Enhancing Credit Approval with Factoring Companies: A Comprehensive Strategy for Freight Brokers (Part 2)

Building upon the foundational strategies discussed in Part 1, freight brokers, both new and seasoned, can further refine their approach to improving relationships with factoring companies, thus supporting better credit approval and establishment. This continuation delves into advanced practices that can significantly contribute to a positive credit profile and foster enduring financial partnerships.

Implement Robust SOPs for Factoring Company Interactions

Developing ironclad Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for managing interactions with factoring companies is crucial. This includes handling notices of assignments and efficiently managing new carrier setups during onboarding. An organized and regimented approach mitigates the risk of fraud and limits exposure to misdirected payments—a common yet avoidable issue. Services like HaulPay offer comprehensive solutions for carriers’ factoring company setup and data validation, eliminating most friction with carriers and ensuring smoother daily operations with factoring companies. This not only enhances operational efficiency but also contributes to a sterling business reputation and an improved credit experience profile in the market.

Utilize Credit Monitoring Services

Subscribing to credit monitoring services such as Equifax Ansonia enables brokers to spot-check their progress and maintain oversight of their authority’s credit standing. These services can also be instrumental in checking the creditworthiness of customers. Leveraging such tools or partnering with the right financial entity can help mitigate credit risk on the shipper side, ensuring smooth accounts payable operations to your carriers and their factoring companies. A proactive approach to credit monitoring, whether through a subscription or in collaboration with a finance partner, is invaluable for maintaining a pulse on your credit health.

Maintain Creditworthiness Vigilantly

Creditworthiness extends beyond initial approval; it’s a continuous requirement for sustaining good standing with factoring and finance companies. These entities often have data-sharing agreements with load boards and trade monitoring organizations, making it essential to consistently meet or exceed standard payment terms. Automating payments and ensuring clear, successful remittance acts as both a convenience and a safeguard for your brand’s reputation. Tools like HaulPay can play a pivotal role in maintaining high credit standards, especially for brokers with significant volume but potentially wavering credit ratings due to lax practices.

Cultivate Solid Trade References

Solid trade references are more than just a backup; they are a testament to your reliability and punctuality in payments. Identifying vendors, carriers, or businesses that can vouch for your financial integrity is invaluable. Encouraging these entities to report your timely payments to credit agencies further strengthens your credit profile. These references can be critical in situations where additional evidence of creditworthiness is needed to secure credit with new factoring companies or financial institutions.

Engage with Reputable Trade Organizations

Membership in esteemed trade organizations such as the Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA) can significantly bolster your market profile. These organizations not only provide a seal of legitimacy but also offer access to a wealth of resources, training, and networking opportunities. Active participation in such communities can lead to strategic partnerships, innovative solutions to operational challenges, and a collective wealth of knowledge to expedite business growth and efficiency. Recognition from such organizations serves as a powerful endorsement of your business practices and commitment to industry standards, further supporting your credit and business development efforts.

In synthesizing these strategies with the foundational practices outlined in Part 1, freight brokers can significantly enhance their prospects for credit approval with factoring companies. By fostering meticulous operational standards, leveraging credit monitoring tools, maintaining vigilant creditworthiness, nurturing solid trade references, and engaging with reputable trade organizations, brokers can build a compelling business and credit profile. These concerted efforts not only facilitate smoother financial interactions but also pave the way for sustainable growth and success in the competitive freight brokerage industry.

To learn more about HaulPay’s factoring management and payment solution go here and for more on the TIA’s member benefits as the premier freight broker association.

Enhancing Credit Approval with Factoring Companies: A Guide for Freight Brokers (Part 1)

In the intricate landscape of freight brokerage, securing a reliable flow of credit stands as a cornerstone for operational success and growth. Navigating the path towards credit approval, particularly with factoring companies, requires a meticulous strategy. This article delves into the initial steps freight brokers can take to enhance their chances of a favorable credit outcome, focusing on practical measures that can set the groundwork for successful financial partnerships.

Ensure Accurate Factoring Company Information

One of the initial steps in fostering a positive credit relationship begins with the accurate boarding of carriers and ensuring their factoring company information is correct. This process is crucial for several reasons. First, it ensures that payments are directed to the correct entity, whether it’s the carrier directly or their factoring company. Accurate payment reduces the risk of financial disputes and enhances your reputation as a reliable broker.

Moreover, providing clear and timely remittance information is vital. Factoring companies value transparency and punctuality in transactions. By establishing a record of consistent and accurate payments, brokers can build trust with factoring companies in the market. This trust is foundational when seeking credit approval, as it demonstrates your company’s reliability and commitment to fulfilling financial obligations and clear and accurate communication.

Implement Quick Pay Options with Factoring Companies

The velocity of your payments to carriers and their factoring companies can significantly influence your creditworthiness. Whenever feasible, opt for quicker payment options. Faster payments are not only a sign of financial stability but also contribute positively to your credit profile. While small carriers might not report your payment history to credit agencies, most factoring companies report to business credit bureaus like Ansonia, Equifax, Cortera, and D&B.

If the financial bandwidth for 7-day payments is beyond reach, aim for Net15 terms as a minimum standard. Tools like HaulPay can be instrumental in facilitating faster payments without accruing debt. By utilizing financing solutions or digital wallet features for scheduled payments, you ensure timely transactions that reflect positively on your credit history and establish market consistency.

Establish Your Profiles with Credit Bureaus

Proactively establishing your presence with credit bureaus is a step that cannot be overlooked. Agencies like TransCredit offer services to kickstart your credit reporting, laying the groundwork for your business’s credit history. Early engagement with Dunn and Bradstreet to obtain a D&B number adds more legitimacy to your brokerage as well.

Having a recognized credit profile does more than just put your name on the map; it provides a foundation upon which credit decisions are made. Factoring companies and lenders heavily rely on this data to assess creditworthiness. By taking charge of your credit profile early, you position your brokerage favorably in the eyes of potential creditors and start to build trust.

Leverage Other Validation to Stand Out

For new freight brokers, the absence of a lengthy credit history can be a stumbling block. However, other elements can be leveraged to negotiate with factoring companies. For instance, possessing a larger surety bond than your estimated monthly invoice amount during the initial months can serve as a significant negotiating tool. This approach signals to the factoring company that you’re a lower-risk partner, potentially easing the credit approval process.

Negotiating with several factoring companies by highlighting such strengths can pave the way for accumulating reported credit history. This strategy is particularly effective for new brokers seeking to establish themselves in a competitive market. Think about what would make you more comfortable extending credit to a new shipper. Put yourself in the factor’s shoes. Get creative.

Ensure Multiple Parties Report Positive Credit

A broad base of positive credit reporting can dramatically enhance your creditworthiness. Aim to implement payment practices such as faster than standard term pay or consistent on-time payments within 30 days to your carrier’s factoring companies. Maintaining such practices for the first 3-6 months can accelerate the accumulation of positive credit reporting.

This concerted effort to establish a solid credit foundation involves not just timely payments but also building a portfolio of positive credit experiences reported by multiple parties. Such a strategy underscores your reliability and financial health to factoring companies and financial institutions.

Navigating the complexities of credit approval and new credit establishment with factoring companies demands a multifaceted approach from freight brokers. By ensuring accurate carrier information, implementing quick pay options, proactively establishing credit profiles, leveraging negotiating tools like larger more robust surety bonds, and fostering a broad base of positive credit reporting, brokers can significantly enhance their chances of successful credit outcomes. These initial steps lay the groundwork for building a robust financial foundation that supports growth and operational efficiency in the competitive freight brokerage industry.

Learn more about how HaulPay can help address most of these issues and how the TIA’s bond program is one of the most well respected in the industry.

Stay tuned for Part 2, where we will explore additional strategies and insights to further improve your brokerage’s creditworthiness and foster lasting financial partnerships.

Shielding Your Business: How Freight Brokers Can Combat Fraud

In the complex and fast-paced world of freight brokering, fraud poses a significant and persistent threat, impacting individual businesses plus the overall industry’s integrity. The financial implications are profound, with brokers potentially losing millions annually to deceptive practices. However, a proactive approach to security can drastically mitigate these risks with a blend of diligent research, rigorous verification processes, and the strategic application of technology. By understanding the fraud mechanisms within the industry, brokers can arm themselves with the knowledge and tools necessary to protect their operations, maintain their reputations, and support the overall health of the freight sector.

For a more in-depth exploration of these strategies and their implementation, let’s delve into the specific measures that can protect your business against fraud.

Due Diligence: The First Line of Defense

 Thorough Carrier Research

Begin with verifying Motor Carrier (MC) numbers and Department of Transportation (DOT) registration through government databases, such as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) websites. A carrier’s safety record and any history of complaints are also telling. Employing industry resources and conducting credit checks can further illuminate a carrier’s financial stability:

  • Verify Carrier Information: Ensuring the accuracy of contact details like phone numbers and email addresses is crucial. Inconsistencies can be a red flag, signaling potential fraud.
  • Request Additional Documentation: Documents such as insurance certificates, licenses, and permits should be verified directly with the issuing authorities to ensure their legitimacy.
  • Scrutinize References and Contracts: References can provide invaluable insights into a carrier’s reliability. Additionally, meticulously reviewing contracts for clear terms can prevent future disputes and protect your interests.

 Careful Vetting: Separating Fact from Fiction

Fraudulent carriers often present warning signs, such as rates significantly below market averages or operating with minimal authority. Investigating these anomalies can prevent entanglement with dishonest operators. Pay special attention to carriers with limited history or mismatched vehicle information, as these can indicate fraudulent behavior.

Tune in to three warning signs of a potential bad actor:

  1. A carrier with less than three months of authority and zero inspections.
  2. Names or phone numbers are not provided for the carrier.
  3. A carrier with just a single truck, and the VIN doesn’t match the one you have on record.

 Technology as an Ally: Automating the Fight Against Fraud

Incorporating technology can streamline the vetting process, making identifying and avoiding fraudulent carriers easier. Utilizing a secure load board, such as Truckstop, equipped with features like multi-factor authentication (MFA) and ID validation can be a game-changer in the fight against fraud. Additionally, Truckstop RMIS Carrier Onboarding and Monitoring helps you identify and mitigate identity theft and suspicious activity before it impacts your bottom line. Get daily status updates, change notifications, and carrier directory sourcing tools to save time and protect your business.

Ultimately, several keys to ward off potential threats are diligence, vigilance, and the strategic use of technology. By focusing on these and other important efforts, brokers can protect their business and contribute to a more secure and reliable freight industry.


The key questions of produce season: When, how, and how much?

by Chris Eudy

In certain parts of the country, the grass is starting to turn green, and buds are beginning to appear on the trees. Spring will soon be upon us, and with it, the produce season. Tomatoes, strawberries, and other fruits and vegetables are set to make their way from the Southeast and California to the rest of the country. Produce season, as it always does, will have a tremendous impact on reefer volume, capacity across the board, and pricing.

Brokers across the country are asking: When will produce season hit (and where)? How will this impact capacity? How much will prices go up as a result of diminished capacity?


While DAT doesn’t have a crystal ball, we do have the next best thing: industry experts Dean Croke and Ken Adamo. Produce season can, and often does, start anytime between mid-March and April at various points across the southeast and California (but that is a huge window to try to plan around).

Ken and Dean host a weekly market update show, DAT iQ Live, that discusses the impact of major events, like produce season, on the market. Their latest show can be found here.

One of the challenges with produce season is the weather. It can have a huge impact on the viability of crops and how many make it out of a certain region of the country. For example, tomato and strawberry season is set to begin in southern Florida. Those volumes are currently down over 30%. When do we expect those volumes to increase and begin moving northward along their traditional route? Stay tuned to our market updates for more information.


Now we have to ask the question of how the produce season impacts the freight market and expected supply and demand (which will no doubt have a downstream impact on price).

Going back to the example of Southern Florida produce, typically that means tightening capacity for reefer and dry vans out of Florida. The reason van capacity also tightens is because sometimes, when reefers aren’t shipping refrigerated goods, they ship non-refrigerated goods and act as extra capacity to the dry van space. The table below shows DAT’s MCI index for southern Florida.

The MCI index scores market tightness or looseness on a -100 to +100 scale (with +100 representing an extremely tight market). Market tightness associated with produce season typically means linehaul costs go up as it’s harder to find capacity.


How much

Finally, the million-dollar question: How much does the produce season impact the cost of freight on a given lane? The answer is, potentially, a lot.

Below are snapshots from DAT’s RateView and Ratecast tools. Both are looking at reefer spot freight from Lakeland, Florida to Atlanta, Georgia. Historically, starting in March, freight out of Lakeland begins to increase until it crescendos in May. Booked rates increased from an average of $800 to $1,200 (that’s an increase of 50%!)  in 2023. This year, we are projecting a similar spike but with a peak average of $1,038. As you plan out your RFP strategy and calculate your margins, this $162 difference can be the difference between making or losing money.

While planning for the produce season can seem like a daunting task, DAT is here to help.  Please reach out to your customer success representative or account manager today for any questions you have or support you may need.

Not sure where to start? Try these resources.

Pricing 101 

New to the market and looking to win produce freight? Check out our Pricing 101 guide to understand the ins and outs of pricing to win new business and expand your area of expertise.

Marketing 101

Keeping shippers and carriers informed of your brokerage’s services is the key to growing your business. In our Marketing 101 guide, learn more about how to get in front of the right audiences and keep your business top of mind during produce season.

Weekly updates

Stay up to date with market trends and where freight rates are trending. Join our DAT experts, Ken Adamo and Dean Croke, weekly on DAT iQ Live or check out DAT’s Trendlines to have the most updated information available to drive your freight decision making.

Additional resources

Data and process: Best practices for 2024

By Joe Cottone, Jr., Customer Solutions Architect with DAT’s Enterprise Customer Success team

As we roll through the first of the year and into the heart of Q1, we’re starting to see RFPs come to fruition.

How do you prepare for your awards? How do you develop the necessary capacity on lanes where you may not have any established? How do you understand the market and properly spot quote freight that you may not have been awarded?

Regardless, if you’re just getting your brokerage started or have an established customer base, when it comes to award management, aside from literal trucks to haul your loads, efficiency in process is key. Accepting your awarded lanes is easier in a slower market – like we would usually see in Q1 – and likely even easier considering the market conditions we experienced throughout 2023. Still, utilizing DAT RateView and the Market Conditions Index (MCI) allow for an informed process.

Learn more about analytics from DAT iQ.

Accept your lanes but understand the fluctuation in price and seasonality that you may see through RateView’s 13-month historical average. Will produce season come into play when booking loads on this lane? Has the load-to-truck ratio (and the load search and truck search data) within MCI changed over the last day, eight days or even the last 30 days?

Also, within RateView, consider your company’s own contributions that populate on lanes you’ve run and contributed. Take into account how you buy as a company versus the market. Your best practice is to consume as much data and information about the market as possible before making a decision.

How to capture capacity

Once you’ve made a decision to accept your volume of awarded freight, you need to secure capacity. A broker can prepare for an influx of awarded freight, but until those loads are in your system, it’s difficult to develop capacity on lanes you haven’t run before.

Utilizing a tool like DAT LaneMakers allows you to search for capacity that you may not have discovered previously. This tool gives users the ability to search for carriers that are not only posting trucks but searching for loads on specific lanes. It highlights active postings and overall search numbers as far back as one full year. Perhaps a carrier you already work with is looking for a lane that you’ve just been awarded – that’s where you can lean into building better relationships and ultimately covering all of your awarded loads.

Mind your margins

As I mentioned above, understanding the data you’re consuming is paramount. This leads to having better conversations with your shippers and making a margin. When you’re not awarded certain lanes and they make their way to the spot market, how do you best quote that freight to win it and profit?

DAT RateView is a tried and tested data source to help with that. But what about those more obscure shipping locations? Lanes where there are fewer data points or fewer contributions behind the RateView rate?

For instance, when utilizing RateView on lanes where there’s only an X(extended)-Market to X(extended)-Market rate from the last 15 days, consider how large that geographical area is and how that might affect the rate DAT is publishing. Compare that to a rate with enough contribution data to warrant granularity at the 3-digit-zip to 3-digit-zip level over the last three days, where DAT will be able to give you a more concise look at the lane you’re trying to quote. All that to say, consume as much data as you have when making the decision to spot quote a load.

Achieving status with your shippers as the market expert on top of a well-built relationship will always help you win freight, but especially in slower markets, we still need to fall back on data and process.

Are you prepared for 2024?  Don’t forget to check out Ken Adamo and Dean Croke’s weekly podcast on Tuesday mornings for continuous market updates to be ready for anything!

About the author

Joe Cottone is a Customer Solutions Architect as a part of our Enterprise Customer Success team. Joe joined DAT with 10 years’ experience in the brokerage industry, supporting and running operations from small to large, primarily working with Enterprise level Shipper customers. With industry knowledge and experience, Joe brings an ideal perspective to both our stakeholders and customers. Our Success team can help offer guidance with any question, offer specialized product training, or gather product feedback to share with internal teams.

TIA is the premier organization for third-party logistics professionals in North America and abroad. Membership at TIA adds value to your business and provides resources for growth.
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