How to Make Money with a Cargo Van? – Here are 11 Effective Ways

keyKey Takeaways:
  • A cargo van might be an advantageous investment when beginning a small business or looking for side jobs.
  • Creating a solid internet presence and marketing plan can aid in bringing in clients and promoting services.
  • It’s essential to keep a van in good working order to ensure safety and cut down on operating expenses.
  • Providing aggressive discounts and promotions might aid in luring and keeping customers.

Are you looking for different ways to make money using cargo vans?

If yes, you are in luck because you can easily find many lucrative cargo van business opportunities these days.

In fact, the revenue of the full-size van market is expected to reach 8.13 billion USD in 2022.

Since cargo vans play an important role in the transportation industry, you can make money via delivery services mentioned in this list. However, there are also interesting businesses you can start.

To learn about them, start reading this article, where you will find many cargo van business ideas. So, let’s get started.


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Role and Responsibilities of Cargo Van Owners

In general, a cargo van owner-operator is a self-employed truck driver who owns and drives commercial trucks. Likewise, cargo van owner-operators are the ones who specifically own and operate cargo vans.

They are either independent contractors who are their bosses and set their working hours. Or work for a company by signing a contract or on a freelance basis.

Initially, they could start as a delivery professional for trucking companies to get experience. Once they get trained, they start their own business.

The roles and responsibilities of cargo van owners are:

  • Transports cargo to specified destinations
  • Regularly inspect the delivery cargo vans and equipment to ensure operability
  • Do emergency repairs as needed
  • Track the records of delivery services and maintenance
  • Communicate with client firms to avoid misunderstandings
  • Notify customers of any damage or unexpected events.
  • Inspect and do the repairs and maintenance on delivery vehicles and equipment
  • Plans delivery routes

Planning delivery routes are always hectic. But not anymore. With the Upper software, cargo van owners-operators can now plan routes in minutes, get control of their routes, and quickly make last-minute changes to the route schedules.

11 Great Ways for Making Money with a Cargo Van

Below, we have compiled a list of 11 interesting ways to make extra money with a cargo van. So without further ado, let’s dive straight into these earning opportunities:

1. Launch a mobile pet grooming business

Doesn’t this business-on-wheels sound unique? Yes, this industry is gaining more attention from busy pet owners because it’s more convenient to get the service at home and make their pets feel comfortable grooming at home.

The best part is that a cargo van is a perfect vehicle for a mobile pet grooming business. You can drive to your client’s house and deliver the service. So, you can charge over $50 for grooming services that consumes only 1 hour to complete.

Another advantage is that you can easily repeat clients and get referrals if you excel at your job. So, we can vouch that this is one of the best cargo van business ideas.

2. Use your cargo van as a mobile billboard

How about earning a passive income with your cargo van? Yes, by turning your cargo van into a mobile advertisement, you can!

Many companies and advertisers are looking to advertise their brands on vehicles. So, if you are open to getting your van covered in an ad or branding sticker, give this cargo van business idea a shot.

You can tie up with any businesses that operate locally or any ad-wrapping company. You will get around $450 monthly to wrap your van.

So, you will drive around your city while commuting, running errands as usual, and get paid for this type of ad, which is a win-win for both. Also, the ad wraps won’t cause any damage to the van’s paint.

3. Provide moving services

Provide moving services - cargo van business opportunities

Moving goods or helping people relocate to different places with their belongings is a daunting process. This is why people hire moving services to save effort and time.

This moving service is also called a man with a van and is one of the local businesses with huge demand. You can step in as a reliable delivery partner and help them move their stuff. You must get a valid driver’s license, liability insurance, special licenses, and proof of permission to move household goods to start.

Many US states have strict regulations for moving services. So, before starting such businesses, don’t forget to check the local laws.

You will need cargo straps, canvases, moving blankets, and dollies for the moving services.

4. Towing services

As long as there are cars on the road, people will need towing services. Not just cars, you will be towing boats, large objects, heavy equipment, trailers, and other vehicle types. Hence, it becomes important to have the right commercial insurance to protect your business and clients alike.

If your cargo van is heavy enough to pull other vehicles, you can provide towing services and earn more money as a side income.

Apart from being one of the best earning opportunities, it is less stressful and fulfilling. Because the nature of towing helps people through stressful situations.

To expect regular work, ensure you ask around at various businesses if they need these types of services and ask for referrals.

5. Rent out your cargo van

If you are still thinking about how to make money with a cargo van, then rent out your cargo van. Also, if you aren’t using your van for errands or as an independent contractor facing slow days, consider this option.

Listen, you can earn more money just by renting your vehicle and getting a passive income stream. But you must be comfortable with allowing other people to drive your van or truck.

Many companies are looking for cargo vans for their business operations. Also, small businesses rent cargo vans rather than buying new cargo vans. Besides, you can list your vehicle on popular car rentals sites for rental opportunities. But ensure to check if it’s a legit company.

6.  Offer hauling services

Provide hauling services - cargo van business opportunities

Though the cargo vans offer delivery services, you can use them for other local businesses and earn money.

Hauling services refer to transporting bulk goods or raw materials across long distances. In general, this service is widely used to clean out or get rid of old junk and is very popular in big cities.

This is because people are too occupied with dumping their junk and are ready to pay someone to haul it. You can demand a flat rate for taking junk to dump for them.

You can pick up things like furniture or appliances if needed, repair them and flip them for a profit. To find your first clients for this service, you can check online job marketplaces such as Craigslist.

7. Make food delivery services

You can not only transport goods but also deliver food or use it as a food truck and make good money with your cargo.

You read it right. With the increasing number of food delivery apps and businesses, food deliveries are in high demand.

Apart from getting paid on an hourly basis, you get tips for delivering food to customers’ homes, which is a common practice in the world of food deliveries.

You can use the cargo van as a food truck and start your own mobile food stall business. Transform your cargo van into a grocery delivery service and start earning money by delivering groceries.

Or you can also work with Amazon Flex to deliver their packages. Amazon flex makes it very convenient for vehicle owners to earn money part-time or full-time.

8. Offer retail deliveries

Did you know small businesses such as hardware stores, appliance stores, and thrift shops have a huge demand for delivery drivers who can deliver large items to their customers? Also, many retailers need delivery services that provide prompt and last-minute deliveries.

So, this is a good opportunity to make money with your cargo van by offering your delivery services.  As mentioned earlier, you must reach out to local businesses and ask if they want a cargo van or truck.

9. Start a flower delivery business

Here’s another quick option to earn extra cash using your extra cash. Start a mobile florist business. Some people love to send flowers to their loved ones to celebrate their special occasions.

But before starting the flower delivery business, ensure your town or city doesn’t have tight competition, a reliable supply of quality flowers, and a suitable climate that keeps your flowers fresh.

10. Own a pressure-washing business

pressure-washing business - cargo van business ideas

By now, you must have come across many cargo van ideas. But if you want to earn extra money than other businesses, start a pressure washing business.

The average hourly pay for this business is approximately $14.87. That said, the cargo van is the best choice for this type of business to earn extra money. However, this business needs some upfront costs.

11. Start a home improvement business

Last but not least, here is another small business idea on ways to make money with cargo. Start a home improvement business if you like to work on home improvement projects.

You can store all your tools and equipment in your cargo van, travel to your client’s house, and deliver services.

There are different niches for home improvement, such as tile, floor installation, cabinetry, or painting. Opt for any type based on your preferences.

So, these are different cargo van ideas that can fetch you money as the main business or a side hustle.

Find Cost-effective Routes for Your Cargo Van on Upper

Running a cargo van business isn’t a piece of cake. You must take care of your drivers and, at the same time, make your customers happy by delivering goods on time.

But do you know what the main hindrance is in this business? Yes, you guessed it-finding cost-effective routes effectively.

With technological advances occurring on a daily basis, clinging to old practices serves no purpose. So, help your delivery driver plan and optimize your routes in minutes using the Upper, your all-in-one delivery solution.

This software application not only saves time but also delivers more orders, thus increasing profitability.

Some exclusive features you get from Upper software are:

Last-mile delivery solution: High demands in deliveries during peak seasons are normal. But you don’t have to hire multiple delivery drivers to handle the load. This feature can create quick plans to do the delivery work efficiently.

Estimated time of arrival (ETA): You don’t have to make your customers wait. This feature gives accurate delivery time data.

Customer notifications: Send automated delivery notifications via email and text message. Also, enable real-time customer alerts.

Overall, the Upper promises to find the best routes for you and your drivers and offers some exciting features that ease the delivery business processes.

Get your 7 days free trial to explore more about Upper now.


Yes, owning a cargo van is profitable because there are multiple ways to make money using it. But here’s a catch. How much one can make driving a cargo van varies depending on the job.

On average, most cargo van drivers in the US make $20 to $35 hourly and earn up to $75 to $100 per hour based on what they carry.

However, many cargo van owner-operators get paid per mile rather than on an hourly basis.

Just like there are multiple ways to make money via a cargo van, there are different payment models for cargo drivers. They can choose the desired payment model to complete the deliveries.

So, the different payment models are:

  • Hourly pay
  • Percentage of load
  • Fixed salary
  • Team driver pay
  • Per mile pay

According to Ziprecruiter, on average, the US owner-operator of a cargo van business makes around $65,446 per year, which translates to $31 on an hourly basis.

This is just the average pay. Aforementioned, there are multiple factors that influence salary, including how companies pay vehicle owners. So, do the groundwork to know the exact earnings.


That’s a wrap now. There are easy ways to make money with a cargo van or truck. But, we have done the research and have bought you 11 practical and effective business ideas. So, no more worrying about making money with the many lucrative business opportunities given here.

Though all these cargo van business ideas can easily fetch you multiple business opportunities, tracking your income and expenses is equally important to know if the business is profitable.

After analyzing, if you realize the business ideas are working out, don’t hesitate to charge a premium. At the same time, this business allows you to visit new places and make new customers. So, give a try at any of the business ideas given in this article. Hopefully, you found this article insightful.

Author Bio
Rakesh Patel
Rakesh Patel

Rakesh Patel, author of two defining books on reverse geotagging, is a trusted authority in routing and logistics. His innovative solutions at Upper Route Planner have simplified logistics for businesses across the board. A thought leader in the field, Rakesh's insights are shaping the future of modern-day logistics, making him your go-to expert for all things route optimization. Read more.