In the trucking industry, customers typically wait 30-90 days after the load delivers to pay the trucking company. However, most companies can’t wait 3 months for a paycheck, especially when margins are so thin and there are immediate demands like fuel, tires, and truck maintenance. Speeding up cash flow generally requires using to either quick pay or factoring.
Some brokers offer quick pay on their loads. “Quick pay” is when a broker advances the trucking company funds for an invoice in exchange for a small fee. Quick pay is convenient because both the dispatched load and pay come from the same source. In addition, most brokers can get the trucking company paid anywhere from 1-7 days after the load is delivered. Waiting a week for cash is much better than waiting a month.
However, brokers typically only offer quick pay on their loads. If the trucking company finds a better paying load elsewhere (unless it also comes from another quick paying broker), they will have to wait the full 30-90 days for payment. If the trucking company cannot wait out the load’s pay term, the company may be forced to pass on that load and take a lower paying load from the quick paying broker. This catch-22 of taking lower paying loads in order to continue receiving quick pay can cause the trucking company’s growth to stall.
“Factoring” refers to selling of a company’s accounts receivable to a 3rd-party factor in order to generate instant cash flow. Factoring allows the trucking company to work with a variety of brokers and dispatchers. Even if the factoring company requires credit checks, the pool of potential clients is larger than the broker’s and some factoring companies offer the credit check service for free.
The fees for factoring are typically higher than quick pay, but the payment turnaround time is generally faster. Most factoring companies can pay trucking companies the same day as delivery. The fastest factoring company can get trucking companies paid an hour after receiving load paperwork. In addition, some factoring companies allow trucking companies to submit multiple invoices at the same time, which cuts down the trucking company’s processing cost.
Some factoring company fees also come with more benefits. Fuel, tire, maintenance discounts, and emergency roadside assistance can offset the higher fees. These lower day-to-day costs makes it easier to save the money needed to expand a fleet. If the factoring company also offers business loans or equipment financing, the trucking company can grow even faster. Make up the cost of factoring by using their tools to lower your total operation costs with these extra services and benefits.
If you decide to use quick pay, pay attention to the loads your broker is offering. Make sure you accept loads that are good for your business and avoid the quick pay trap. If you decide to factor, ask about their fees and benefits to make sure you are getting the best deal for your money.