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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    69

    Default Package Hauling Questions

    I bought 50 packages this year and expect to buy even more next year and thus am curious about being on the revenue side of this equation rather than the expense side. There are numerous bee clubs in our neighboring area so I think the market is ripe for a local supplier. So if we are playing with monopoly money here, please help me with a few assumptions for a business model:

    - Hauling 500 #3 packages from Georgia to Metro DC (550 miles)
    - Dealer price of $50/per (is this right?)
    - Retail in DC for pick up $85
    - Gross profit of $35/per or $17,500

    So, is my wholesale price in the ballpark?
    Is a 500 package order ridiculous to expect to be filled?
    How big a truck will I need for 500 packages?
    Are there professional haulers for hire who do this for a living?
    Are there expenses beyond the trucking I need to consider?

    Thanks
    Jeff.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Orange, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    382

    Default Re: Package Hauling Questions

    If you would like I can put you into contact with people in the NoVa are that are lookng to do the same as you. Maybe you can get together to order more and split the cost. I personally considering buying a couple thousand due to the fact there are more people wanting bee packages than bee packages available.

    I know the cost for gardners 3lb packages was 59 bux this year. The going price for most of NoVa dealers is 75 to 80 bux.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    69

    Default Re: Package Hauling Questions

    I saw that on Gardner's web site but it was not clear to me, for pick-up, if there is a bulk discount.

    I know that some of the NoVa beekeeping associations do bulk buying and their prices are a bit lower than what I described...but my supplier in Maryland is now out of bees and I think demand suggests slightly higher pricing.

    I am also buying all #4 packages this year (Russians), and would try to do the same (maintaining the gross margin) in a bulk buy to differentiate myself. Don't want to be greedy, just seeing a need and am hating paying for shipping costs for my bee internet buys.

    THANKS!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Grand Rapids, Ohio
    Posts
    863

    Reminder Re: Package Hauling Questions

    WOW! $17K for a 10 hour drive, your thinking not bad for a drive. 17+ years transporting package bees and still the worst day of the year for me. That money might sound good now, but if you ever lose a load. Well I just hope you have the business paid off already. A load of 500- 3# heats up in a hurry if you get stopped.Your dealer price is $5-6 short. I haul 800- 2# and have over $40K in that size of loads. Nothing like a second morg. and people still wanting the bees you can't supply them if things go bad. Its one thing when its bees for you and another when its other people money and bees. That pay out is for the big risk you take. People just think you are being greedy.
    You have to find a supplier that will supply you the bees when you need them. Meaning get in line. The only way I get a better date is if one of the dealers now move on, and makes an open. Most people don't want there bees in late May.s
    Well hope I didn't kill your business plans.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    69

    Default Re: Package Hauling Questions

    Nope...looking for the honest scoop. Thanks. What kind of truck are you using and how long?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    4,136

    Default Re: Package Hauling Questions

    I know Oiverez hauls & sells by the semi load. Might want to see what they charge, & what minimum loads are.
    They have their own special ventilated trailer with a lot of fans in it.
    Dan

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Grand Rapids, Ohio
    Posts
    863

    Reminder Re: Package Hauling Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by DC Honeybees View Post
    Nope...looking for the honest scoop. Thanks. What kind of truck are you using and how long?
    When your only hauling a few 100 packages or less you can get away with a lot less when it comes to hauling.

    I've used many different setups over the years. The hauler I use now is a custom 16" trailer. Generator, fans, front and back gates to keep the load cool down. The biggest problem I'm finding now is that I can't get the bees I need when I need them. To big of demand and not enough good bees to go around. Because of the shortage, suppliers are cutting corner to try and get the job done with less. As a dealer you are left to make things right out of your pocket. Atless if you want the business next year.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Fresno California USA
    Posts
    2,479

    Default Re: Package Hauling Questions

    DC listen carefully to what HH is trying to tell you, years of experience speaking. Better to do one thing well than 100 poorly.

    PS:

    Ron how do you get that many in a 16" trailer?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    moravia,ny
    Posts
    1,204

    Default Re: Package Hauling Questions

    If it was that easy don't you think everyone would be doing it. lose one load and then you have to make two trips to break even. under 100 is not bad but
    over that is a lot more risk.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Grand Rapids, Ohio
    Posts
    863

    Big Grin Re: Package Hauling Questions

    Hi Tom,
    I have to pack some in the back of the truck too. One year we had 20 of them sitting in the back seat. I only run 2# shorts. Get a lot more in.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Fresno California USA
    Posts
    2,479

    Default Re: Package Hauling Questions

    Yeah I am nervous as a cat when I haul 300 5 hours. Then I'm at my own place with a pitch dark a/c room to put them in. And it takes a pre cooled room.

    They go down fast when overheated.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Grand Rapids, Ohio
    Posts
    863

    Thumbs Up Re: Package Hauling Questions

    Bees take the cold better then the heat.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Solano, California, USA
    Posts
    1,356

    Default Re: Package Hauling Questions

    As for California packages getting trucked to dc I'd say its a bit far considering Georgia is so close. two other factors. Oliveraz and company seem to be scuttling plans for some packages to Michigan already. Why add the miles when other markets are closer. Second is that with cost of production the Georgia ones are way less than Ca. As much as 10 bucks a package. Not sure why they are selling the bees at 50 bucks. The folks here are minimally just below 60 and everyones supply is "no more orders taken" at that price.


    Have fun hauling the bees.....

    Any insurance available with this risky venture?

    How much can you afford to eat if things screw up?

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    69

    Default Re: Package Hauling Questions

    Looks like I may be taking baby steps on this one next year...haul a hundred and see how it goes! I can afford that.

    Thanks for all the frank advice!
    Jeff

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Lake County Illinois
    Posts
    261

    Default Re: Package Hauling Questions

    I think thats a great idea DC. Keep it lighter, make some money and go from there.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    69

    Default Re: Package Hauling Questions

    Follow-up dumb question:

    Can you reasonably haul packages on a trailer covered with a tarp?

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Lake County Illinois
    Posts
    261

    Default Re: Package Hauling Questions

    I am no expert at hauling bees...but a tarp holds heat, and tend to blow off.

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