One industry that is improving, along with the economy, is transportation. Many existing transportation carriers and freight brokers are seeing their revenues increase as the industry picks up. The improved economic outlook and the condition of the industry have also prompted individuals with industry experience to start new freight brokerages.
Although running a freight brokerage can be very profitable, the business is very cash flow intensive. You need to keep your drivers happy, which means they need to be paid quickly. In the meantime, your large corporate customers will demand that you give them net 30 payment terms. In other words, your drivers want you to pay them quickly and your shippers want to pay you slowly. As a freight broker, you are expected to manage that payment discrepancy and keep all parties happy.
Few startup or growing brokers can afford to wait 30 days to get paid by their clients. Simply, they don’t have the funds to cover the operating expenses of the business. This is a big limitation for them and prevents them from growing the business and capitalizing on opportunities. To complicate matters, getting business financing for a freight brokerage is very difficult. Few banks will provide business loans to the industry in part because they don’t have hard assets (i.e. real estate) to use as collateral. Either way, a business loan is no necessarily the best solution either.
A better alternative for many freight brokers that have cash flow problems is to use freight factoring. This solution is designed specifically to help companies that have clients that pay in 30 days but need the funds sooner. Freight bill factoring provides a cash advance on the net 30 invoices, providing the necessary funding to pay drivers and other business expenses in a timely fashion.
One of the most attractive features of freight factoring is that most freight brokers can qualify for it – even startups. This is because factoring companies consider your freight bills from strong shippers to be your best collateral, and they are usually happy to advance funds against them. This means that brokers with few assets except a strong roster of shipping clients can usually qualify. Aside from having strong shippers, most factoring companies will only work with freight brokerages that have no lawsuits, judgments or liens.
Freight bill factoring is an ideal solution for freight brokers and transportation carriers who can’t afford to wait 30 days or more to get paid by their clients.