Major parcel carriers are sounding the warning bell on possible significant service disruptions this holiday season, which could dramatically decrease capacity as soon as November 8. This also comes on the heels of announcements of free holiday shipping from Target, Walmart and Amazon to boost sales. With annual ecommerce sales expected to peak during Q418 under already constrained less-than-truckload conditions, losing another 7-10% of total LTL capacity will impact everyone.

What does this mean for you?

You already may be experiencing freight rejections. Many 3PLs are actively directing customers to alternate carriers to keep freight moving. This is tightening capacity across the entire domestic LTL network, an effect felt by all shippers, not just parcel carrier users. As available capacity lessens during the Q4 peak season, rates will rise. Shippers should expect to pay more this season, which means consumers will too.

What can you do about it?

  • Strengthen your bench – many shippers prefer specific LTL carriers, whether for price, service or speed. Despite having a favorite, savvy shippers often establish relationships and rates with multiple LTL carriers to ensure they always have options for moving their goods.
  • Plan ahead – the LTL shipment you’re used to tendering same-day might not move as planned. Give LTL providers as much notice as possible so they can maximize trailer space and routes to move your shipment on time.
  • Know your ‘stuff’ – providing inaccurate information to carriers regarding shipment dimensions, weight or class that impacts their asset utilization is a quick way to get kicked to the curb. It’s also a way to get your shipments left on the dock while working out the details. When competing for capacity, the easiest shippers often get the space.
  • Ask for help – using multiple LTL carriers under different rates without a transportation management system is tricky and time-consuming. Look to leverage a system or 3PL for easy quoting and dispatch that doesn’t break the bank.

How can FreightRover help?

FreightRover’s SmartLTL offers multiple quick fixes for shippers responding to the looming LTL capacity dilemma:

  • Capacity options – The system provides shippers immediate access to multiple carriers specializing in all US regions.
  • Rates – Shippers can leverage their existing carrier rates or use pre-established carrier rates without individual contract negotiations needed.
  • Speed – SmartLTL offers quick quote-to-tender capabilities in under 60 seconds. Shippers receive immediate quotes from multiple carriers and can sort by rate or speed of delivery.
  • Efficiency – Easy data saves accelerate shipment builds. Create the information once, save it, and use the easy search and click option for creating future shipments.
  • In-system shipment tracking – Shippers receive a tracking link at shipment dispatch to monitor their shipment or can leverage the customer service team for shipment information.
  • One-click invoice approval – SmartLTL publishes invoice amounts online for easy review without the unnecessary paperwork.
  • Streamlined payments – FreightRover acts as a third party to issue carrier payments, so shippers move to one payee. This eliminates the need for long carrier onboardings and managing multiple carrier pay terms.

Perhaps most important, regarding the impending capacity question, FreightRover can get shippers operating in the platform within 24 hours. Launch includes three easy steps: 1) agreement signatures, 2) quick system tutorial, and then 3) shipment builds begin.

The system doesn’t require subscription fees or licenses, so shippers only pay a low fee per shipment for SmartLTL access. They can use the system permanently or until LTL capacity returns to normal.

It’s always good to have a Plan B when it comes to shipping. Block some time to think about your alternative strategy as the capacity crunch lingers. SmartLTL is here to help. It makes a great Plan B, but after trying it, we think you’ll consider it your new Plan A.

FreightRover’s PayEngine provides a mutually beneficial supply chain finance program for companies and their vendors. Companies benefit from extended pay terms to improve working capital while providing their suppliers with tailored options for accelerated receivables.

Despite the wins supply chain finance provides both parties, many companies hesitate to implement a structured payable program due to balance sheet concerns. Poorly managed programs can result in trade payables reclassifications to debt, which negatively impact leverage ratios and debt covenants.

PayEngine’s program meets all trade payables accounting standards to protect a company’s balance sheet and bottom line. Following is our guide to understand the difference between a trade payable and debt in a supply chain finance program.

The First Question:
Has the economic substance of the trade payable changed?

When accountants review payables classifications on the balance sheet, they look at each of the following categories to assess if the trade payable has been modified in such a way that it is creating a financing cash inflow that benefits the company. Accountants will look at the categories collectively to assess the entire supply chain finance program as well.

Terms:

  • Settlement of trade payables cannot take place at a date later than or for an amount other than what is stated on the original invoice upon submission to a third-party payor. Doing so would be considered borrowing, which is debt.
  • A new trade payables arrangement cannot change the terms between a supplier and a third-party payor that’s inconsistent with normal trade payables terms.
  • The company cannot participate in or influence term negotiations between the supplier and third-party payor. The vendor and third-party must negotiate directly.

Population Impacts:

  • A trade payables arrangement must apply to a broad range of suppliers. However, the program does not need to include all suppliers. Companies can extend days to pay without all vendors accepting the new terms if most suppliers do comply.
  • Supplier participation in a supply chain finance program must be voluntary. If enrolling is required to maintain a relationship with the company, a debt reclassification may be required.
  • Should a large majority of suppliers impacted by extended pay terms select an accelerated pay option, which marks a significant change from the previous arrangement, this could trigger a debt reclassification. For example, if a company extends terms from 30 days to 120 days and now most of their supplier base elects to monetize receivables and did not prior to the change, this would require review as potential debt.

Benchmarks:

  • Companies can extend pay terms to align days payable outstanding or other working capital ratios with peers without changing the structure of their payables to debt financing. As a reference point, the US average across the largest 1000 companies currently is 57 days.
  • Trade payables should not include the accrual of interest prior to when the trade payables become due. Late payments can incur interest without reclassification impact.

Credits:

  • A company must retain its negotiation rights with the vendor directly and have the ability to withhold payment. Application of credits must be consistent with past practices. For example, if a company places a freight claim against a carrier, they should have the ability to withhold payment to the carrier until the issue is resolved. If a third-party payor compensates the carrier prior to the completion of the claim negotiation, and the company must arrange for a credit that’s inconsistent with how they’ve traditionally done business with the carrier, there could be a debt implication.
  • Whether or not a vendor decides to monetize their receivable cannot impact the company’s cost of goods sold or services received from a vendor. The third-party’s arrangement with the vendor and company must be independent of the other party’s interests. Therefore, a company cannot pay a vendor more to offset the cost of accelerated receivables.

Legal Characteristics:

  • Companies cannot change the legal characteristic of trade payables. Events that indicate characteristic changes include: immediate draw-down of credit lines, altering trade payable seniorities, securing trade payables through collateral, or incorporating default provisions.
  • In general, trade payables cannot have guarantees. However, in the case of a parent company being “jointly and severally liable for a subsidiary’s obligation,” a reclassification may not be required if it is the sole indication of a debt trait.

Impact of Third-Party Payor:

  • Implementing a structured payables program may be part of a larger accounting outsourcing strategy. This could include using a third-party platform like FreightRover’s PayEngine, which includes posting invoices and assigning accounts for fund withdrawals as payables reach their maturity date.
  • Rates paid to the third-party payor by the company cannot vary based on things like the number of vendors selecting a quick pay option or number of invoices sold to the third-party.
  • Red flags for debt reclassifications include: the third-party receiving new rights, if the third-party has influence on which invoices get paid, or if the third-party can withdraw funds from the company’s other accounts without consent if sufficient funds become unavailable.

If you are interested in learning more on trade payables or modifying your vendor payments using PayEngine’s technology and supply chain finance program, visit www.freightrover.com/pay, email info@freightrover.com, or call 866-621-4145.

When it comes to shipping less-than-truckload (LTL), the devil is in the details. Systems like FreightRover’s SmartLTL eliminate the difficult work around building shipments and finding capacity at the right price. Knowing your LTL shipment’s specifics also saves you a lot of time and money. Here are FreightRover’s quick tips for LTL.

Your BOL is the bible.

Carriers live by the information you put on your BOL. If information is missing or inaccurate on your BOL, you’re likely to pay a price.

Know your freight class and NMFC number.

Knowing your freight class gives you the most accurate LTL quotes. While many systems use calculators to help you determine a freight class, these are only estimates. When doing an RFP, work with your carriers to agree on your freight class upfront. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your carriers for help in advance as well.

Reclassifications or NMFC disputes often appear on the invoice, which may not always make it over to the Operations team from Accounting. Make sure the team tendering your shipments know how the carrier is assessing the freight, so they don’t keep making the same costly errors.

Weight can’t wait.

Across our customer base, the fee we see most assessed by carriers are reweigh fees. If you ship LTL frequently, a good scale is a great investment. Mistakes like relying on weights on manufacturer boxes or forgetting to include the additional weight of your pallet will cost you. You’ll likely be assessed a reweigh fee and weight change fee. LTL carriers have individuals on the docks focused on finding loads with weights that don’t match. Don’t let one be yours.

Time is of the essence.

Narrow appointment windows or same-day shipments can prevent carriers from quoting your freight or may drive up rates. LTL carriers prefer office hours, avoid weekends, and want as much time to optimize their trucks as possible.

Share what’s special about your shipment.

To help your freight meet its delivery date, let carriers know about accessorials up front. Detail shipments that require services like liftgates, appointments, or special handling. Failing to disclose these details not only will drive up your invoice, but also could cause you to incur additional fees like reconsignments or detention.

Train your receivers to inspect shipments before signing.

Claims are frequent among LTL shipments. Unfortunately, we see many customers try to file claims after a delivery receipt was signed indicating no damage. This sets everyone up for a long battle. Work with your delivery recipients to check your shipment and take a picture of any damage before the driver leaves.

LTL volumes are expected to grow by 3% annually through 2022. As capacity becomes more difficult to come by, the savvy LTL shippers will move the most freight. FreightRover’s SmartLTL is here to help. You manage the details. SmartLTL delivers. Everyone wins.

In today’s tight market, carrier relationships are vital to securing high-quality capacity. With our 2018 Q1 release, we’ve taken a close look at the current state of capacity and have built automated solutions that arm our customers with valuable tools to compete and win in the new digital logistics space. Here are just a few features now available within FreightRover’s suite:
 

PayEngine | Carrier Payment Processing

We recognize that load payment processing can be a tedious, costly process. So, we set out to simplify and streamline it. In our most recent release, we launched PayEngine as a quick and easy way to process payments.  With PayEngine, shippers and 3PLs free up working capital by extending pay terms at no cost, while carriers get paid for the load in as little as 24 hours.  With PayEngine, you can:

  • Provide carrier-centric pay without using your own capital, which better aligns your cash flow
  • Become a shipper of choice and improve carrier relationships
  • Easily connect to your TMS, ERP and accounting software programs
  • Brand the portal to your business, so it’s truly your platform
  • Remain in control of who gets paid

 

SmartLTL | Quick LTL Rate Quotes

Shippers and 3PLs know all too well that 2018 has brought on a growing capacity crunch. According to Cerasis, many small carriers have already pulled out of the market, and that number is expected to grow as the ELD mandate continues to be enforced.  To combat the lack of viable capacity currently available, we built an automated way to dispatch LTL freight. With SmartLTL, you can access better rates and save valuable time, while dispatching with trusted capacity providers. SmartLTL lets you:

  • Use our volume-buying power to get some of the most competitive prices in the industry
  • Upload and dispatch your LTL freight in batches
  • Find LTL capacity at no cost, with absolutely no subscription fees tying you down

 

CarrierHQ | Fleet Management Tools

CarrierHQ helps fleets of all sizes build their business through a marketplace of discounts, tools, insurance offerings and risk mitigation features. Fleets and ICs now have access to:

  • DOT and LLC business formation
  • Fuel cards and other discounts
  • Equipment sales and leasing
  • Tax and accounting services
  • Savings on insurance offerings
  • Driver success training

In addition to the features listed above, fleets are now able to provide their Independent Contractors with the power of choice. CarrierHQ enables fleets to follow the legal guidelines set out by the ABC test, and provides carriers with a clear line of separation between Independent Contractors and employees, while still retaining control over their fleet:

  • We take on the 1099 creation
  • Payroll management
  • Training, drug screens and background checks
  • Multiple insurance offerings
  • Can be branded to your business, so that the marketplace is truly yours

 

Freight xChange | Automated Load Board

Among bringing entirely new solutions into our suite of products, we have also worked to enhance user experience and carrier verification within our Freight xChange. FreightRover’s Freight xChange is an automated freight matching platform that makes it easy for carriers to find freight, while shippers and 3PLs have access to vetted capacity, complete load visibility, and easy carrier payments.

Private Load Posting through MyCarrierPacket Integration:

Make our Freight xChange your load board. Through our dynamic integration with MyCarrierPackets, shippers and 3PLs are able to offer their freight to their preferred carriers in a board that’s branded to their business.

Smart Notifications:

Carriers often spend hours searching through pages of freight to find loads that fit their needs. Our new Smart Notifications allow you to create “set it and forget it” alerts that email you when a load that matches your preferences is posted, saving you time and keeping you on the road:

  • Select cities and state, equipment type and load attributes you’re interested in for both inbound and outbound freight
  • We do the rest! We automatically run searches for you and notify you when a load matches your preferences

Ready to talk with us about how you can set your business up for success in today’s transportation and logistics landscape? Fill out the form below or give us a call at (866) 621-4145 to request a demo.