Quick Pay vs Freight Factoring: Which route is best for your trucking business?
Reliable cash flow is absolutely essential in trucking – any gaps in available funds can seriously damage operations. For this reason, many carriers utilize fast payment strategies to expedite cash flow. In trucking, quick pay and invoice factoring are the two most commonly used options for fast payment of freight bills. Although they serve similar functions, quick pay for truckers and freight factoring differ significantly. One places control of payment in the hands of the freight broker, and the other provides more control for the carrier. Before committing to either option, you should understand the differences between quick pay and freight factoring.
What is quick pay?
Quick pay is a financial service provided by some freight brokers that allows trucking companies to receive payment for their services well in advance of the standard payment terms, which typically range from 35 to 60 days. The broker generally pays the invoice amount, minus a fee, in 2 to 5 days, sometimes longer.
How it works:
Deliver a load – invoice the broker – get paid in 2 to 5 days minus a fee.
What is freight factoring?
Freight factoring is a specific form of invoice factoring provided by alternative lenders specializing in transportation financing. It is a financial service that expedites the payment of all invoices issued by the carrier to creditworthy customers. Funds are transferred directly to the trucking company’s account within 24 hours, often within the same day if invoices are submitted by the daily cut-off times. Loaded with additional benefits, freight factoring helps support improved profitability in trucking companies.
How it works:
Deliver a load – submit invoices to the factoring company – get paid in 24 hours or less minus a fee.
How do they compare?
Besides the fact that both options provide fast payment of invoices, little else is common when comparing features and benefits of quick pay versus invoice factoring. So, let’s take a closer look in a head-to-head comparison of their key features:
In most cases, carriers that utilize fast payment options prefer to use them continuously to help regulate cash flow and avoid funding gaps that may impede operations.
Quick pay: Carriers that use quick pay can only utilize it when offered by a specific broker. Each broker controls this payment option – they either offer it or don’t. As a result, if you use multiple brokers, you may only be able to use the quick pay option periodically.
Freight factoring: A factoring company will review a carrier’s customer list, flag any companies deemed uncreditworthy, and approve the rest for financing. Once the carrier enters into a factoring agreement, the expedited payment process is applied to all invoices issued to all approved customers. Carriers who use freight factoring find it more effective in consistently boosting their cash flow.
Terms and conditions:
The less complex and time-consuming administrative tasks are, the better for busy carriers whose prime focus is the acquisition and reliable delivery of cargo! So how does managing terms and conditions compare between these two funding options?
Quick pay: Each broker that does offer this payment option defines their own terms and conditions. This means that one broker might pay in two days for a fee of 2% of the invoice amount, while another might take five days to pay and charge 5%. Managing varying quick pay terms and conditions from multiple brokers can be time-consuming and confusing.
Freight factoring: This expedited payment option is quick and straightforward to manage with one unified set of terms and conditions governing the financing of all invoices issued to all approved customers. One consistent fee formula is charged against all invoices being financed. Fees typically range from 2% to 5% depending on the carrier’s anticipated volume of invoice receivables and the condition of its customers’ credit status. In addition, the time to transfer funds is generally consistent at 24 hours or less.
Accounts receivable management:
Trucking companies provide multiple services throughout each day and, therefore, need to invoice numerous customers regularly. The streamlining of billing and collection practices is of considerable benefit to busy carriers. This is another area of significant difference between these two funding options!
Quick pay: Carriers must issue invoices individually to each broker they serviced during their billing period, with care given to ensure fees are recorded correctly. Then, attention is required to monitor collections over several days to ensure timely and accurate invoice payment.
Freight factoring: As the terms and conditions (including the fee) are consistent across all invoices, carriers can copy, bundle, and submit invoices for financing as a batch. Advance payments of up to 100% are transferred within 24 hours, simplifying the monitoring of payments. In addition, the factoring company provides an experienced team to maintain professional communication with customers to maximize collection efficiencies and remove the responsibility of account receivable management from the carrier. All transactions, account balances, and credit availability can be monitored in real-time via a robust online account management portal.
As a carrier’s business grows, so does the need for increased funding.
Quick pay: Because the provision of funding is limited to brokers that offer the service, it is difficult to scale financing to match growth unless the carrier concentrates its business development through a network of brokers offering quick pay options.
Freight factoring: As all invoices issued to creditworthy customers are financed, funding increases proportionally to the volume of new business. The more invoices issued, the more funding becomes available.
Additional service benefits and value-added services are key advantages for carriers competing in a tight freight market.
Quick pay: There are no additional benefits associated with quick pay from brokers.
Invoice factoring: Depending on the factoring company a carrier chooses to work with, there can be many additional benefits and services attached to the financing option. Two key examples of this are free credit checks and fuel discount programs offered by leading freight factoring companies.
Free credit checks: Minimize bad debt. This online tool allows carriers to verify customers’ or potential customers’ ability to pay before hauling their freight.
Fuel discount program: Improve profitability. Fuel now, pay later, and save big with credit terms on all fuel purchases and significant discount pricing at major truck stops across North America.
A direct comparison of features and benefits reveals the distinct differences between quick pay options and invoice factoring (freight factoring). Quick pay is a fast solution to expedite invoice payments, but its application is limited to invoices issued to participating freight brokers only. Freight factoring is used when invoicing all creditworthy customers. It is a faster payment option, easier to manage, and loaded with additional benefits to maximize cash flow efficiencies and help improve profitability.
Fast, reliable cash flow is critical for freight carriers to sustain ongoing fleet operations. It is for this reason that utilizing quick pay options and invoice factoring have become standard cash flow strategies for a growing number of trucking companies.
As these two cash flow strategies provide the same essential benefit of receiving fast payment on freight bills, it’s appropriate to do a deeper dive to compare significant differences. A direct comparison reveals that invoice factoring provides faster payment, broader utilization, and more convenience with unified terms and conditions for each invoice financed. Moreover, the streamlined account receivable management offered by invoice factoring companies eliminates the need for carriers to chase customers for collections. As a result, operators benefit from steady cash flow and more time to concentrate efforts on the core business of hauling freight. Further, invoice factoring provides additional services to help mitigate bad debt and improve profitability.
As time progresses, technological innovation and advancements will further optimize freight factoring’s ability to improve cash flow efficiencies and support business growth. With the rising adaption of this fast-funding option by key industry operators, the utilization of freight factoring is anticipated to rise at a considerable rate over the remainder of this decade and beyond.
- Other than the common function of providing fast payment on freight bills, quick pay and invoice factoring have very little in common.
- Quick pay makes payments in 2 to 5 days on freight bills issued to participating freight brokers only. Invoice factoring pays invoices issued to all creditworthy customers within 24 hours.
- Freight factoring is a specific form of invoice factoring designed with additional benefits to help trucking companies support improved profitability.
- Quick pay is a limited source of funding. Freight factoring is scalable and able to keep pace with the capital needs of a growing operation.
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