You'll be dealing with both residential and business customers who need your cargo van or truck to move goods from one place to another. All you need to do is create an eye-catching listing, browse shipments and place your bid.

A relatively new service is Uber Freight, which connects truck and van drivers with potential clients. The app is free to use and can memorize your favorite routes and desired cargo types. Unlike other platforms, it requires drivers to set an upfront price for their services instead of bidding on jobs. If you qualify for Uber Freight Plus, you'll get special discounts on wireless plans, DOT inspections, tires and fuel.

123Loadboard, one of the most popular freight-bidding platforms, works with more than 78,518 carriers. Each year, over 52 million listings are available on this platform alone. Cargo van delivery contractors, truck drivers and other carriers can browse jobs by city or state, book multiple loads and check customers' credit scores and payment trends before accepting offers. Furthermore, they have access to online tools that make it easier to track their mileage, map their load routes and estimate the costs involved.

Promote Your Cargo Van Business

These platforms have their perks, from greater online exposure to customer support and fast payments. However, they are not your only option. You can also promote your cargo van business on social media, local forums and Facebook groups.

Start by setting up a website and listing your shipping services. Create a Facebook business page and link to your site. This will boost your credibility and increase customer trust. Consider launching a local advertising campaign on Facebook or Google to reach more customers in your area.

Once your website is up and running, contact cargo van delivery brokers and let them know about your services. Sure, you don’t need a website to do that, but having one will make your business look more professional. Another option is to partner with FedEx and other big shipping companies that sell routes. These offers are typically listed on BuildaGroundBiz, BizBuySell, KR Capital and other online platforms.