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The Logistics and Transportation Industry in the United States
The logistics and transportation industry in the United States is highly competitive. By investing in this sector, multinational firms position themselves to better facilitate the flow of goods throughout the largest consumer market in the world.. International and domestic companies in this industry benefit from a highly skilled workforce and relatively low costs and regulatory burdens.
Spending in the U.S. logistics and transportation industry totaled $1.33 trillion in 2012, and represented 8.5 percent of annual gross domestic product (GDP). Analysts expect industry investment to correlate with growth in the U.S. economy.
A highly integrated supply chain network in the United States links producers and consumers through multiple transportation modes, including air and express delivery services, freight rail, maritime transport, and truck transport. To serve customers efficiently, multinational and domestic firms provide tailored logistics and transportation solutions that ensure coordinated goods movement from origin to end user through each supply chain network segment.
This subsector includes inbound and outbound transportation management, fleet management, warehousing, materials handling, order fulfillment, logistics network design, inventory management, supply and demand planning, third-party logistics management, and other support services. Logistics services are involved at all levels in the planning and execution of the movement of goods.
Air and express delivery services (EDS):
Firms offer expedited, time-sensitive, and end-to-end services for documents, small parcels, and high-value items. EDS firms also provide the export infrastructure for many exporters, particularly small and medium-sized businesses that cannot afford to operate their own supply chain.
High volumes of heavy cargo and products are transported long distances via the U.S. rail tracking network. Freight rail moves more than 70 percent of the coal, 58 percent of its raw metal ores, and more than 30 percent of its grain for the nation. This subsector accounted for approximately one third of all U.S. exports.
This subsector includes carriers, seaports, terminals, and labor involved in the movement of cargo and passengers by water. Water transportation carries about 78 percent of U.S. exports by tonnage, via both foreign-flag and U.S.-flag carriers.
Trucking: Over-the-road transportation of cargo is provided by motor vehicles over short and medium distances. The American Trucking Associations reports that in 2012, trucks moved 9.4 billion tons of freight, or about 68.5 percent of all freight tonnage transported domestically. Motor carriers collected $642 billion in revenues, or about 81 percent of total revenue earned by all domestic transport modes.
American Association of Port Authorities
American Society of Transportation and Logistics
American Trucking Associations
Association of American Railroads
Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals
Express Delivery and Logistics Association Industry Publications:
Journal of Commerce
Material Handling & Logistics
North American Industry Classification System For Transportation
The Transportation and Warehousing sector includes industries providing transportation of passengers and cargo, warehousing and storage for goods, scenic and sightseeing transportation, and support activities related to modes of transportation. Establishments in these industries use transportation equipment or transportation related facilities as a productive asset. The type of equipment depends on the mode of transportation. The modes of transportation are air, rail, water, road, and pipeline.
The Transportation and Warehousing sector distinguishes three basic types of activities: subsectors for each mode of transportation, a subsector for warehousing and storage, and a subsector for establishments providing support activities for transportation. In addition, there are subsectors for establishments that provide passenger transportation for scenic and sightseeing purposes, postal services, and courier services.
A separate subsector for support activities is established in the sector because, first, support activities for transportation are inherently multimodal, such as freight transportation arrangement, or have multimodal aspects. Secondly, there are production process similarities among the support activity industries.
One of the support activities identified in the support activity subsector is the routine repair and maintenance of transportation equipment (e.g., aircraft at an airport, railroad rolling stock at a railroad terminal, or ships at a harbor or port facility). Such establishments do not perform complete overhauling or rebuilding of transportation equipment (i.e., periodic restoration of transportation equipment to original design specifications) or transportation equipment conversion (i.e., major modification tosystems). An establishment that primarily performs factory (or shipyard) overhauls, rebuilding, or conversions of aircraft, railroad rolling stock, or a ship is classified in Subsector 336, Transportation Equipment Manufacturing according to the type of equipment.
Many of the establishments in this sector often operate on networks, with physical facilities, labor forces, and equipment spread over an extensive geographic area.
Industries in the Truck Transportation subsector provide over-the-road transportation of cargo using motor vehicles, such as trucks and tractor trailers. The subsector is subdivided into general freight trucking and specialized freight trucking. This distinction reflects differences in equipment used, type of load carried, scheduling, terminal, and other networking services. General freight transportation establishments handle a wide variety of general commodities, generally palletized, and transported in a containeror van trailer. Specialized freight transportation is the transportation of cargo that, because of size, weight, shape, or other inherent characteristics require specialized equipment for transportation.
Each of these industry groups is further subdivided based on distance traveled. Local trucking establishments primarily carry goods within a single metropolitan area and its adjacent nonurban areas. Long distance trucking establishments carry goods between metropolitan areas.
The Specialized Freight Trucking industry group includes a separate industry for Used Household and Office Goods Moving. The household and office goods movers are separated because of the substantial network of establishments that has developed to deal with local and long-distance moving and the associated storage. In this area, the same establishment provides both local and long-distance services, while other specialized freight establishments generally limit their services to either local or long-distance hauling.
General Freight Trucking
This industry group comprises establishments primarily engaged in providing general freight trucking. General freight establishments handle a wide variety of commodities, generally palletized, and transported in a container or van trailer. The establishments of this industry group provide a combination of the following network activities: local pickup, local sorting and terminal operations, line-haul, destination sorting and terminal operations, and local delivery.
General Freight Trucking, Local
This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in providing local general freight trucking. General freight establishments handle a wide variety of commodities, generally palletized and transported in a container or van trailer. Local general freight trucking establishments usually provide trucking within a metropolitan area which may cross state lines. Generally the trips are same-day return.
General Freight Trucking, Long-Distance
This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in providing long-distance general freight trucking. General freight establishments handle a wide variety of commodities, generally palletized and transported in a container or van trailer. Long-distance general freight trucking establishments usually provide trucking between metropolitan areas which may cross North American country borders. Included in this industry are establishments operating as truckload (TL) or less than truckload (LTL) carriers.
General Freight Trucking, Long-Distance, Truckload
This U.S. industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in providing long-distance general freight truckload (TL) trucking. These long-distance general freight truckload carrier establishments provide full truck movement of freight from origin to destination. The shipment of freight on a truck is characterized as a full single load not combined with other shipments.
General Freight Trucking, Long-Distance, Less Than Truckload
This U.S. industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in providing long-distance, general freight, less than truckload (LTL) trucking. LTL carriage is characterized as multiple shipments combined onto a single truck for multiple deliveries within a network. These establishments are generally characterized by the following network activities: local pickup, local sorting and terminal operations, line-haul, destination sorting and terminal operations, and local delivery.
Specialized Freight Trucking
This industry group comprises establishments primarily engaged in providing local or long-distance specialized freight trucking. The establishments of this industry are primarily engaged in the transportation of freight which, because of size, weight, shape, or other inherent characteristics, requires specialized equipment, such as flatbeds, tankers, or refrigerated trailers. This industry includes the transportation of used household, institutional, and commercial furniture and equipment.
Used Household and Office Goods Moving
This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in providing local or long-distance trucking of used household, used institutional, or used commercial furniture and equipment. Incidental packing and storage activities are often provided by these establishments. Specialized Freight (except Used Goods) Trucking, Local
Specialized Freight (except Used Goods) Trucking, Long-Distance
This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in providing long-distance specialized trucking. These establishments provide trucking between metropolitan areas that may cross North American country borders.
A freight broker is an individual or company that serves as a liaison between another individual or company that needs shipping services and an authorized motor carrier. Though a freight broker plays an important role in the movement of cargo, the broker doesn't function as a shipper or a carrier.To operate as a freight broker, a business or individual must obtain a license from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Freight brokers are required to carry surety bonds as well.
Freight broker services are valuable to both shippers and motor carriers. Freight brokers help shippers find reliable carriers that might otherwise be difficult to locate. They assist motor carriers in filling their trucks and earning money for transporting a wide variety of items. For their efforts, freight brokers earn commissions.
Freight brokers use their knowledge of the shipping industry and technological resources to help shippers and carriers accomplish their goals. Many companies find the services provided by freight brokers indispensable. In fact, some companies hire brokers to coordinate all of their shipping needs.
Often, freight brokers are confused with forwarders. Though a freight forwarder performs some of the same tasks as a freight broker, the two are not the same. A forwarder takes possession of the items being shipped, consolidates smaller shipments, and arranges for the transportation of the consolidated shipments. By contrast, a freight broker never takes possession of items being shipped thus in the absence of negligent entrustment, a freight broker is not normally involved as a party litigant in a cargo claimdispute, although as an accommodation, the freight broker may assist the shipper at their request and expense with filing freight claims.
NAICS Index Description
Bulk mail truck transportation, contract, local 484110
Container trucking services, local 484110
General freight trucking, local 484110
Motor freight carrier, general, local 484110
Transfer (trucking) services, general freight, local 484110
Trucking, general freight, local 484121
Bulk mail truck transportation, contract, long-distance (TL) 484121
Container trucking services, long-distance (TL) 484121
General freight trucking, long-distance, truckload (TL) 484121
Motor freight carrier, general, long-distance, truckload (TL) 484121
Trucking, general freight, long-distance, truckload (TL) 484122
General freight trucking, long-distance, less-than-truckload (LTL) 484122
LTL (less-than-truckload) long-distance freight trucking 484122
Motor freight carrier, general, long-distance, less-than-truckload (LTL) 484122
Trucking, general freight, long-distance, less-than-truckload (LTL) 484210
Furniture moving, used 484210
Motor freight carrier, used household goods 484210
Trucking used household, office, or institutional furniture and equipment 484210
Used household and office goods moving 484210
Van lines, moving and storage services 484220
Agricultural products trucking, local 484220
Automobile carrier trucking, local 484220
Boat hauling, truck, local 484220
Bulk liquids trucking, local 484220
Coal hauling, truck, local 484220
Dry bulk trucking (except garbage collection, garbage hauling), local 484220
Dump trucking (e.g., gravel, sand, top soil) 484220
Farm products hauling, local 484220
Flatbed trucking, local 484220
Grain hauling, local 484220
Gravel hauling, local 484220
Livestock trucking, local 484220
Log hauling, local 484220
Milk hauling, local 484220
Mobile home towing services, local 484220
Refrigerated products trucking, local 484220
Rubbish hauling without collection or disposal, truck, local 484220
Sand hauling, local 484220
Tanker trucking (e.g., chemical, juice, milk, petroleum), local 484220
Top-soil hauling, local 484220
Tracked vehicle freight transportation, local 484220
Trucking, specialized freight (except used goods), local 484230
Automobile carrier trucking, long-distance 484230
Boat hauling, truck, long-distance 484230
Bulk liquids trucking, long-distance 484230
Dry bulk carrier, truck, long-distance 484230
Farm products trucking, long-distance 484230
Flatbed trucking, long-distance 484230
Forest products trucking, long-distance 484230
Grain hauling, long-distance 484230
Gravel hauling, long-distance 484230
Livestock trucking, long-distance 484230
Log hauling, long-distance 484230
Mobile home towing services, long-distance 484230
Radioactive waste hauling, long-distance 484230
Recyclable material hauling, long-distance 484230
Refrigerated products trucking, long-distance 484230
Refuse hauling, long-distance 484230
Rubbish hauling without collection or disposal, truck, long-distance 484230
Sand hauling, long-distance 484230
Tanker trucking (e.g., chemical, juice, milk, petroleum), long-distance 484230
Tracked vehicle freight transportation, long-distance 484230
Trash hauling, long-distance 484230
Trucking, specialized freight (except used goods), long-distance 484230
Waste hauling, hazardous, long-distance 484230
Waste hauling, nonhazardous, long-distance
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Best Freight Factoring Company
There are many reasons why Truck Factoring has become a popular and valuable financial tool for businesses today. The key benefit of Truck Factoring is that a business receives a quick boost to its cash flow: in fact, many Truck Factoring companies offer cash on their Accounts Receivable within 24 hours! -Best Freight Factoring Company
DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT GOING TO THE BANK WITHOUT READING THIS REPORT
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Effective Ways for Small Businesses to Avoid Cash Flow Problems
Without steady cash flow most businesses will fail to thrive, especially small businesses and start-ups. We've all heard the phrase "Cash Is King" and that's certainly true for established businesses, but for new businesses just getting started cash flow is even more important. Sadly, many new businesses fail to realize just how devastating cash flow problems can be to a business trying to establish themselves in the market. In fact, many businesses die a sad and lonely death simply because of bad cash management, and these are businesses that would otherwise have survived had they not experienced cash flow problems. Statistics show that 82% of businesses fail because they were unable to manage their cash. That's a tragic figure, especially when there are effective ways for new, small, and even large businesses to avoid these problems.
So, let's take a look at some important rules that small businesses should be aware of to ensure they never have to face liquidity.
No. 1: It's Cash That Sustains Business Growth
So many businesses don't consider cash flow an issue because they see the orders flooding in; however, many growing companies do experience cash flow problems. Increased sales generally mean increased costs to deliver orders; plus, in order to support the new volume of business other sections of a business typically need to grow. Your business may appear to be highly successful as orders continue coming in, but keep in mind that the faster your business grows the more financing it will need.
No. 2: Margins Are Just Accounting - They're Not Cash!
We know that accounting, and accountants, can be pretty creative with figures because there's nothing shareholders and board members love more than hearing about the industry-leading margins you're achieving; but your board members and shareholders are not the ones who have to find the money to meet payroll and pay your landlord. Margins don't pay your employees. Your sales may be booked down when your customer's order is delivered, but how long will it be before you receive payment? 30, 60, 90 days, or even longer? If your customers are not paying you and you're struggling to pay your expenses, your business is now in survival mode. Keep in mind that you may have great accounting margins but still have an empty bank account.
No. 3: When You're Selling B2B (Business-to-Business) Cash Flow Problems Will Likely Be Your First Issue
The more sales you make the more money you make, but when you're selling B2B it's not always that simple. Yes, you sell and deliver goods or services to another business and provide them with an invoice, and your customer will pay the invoice at a later date. But how much later? If you chase the business too hard for payment they'll probably never work with you again, so you could receive payment months later. You're not going to pass up businesses who buy with high volume, so you have no choice but to wait. So, you end up with a cash flow problem.
No. 4: Cash Flow Problems Can Occur Very Quickly
It doesn't take much for cash flow management to become a serious problem, so monitor your cash flow very carefully. Determine how much of your working capital is locked into receivables, inventories, raw materials, and so on; and know exactly how much money is required to meet both your sales targets and operating expenses. You may have made the sales but that doesn't mean you have the cash, and you may have paid for inventory but that doesn't mean it's automatically a cost of goods sold.
No. 5: Your Inventory Ties up Cash
You can't sell your goods until you've purchased or built them and, whether your goods are sold or not, your vendor still expects to be paid. This means that your inventory is locking up your cash. You could eventually make two times or even three times your money on your inventory, but margins do not equal cash.
No. 6: You Must Be Practical About Working Capital
Working capital is the figure left over when current liabilities are deducted from current assets, which means it's the money you have in your bank account available for meeting operating costs, paying vendors, and buying inventory - all the while waiting for your business customers to pay your invoices. Understanding and grasping the concept of working capital is a very necessary survival skill in business because being able to maintain sufficient cash to pay your own financial responsibilities whilst dealing with all the unknowns in business can be very tricky.
No. 7: Be Clear on What "Accounts Receivable" Actually Are
The money owed to you by your customers is called accounts receivable, which means the money that's sitting in your customer's bank account that belongs to you is called receivables. Just like inventory, the amount of money in your accounts receivable column is money you don't have. Certainly, you've done the deal and you've sent the invoice, but now you're waiting to be paid. You must remain very vigilant until such time as the invoice has been settled and the money is physically in your bank account.
8. Monitor the Health of Your Business Very Closely
Three aspects of your business that require close monitoring include -
-Inventory Turnover: Measure how long your inventory stays on your balance sheet without being converted to cash;
-Collection Days: Measure how long it takes to receive payment for services rendered or goods sold;
-Payment Days: Keep a record of how long you wait before paying suppliers.
Now, make a plan. Project these figures out to 12 or 18 months ahead then compare your plan to what actually occurs. This is a really great way of gaining some insight into your own business.
No. 9: Prepare for Financing before You Actually Need It
Don't wait until you need financing to start reaching out to finance companies. Contact companies who provide financing, especially credit line financing, and look for products where interest is not payable if the money is not used. Don't wait for your business to have cash flow issues. Waiting until you urgently need cash or a loan will subject you to higher interest rates and dodgy terms. Start the process while your business is healthy, which will allow you to negotiate finance terms from a position of strength. We strongly suggest you be proactive and find a partner ready to finance your business; a partner that's prepared to grow with you.
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Bookkeeping for Freight Brokers and the Most Common Mistakes Businesses Make
A freight broker is either a company or an individual who effects the transportation of goods by pairing up shippers with transportation services. The freight broker is not only responsible for pairing reliable and authorized transportation carriers with shippers, but also organizing the shipping needs for various organizations. Besides matching shippers with carriers, a freight broker is also responsible for ensuring each and every piece of cargo reaches its destination - and in good condition.
In addition to these tasks, freight brokers are also responsible for maintaining accurate bookkeeping records, and those who fail to keep meticulous accounting records are likely to lose money in the long run. In this post we've detailed what we believe are the most common accounting mistakes freight brokers make, and ways in which they can be avoided.No. 1: Attempting to DIY Your Bookkeeping Can Result in Costly Errors
Whether you handle the books yourself or delegate this vitally important job to an unqualified employee or even a family member, DIY bookkeeping is seldom, if ever, a good idea. Yes, initially you'll undoubtedly save some money, but your inexperienced bookkeeper's errors can ultimately become very costly to your business and result in expensive financing terms, increased bond premiums, and other unnecessary costs.
We strongly suggest you employ the services of an experienced bookkeeper who's qualified to deliver accurate accounting records, which will ultimately result in fewer errors and the job being completed quickly and efficiently.
No. 2: Postponing Important Bookkeeping Tasks Due to Heavy Workloads
It's not easy running a business, and anyone who finds themselves in this situation understands only too well just how difficult it can be to find the time to complete day-to-day time-consuming tasks. It's imperative that things like reconciling credit card and bank statements be completed each month because it's only through these reconciliations that errors can be found; plus of course it's how you determine out how much credit or cash you actually have.
As tempting as it may be to postpone these tedious tasks, you must ensure that your credit card and bank statements are reconciled every month, ideally as soon as you receive each statement. Keeping on top of statements means you can quickly identify any lost checks, missing deposits, or fraudulent charges, and be able to handle any discrepancies in a timely manner.
No. 3: Failing to Track Receivables and Invoices
Your business depends on you getting paid, and you won't be paid if you're not regularly and properly accounting for receivables. The lifeblood of your business is cash, which means the success of your business is entirely dependent upon you accounting for receivables. To put it another way, if the period of time between paying your carriers and receiving payment from customers is unnecessarily delayed by poor accounting practices, your business cash flow is going to be very strained.
If you're time-poor and realize you simply don't have time to track and collect invoices, then invoice factoring is the perfect solution for you. For just a small fee your applicable invoices will be purchased by the invoice factoring company, but the best part about invoice factoring is that you receive immediate payment! No longer will you have the time-consuming responsibility of trying to collect payments, thus saving an enormous amount of office time: plus, it leaves you free to take care of your own job, which is handling the day-to-day running of your business.
No. 4: Overlooking Liabilities Can Have Disastrous Results
When a surety inspects your business records to underwrite a bond, one of their first and most important considerations is whether your assets are sufficient to cover your liabilities. It's difficult for inexperienced bookkeepers to understand the full implications of accurate record keeping and sometimes DIY accountants record a liability but once the payment is made they forget to reverse the liability. This is a serious error because it understates net income while overstating liabilities, which makes your business appear less financially stable than it actually is.
The only way to avoid these unnecessary accounting errors is to hire an experienced bookkeeper. It's always handy to have another set of eyes, whether it be a CPA or an owner, to regularly review the balance sheet and check for discrepancies in account balances.
No. 5: Miscategorizing or Creating Unnecessary Expense Categories
All too often we see inexperienced bookkeepers either creating unnecessary expense categories or wrongly categorizing expenditures, either of which can be a huge red flag. Generally, each industry uses a standard set of categories for expenses and failing to follow this set of rules can signal to a surety or loan underwriter that an inexperienced person is handling your books; meaning that they may not be well prepared.
It's really important that your business's accounting software is correctly set up, preferably with the help of an accountant or experienced bookkeeper. Additional expense categories should not be added unless absolutely necessary. If you have any queries about how to classify expenses, don't hesitate to ask for guidance from your qualified accountant or CPA.
No. 6: Submitting Invoices with Insufficient Details
Don't try to save time by skimping on invoice details. Your customers' invoices should have detailed information on each line item; for example, do you invoice per mile, by weight, or by piece? Is the charge a flat fee? If there are additional charges such as fees or reimbursements for fuel, these should be listed as separate line items. The only way to avoid any confusion is to ensure that charges are properly detailed on invoices.
The last thing you want is for your customers to complain about charges they don't recognize on their invoices; and missing information can cause much confusion, resulting in delays in payment. All of these problems can be prevented by ensuring that your invoices have complete, detailed, and accurate information. Don't create unnecessary problems by trying to skimp on invoice details.
No. 7: Not Learning or Understanding the Full Functionality of Your Accounting Software
Getting a business up and running can be very expensive and time-consuming, and many freight brokers simply don't have time to learn how to use their accounting software package to its full capacity. This is not a problem if all your accounting and bookkeeping tasks are being outsourced; however, if you're using the software in any way at all, perhaps even just for entering checks and running reports, we strongly recommend that you learn how to use all functions of your accounting software package.
You can save so much time and have easy access to real-time information on the financial status of your business if you have the right accounting software and you know how to use it correctly. Having this information at your fingertips can help you make the right decisions to grow your business.
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Business Is Great, but Our Company's Cash-Strapped!
There comes a time in the life of most businesses when cash flow becomes a problem, and it's not just during difficult times that this occurs. There are so many different reasons why businesses may need an injection of cash, like sudden growth, or perhaps wanting to purchase new equipment or service bigger clients. Every business at one time or another will require urgent funding to sustain or grow their business.According to research, many small and medium-sized businesses are failing, certainly not due to lack of sales, but solely because they're unable to meet their short-term financial obligations. Considering the time, money, and personal investment that goes into the creation of every business, the failure of a business to thrive has become a heartbreaking reality for many people. Why would a profitable and growing business find itself in financial trouble? The answer is very simple. When just one or more of your larger accounts hold off on paying their accounts for perhaps an additional 60 or 90 days, you've now got a cash flow problem.
Running Out of Funding Options?
When experiencing cash flow problems, business people typically depend on conventional lending sources for a corporate line-of-credit, and many find themselves applying for short-term bridging finance. And how many business owners admit to using their personal credit card to pay for business-related expenses? However, there are times when traditional methods of funding are no longer available, leaving the acquisition of extended financing a frustrating and sometimes impossible task.
Fortunately, there's a viable alternative today, one which has been around for a long time but one that many businesses are not fully aware of. There's now a way for businesses to avoid cash flow problems and continue growing their business from strength to strength, even during difficult times. Factoring, also known as Accounts Receivable Financing, Asset Based Lending (and various other terms) is an alternative form of financing, designed to help businesses through periods of expansion and business growth. Factoring has quickly become a very practical and workable financial solution for many businesses, and more and more we're seeing businesses from different industries look towards factoring to resolve their cash flow problems.
How Does Freight Factoring Work for Trucking Companies?
Basically, a business with creditworthy accounts receivables can use factoring to receive an immediate injection of cash on those receivables. Factoring companies will typically say yes when a bank says no, thus providing a business with a much-needed cash injection. The process of factoring is actually quite simple. Your trucking company needs cash, and because you have quality accounts receivables your chosen factoring company will purchase any number of those receivables and immediately provide you with cash - anywhere up to 90% of the value of your invoices. Once your customer has paid the factoring company the total amount of your invoice, the remaining balance will be forwarded to you - less the agreed-upon fees.
A good factoring company will respond quickly to its trucking company clients and provide them with personalized and professional attention. With freight bill factoring, a trucking company will always have its cash needs satisfied with cash flow. It may be true that, when compared to other means of lending, factoring is more expensive, but borrowers report that the benefits they receive far outweigh the cost.
Freight Bill Factoring Is Not A Loan
Perhaps the greatest advantage of invoice factoring is the fast turnaround time because, unlike banks, there's no loan approval process with factoring. This means that business owners of trucking companies can receive cash in-hand on the same working day! In order to be approved for freight factoring a trucking company must have creditworthy customers and have a good reputation; however, once approved for freight factoring the process of receiving funding is quite automatic. Cash advances will be made on the same day, and it's important to note here that future financing is only limited by the value and number of receivables involved.
Freight Bill Factoring Is Very Popular with Trucking Companies
In the last decade many trucking companies have taking advantage of freight factoring, mostly because it's a great alternative to bank financing. In fact, freight factoring is often recommended by trucking companies financial advisers or accountants. We know of many cases where freight bill factoring is solely responsible for trucking companies being able to accept and process orders from customers that otherwise would have declined due to a lack of financing. Freight bill factoring has saved many companies from severe financial crisis, and even bankruptcy.
It's now very clear that freight bill factoring is playing a very important role in today's business environment. This type of financing allows trucking companies to increase loads, expand their customer base, and even survive a seasonal slump. The truth is that freight bill factoring works, and it works well!
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Everything You Need to Know about Invoice Factoring
You've probably heard about invoice factoring, but like many business owners you may not be entirely sure how it works or whether it could help your own business. In this article we'll try to answer all your questions about what invoice factoring is, how it works, and whether it could help you grow your business.The following definition of invoice factoring may sound too good to be true, but let's look anyway! "Invoice factoring is a viable alternative to bank financing and other traditional types of financing, but it's not a debt, and there are no strings attached." For anyone who's approached traditional lending sources for financing and been refused or left hanging for weeks or months, yes, this probably does sound too good to be true, but it's actually not! Invoice factoring can provide the working capital you need to help your business grow and prosper, so read on then decide for yourself.
How Invoice Factoring Works
With invoice factoring you no longer need to wait 60, 90, or even 120 days to receive payment from your customers, because invoice factoring converts these invoices into immediate cash in-hand. It's up to you to determine which invoices, and how many invoices, you wish to factor, following this simple process -
- Once you've been accepted for invoice factoring by your factoring company, you can begin submitting your unpaid invoices. These invoices must be for products that have been delivered or work that's been completed. The process to follow is to fax or email a copy of the invoice directly to the factor, while at the same time invoicing your customer as usual.- Within 24 hours you'll receive a cash advance from your factoring company. Your invoices will be verified by the factor and you'll receive a cash advance of up to 95% of the invoice, which will be paid directly into your bank account.- Now that you've received this cash advance, you continue on with your work while the factoring company works to collect on the invoice on your behalf. Your factor will be highly experienced in collecting on invoices, thus allowing you to do what you do best, which is to continue providing excellent customer service and focusing on other important aspects of growing your business.- It's entirely up to you how many invoices you factor and how many clients you choose for the factoring process. You may decide to factor all your invoices, or it may be that you have one client that's always late in paying and you'd prefer the factoring company to only collect on that one invoice. It's your decision!
The Benefits of Invoice Factoring
The major benefit of invoice factoring is that, as the business owner, you're controlling your cash flow. Of course, there are other advantages of using a factoring company which can help your business grow and prosper.
No. 1: Your Factoring Company Will Provide Background and Credit Verification
It's very important to the viability of your business that you work with reliable customers in fact, it's the only way to turn your sales into revenues and to develop a solid payment history. But, we all know just how expensive it can be to run background and credit checks, and this simple exercise can dig deep into your working capital.
No problem! These checks will be provided to you by your invoice factoring company at no additional charge to you, which will provide reassurance that you are in fact working with quality customers. It also means that any issues that may arise can be addressed before they negatively affect your company.
No. 2: Your Factoring Company Can Assist with Credit Building and Repair
Perhaps your business credit is not ideal, but the good news is that you could still qualify for an invoice factoring program. The benefit of invoice factoring for a business with less-than-perfect credit is that, not only will you have available cash to meet your daily operating costs, you'll also be able to rebuild your credit rating by paying down current debt. Factoring companies are also well-equipped to assist start-ups, so if you're just getting your business up-and-running, invoice factoring is the perfect way to maintain regular cash flow.
No. 3: Invoice Factoring Opens Your Business to Great Money-Saving Opportunities
With invoice factoring, your business can utilize this rejuvenated cash flow to not only save money by offering competitive rates, but you'll now be able to negotiate early pay discounts and other incentives with your suppliers. And, depending on how many invoices you decide to factor, you could eventually qualify for a reduction in rates by receiving a volume discount.
No. 4: Invoice Factoring Provides Steady Cash Flow
In order for any business to grow and prosper it's vitally important to have a steady cash flow. And that's the beauty of invoice factoring: instead of late-paying customers controlling cash flow, the business owner regains control of the working capital. Perhaps you're simply tired of waiting for invoices to be paid, or maybe you're in an industry with seasonal fluctuations; whatever the reason you're struggling with cash flow, invoice factoring can help you regulate and take control of your business once again.
No. 5: Invoice Factoring Allows You to Dream Big Again!
Having a steady business is one thing, but having a growing business is what every business owner dreams of. Now that you've been accepted for invoice factoring and you have a steady cash flow, there are many ways you can use this cash to grow your business.
- You can increase your marketing efforts and get your name out there;
- You can negotiate bigger and better contracts with bigger clients;
- You can invest in technology upgrades;
- You can employ experienced personnel, or provide training programs for existing staff;
- You can upgrade or replace outdated equipment; and
- You can relocate your business or invest in expansion.
No. 6: Invoice Factoring Is Not a Debt to Your Business
It's very important to note that invoice factoring is not a debt, so there will be no more debt added to your balance sheet. In fact, it's exactly the opposite, because invoice factoring provides cash in-hand, so you can pay off old debts. The money is already yours, so there's no money to pay back or interest to add on. All invoice factoring does is get money that's owed to you into your bank account - faster.
I've Never Heard of Invoice Factoring
Many businesses know very little, or nothing at all, about invoice factoring, which is strange because invoice factoring is certainly not new. Perhaps it's because we typically think of bank loans and other traditional types of lending when looking to grow our business; however, factoring goes right back to the Roman Empire. Back then, businessmen, particularly farmers, used factors to grow their business, and in more modern times factoring was used to finance transactions in the clothing and textile industry, helping businesses accept larger purchase orders and pay for raw materials. Today, invoice factoring is used by almost every industry you can think of, like -- Construction
- Staffing, HR
- Media and Marketing.
Understanding the Language of Invoice Factoring
Invoice factoring does appear to have its own language, so let's clarify some of the terminology -
- Your customers are known as Account Debtors.
- The report showing the total amount of unpaid receivables in addition to the amount of time they've remained unpaid is known as an Accounts Receivable Ageing Report.
- The two terms Invoice Factoring and Accounts Receivable Factoring can be used interchangeably because they mean the same thing.
- The percentage of the invoice charged by the factor as a fee for advancing funds is known as the Discount Rate.
- When your factor conducts background research to assess potential customers this is known as Due Diligence.
- The cash that's advanced to the business, typically within 24 hours and usually ranging between 80% and 95% of the total invoice amount, is known as the Factoring Advance Rate.
- The third party who connects a business with the right factoring company, to meet their business goals and needs is known as a Factoring Broker.
- The right to maintain possession of property until such time as a debt has been discharged is known as a Lien.
- It can occur that a customer fails to pay their invoice on time, or they may never pay their invoice. Non-Recourse Funding is where the factor assumes full responsibility for funds lost. Because the factoring company accepts this responsibility, non-recourse funding is therefore more expensive.- With Recourse Funding, your business will be required to buy back the receivables if your client fails to pay within the agreed-upon terms.
- The amount of money withheld by the factor until full payment has been received from your customer is known as the Reserve.
- Staffing companies may choose to enter a one-time agreement in order to factor a single invoice. This is known as Spot Factoring.
How Does Invoice Factoring Affect Your Customers?
It's important to point out here that your factoring company is not a collection agency and that factoring is not a bad thing. The aim of your factoring company is to maintain a good working relationship with both you and your customers, which means that your customers will receive great customer service. Both you and your factoring company have one common goal, and that is to ensure the payment process of your invoices is as seamless as possible. See below for how factoring typically works -
- You've decided to start factoring, so the first step is for your Account Manager to verify with your debtors that they are indeed your customers and to inform them of a change of address for remittances.
- Your customers must pay their invoices anyway, so a change of remittance address should not affect them in any way.
- Your account manager is a professional when it comes to collecting on invoices, so they will simply advise your clients that they will be managing your invoices in future and taking over your accounts receivable.
- And that's all there is to it! Nothing should change between you and your customers. They'll still receive an invoice from you; but their payment will now be sent to a new Post Office box. Your Account Manager will always be on hand to resolve any issues that may arise.
How Do I Choose the Right Invoice Factoring Company for My Business?
When you start looking for factoring companies you'll discover that there are many different companies out there, but they're certainly not all the same.
When making comparisons we suggest you consider the following points -
1: Factoring Fees
It's true that factoring fees can be more expensive than traditional bank loans, but sometimes the decision businesses are faced with is to simply have access to some working capital or have no working capital at all. What should you be aware of? You need to know the overall factoring cost, in addition to any smaller (or hidden) fees your factor may charge. These fees might include -
- Account Setup Fees
- Application Costs
- Credit Reports
- Costs to Research Liens
- Money Transfer Fees, or
- Last-Minute Funding.
Choose a factor that you believe you can trust and one that you feel completely comfortable with; because you're also looking for great customer service. Remember also that factors may charge for different things, and there may be hidden fees.
2: You Need Flexibility, so Carefully Check Your Proposed Contract
It's very important that you carefully read the fine print of your contract, prior to signing on the dotted line. It would be so disappointing to sign a factoring contract only to realize that you didn't completely understand the terms and now you're locked into a contract that's not clear on how the factoring company charges or how many invoices you can factor per month - or even worse - that you're now legally bound to this factoring company for the long term. Yes, long-term factoring contracts do exist, but be prepared to pay a lot of money if you try and break the contract. Make sure you know exactly how long you're signing up for, which of your clients are eligible for factoring, and how much per month you can factor.
3: With Invoice Factoring, Communication Is Key
Great customer service is very important with any business, and the most important part of great customer service is good and easy communication. And now we're talking about dealing with a company that's handling your money, so you can see how important good communication is! The last thing you need from a factoring company who's handling your money is being forced to wait for days for someone to respond to your phone call or email communication. Any factoring company you talk to is going to say their communication and customer service is really great - but be very cautious. How well did your potential factoring company respond to your initial queries? Then ask yourself: is that how you'd want them to deal with your customers? Remember there are plenty of factoring companies out there, so if the answer to these questions is not an unequivocal â€˜yes', then find someone else.
4: Look for a Factoring Company That Has Industry Expertise
Yes, there are factoring companies out there that cover general factoring, but ideally, you'll choose someone who specializes in your own industry; someone who has a good working knowledge of the type of business you're running. Once you start looking for the right factoring company for your business you'll see that there are many factoring companies that specialize in specific industries, which means they already know a lot about your business model. And, if they have a lot of expertise, they'll probably be able to offer specific programs that relate to your industry, like fuel cards, or back-office support. These little extras can be just what you need when deciding whether or not to factor your invoices.
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Why Trucking Companies Use Factoring Companies.
As the owner of your own business, you may be more than aware already of the difficulty in making sure that cash flow issues do not become a problem down the line. After all, the worst thing that can possibly happen for your business is to find yourself embroiled in a long and difficult situation that leaves you forever trying to find the cash you need on an ongoing basis.
For any business in this situation, the problem can come for waiting for work to clear up and actually be paid into your account. Invoices, checks, and the like can take some time to actually to be processed which can leave you with short-term cash flow issues. Thankfully, there are options out there for businesses to look into - and one of these is factoring companies.
Factoring companies will, in exchange for your invoices, provide you with the cash today so that you don't need to worry about the waiting period that could make paying the bills and getting materials more difficult. With this type of setup, invoice factoring can become incredibly useful for many businesses who need to get out of a cash trap which they have found themselves in.
Because, depending on the size of the job, it can take up to 60 days for some businesses to get paid then it's important to cover your own back and not leave yourself cash short to pay the bills. After all, how many businesses have two months revenue just lying there to cover all their expenses until they get paid?
This is especially true of trucking companies. They tend to deal with lots of invoices which means a significant amount of collection time involves business owner themselves. Trying to get paid in time can become an incredible hassle and this is why you use trucking factoring companies who are happy to help out truckers specifically.
As we all know, trucking is an incredibly large industry with many companies out there employing hundreds of drivers. Unfortunately, many of these drivers end up in money troubles because they are still waiting for work from six weeks ago to actually pay them. When this is the situation for a trucking company, turning to factoring companies for assistance might be the best choice left.
This means that a trucking company can pay the wages of the staff, keep all the trucks topped off with fuel and continue to scale, grow and expand without always waiting for the money which is taking too long to come in. Trucking Businesses running without a factoring program put in place are leaving themselves at significant risk, as competitors cash out fast and continue to expand.
There's genuinely nothing to be worried about when it comes to using a Factoring company - they aren't like a bank or somebody who is going to leave you with a huge pile of debt to pay back. You give them genuine invoices from work you have already finished, you are merely speeding up the payment process.In the United States, where trucking companies thrive, factoring companies are not considered borrowing in any capacity. This confidential agreement then allows both parties to profit and enjoy a comfortable future - it gives the factoring company a guaranteed asset of income to add to the list and it gives the trucking firm the needed cash that they worked hard to earn.
The trucking company provides their invoices to the factoring company. The trucking factoring company then receive the payments from the trucking company's customers. Factoring has been around for hundreds of years and has been used for many years by many different industries - but none more so than truckers. While you may miss out on a small part of the money, something like 1-3% depending on who you work with, it means that you are getting the money today and can actually start putting the money to work.
After all, an IOU or an invoice is not going to pay for expenses, is it? For trucking companies when the money can be good one day and gone the next, it's up to the drivers to work sensibly and to ensure they are leaving themselves with a significant amount of time and finance to get through the week until they are paid again.
So the next time your trucking business is having some short-term cash flow issues and you are spending too much time chasing slow paying clients, why not start considering using a factoring businesses as a way to get your money and give yourself a more comfortable future in the eyes of your trucking staff and your bank balance?
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Growing Your Trucking Company Just Got a Whole Lot Easier
There's a lot of hard work and dedication involved in growing a successful trucking business, but perhaps above everything else a disciplined approach to making the right decisions and taking the right actions is required. The aim of this post is to help both small fleet owners and owner-operators accomplish these goals.
The three key steps to building your trucking business are to grow your fleet, find profitable shippers and loads, and the successful day-to-day running of your trucking company.
The 1st Step: Growing Your Fleet
You won't be able to grow your trucking company unless you have the right equipment. But, securing finance to purchase this equipment can be very difficult, and this is where many truckers run into trouble. Today, there are several financing options for owner operators of trucking companies, and even those with less-than-stellar credit are typically able to achieve some sort of financing.
There are two more-commonly used financing options â€“ the trucking company either leases a truck or it gets a loan to purchase a truck. There are various ways of structuring leases and loans, and each option has its disadvantages and advantages. Your final decision will be determined by its merits, your objectives, and your available resources.
We strongly urge you to consult with a CPA with expertise in trucking when considering financing. It's true that a visit to a CPA could cost around $150, but not only will they help you determine your best option, they could also save you a lot of money in taxes. In fact, it's critical that you seek a CPA's advice if you're planning on growing your fleet. This is not an expense you should try to avoid.
The 2nd Step: Finding Profitable Shippers and Loads
Possibly the hardest part of running a trucking company is finding quality shippers and loads. Many owner-operators use a loadboard to find loads, and this approach does have its advantages. Perhaps the main advantage is that the loadboard allows you to match your equipment and preferred routes with loads. Unfortunately, though, loadboards are not financially worthwhile for truckers in the long term. To start with, loadboards are highly competitive, particularly for the most popular routes, which means you'll be forced to charge low per-mile rates. Now the trucking company must become very vigilant and ensure the load they're pulling will end up being profitable. The second reason using a loadboard is not viable in the long term is that your company doesn't get to grow relationships with shippers. This means you'll always be working with new customers, which can be a time-consuming process.
The best strategy for owner operators is to only use a loadboard as a starting point, but persist with making sales calls so that eventually you'll start building relationships with direct shippers. Statistics show that trucking companies with shipping relationships are earning approximately $20,000 per truck/per month; whereas trucking companies who rely on loadboards are earning approximately $10,000 per truck/per month. That's a big difference! As you can see from these figures, building good and lasting relationships with shippers can double your revenue. Therefore, the best way to grow your trucking business is to develop solid relationships with shippers.
The 3rd Step: The Day-To-Day Running of Your Trucking Company
All too often we see small fleet owners and owner-operators struggling with the day-to-day running of their trucking company. There's a lot of paperwork and related coordination that's involved in moving loads and running a trucking office can be very exacting and tedious. But, it's a necessary task and it's an important one.
If you're determined to grow your trucking company, it's critical that you employ both time-saving and money-saving processes. Managing a small trucking fleet is entirely different to managing a single truck operation. We strongly suggest you approach experienced truckers for advice and, providing you're not in competition with them, you'll generally find that small fleet owners are more than happy to share their expertise with you.
Managing Cash Flow
Managing cash flow can be a serious issue for trucking companies. It's fairly common for new truckers to experience cash flow problems when they first get into the trucking business, and the reason for this is very simple. Cash flow problems occur because most shippers settle their accounts in 30 days, 60 days, and some even wait 90 days. In the meantime, however, you've got your drivers to pay, fuel to purchase, machinery to repair, payroll to meet, and other necessities to take care of. The delay in receiving payments due to you can cause serious problems for any business that doesn't have a large cash reserve. Simply speaking, you run out of money, and without money your company will be stuck. Until such time as your shippers pay your invoices there'll be no more loads, no mechanical repairs, no meeting payroll, and so on.
How to Resolve Your Cash Flow Problems
Fortunately, there's a very simple answer to the question of cash flow problems. Today, many trucking companies are resolving their cash flow issues by factoring their freight bills. Freight factoring has become a popular way of financing new trucking companies because factoring provides trucking companies with an advance on their slow paying invoices. The result - no more cash flow problems! Now, instead of having to wait 30, 60, even 90 days to get paid, you'll be paid by the factoring company once the load has been delivered.
Receiving upfront payment on invoices gives trucking companies the money they so desperately need to cover the day-to-day running costs of their business, with money left over to grow their business. You'll also find that fuel advances are often offered by many factoring companies. This is an add-on feature which provides the trucking company with funding when they collect a load. These funds come in very handy for paying fuel costs and other delivery expenses.
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Benefits Of A Factoring Company Over A Traditional Bank Loan
Anyone who owns a business knows that there are times when the money goes out of your business much faster than it is coming in. This can put a company in a financial bind, making it difficult to purchase raw materials, pay their employees, or even keep the utilities on. The simple truth is that every company needs to have ready cash in order to keep their business running on an even keel and in order for it to grow. There are a number of different ways that a company can get the money they need to keep their business running and moving forward, but not all of these ways offer businesses the same freedom and benefits. This article will talk about two popular, but different types of financing available to business. The Traditional bank loan, and getting your financing through a factoring company.
Bank loans are an extremely traditional way for a business to get financing. While these loans are handy they are not available to every business. For example, a fairly newly established business simply may not have the assets to readily get a loan from a bank, even if they do, the standard collateral for a business loan is the business itself, which means that if you cannot make your loan payment, you risk losing your entire business. In addition, while you apply for a certain loan amount, that is all the financing you are entitled to. Once the loan is paid off, you can then apply for another loan if the need arises.
Factoring companies do not give loans, and the money you get from the factoring company does not put you in debt. Rather the financing you receive from a factoring company is based on money your business has all ready earned, but have not yet received. Factoring companies actually purchase your account's receivable or at least part of them for a percentage of their total worth, Normally around 80%-95%. The amount of money you can receive is based on the amount of money you have earned and the accounts receivable you are willing to "sell." Once you have set up factoring account it continues as long as you wish it too and the amount of money available to you even can grow as your business grows, giving you the ready cash you need to meet your own obligations.
Benefits of a Factoring Company Vs. A Bank Loan
While not every business can take advantage of factoring account financing (you have to have a business that has account receivables) for those that can use this type of financing there are several distinct benefits.
1. You Won't Incur Debt.
Since the factoring company actually buys your accounts receivable you don't actually incur debt like you do with a bank loan. This has many benefits including the fact, that this type of financing won't affect either your business credit rating or your personal credit rating. Should the unforeseeable happen and your business fails, you won't have to worry about anyone coming after your personal as well as your business assets to pay off a loan. With a bank loan, the debt goes onto your credit report, and even one late payment can adversely affect your businesses credit, and even the ability to get insurance and may even reflect upon your personal credit rating.
2. No Collateral Required.
Another benefit of using a factoring company instead of a traditional loan is that you aren't required to provide collateral to the factoring company in order to secure financing, because the company "buys" the accounts receivables; not loans you money based on them. In addition, while the factoring company does run a credit check on your customers whose accounts receivables are offered for financing, the state of your credit is not an issue. This makes it easier for fledgling businesses to get the financing they need through a factoring company (as long as their accounts receivables are in good order) then from a bank, who may not feel that you have been in business long enough to be worth the risk of issuing you a loan.
3. Receive Your Money Faster.
With a Factoring company you can actually get the money you need faster. Once the Factoring company assures itself that the customers in your accounts receivable are likely to pay their debt, the money is usually in the account within 24 hours. With a bank, there are vasts amounts of paperwork, then the loan has to be underwritten, which can take months before you actually see the loan if it is approved.
4. Interest is Paid Up Front.
Unlike a bank loan that continues to build interest that you have to pay the entire time you have your business loan with a factoring company, you don't have to continue to pay interest as they take it right off the top, deducting it from the total amount of accounts receivable. So not only are you relieved of those monthly loan payments, but you also don't have to worry about the building up of interest, as every penny in the account is yours to spend on the business.
As you can see, there are several benefits that makes considering financing through a factoring company over a traditional bank worthwhile. However, there are also a couple of other benefits that a factory company can offer your business is far beyond the scope of the bank. The most important benefits is that once you sell your accounts receivable to the factory company, you don't have to take time away from running your business to collect the money owed from reluctant to pay customers. The factoring company takes over that chore, since it is now their money to collect. Factoring companies are very good at collecting these debts, saving you the time and effort that you need to devote to your growing company.
In addition, since the factoring company evaluates the credit quality of your customers prior to purchasing the accounts receivable you gain valuable information into which customers are likely to pay and which ones are not so likely to pay.
While a Factoring company is not the only way for your business to obtain the money it needs to keep growing, it does offer a type of financing well worth considering.
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Questions You Need to Ask Your Factoring Company
In today's marketplace we're seeing more and more factoring companies, and factoring fees, rates and agreement terms have become very competitive. This means that, as a potential factoring customer, this competitiveness should work to your advantage. However, there are some issues you must consider when choosing a factoring company to suit your specific requirements.
Before entering into any factoring agreement, here are some important questions you should ask -
What Are Your Terms?
As a factoring customer, you'll be looking for as much flexibility in your factoring agreement as possible. It may be that you choose a long term contract with your factoring company if it includes flexible rates or a price break. In today's competitive market, many factoring companies are agreeing to adjust their rates based on competitive offers from other factors or increased factoring volume.
The majority of factoring agreements are a one year contract, which appears to be industry standard, and this contract will renew automatically unless you provide the factoring company either 60 or 90 days notice.
What's Your Fee Structure?
The fee structure may vary depending on both the factoring company involved and your industry. Some factoring companies charge a flat fee, which is calculated as a percentage of the total value of the invoice. On the other hand, other factoring companies charge additional fees to cover costs associated with doing business, such as money transfers, software, and so on. Ensure that the factoring company you're considering working with is completely upfront and transparent with you about its terms and fees.
Are You Able to Offer Both Recourse and Non Recourse Factoring?
Recourse factoring is less expensive than non recourse factoring. With recourse factoring, you (being the client) are ultimately responsible if the factoring company is unable to collect on your customers' invoices. However, you're not necessarily required to pay the debt out of pocket if you have a recourse agreement and the customer defaults on payment. It may be that the factoring company will withhold a portion of future cash payments or payments held in reserve, with the money being placed in an escrow account until such time as the debt has been paid.
Non recourse factoring:
When you have a non recourse factoring agreement, the credit risk for the collection of customers' invoices lies with the factoring company.Therefore, we believe it's to your advantage to use a factoring company that offers both recourse and non recourse factoring, simply because you may find that some of your customers are more suitable for recourse factoring than others. In addition, you need a factoring company with a strong credit team because they can work with you to ensure you're dealing with good customers: to a certain degree this will relieve some of the pressure of being responsible for bad debt.
How Long Has the Factoring Company Been in Business?
With the marketplace becoming increasingly competitive, today we're seeing the creation of more and more factoring companies. However, many of these companies are recent start ups, with limited industry experience. Make sure you research the factoring company's history prior to entering into any factoring agreement: also research its background into providing financial services in your specific industry.
Do You Have the Capital to Grow with Me?
The fact that there's no limit to the level of financing is the major advantage factoring has over traditional bank lending. As your company continues to grow, so too should the funding of invoices grow with you. Do your research and learn as much as possible about your potential factoring company's client base and their capital structure.
Does this factoring company have a limit to the number of debtors it takes on? What's a typical account size? What's the factoring volume of their largest client? You'll probably find that factoring companies who have been serving your industry for many years will have greater capacity to finance your company as it continues to grow.
Is There Anything Else You Can Do for Me?
Obviously, factoring is more expensive than a conventional bank loan, and this is partly due to the back office services that your factoring company is able to provide. Besides collections and financing, many factoring companies will evaluate companies in your industry and provide credit information. Therefore, when looking for a factoring company for your business, make sure the one you choose offers additional services and products that can assist you in making good business decisions.
How Do We Start Factoring?
Fortunately, factoring companies are not unduly concerned about your balance sheet before they decide to work with you, unlike banks. However, they do have a process to follow when selecting new clients, so be sure you understand what the factoring company is looking for when it's considering you as a client. Are they looking at your credit ratings and/or your customers' payment histories?
Are they looking at your personal credit score?
In many cases a company will start factoring because it's looking for a quick injection of cash, so you need to know how many days the factoring company will take to review and process your application.
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The Basics of Invoice Factoring: Choosing a Factoring Company
Probably the biggest frustration for business to business (B2B) companies is waiting to get paid.Anyone involved in a seasonal business, long payment cycle, or lumpy cash flow will be able to relate to this statement. Some customers are very slow payers (of course corporate clients and governments come to mind!) and other customers demand generous terms.
Explaining Invoice Factoring
Basically, with invoice factoring your current but unpaid invoices are turned into cash - it's a financing solution for businesses. Other terms used for factoring are 'Accounts Receivable Financing', 'Invoice Financing 'and 'Receivables Financing'. Because many clients demand generous terms, it means that invoices can remain unpaid for anywhere between 30 and 90 days; while in the meantime you're left without cash and falling behind on important expenses, such as payroll, and missing opportunities to grow your business. And this is where factoring comes in: factoring reduces, and sometimes eliminates the frustration of unpaid accounts.
A receivable financing transaction usually involves three parties, and these are the company that initially issues the invoice, the customer who is required to pay the invoice (otherwise known as the account debtor), and the 'factor', which is the financing company prepared to supply the cash.
Explaining Invoice Financing
An invoice is issued to a customer after a company has delivered a service or product. This invoice will now be sold to the factor and, in return, the company will receive a cash advance: this will usually be between 70% and 90% of the invoice's value. With this cash the company finds it easier to pay employees; plus, it can now purchase supplies, materials, and inventory, and it can take on more work. Once the debtor pays their invoice the business will receive a rebate for the rest of the funds, less a fee which will be based on the value of the invoice and the term. This type of financial agreement benefits all three parties: the customer receives cash almost immediately, the debtor gets favorable payment terms, and the factoring company collects a fee.
Explaining the Difference between Traditional Bank Financing and Invoice Financing
There are, of course, both drawbacks and benefits to this type of financing for businesses. The obvious benefits of factoring are a simpler application process, quicker funding, and higher approval rates when compared to bank lending. Having access to cash allows a business to grow, to meet payroll, achieve supplier discounts for bulk purchases or early payment, and to purchase equipment in order to improve productivity.
Factoring has a very simple application process which eliminates some of the main hurdles placed on small businesses by banks. The speed of funding with factoring offers businesses the opportunity to take advantage of opportunities as they arise. In addition, the high approval rates with factoring means that many more businesses qualify, even though they may have previously been declined by a bank. Another bonus is that funds received from factoring invoices can be used to supplement bank credit, if necessary.
On the other hand, when it comes to cost, a line of credit at a bank is less expensive than factoring; this is assuming that the business will be successful in their application to the bank and that they'll have access to the finance within a reasonable timeframe. Unfortunately, these applications are not always successful (four out of five companies are refused bank loans), while others find the whole process too discouraging.
Another possible issue with working with traditional factoring companies is that some of these companies will advise your customers that their invoices have been financed: this information can cause issues for some small businesses because they prefer to maintain control over all correspondence with their clients. Other factoring companies actually take control of your account receivables. Our advice is that you look for a factoring company that's prepared to work on a non notification basis.
Receivables Financing Has Become Good Business Sense
Today we see factoring becoming quite commonplace in many industries, such as IT companies, professional services, wholesale trade, marketing, manufacturing companies and so on. Many, many industries are discovering the benefits of receivables financing.
Invoice factoring is an ideal solution for business to business companies who issue invoices payable within 15 to 90 days. Any B2B company who's experiencing rapid growth, long payment cycles, or lumpy cash flow, will benefit the most from accounts receivable factoring. On the other hand, businesses and business to consumer (B2C) companies that are paid on delivery and don't issue invoices would have no need of factoring services.
If you're interested in invoice financing and believe it may be an option for your business, see below for our tips on how to approach working with a factoring company.
How to Work with an Invoice Factoring Company
There are many advantages to invoice financing, but it can be tricky working with some traditional factoring companies. Some factoring companies don't have excellent customer service, and between confusing terms, long term contracts, monthly minimums, and hidden penalties, the experience can be quite daunting. Our aim is to ensure that you get a fair deal when working with a factoring company, and please remember that, as always, if a deal sounds too good to be true, then it probably is!
You're Looking for Transparent Factoring Fees and Rates
Companies that make it difficult to work out their all inclusive fees are companies who are working for their own advantage, so when determining pricing, transparency is key. If you're getting frustrated and not receiving direct answers, we suggest you move on to another factoring company that will be respectful of your time.
Another Word of Caution: Beware of receivables factoring companies who advertise low rates, which then increase when all their hidden fees come to light. We've heard of factoring companies who charge low monthly factoring rates, but you'll be charged for two months' even if the invoice was paid in one month and one day. We also know that some factors require monthly minimums, which means that you pay for financing even if it's not required. We strongly suggest that you read our article on factoring rates and tricks so that you approach factoring with knowledge and awareness.
Understanding Penalties, and How to Avoid Them
Be aware that some invoice factoring companies out there have hidden penalties. In order to avoid these penalties, you need to know why they occur. If you believe these penalties are out of proportion or unfair, then move on to another factor. It won't be long before you'll understand what fair and reasonable terms look like.
Read the Fine Print in Your Contract
In order to guarantee their profits, most factoring companies will try to lock you into a long term contract. Obviously this is good business for the factoring company, but it may not be so good for your business. You need to know what you're signing up for, so be aware of long term contracts where you'll be charged exorbitant cancellation fees if you should decide to leave.
Also, be aware that some long term contracts include minimums, so consider this carefully: you may find yourself paying for something you're not using when you only needed the factoring company to meet occasional cash flow needs. You shouldn't be forced to remain with a service that's not meeting your needs, so it's vitally important that you carefully read the fine print.
Once you start your research on factoring you'll discover that most factoring companies operate on a notification basis, which means that when you sell your invoices to the factor, they notify your customers. They'll also ask that the funds be routed directly to the factoring company's bank account, instead of your account. This can be an issue for business owners who prefer to have control of all communications with their customers. If discretion is important to you and your business,
we strongly suggest that your accounts receivable financing company provides non notification factoring, meaning that you retain control over customer communications. If this is not an option for your factoring company, then you need to move to a companythat will provide non notification factoring.
How Much Cash Will You Receive Upfront?
You'll receive an advance upfront, which is a percentage of the face value of the invoice. This advance will probably be somewhere between 70% and 90% of the invoice's face value. For example, let's say your customer owes you $1000: your advance payment should be somewhere between $700 and $900.
Factoring Minimums Compared with Single Invoice Discounting
You'll also notice in your research that many factors require small businesses to submit all invoices from certain customers. On the other hand, 'single invoice discounting', also known as 'spot factoring', means that the business concerned determines which invoices will be sent to the factoring company for advance payment. Make sure you understand your factoring company's terms before you sign anything. Single invoice discounting or spot factoring is generally the preferred method for small businesses because it enables you to retain control over your financing by determining which invoices will be sent for factoring.
Choosing Your Factoring Company
Think about all the above criteria, and look for a business partner who will provide your business with the best combination of flexibility, features, and terms that you require. By doing a little research you'll soon find a partner and an agreement that offers you the flexibility, funds, terms, and transparency that work best for you. Your aim is to find a partner that you'll be happy to work with long term, so don't settle for anything less.
Best Freight Factoring Company Articles
How Factoring Saved A Staffing Agency
The Bellosa Temporary & Permanent Hiring Agency has been experiencing a major uptick in business since the unemployment crisis began. The unemployed and underemployed workers have been keeping the phones ringing. The staffing agency is also fielding a lot of calls from employers too, looking for just the right hire. Company President and Vice President, Laurie Bell and Ted Stevens, have not experienced a boom in business since they first opened the doors in 2009, during the recession. They had an idea then that this would be a profitable venture.
The mantra that Laurie and Ted live by is that there's always going to be people searching for work and of course employers will always be on the lookout for good workers. This is especially true in healthcare staffing, the industry they specialize in. This seemed to be a safe bet for them as they embarked on this venture, but with any small business, the only way to keep the doors open is to keep pressing forward and out perform the competition.
In a relatively short period of time Laurie and Ted had built a nice sized business, they were able to hit the ground running with some brilliant marketing programs and a number of contracts from insiders. They grew rapidly, the timing couldn't have been better and they were very lucky in this aspect. By the fall of 2011 Laurie and Ted had weathered some ups and downs but they did have some solid clients like a few big insurance companies and a university hospital close by. These clients always paid their invoices on time. But they did start to notice a decrease in accounts receivables from some smaller clients such as rehab centers and private practices.
As winter approached they recalled previous winters and holiday seasons and realized that accounts receivables usually did slow down during this time. Laurie and Ted made the decision to delay their late payments until after the New Year. This plan didn't really appeal to them as it's no way to start a New Year, but they seemed to have no other options.
When New Year's had come and gone they realized that their Accounts Receivables had gone from 30 days past due to 60 days past due. Before meeting with their accountant Scott, they'd decided something had to be done, but they didn't know what.
Sitting in the conference room with Scott they listened as pulled all the figures up on his iPad saying,"Okay you two, I've been looking over the files you sent over and I can certainly see why you're worried about your late A/Rs but there may be a way to fix this. Do either of you know what factoring is?" Scott inquired.
Laurie and Ted looked at each other quizzically, and then Laurie said "I think it rings a bell, but I'm not really sure. Can you explain it?"
Scott began laying out the details, "You are sitting on a pile of invoices that are past due. The more time that goes by without them being paid, the bigger the bind this puts your business in. It makes it very difficult for you to grow, much less hire anyone new. If you don't have enough cash coming in . "
Ted interrupted with, "Then it could make it difficult to take on any new business because we wouldn't be able to hire the additional personnel we need and meet our weekly payroll. We need an inflow of cash and we really can't wait. If we have to wait any longer on these invoices we'll be in trouble."
Scott jumped in saying, "And this is precisely why I wanted to discuss factoring with you. The factoring company will purchase the invoices you are sitting on that are up to 3 months late, which gives you the cash you need now." He then showed him a chart on a piece of paper he placed in front of them.
Laurie began to carefully scrutinize it asking, "Is this the fee schedule?"
Scott answered, "Yes it's all right there. The factoring company makes 1% to 3% of the total amount of each invoice they purchase."
"That's sounds like a good deal to me", Ted said.
The three of them sat there and talked this over for a while and then Laurie and Ted made the decision to go forward realizing this was the best way to keep them afloat. They knew if they couldn't accommodate all the new clients they were acquiring the competition would get them and they would go down, they could just not afford to turn any business away.
They now needed to fill out an application and submit it to the factoring company and they also needed to show them a few back invoices, undergo a credit check for their company. Credit checks would also need to be done on the companies owing the debts that the factoring company would be purchasing.
It didn't take long for Bellosa's credit to be approved and the creditors' as well. Before long the factoring company purchased the overdue invoices and Laurie and Ted got the influx of cash they needed to cover things and allow them to continue growing their business.
The next time Laurie and Ted met with their accountant Scott, there were smiles all around.Scott said, "I've taken a look at your books so I know that factoring was the right solution for you."
"It worked perfectly", Laurie stated and went on to say, "The tiny amount we paid out for this influx of cash was certainly worth it."
Ted chimed in with, "Without a doubt! Whatever the fees were we made back and more since we were now able to hire more personnel so we could take on more business. It worked out for us and for them I would say!"
"That's what's great about factoring!" Scott exclaimed with a look of satisfaction on his face.
Best Freight Factoring Company Articles
The Basics of Trucking Factoring
Whether you're the owner of a 50-truck fleet or an independent owner/operator, we all know that controlling your cash flow is vitally important to growing your business. Perhaps like many business owners you've become pretty clever at making creative use of your credit cards, because it's certainly preferable to going to your banker and begging for a business Line of Credit! Fortunately, there is another viable option for owner-operator businesses and small trucking fleets. The answer to the age-old cash flow problem is Freight Bill Factoring!
If Freight Bill Factoring is an unfamiliar term to you, then here's a brief explanation:
Freight Bill Factoring is the simple process of assigning your unpaid freight invoices to a third-party company (factoring company) for an amount that's less than you would receive if you were to bill your customer direct. The bonus of Freight Bill Factoring is that it enables you to get paid almost immediately upon completion of a run, thus giving you access to much-needed cash required for the day-to-day running of your business operations.
Here's a step-by-step explanation of how Freight Bill Factoring, or Trucking Factoring, works :
Once you've booked a load, you immediately email or fax details about the load, your customer, and your rate confirmation to the factoring company;
The factoring company will quickly respond by advising if that particular customer has been approved for load factoring;
You pull the load;
When the load has been delivered, you email or fax your load-related documents, including the Bills of Lading, to the factoring company;
Within 24 hours the factoring company will make a direct deposit into your Comdata account or your bank account for the amount of approved charges: this could be anywhere between 60 and 90% of your billing;
Once the invoice has been paid by your customer, you'll receive the balance.
It's true that Freight Bill Factoring is not for everyone, but it is an ideal way of accessing the cash you need to provide stability to your trucking business and keep your wheels turning whilst you wait for your customers to pay their accounts.
Obviously, the best option for any business is to invoice your customers directly and wait to receive payment, but unfortunately many customers are painfully slow when it comes to paying their invoices. If you're experiencing a cash flow problem, then working with a factoring company could well provide the financial cushion you need to keep your trucks on the road. It's up to you to do your own research and determine whether factoring makes sense for your business. We trust that the information we're providing here will provide you with enough knowledge to help you make a wise decision.
The Cost of Freight Bill Factoring
As explained above, there's a cost involved with Freight Bill Factoring, and it's up to you as the business owner to determine whether it's worth the cost. The cost of Trucking Factoring can vary from as little as 1.5% up to around 5% of the line haul revenue.
You also need to be aware that there could be a number of fees, charges, and other expenses if you employ the services of a Freight Bill Factoring company. Generally, when you've assigned your Bills of Lading to a Trucking Factoring company, you'll receive an immediate advance of between 60 and 90% of the anticipated revenue: of course, this figure will depend upon the factoring company you use. Once your customer has paid their invoice, the balance will be remitted to you.
It's also important to note that all Freight Factoring companies are not equal, so here are some key questions a business owner should ask when considering hiring the services of a Trucking Factoring company:
Recourse or Non-Recourse: Which Freight Factoring Service Do You Provide?
You may not be familiar with these terms, but you need to be, because the ramifications of not understanding these terms could seriously affect the profitability of your business.
means that, should your customer fail to pay the factoring company, the factoring service can come back to you for reimbursement; while
means that you have your money whether the invoice does or doesn't get paid.
Will You Bill My Customer for All Future Loads or Can Factoring Be Done on a Load-by-Load Basis?
Let's say you have a temporary cash shortfall problem that you're trying to resolve by hiring the services of a Freight Factoring company: many businesses require that the factor handle all future collections owed to you by that specific customer. However, depending upon the customer, this may not be the path you wish to take. You should be aware, though, that some factoring companies are very rigid with this requirement.
There are Freight Bill Factoring services out there that allow you to choose on a load-by-load basis as to whether you'd like them to handle the collection on your behalf or whether you prefer to deal with the process of billing and payments yourself. And these services generally let you decide whether you want to receive payment when the invoice is actually paid or whether you want immediate payment. This can be very useful for small businesses because it can save a lot of time by allowing you to use the Freight Factoring service as a kind of de-facto billing service.
Is There a Price Difference If the Factoring Company Bills a Customer for All Loads Pulled?
Some Freight Factoring companies require that all billings originate through them, while others allow you to decide on an invoice-by-invoice basis whether you want the factoring company to do it, or whether you'd prefer to bill your customer yourself. If you choose to use their services on a spot-usage basis and choose not to have a certain invoice factored, you'll probably still have to pay the $15-$20 billing charge. You'd then receive payment once the customer has settled their account.
Are Extra Fees Payable for Additional Services?
It's not usual for a freight factoring company to automatically pay your customer's invoices: they need assurance that your customer is a reliable, good-paying customer, so they'll typically require a credit check to ensure they'll be paid. Most Freight Factoring companies will arrange for a customer's credit check on your behalf, and this credit check could incur a nominal fee. On the other hand, there are factoring companies out there that are happy to provide you with access to a list of customers that are already pre-approved - these are companies that currently meet the factor's credit requirements. This can be very useful information to a trucking company, particularly if you need to know the credit rating of a prospective customer prior to booking a load.
How Much of the Freight Bill Do You Advance; and Do You Require a Deposit?
It's very rare that a Freight Factoring service will advance 100% of your freight invoice, and that's just one of the reasons why it's imperative that you take the time to do your own research and find out what your chosen factoring company's policy is. You also need to know if this will change from load to load or if the same policy applies to all your customers and all freight bills. p> Regarding deposits, some freight factoring services do require deposits, while others don't. Again, before you finalize any contract with a Trucking Freight Factoring company, be very sure that you know exactly what you're signing up for. p>
You Can Find More Information at https://truckingbroker.org
and at http://factoringfinancialservices.org/