Whether businesses are looking to invest in one company vehicle or an entire fleet of company vehicles, full-size cargo vans offer the best solution for a variety of businesses. Regardless of what business you’re in, things like fuel efficiency, reliability, space, comfort and residual value are always important — all things cargo vans have to offer.
Storage needs, however, vary greatly among businesses — for example, what a florist needs to transport floral arrangements to a wedding is significantly different from what a contractor needs to store tools and equipment. Regardless of how vast the diversity of needs might be, the customization options for cargo vans make them the best option for businesses at both ends of the spectrum.
Top 10 Benefits of Cargo Vans for Businesses
We’ve gathered a list of the top 10 selling points cargo vans have to offer, followed by a brief introduction to three of our favourite models and some different businesses that have all used cargo vans to meet their business needs in unique ways. We’re sure after reading, you’ll understand how much cargo vans have to offer:
1. Fuel Savings
As the trend of placing more of an emphasis on fuel efficiency for vehicles, cargo vans reap the benefits. The cargo vans on the market today are more efficient — many can even be compared to driving a big sedan.
Even the least fuel-efficient cargo vans are leaps and bounds ahead of RVs and box trucks. The amount of money you can save in fuel alone compared to these other options is significant.
There are several different brands of cargo vans — Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Ford — all of them reputable and well-known. While the safety features vary from model to model, a lot of thought has been put into the design and standard features in these cargo vans. Therefore, you can rest assured that they are safe and reliable — as long as you do your part in keeping up with maintenance service, they are sure to keep you moving from point A to point B.
3. Interior Customization
While an empty rectangular box of space may be attractive to some, the beauty of a cargo van is that the interior can be completely transformed into whatever you want — some people choose to make it into a mobile home. We know a mobile home probably isn’t what you have in mind for your business, but that’s just an example of the possibilities.
Include seating for 12, six, four or none at all. Add interior roof racks, partitions to create separate areas, and/or shelves, bins, drawers or lockers for storage. You can also add interior liners if you’re worried about dents from sharp edges of equipment or liquid splashing onto the floor and walls. Need to make sure things on the floor stay in place? There are options to add a non-stick mat. Your options are endless. You get the picture.
4. Exterior Customization
The options for exterior customizations are almost as extensive as the interior. You have the opportunity to add ladders on the sides of the cargo van, solar panels, custom bumpers, roof racks, different windows, bigger tires, an exterior awning and more.
This one may seem like a no-brainer, but let’s not forget that selecting a cargo van for your business makes you completely mobile. While many businesses investing in cargo vans may be mobile by nature, this isn’t always the case.
This is an especially important selling point for vets and groomers, for example, as it gives you the ability to go directly to your customers and meet them where they are. Adding a mobile component to your business can open doors to an entirely new group of clients.
When you choose a cargo van for your business, you immediately have the opportunity to be a moving billboard for your business. Get a designer and a promotional products company that prints and applies car wraps — and you’re all set.
Choose a simple design, or a design that encompasses the majority of the car. Go for a larger version of your logo, or a creative representation of your industry or brand. Regardless of what you choose, an investment in a cargo van doubles as an investment in permanent outdoor advertising.
The total amount of space you get depends on the model you choose, but overall, full-size cargo vans are spacious. You’ll have an estimated 120-200 cubic feet of space plus the interior customization options we mentioned — giving you the opportunity to maximize the space you have and work more efficiently. Who doesn’t like to have a spacious place of their own to organize their supplies the way they want?
Driving a commercial vehicle for business isn’t always comfortable. It can actually be quite uncomfortable. Fortunately, full-size cargo vans have the comfort level of an SUV or minivan with the storage and hauling potential of a commercial vehicle.
It’s easy to focus on the endless opportunities to create a unique cargo van completely tailored to your business — but you shouldn’t lose sight of comfort. If you’re going to be spending a lot of time driving it, you want it to be comfortable.
If you aren’t sold on the space you have, as a caterer, food delivery service or a florist, the ability to turn the cargo van into one big refrigerator will certainly be a selling point for you. This takes temperature to a whole new level — now you can be sure your food and floral arrangements are preserved.
Perfecting your food and flower deliveries so they arrive in mint condition is a big part of getting repeat customers. A refrigerated cargo van allows you to do just that.
10. Residual Value
At the end of 2014, when the rest of the used vehicle market fell 12.4%, the category of full-size vans was the only vehicle category to see an increase in residual value — an impressive feat. While we can’t confirm that the residual value is still on the rise, we can say that cargo vans have some of the best residual values on the market.
If you’re just starting to consider purchasing a cargo van, chances are you aren’t thinking ahead to selling it. However, you can be confident that purchasing a cargo van for your business will be a worthwhile investment.
Best Cargo Vans for Business
There are a variety of cargo vans on the market, and the category of cargo vans is broad. It includes models tall and short, long and compact, powerful and fuel-efficient — there’s something at every end of the spectrum.
So how do you know which ones are the best for you? We’ve featured an introduction to three of our picks for the best cargo vans for business on the market today. Everyone’s needs are different, but this is a great place to learn a bit about these three frontrunners and see which one sounds like it might be the best fit for you.
Judging by the prestigious company name, it’s no surprise that the Sprinter has been recognized as one of the top cargo vans for business for a long time. Despite the market becoming increasingly more competitive over time, it continues to be a favorite among consumers.
Choose from two different wheelbases — 144 inches or 170 inches — and two different roof sizes — standard or tall. The tall roof gives you 76.4 inches of height. Get it fully loaded, and you’ll get that extra height, plus nearly 190 cubic feet of cargo space and impressive payload and towing capacity — 3,000 pounds and 5,000 pounds respectively.
With all of these options and remarkable numbers, what could possibly be a reason not to purchase the favorite? The price tag. With the luxury brand comes a price tag starting at $36,000. If you can afford the investment, this cargo van is built to last (and built to impress), but if you have a tight budget, this may not be the best cargo van option for you.
The Ford Transit is the newest addition to the full-size cargo van market. It was introduced in 2015, replacing the E-Series and has already been recognized among the best cargo vans for business. You have your choice between two versions — a regular wheelbase and a long wheelbase. If you choose the long wheelbase, you have the additional option of getting a standard or extended length. In addition to having the option to extend the length of the Transit, you also have the option to get a high roof, which boasts 81.5 inches of height — the highest of all cargo vans on the market.
In addition to the option you have in the body height and length, you also have a few choices of engines — a 3.2 turbodiesel 5-cylinder, a turbocharged EcoBoost V6 and a 3.7-liter V6 with 266 horsepower. Obviously, the cost depends on the options you choose, but the price usually begins around $30,000 with shipping.
If your business is in the city or you just place more of an emphasis on fuel economy and easy navigation, there’s another model, the Ford Transit Connect, that’s worth checking out. While it doesn’t offer the same capacity, it has a simpler design and a smaller price tag.
If you like the Nissan Titan pickup, you’re sure the love the Nissan NV full-size cargo van. This cargo van was based on the Titan and comes with a very reasonable price tag, starting at $26,000 with shipping. The maximum capacity of the van and the amount it can tow are impressive (it gets that from its pickup truck base) — an impressive 9,500 pounds towing capacity (V8) and almost 4,000 pounds of payload capacity. If you anticipate hauling, this is the best cargo van for your business.
Under the hood, you can choose from a 4.0-liter V6 or a 5.6-liter V8. In the back, the standard model only comes with a height of 55.8 inches, but the high roof models give you an extended height of 76.9 inches.
If you’re in the market for a cargo van but don’t need something near as big, the Nissan NV200 might be a better option. Don’t be fooled — just because the name is similar doesn’t mean it’s closely related to the Nissan NV — it has its own model, options and set of features, making it more like a distant cousin, but a cargo van nevertheless.
Top Businesses for Cargo Vans
The size, capacity, fuel efficiency, residual value, reliability and extensive customization options make cargo vans the best vehicles for a variety of businesses. We’ve included a list of some of the businesses we think are the best fit for cargo vans, along with some of the customization options that make them ideal for that particular business. This isn’t an all-inclusive list — this is just a sample of some of the best we’ve seen:
As a florist, you don’t have the opportunity to store your floral arrangements the same way others store equipment. There’s a certain level of temperature control you need to have to keep your flowers and greens cool and in optimum shape for the occasion.
In addition to maintaining control over the temperature, you also need to have storage options that can accommodate both large and bulky displays, as well as securely transporting smaller, more intricate arrangements. All are possible with a cargo van. The interior height will give you flexibility with taller arrangements, and interior storage customizations can offer a solution that helps you securely transport those smaller pieces. You could even add a non-slip cargo mat to make sure nothing slips when you’re delivering.
2. Plumbing/HVAC/Electrical Contractors
Whether you’re a plumber, HVAC technician or an electrical contractor, one thing remains the same — every job is different. When you go on a maintenance call, time is money, and you can’t afford to be digging through your vehicle searching for a part or a tool or running back to the shop or your home to pick it up.
A cargo van is the best solution for your business because you can completely customize to the tools and parts you need. Install partitions to keep things organized. Get an interior ladder rack to keep your ladder out of the weather and your van looking streamlined and modern. Mix and match shelves, drawers, bins and other storage solutions to make sure everything has a place, and you can work efficiently.
3. Doggie Daycares
If you have a doggie daycare business, you need a way to carefully transport your precious fur-baby cargo. A cargo van is the perfect solution.
Interior customization options for storage aren’t just for equipment — there are options for transporting pets, too. With a spacious cargo van, there’s plenty of room for cages large and small. Transporting your fur-baby clients to a nearby park or other location? There’s plenty of room to store leashes and pet toys to take with you.
If you’re in the catering business, you need a vehicle that’s going to be big enough to store all of the food and serving equipment but that will also have a smooth ride — easily navigating those tight city turns. This balance is possible with a cargo van.
Interior customization options give you the opportunity to add refrigeration equipment and transform the interior of your van with the shelving and other storage accessories you need to make loading and unloading your food and serving equipment a breeze. Despite having the capacity to handle everything you need, it doesn’t drive like a truck — making it, dare we say, enjoyable to drive and manageable to park and navigate tight spaces in loading and unloading zones.
Long ladders, countless paint cans and various sizes of brushes can be tough to accommodate, but a cargo van is up for the challenge. Cargo van customization options give you the opportunity to protect the entire interior with a liner that resists paint stains and dings from moving equipment in and out of the van.
Interior ladder racks ensure you have a place to store your ladders without exposing them to outside elements. Customizable partitions give you the opportunity to organize supplies and make sure paint cans are stored securely and separately from other supplies. Of course, you can also add shelves, bins and drawers to store the variety of paint brushes, drop cloths, rollers and other supplies you have to take with you.
Whether you’re helping people get back into their car or their home, you need to have everything organized and at your fingertips while you’re on the job. By maximizing the space in a cargo van, you’ll have the opportunity to customize storage for all of your small parts and tools on shelves as well as in drawers, bins and lockers.
A cargo van is the best solution for your keeping your business organized and securely stored so you can work efficiently without having to worry about the safety of your parts and tools.
7. Mobile Vets and Groomers
As a mobile vet or mobile groomer, you need much more than storage. You need sinks, tables, temperature and technology. Believe it or not, there are a variety of cargo van packages that offer everything you need to provide medical treatment or grooming services on the road and keep you comfortable as your van truly becomes your office.
Plumbing, water heaters and air conditioning give you the environment and a few of the basic essentials you need for business. From there, it’s all about customizing it for your business — add a large sink, grooming table and a vacuum grooming tool. Not a groomer? You can get a table with an overhead X-ray machine, a scale, a medicine cabinet, anesthesia and a fridge. A cargo van is the best option for taking your business on the road.
If you’re going to be travelling on the road for extended periods of time, doing a few shows at a time, you need to have the space to store your luggage, instruments and accessories — not to mention you and the other band members.
A cargo van is the best solution for your business because it gives you the opportunity to customize the ratio of space you need for band members and storage. In addition to being able to create your own travel space, cargo vans are comfortable and affordable to travel in. Their fuel efficiency is a big perk, especially for bands that spend a lot of time on the road.
9. Tour Guides
If you’re currently transporting people to a tourist destination, a cargo-passenger van is the perfect addition to your business. You can fit up to 12 people in a cargo van if your goal is to maximize the number of passengers you can transport. Taking people on a weekend getaway? No problem — just remove a row or two of the seats, and you have the option to take less people with plenty of room for luggage. Despite having a lot of space, cargo-passenger vans don’t drive like RVs — they’re much shorter and have a higher clearance. You don’t have to worry about parking and navigating tight roads as you travel. In addition to tour companies, a cargo-passenger van is also a great option for hotels and airports that offer shuttle services.
10. Outdoor Recreation
Perhaps you aren’t transporting people to the tourist destination, but you are a part of the tourist destination. Whether you’re renting bikes, kayaks, surfboards, skis, snowboards or something completely different, a cargo van has the spacious transportation you need to deliver.
Customize the interior with storage racks for equipment and add window coverings so you can travel without worrying about others eyeing your expensive equipment. Need to travel off the smooth pavement for your adventure? Get a cargo van with a more powerful engine and four-wheel drive, so you can take your business off road without having to worry if it’s tough enough to handle it.
We hope this information on cargo vans and what they have to offer — not just overall, but also in several specific industries — helps you determine which cargo van is best for your business.
Written by: Burdi Motorworks
Our expertise comes from over 40 years of specializing in Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van repair in Chicago. We’ve seen a lot of vans come through our doors and are very familiar with every aspect of them — inside and out.
If you own a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van that needs repair in Chicago, we would love to help you. Our business is family owned and operated — we’re dedicated to getting you the best value when it comes to repairing your Sprinter van. If you have a fleet of Sprinter vans, we offer the same dedication to value. Because of our extensive experience and expertise with the Mercedes brand, we have become a dealership alternative for many of our customers, and we hope to be the same to you. If your Mercedes needs service, contact us at 847-678-4801 or by filling out the contact form on our website.