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Pros and cons of freight factoring services

Exploring effective cash flow strategies is crucial in the fast-paced and competitive world of trucking. In this article, we delve into the intricacies of factoring in trucking, weighing the benefits of freight factoring services against its potential drawbacks. 

Keep reading to find out if this trucking business financing tool could be the key to unlocking your business’s growth potential.

What is freight factoring?

Factoring freight is a financial strategy used within the transport industry to get cash quickly, mitigate financial risks, and reduce administrative work. Also known as transportation factoring or factoring loads, it entails trucking businesses selling bills of lading to truck factoring companies or banks at a discount. 

In exchange, freight factoring companies, called “factors,” advance the shipper’s amount payable to the trucking company, minus the agreed upon factoring fee. The factor then collects the payment from the customer on behalf of the trucking company. 

As a type of invoice factoring, freight factoring and invoice factoring work in very similar ways. The main difference is that freight factoring is specifically designed for the trucking industry and offers more flexibility in terms of when you can be paid for jobs. It may be more suitable for smaller trucking companies or owner-operators. 

Invoice factoring, on the other hand, is a more general form of factoring that’s used by various industries. It sometimes requires longer-term contracts with more complex fee structures. It may be a more viable option for larger trucking companies looking for cash flow solutions, with high invoice volumes and established customer bases.

How do freight factoring services work?

Here’s a step-by-step guide to how truck factoring typically works:

  1. Pickup and delivery: The trucking company picks up a load and delivers it to the customer’s destination.
  2. Submission of documents: Once the delivery is complete, the trucking company submits necessary documentation to the factor. The documents typically include a bill of lading (which serves as proof of delivery) and the freight bill.
  3. Verification: The factor verifies delivery completion and the legitimacy of the submitted documents. This can involve confirming the details with the customer.
  4. Advance payment: After verification, the factor provides an advance payment to the trucking company. The advance usually covers a significant percentage of the total invoice value, typically around 80% to 95%, although this can vary depending on the factoring agreement.
  5. Customer payment: The factor takes on the responsibility of collecting the invoice payment from the customer. The payment terms typically remain the same as agreed upon between the customer and the trucking company.
  6. Remainder payment: Once the factor successfully collects the payment from the customer, it sends the remaining balance of the invoice (minus the factoring fees) to the trucking company.

This process allows truckers to maintain a steady cash flow, even when dealing with customers who have long payment terms. It also frees them from the responsibility of chasing payments, enabling them to focus on their core business operations. 

Load factoring can be a valuable financial tool for freight carriers, especially those experiencing rapid growth or dealing with cash flow challenges.

Example of freight factoring services

Let’s say Big Wheels Trucking, a transport company, successfully completes a job, delivering goods for their client, Retail Giant Inc. The total cost for this job amounts to $10,000. 

To verify the successful delivery, the bill of lading is signed by Retail Giant Inc. This signed bill of lading, alongside the invoice for the delivery, is then submitted to Big Wheels Trucking’s freight factoring partner, Quick Funds Factoring.

Upon receipt, Quick Funds Factoring proceeds to authenticate the delivery, which may involve contacting Retail Giant Inc. Once verified, Quick Funds Factoring provides Big Wheels Trucking with an advance payment, based on a percentage of the total invoice amount stipulated in their factoring agreement. In this case, let’s say that percentage is 90%, meaning Big Wheels Trucking immediately receives $9,000 of the $10,000 invoice.

Subsequently, Quick Funds Factoring assumes responsibility for collecting the payment from Retail Giant Inc. Typically the process adheres to the original payment terms agreed upon between the client and the trucking company. Once Quick Funds Factoring successfully secures payment from Retail Giant Inc., it remits the balance of the invoice to Big Wheels Trucking, after deducting the agreed-upon factoring fee.

For instance, if the factoring fee stands at 3% of the total invoice, Quick Funds Factoring would deduct $300 from the remaining balance as their fee. Thus, Big Wheels Trucking would receive the remaining $700 ($10,000 total invoice – $9,000 advance payment – $300 factoring fee).

This trucking factoring process enables Big Wheels Trucking to maintain a steady cash flow and to concentrate on its main business operations rather than chasing payments. This is particularly beneficial when working with larger clients who often have longer payment cycles.

Pros and cons of freight factoring services 

Like any financial decision, the use of freight factoring services should be carefully considered in light of the specific needs and circumstances of your business. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of transportation factoring.


  • Improved cash flow: Transport factoring is an immediate cash flow tool, enabling businesses to pay bills without waiting for customers to remit invoices. This can be particularly beneficial for the freight industry, where overhead like fuel expenses, vehicle maintenance, driver wages, and insurance can pile up quickly.
  • Flexibility: Many factors offer flexible financing options, allowing businesses to choose which invoices they want to factor and when. This gives businesses more control over their finances.
  • Customer credit checks: Factors typically conduct credit checks on customers. This can help freight companies avoid doing business with unreliable payers and manage customer relationships. Some factors also provide credit collections services, which can further reduce the administrative burden on businesses.
  • No debt added: Unlike loans, factoring is not debt. It is simply an advance on your own money, which does not affect your credit score or create a liability on your balance sheet.

Cons of freight factoring services

  • Cost: Factoring is not free. Factors charge fees (also known as a discount rate) for their services. These fees can be a percentage of the invoice amount, a flat fee, or a combination of both. Over time, these fees can add up and eat into profit margins.
  • Dependence: Some businesses may become overly dependent on factoring services to maintain their cash flow. This can create a cycle where a business constantly needs to factor its invoices to stay afloat.
  • Potential impact on customer relationships: Some customers may not like dealing with a third party for payment, which could potentially strain customer relationships. If the factor uses aggressive collection techniques, this could harm the business’s reputation.
  • Contractual limitations: Some factoring agreements require a business to factor all of their invoices or maintain a minimum volume of business. These terms could limit a business’s flexibility and make it difficult to switch to a different factor or stop using factoring services.

To maximize the advantages of factoring, make sure you thoroughly review and understand the terms of any shipping factoring agreement before signing. Using a reputable factor will also go a long way toward minimizing potential risks.

Consider freight factoring services for your trucking business

In the end, whether to use freight factoring services comes down to your business’s specific needs and financial circumstances. When used wisely, it can offer a valuable tool for managing cash flow, supporting growth, and strengthening customer service relationships in the trucking industry. 

As always, make sure you fully understand contractual terms, the true cost of factoring, and the advantages and disadvantages of factoring before entering into any agreement.

Read more in our ‘Find a freight factor’ article series 


What is invoice factoring?

Invoice factoring is a financial transaction where businesses sell their outstanding invoices to factoring companies at a discount. The freight factoring company then provides the business with an immediate cash advance, collects the full invoice amount from the business’s customers, and pays the remainder to the business after deducting its fees.

Is factoring for trucks worth it?

Whether factoring for trucks is worth it can depend on the individual company’s circumstances. If a trucking company is facing cash flow challenges due to long payment terms, factoring can provide immediate cash to cover expenses such as fuel, maintenance, and payroll. However, the costs and terms of factoring agreements should be carefully considered to ensure it’s the best financial solution.

How can I get quick pay for truckers?

Quick pay for truckers can be achieved by using a factoring truck company for an immediate cash advance on outstanding invoices. Alternatively, some trucking companies offer quick pay options directly to their drivers, where, for a fee, they expedite payment processing. Cash flow management solutions like these enable drivers to receive payments soon after — or even before — completing a job.

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TAFS is More than Freight Factoring

As one of the industry leaders, TAFS assists trucking companies to increase cash flow with some of the lowest factoring rates in the industry and a 1-hour advance option.