The transport industry is one with a plethora of business ideas and opportunities for every business-savvy entrepreneur to exploit. Around the world, many investors prefer to put their money into a transport business than into a new idea because transportation business ideas and opportunities have predefined models, standard operating procedures, and a recurrent revenue stream that flows steadily as long as some predefined requirements are met.
As a fast-growing industry with widespread opportunities, which transport business idea and opportunity is right for you? And how should you start off?
To answer this, we made a long list of 25+ transportation business ideas and opportunities in Nigeria, Africa, and many other places around the world you could venture into depending on your startup capital, network, and knowledge of the industry.
1). Transportation Of Petroleum Products By Road:
Petroleum products that are supplied to petrol stations and organisations always need to be transported by road, and this is done with trucks.
You could tap into this need by partnering with tank farm owners to provide logistic services for people who buy petroleum products from them but need it to be transported one way or the order.
You could also lease your tankers to individuals who intend to use it to transport petroleum products from not necessarily tank farms, but from one location to another.
2). Transportation Of Heavy Materials By Road:
Heavy-duty materials and equipment are always transported on a daily basis. This could be via the use of a tipper for sand and rocky materials or via the use of a low-bed truck for the transportation of heavy equipment like bulldozers, excavators, and more.
With an adequate startup capital or a bank credit to back you, you could venture into the supply of heavy materials and equipment with tippers or low-beds.
The popularity of ridesharing platforms like Uber, Taxify, OgaTaxi, and more have made the concept become more common-place than it used to be.
People now want to transport themselves using private and very casual cabs that have no labels on them, and so, book them via the ridesharing platform’s app to get a vehicle at their doorstep in 5 to 10 minutes.
If you have a vehicle that’s mostly parked, you could register it on one of these ridesharing platforms and get a driver assigned to it. This way, you could earn anywhere from 35,000 to 45,000 Naira every week
4). Taxi Service:
Unlike ridesharing platforms, taxis are the traditional cabs, are usually painted a certain colour, and can be found in taxi parks. They rely on customers coming to them or they going out to find the customers.
While ridesharing is gradually overshadowing traditional taxi services in many cities, taxis remain the norm in many other cities around the world.
If you have a knack for driving, and own a car that could easily be registered as a cab, you could either hire drivers to drive your vehicle(s) or be the driver yourself.
5). Courier Service:
With increased difficulties of getting products sent to remote parts of the country, courier services continue to gain more grounds and value.
The advent of e-commerce has also spiked the income of courier companies as online stores are introducing more enticing packages like same-day deliveries and money-back guarantees, and more, driving the number of orders they get even higher.
You could take advantage of the need of people and companies to send items to different parts of the country at the lowest possible cost and fastest possible time to start up a courier company with outposts in many parts of the country.
By doing this, you will be tapping into a market that is greatly underserved and the services and benefits you include to make people and companies patronise your service can determine how far or not your business will go.
6). Transportation Of Marine Fuel:
People who own marine tanker vessels can offer transportation services to people who intend to transport large volumes of petroleum products to various places around the world. The transportation is usually done to tank farms or transhipped into another vessel at the port of discharge.
If you don’t have the funds to acquire a vessel, you can broker the lease of a tanker vessel and get paid a commission on it.
7). Bunker Services:
Just as people lease vessels for the transportation of marine fuels, people also sell vessels to people who intend to buy. While capital intensive, you could also go into the brokerage of bunker sales.
To find prospective sellers, LinkedIn would be a great place to start
8). Car Rental:
People rent cars for various purposes. It could be for a wedding, prom night, party, music video, or for whatever reason at all. But ultimately people continue to rent automobiles for one thing or the other.
You can define the target market you want to focus on, acquire vehicles that fall into that, and promote your business.
9). Ambulance Service:
With a large number of daily emergencies spread across different states, hospitals have too little resources to meet up with most of them, causing most patients to become critical upon arrival at the hospitals.
You could help reduce this problem by launching an ambulance service in your state and having several hospitals subscribe to your service. Once there’s an emergency a hospital has to attend to, you could be swift enough to act.
But for this, you’d need a special licence from the country you’re living in.
10). Vehicle Repair & Maintenace:
Every vehicle is required to go in for maintenance at one point or the other. This is the reason mechanic workshops continue to thrive since they know they’d always be needed everywhere around the world.
You could start up a mechanic workshop in a neighbourhood where people don’t easily have access to one and hire the best mechanics you can find.
11). Fuel/Petrol/Gas Filling Station:
Almost every automobile requires fuel to run. When the fuel is almost done, they need to refuel, and this happens constantly for the period of the automobile’s lifespan.
With a constant need to always refuel a car, truck, bike, and more, starting a fuel/petrol/gas filling station is a great bet to make.
12). Vehicle Towing Service:
Vehicles break down on roads, get parked in wrong corners, and more. As a result, most cities and countries around the world get towing vehicles to either tow vehicles that are wrongly parked or help people trying to move their vehicles to get it to another location.
If obtaining a vehicle towing service licence is possible in your country, you could venture into vehicle towing, partner with mechanics, and help people move vehicles that have broken down.
13). Travel Agency:
When people try to visit a new country they’ve never been to, they tend to patronise the service of a travel agency to book their flight tickets, hotel accommodation, and also act s a guide in the country they visit.
If you’ve travelled to several countries and have a good understanding of their cultures, terrains, laws, and tourist spots, you could take advantage of people’s need for your service to set up a travel agency.
14). Automobile Sales:
The first step to owning a vehicle is to purchase it. Every car owner’s vehicle was either bought by them or by someone else. You could venture into automobile sales and sell fairly used or brand new cars to people searching.
15). Clearing & Forwarding:
Whenever a product is shipped into a country or is to be exported from a country, people use clearing and forwarding agents to achieve this. These agents have a good understanding of the customs and port politics and know how to clear or ship many different types of goods.
You could first work for a clearing and forwarding company to learn the mechanics before venturing full-on into the trade as the principal business owner.
16). Aircraft Repair & Maintenance:
The aviation industry is a lucrative one where almost any organisation that plays a role in any part of it tends to generate large returns on their investments. With repairs being a critical and highly sensitive part of the industry, its costs and skill requirements always go up through the roof.
If you’re an aeronautical engineer or similar, you could apply for a licence and get a team of professionals to join you in your organisation.
17). Automobile Spare Parts Sales:
Every vehicle will constantly need parts to be changed, causing the spare parts business to continue to thrive for decades. You could venture into spare part sales and place your stores in very busy mechanic villages. This way, you’d get to sell your products every day to mechanics who need to purchase for use in vehicles they’re fixing.
18). Car Wash Service:
The car wash business is another business idea in the transport category, as every day, people drive their cars to the car wash for one reason or the other.
You could set up a car wash in a busy environment and add side attractions like a small relaxation spot where the car owners can relax and buy food and drinks.
19). Travel/Transportation Blogging:
Blogging about travel, transportation, cars, and more is another way to play a role in the industry. You could set up a blog that focuses on a specific niche and build it into an authority car owners or anyone in the transport industry can connect with.
20). Tyre Sales & Repairs:
Flat tyres are a regular. Asides that, tyres also have expiry dates and get worn out from time to time, causing millions of tyre sales to happen every day.
You could take advantage of this constant need by starting up a tyre sales and repair service, and have outlets in several locations.
21). Yacht Rentals:
Private yachts are becoming more common-place in Nigeria, and people rent them for parties, dinners, dates, and much more. If you have the funds to acquire a yacht, you can start a private yacht leasing service. If you don’t have the funds, you could go on to broker yacht rentals and get paid a commission on every successful lease.
22). Driving School:
The driving school business will continue to be in vogue for as long as people will constantly need to apply for a driver’s licence. You could start the service in many parts of the country and start building a clientele in no time.
23). Private Jet Charter:
This is one luxury service that never goes out of play. People continue to rent jets for private trips, business meetings, and more. With an average starting flight trip of $5,000 per hour with a private jet, building a strong network and leasing jets to high net-worth individuals could build a strong recurrent income for you.
But asides buying and leasing the jets, you could also start a jet charter brokerage service, and link up buyers and sellers, while getting paid a commission on every successful referral.
24). Ferry Transport:
Ferries convey people across waterways to specific locations. They’re common in the southern part of Nigeria but are also used in Lagos. You could take advantage of the transport opportunity ferries present and start a ferry transport service.
25). Insurance Brokerage:
Insurance brokerage for goods transported via road, sea, or air is getting increasingly popular. You could start an insurance brokerage business and earn a commission on every successful referral.
26). Radio Program:
Popular traffic control radio programs get a lot of people tuning in. You could start a radio program focused on the transportation sector, highlighting the opportunities, government policies, news, and even giving real-time traffic highlights to people about to drive off to a certain location.