We analyzed some of the most popular factoring companies, and here is why OTR Capital is #1
Freight factoring is a critical financing tool for many trucking companies or individual owner-operators. These operators invoice freight brokers for the cost of moving a shipment of goods, but it can take several weeks or months for the freight broker to pay the invoice. A factoring company provides the trucking company with cash to bridge the gap between when a shipment is completed, and the invoice is paid. By serving as this middleman, a factoring company is essential for maintaining cash flow in a small or independently owned business. That’s why many considerations are necessary when choosing the best freight factoring company.
Once we analyzed each company’s offerings and customer service experience, OTR Capital was our number one freight factoring company. Its non-recourse coverage, fee transparency, and great customer service are better or competitive with the other companies reviewed. This is why we decided to make OTR Capital our Partner. To learn what it means for a company to be our partner, click here.
Most factoring companies offer both recourse and non-recourse factoring options. Non-recourse option is when the factoring company assumes the risk of an invoice not being paid. Recourse is the opposite. If a broker does not pay the invoice, the trucking operator has to repay the factoring company. This makes non-recourse factoring coverage a critical comparison indicator.
Depending on the size of the company, and risk involved, OTR charges 2-4% for non-recourse option. OTR Capital’s non-recourse contract is easy to understand. Our reviewers felt OTR provided an open and honest conversation about their process. Importantly, OTR promises to pay no matter what happens as long as your delivery is on time, undamaged, with sufficient paperwork and OTR is notified of any advances on the delivery beforehand.
Apex and RTS offer comparable non-recourse coverage (broker insolvency). When it came to TBS and Triumph, our representative ran into possible issues. TBS sales representative claimed to have “true non-recourse” program that would pay no matter what. Though, their contract snippet, which we’ve obtained from 3rd party sources, stated- “However, this program does not eliminate your responsibility for any payment discrepancies, including warranties, fees or other charges”. This discrepancy may leave the carrier liable for the debt.
We could only identify Triumph’s recourse rate. Unfortunately, every time our representative was trying to obtain some information on non-recourse program, their sales representative kept moving conversation in a different direction.
Factoring rates vary depending on volume and size of the business. Our reviewers used a base of 3-5 tractor trailer fleet and a 20-truck fleet to develop a cost estimate. OTR Capital quoted a flat rate between 2 and 4%. Other companies tier their rates, depending on many factors, such as repayment timelines (often measured by number of days).
Of the companies reviewed, RTS’s rate ranged between 2.7-3.5%, TBS quoted around 4.5%, Apex stated a rate between 2.9% and 3.4%. We could only identify Triumph’s recourse rate due to their unwillingness to share non-recourse coverage details with the reviewers.
Reserves and Minimum Volume Requirements
For its most popular factoring option – the non-recourse coverage – OTR requires no reserves. RTS and TBS are the only other companies with a similar policy. Apex wants 5-7%, depending on the size of the business. TBS has a 10% reserve policy while Triumph holds 1% of your monthly revenue or 95% of the first invoice. The reserve policies will vary by company for recourse factoring options.
Of all the companies reviewed, only Apex had a minimum volume requirement. They expect at least $10,000-12,000 in monthly revenue. This is a small amount, but it matters when compared to other factoring companies have no minimum requirements.
Hidden fees hurt stable cash flow. Factoring companies often charge for wire transfers or direct debit (ACH). ACH is the preferred method for transferring cash between the factoring company and the trucking business. OTR’s ACH fee is negotiable, and our reviewers found it ranged between $0 and $1. RTS is the only other company with a similar cost. They do not charge ACH fees. TBS charges $3, Triumph has a $5 fee, and Apex is the most expensive at $9. Having ACH fees also may add some headache when bookkeeping.
Occasionally, wire transfers are necessary. All companies charge a similar fee, ranging from $10 (RTS) to $15 (OTR, Apex, and Triumph). Our reviewers found hidden fees for both Triumph and Apex. Triumph has a $300 opening fee and Apex requires you to pay 75 cents per invoice and $3 per transaction. These costs can add up. We did not identify any of these hidden fees with OTR.
Contract Length and Cancellation Policies
It is possible you will need to change your factoring company. How long do you have to stay with each of them, and what are the consequences of leaving early?
Cancelling a factoring contract can be difficult. One owner-operator had a contract stating they needed to notify the factoring company of its cancellation two weeks prior to the contract’s end date. The owner-operator tried to contact the company for several weeks, but to no avail. The factoring company auto-renewed the contract for another year despite the owner-operator’s attempt to cancel the contract. So, shorter contracts and great customer service are preferred.
RTS requires a 12-month contract or pay a $5000 early termination fee. RTS said they would waive the early termination fee depending on the circumstances. Triumph requires a 12-month contract with $2500 to cancel the contract early. This can be an expensive and lengthy commitment for a small business. Both of these cancellation polices are harsh compared to the other companies. OTR requires a 90-day notice and Apex asks for 60 days before cancelling. TBS claims to have month-to-month option available, but contract sample we have obtained states 30 day notice on a 12 months term. Once again, this contract may be unique. Though most of the time, contracts are standard. So, this is something to watch out for, if you decide to go with them.
Customer service is critical for any business relationship. Our reviewers had several different customer service experiences. For OTR, the customer service was great, and this matches the company’s Google review score of 4.8 (out of 5). Apex also scores high with a 4.7 Google review score. For RTS, our reviewers had a good customer service experience with the Google scores to match (4.).
During our research, we experienced poor customer service for both TBS (3.8 Google review score) and Triumph (4.2 Google review score). Our reviewers found that TBS provided information that didn’t match what some of their past clients had in their contracts (contracts are typically standard). Triumph wanted a MC# prior to discussing any further details. Additionally, their push to only discuss their recourse coverage is viewed as a negative.
What Do OTR Customers Say?
Overall, our reviewers identified OTR Capital as the best option available. Their sales representatives were nice and pleasant. The factoring company has rates comparable to others, a great customer service rating, possibly closest to “true non-recourse” out there, low or no ACH fees, no hidden fees, no reserve policy, and a reasonable 90-day cancellation notice. Other companies may compete with each of these individual points. Though OTR’s overall value seems to be the best.