How to Start an Equine Transport business

Equine transportation is the shipment of horses. It is an area of live cargo transportation that requires special equipment and handling. 
The cargo are usually sports horses, mini horses and wild horses. An investor can venture into the business as a sole proprietor, try partnership or form a limited liability company.
It is prudent to start with a single truck, expand your operation and customer base while gaining valuable experience. The horses are usually shipped interstate, across territories or international borders. The business requires careful handling of the horse and quality equipment
Rules and Regulations- Horse Transportation
To transport live animals across state or international lines you need to follow strict guidelines. There are lots of regulation and permits attached to this mode of transportation.
There are also basic requirement, regulations and timelines. The horses need to have a travel certificate for pets.
Other certificates are veterinary inspection certificate CVI, and commercial towing/trailer compliance. More include gross weight of trailer and an equestrian motor plan. Horses are generally transported by boat, truck, rail and air.
Equine Transport
Territorial Transportation
Each mode of transportation comes with its own set of rules. We have state regulations for travel across territory borders. Wild species require ownership permits and issues pertaining to wild species movement.
International Transportation
Each country has different rules concerning animal export. The horses might be subjected to quarantine before or after the flight.
You might be required to have an import permit and usage of destination port. Provide ownership permit, veterinary certificate and disease control.
Before transporting the horses makes sure your company is fully compliant with the different rules and regulations.
Common Regulations and Certification
  • Import quarantine stations
  • Ownership permits
  • Import and export permits
  • Destination import requirements
  • Veterinary inspection certificate
  • Animal diseases control certificate
  • Miniature horses disability act rules and regulations
  • Gross cargo weight
Haulage Driving License
You need a commercial driving license to move horses. The transport vehicle should undergo pre- and post inspection of the trailer.
Horse Welfare
Horses generally go through stress while being transported from one location to the other. The well-being, health and safety of the precious cargo is paramount.
There are standard safety precautions that need strict compliance. A general inspection of the trailer is essential.
Check brakes, carriage, ventilation and air quality. You need to consider the travel duration, availability of food and water. You also need to provide protective gear to avoid injuries.
Horse Transportation Vehicles
There are different types of vehicles used to transport horses. Big transport companies prefer large trailers that accommodate a significant number of horses.
We have the dual fitted pickups, SUV pull trucks, hose van or stock trailer. Each one has its own capacity that range from 1 horse to over a dozen.
The large trucks are more profitable for horse haulage business. Horse boxes vary in size and functionality and a horse box could even tow a trailer carriage to accommodate additional horses.
Thing to Consider while Choosing a Vehicle
There are a few things to consider while choosing a vehicle.  Such as ventilation and direction the horse stands in comparison to movement.
Find out the vehicles towing capacity and maximum load weight. A fully loaded trailer should not exceed its gross vehicle weight.
Understand the curb weight of your vehicle to avoid wagging. Other considerations are wheelbase, drive system and vehicles transmission. Focus on the chassis design and tow capacity before choosing a vehicle.
Insurance
Get appropriate liability insurance and incorporate the business. Make the business a limited liability company and apply for a personal tax identification number. And don’t forget to sign contractual agreements between the customer and your company.
Shipments and Contracts
You need the services of an attorney to draft a shipping contract that covers all parameters. Things to include in the contract are distance traveled, transportation cost, locations and liability insurance cover. Establish a service fee based on distance, haulage costs and fuel.
Marketing
The business is highly specialized and there are not many players in this industry. This is because of the high risk factor and many regulations and certification.
This means there is a likelihood you run a monopoly and dominate your local environment. Target horse related businesses for patronage such as racehorse owners, polo, breeding ranches and horse dealers.
An equine magazine advertisement is a good place to place your adverts. To succeed you need to complete shipping schedules on time.
Provide fast efficient and quality service and you get repeat customers and lots of recommendations.
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