A Comprehensive Guide on How to Start a Cargo Van Business

keyKey Takeaways:
  • When starting a cargo van business, conduct in-depth market research and write a solid business plan.
  • The success of the business depends on making an investment in a dependable cargo van that is kept in good condition.
  • Operating a legal and compliant cargo van business requires maintaining adequate insurance coverage and following laws.
  • A business can be improved continuously by increasing services or streamlining routes, to stay competitive and satisfy changing customer demands.

The cargo van delivery business is growing with leaps and bounds. If your delivery business is booming with orders, but the number of deliveries you are trying to make is limited, a cargo van can enhance the quality of your services. Whether you wish to run a full-fledged business or make money with a passive income, a cargo van is your best fit.

Since more people are turning towards online orders, businesses can’t afford to make any mishaps while making their customers happy. Over 75% of shoppers wish to have their orders shipped the same day, which is an opportunity for businesses to excel in their delivery methods.

Starting a cargo van business can help you surpass challenges such as heavy load, limited space, weak engines, and lower horsepower. Hence, many small businesses are upgrading to cargo vans to fulfill the delivery needs of their existing and new customers.

In this blog post, we shed light on how to start a cargo van business.

What Can You Use a Cargo Van Delivery Business for?

Businesses that require to deliver or transport highly loaded and multiple packages can use a cargo van to fulfill these demands. Cargo vans are similar to passenger vans, but they have large back doors that help delivery drivers to load and unload packages. So, it is also crucial to hire professional delivery drivers and give them the training to perform their jobs with ease and expertise.

Depending on your preference and market demand, you can use a cargo van business for services including:

  • Deliver Furniture (or moving services)
  • Last-mile delivery services
  • Catering services
  • Flower delivery
  • Medical transports
  • Mobile pet grooming business
  • HVAC technicians
  • Cleaning services
  • Mobile auto detailers

How to Start a Cargo Van Business in 6 Steps?

1. Devise a business plan

Devise a business plan to start a cargo van business

Starting a new business needs planning things such as banking/funding options, permits, insurance policy, and keeping everything well-managed.

A proper cargo van business plan will help you turn thoughts into action at the right time. You can include the following things in your business plan:

  • Keeping your budgets in check.
  • Identifying your competitors and target market.
  • Strategic marketing techniques and business goals.
  • Pricing strategy as per your requirement.
  • Operational plans and challenges that can come along.
  • Skills and expertise required in your delivery drivers or other team members.

2. Buy a cargo van

As every business is different, the type of van you would require depends on the number of packages, weight, and the dimension of parcels you would be carrying. Budget is another factor when it comes to buying a van depending on your business type.

Depending on all the above factors and the features you need in your van, you can opt for a top cargo van that gives the best result within the budget. You can choose one from the link or visit the nearest dealer. As discussed earlier, you can ask the dealer about upfitting your van with the required parts during the time of purchase.

3. Register your cargo van business

Before registering your cargo van business, you may need to come up with a business name and logo that you like based on their availability (keeping your name and logo unique will save you from any sort of copyright infringement). You can then have a proper website and list your cargo van delivery business on Google for people to find you.

Depending on your requirements, you can register your van delivery business entity as an LLC, corporation, or partnership. A lawyer will help you set up the entity and explain more about the usage, terms, and conditions. 

You may also want to open a banking account for your cargo van delivery business. It will help keep your personal and business finances separate, give credibility to your business, help organize things and pay taxes on time.

4. Apply for a license and cargo insurance

Although you don’t need a CDL for your van business, you may need to get required permits, licenses, and cargo insurance based on your business type (flower delivery, courier, or other businesses).

For instance, if you are offering moving services, you may need a license depending on the state and local laws. A lawyer can help you understand and get the required license and cargo insurance so that you can start delivering amazing customer experiences.

5. Brand your van delivery business

It is important for any business to have a clear and enticing brand voice that speaks to its customers and generates more awareness. Branding is the key to reaching people who’re looking for the services you are offering.

A brand is what makes your business stand out from other businesses. You can establish this through a website and grow your presence online through various channels. Don’t forget, you could also brand your business through the vehicle wrap idea we saw earlier!

On the off chance that you’re looking to start a sprinter van business, this unique branding approach can assist you with getting noticed.

6. Market Your delivery services

Now that you’ve set things up, it’s time for an incredible marketing plan that will help skyrocket your business growth!

You don’t want people to remain unaware of your business and waste your money. Marketing your cargo van business will increase audience engagement and site visits, bring new customers, and increase repeat ones. Your potential customers are the people who search for the moving services.

Making use of digital marketing is a viable option that will help spread awareness to customers. You may also want to hire employees or marketing professionals who will help generate more traffic. These professionals know how to create tailored ads based on your target market and bring in a good amount of leads.

Find Optimized Routes to Ship Your Products Easily

Launching a new cargo van business? Awesome. Get Upper for fastest driving routes and reach your destination 3x faster. Experience seamless route optimization on Upper.

Benefits of Starting a Cargo Van Business

If you are new to the cargo van business, you might be amazed to see that they can help you in numerous ways. The reason why local businesses are switching to cargo van delivery is its capability to lower the hassle and boost revenue. Here are the 4 main benefits.

1. More number of delivery orders

More number of delivery orders by starting a cargo van business

A cargo van is your go-to option as it allows you to manage higher order volume and raise your total deliveries. There are three key ways it helps you with this.

  • Offers more space: The main purpose of cargo vans is to carry a huge amount of packages. So, you can add more deliveries if you have a plethora of orders, but are unable to fit them in the vehicle due to their size, you can definitely go for sprinter vans.
  • Offers more payload capacity: Along with more space, a cargo van can also deliver heavier parcels due to a huge payload capacity, unlike normal cargo vans or box trucks.
  • Offers area for lengthy packages: Although vans offer appropriate spaces for long packages, you need a cargo van if you have to fit large building materials like plasterboards.

2. Space to fit in multiple packages

A cargo van is normally a large box on wheels (also referred to as a box truck), so it offers big space to carry various items, including packages, tables/chairs/furniture, equipment/tools, and food items. The cargo space is measured in cubic feet at the back of the van, and it has a significant load capacity. Based on your requirement, you can choose a model from manufacturers who provide different roof heights and wheelbase options.

As cargo vans are supposed to be spacious to carry more packages, they only come with two front seats. However, if you require more workers to fulfill your business needs, you can opt for other models that offer seating upgrades, such as passenger van.

You can also upfit your cargo van through service professionals or check if your manufacturer provides upfitting services during purchase. A van upfit is basically an upgrade that makes it versatile and involves installing customized accessories and parts without altering the van’s design. It includes:

  • Shelves 
  • Bins
  • Refrigeration 
  • Coolers
  • Wall hooks 
  • Wall pockets
  • Hand-washing stations
  • Ladders
  • Racks, drawers, and cabinets
  • Cargo tie-downs

3. Increases delivery speed and gives branding opportunity

A cargo van can help you improve your delivery time and make your customers happy without the stress of a speeding ticket.

  • As compared to a freight truck, a cargo van is smaller and easier to move. So you can drive across your routes quite conveniently. Moreover, driving a cargo van doesn’t require a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and requires less parking space. So it is a better option than a giant truck when it comes to increasing delivery speed. The sprinter van business model is particularly popular for its speed and efficiency.
  • A vehicle with more horsepower offers more speed to carry heavier payloads. If you have been struggling to carry heavy packages on a vehicle that slows down, a cargo van can be your best bet.
  • While you can glam up your new cargo van with graphics, taking advantage of the blank space on the sides can give your brand more awareness. Such advertising on your cargo vans can target a lot of public eyes in the locality.
  • A vehicle wrap on a local delivery van was recorded to make around 16 million impressions every year as per The American Trucking Association (ATA). So your van also gives you a good return by simply moving around the roads and promoting your business.

Get Upper to Optimize Routes and Start Making Efficient Deliveries

Starting a cargo van business to make money can be exciting, but there are many challenges that small businesses face while delivering packages. Whether you are a single driver or dispatch manager, you need to ensure that your packages reach customers on time. Upper can help you with route planning and optimization so that you can make deliveries with finesse. So, let us check some of the benefits that Upper offers you.

1. Makes delivery efficient

Leave the hassle of planning routes and scheduling deliveries on Upper, so you don’t have to worry about wastage of time or fuel. You can simply focus on growing your van delivery business and make it a profitable business. Upper helps you make faster and more efficient deliveries with automatic route planning and quick dispatch through sprinter vans.

2. Ensures customer satisfaction

Ensures customer satisfaction with upper

With Upper, customers will receive automatic notifications about your ETA. This will help them remain informed about their package delivery time and be relaxed. Keeping customers informed helps both big and small businesses to maintain the customer satisfaction level and grow successfully.

3. Proof of delivery

Proof of delivery is an excellent feature that helps cargo van drivers to collect e-signatures, capture photos during task completion, and add notes as required. This increases trust and nullifies any chances of false claims against your business as everything will be recorded.

To know more about using Upper and how it can help optimize routes for your cargo van deliveries, signup for a


Upper Route Planner

A simple-to-use route planner
that every one is talking about


Being flexible and versatile, a cargo van can be used for many different delivery businesses whether it’s courier services, moving furniture or for mobile advertisement! Starting a cargo/sprinter van business deems greatly profitable if you know how to start and follow the guidelines mentioned above. You just need to have a rock-solid model, business name, and a strategic marketing plan that can help you grow in no time.

Based on the type and model, the average cost of a cargo van ranges between $20,000 to $55,000. Cargo van loads are in high demand these days, and for good reason. Based on the requirement of your package sizes and weight, you can buy a new cargo van as per its dimension and cargo space.

Searching a parcel can be time-consuming and frustrating when you reach a customer’s location. But Upper has got that covered for you! You can easily add details for every parcel by feeding information like parcel count, placement in vehicle and parcel photo. This feature simplifies deliveries and saves a lot of time.


Since the number of online orders is increasing, you can take advantage of this time and make money by starting a cargo van business. Plus, getting extra cash for a business that’s growing isn’t a bad idea! On top of that, if you already have sprinter vans, you can follow the steps and begin your journey right off the bat! Although it may take some time to set up and get-going on your first order, you need to take the first step towards a profitable business! 

And while you would be busy making plans and strategies to boost your business, you can leave the extra work of route planning to a reliable software like Upper! With features like optimizing routes, one-click dispatch, API integration, and many others, you don’t need to waste another minute. Get Upper Route Planner as your business buddy and enhance the quality of your buying experience for your customers. Try the .

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.