Freight logistics is an exercise in extreme process optimisation, in search of the most efficient and effective approach to maximise reliability and profit.
Payments and account processes can add a significant amount of time to your processes, but many freight firms still rely on paper invoices and old-fashioned expense management. Streamlining your internal payment processes can help your operations run quickly and seamlessly, saving time for your drivers and your accounts team whilst helping you to present a professional image to your clients.
Simplify lumper fees with virtual prepaid cards
An unpredictable element of freight logistics is the payment of “lumper fees” – payments made to casual workers for helping to load or unload vehicles. Often, paying lumper fees is left down to truck drivers themselves, who need to carry cash and front the payments themselves before claiming them back as expenses. Not only does this add pressure to your drivers’ finances, it could leave them open to financial loss – carrying cash can be risky.
Instead of requiring drivers to find their own solutions to pay lumper fees, virtual prepaid cards could offer a fast and secure alternative. Cards can be loaded with funds instantly and delivered to an individual’s email address, giving them the option to spend their funds in millions of locations worldwide. This saves your drivers the stress of making payments themselves, and gives you full transparency and control over lumper fee payments.
Streamline driver expenses
While most logistics firms use a fuel card scheme to make savings on fuel costs, truck drivers incur a wide range of other expenses as part of their job, and they’re often expected to cover these costs themselves and claim them back as expenses later. From food and accommodation to vehicle repairs and consumables, these costs can add up, and could put pressure on your team’s finances, reducing their engagement and risking increased turnover of hard-to-find professional drivers, as well as causing significant issues and delays if a driver is unable to meet an unexpected expense themselves.
Broadening your payment card system to incorporate a wider range of expenses than just fuel could make your drivers’ lives significantly easier, and help your day-to-day operations run more smoothly. With prepaid expense cards auto-topped up to a predefined limit, your drivers will never find themselves struggling to pay for essentials when on the road. With the ability to instantly upload photo receipts via a cardholder app, they’ll also save time processing lengthy expense claims, and make your finance team’s reconciliation considerably easier too.
Make fast, seamless international payments
If you’re in the process of scaling your freight logistics firm, you’ll know just how important trust is in the industry. Your clients need to believe that you’ll do what you say you will, and communicating that trustworthy appearance means being reliable not only in the execution of your contracts but in all the services and interactions that surround it.
There’s nothing worse than starting out on a contract with a new client only to have the relationship tarnished by payment issues. Even though payment delays can happen and they’re often not your fault, the added stress can make it harder to establish trust and project a professional image, particularly if you’re a new entrant to the market.
It makes sense, then, to ensure that your payment processes are as robust and reliable as possible, particularly if you’re transferring funds internationally. While high street banks can charge high fees for payments which can take days to go through, a specialist payment provider can give you access to a range of different payment protocols, with faster settlement times and no hidden fees. A specialist provider can also offer easier management of bulk payments, minimising the risk of slip-ups within your payment team, too.
Offer instant bank payment options
If you’re receiving large payments regularly, card fees can start to add up and over time can be a significant drag on your bottom line. It’s tempting to encourage clients to make bank transfer payments instead, but these can be harder to keep track of, not to mention slower. If an urgent job is in the offing, waiting for a bank transfer to be confirmed could cause unacceptable delays, leaving card fees as the only option.
New technology based on Open Banking could help your company to accept bank transfers even when time is of the essence. A new breed of fintech companies, called PISPS (payment initiation service providers), offer direct bank transfer as a payment option alongside card payments. Your clients go through a checkout process similar to making a card payment except that the payment is taken directly from their bank account. You’ll get instant confirmation as soon as the transfer is confirmed, meaning you can get on with the job in the full confidence that your payment has been received.
Transform your freight logistics payments with B4B
Whatever stage of growth your freight firm is at, B4B Payments’ advanced corporate payment solutions can help you make your payment processes faster and cheaper. From flexible prepaid cards to make expense management a breeze through to advanced corporate payment accounts offering fast, affordable international payments, we can support your business to build a global presence with cutting-edge technology and expert guidance.
To find out more about how we can help, contact us today.