Comdata, a FLEETCOR company and global leader in payment innovation, has introduced Comdata QuickPay, a new financing solution aimed at boosting carriers’ cashflow – particularly small- and mid-sized fleets.
QuickPay is a result of a partnership Comdata has with Crestmark, a division of Metabank. QuickPay allows distressed fleets to increase their cash flow and scale up their businesses by getting their invoices factored quicker than the industry’s norm of 20-30 days. Comdata has simplified the approval process and streamlined access to capital, making sure carriers are paid within a day of delivery rather than awaiting payment for several weeks.
“If you look at small- and mid-market trucking fleets, cash flow is king. From what we’ve heard from small businesses during the current COVID-19 crisis, most of them can only survive 10-14 days without revenue, which is scary,” said Justin King, senior vice president of product and innovation for North America Comdata, while talking to FreightWaves.
The workings of the trucking industry are fairly uncomplicated – a carrier runs loads for a shipper and gets paid when the freight is delivered at the destination. However, the transactions are not immediate, with shippers taking several weeks on average to complete payment for the haul. This would mean that carriers incur a lot of upfront costs, including fuel, truck maintenance and driver pay.
In volatile economic situations like the current COVID-19 crisis, this could be disastrous for fleets. “The issue is that even A-credit, good quality shippers like Walmart also take a while to pay fleets. Small fleets that need fuel cards or credit to keep their operations running have a problem if they do not qualify for credit. And that is a problem, as without a credit line, they can’t hold on to clients like Walmart, considering that they will not have the cash flow to actually run the load in the first place,” said King.
QuickPay is addressing this issue by providing clients with a fuel card that acts like a pre-funded card – meaning, there is no credit line associated with it. “The funds are loaded into an account that enables the fleet to go out and make fuel maintenance purchases,” said King. “The funds come from our partnership with Crestmark, which factors the invoices for fleets.”
Apart from quickly delivering payment, Crestmark charges one of the lowest factoring rates in the industry. Because fleets get paid within 24 hours of delivering a load, it allows them to continue scaling up their business without worrying about finances. King pointed out that since the product’s soft launch earlier this year, customers have been pouring in at a rate faster than anticipated.
“Given current events, the need for something like QuickPay is especially acute. I can tell from the conversations we’ve had with mid-sized fleets that cash flow challenges are common in the market today, as shippers are taking longer to pay for the hauling,” said King. “By quick factoring, QuickPay gets the factored funds into the fleet’s account within 24 hours, which is critical during times of such uncertainty in the economy.”