Questions to Ask a Freight Factoring Company

Thinking of partnering with a freight factoring company? A positive cash flow can have a huge impact on your business. Not only will you be able to take on more clients and larger deals, but you will also be able to ensure that driver payments, payroll, fuel and all your other expenses are always paid on time.

If you’ve already decided you are going to partner with one of the freight factoring companies in your area, then you need to start researching the various companies to determine who will provide the best service to you. Here are a few questions to ask to make sure you get a value for money service:

What happens if my clients don’t pay?

This is an important question because it can put you in a difficult position if you have to pay for outstanding bills from clients. Find out if the factoring company handles debt disputes and what their normal procedures are when trying to claim back money from clients.

Do I get to choose which invoices I factor?

In some cases, you might have weekly loads which you bill and your clients pay each week. In this case, you might not necessarily need a factoring company to factor the invoices for you. You might only need factoring services for larger loads which only get paid after 30, 60 or 90 days. Find out if the factoring company will allow you to decide which invoices you want to factor or if you have to hand over your entire client book.

What kind of extra services do you offer (and what do I have to pay for?)

Factoring and bank loans are very different in a number of ways, but one of the most prominent differences is the fact that banks research businesses to determine whether they are creditworthy, while a factoring company will research your clients to determine whether they are creditworthy or not. Freight factoring companies will either do a credit check on your clients to ensure they are capable of paying the invoices, or they will give you a list of pre-approved clients which meet their credit requirements. Find out what process they use to determine whether clients are creditworthy and whether you will have to pay extra for this vetting process.

What percentage of the invoice will you advance?

Many times, a freight factoring company will advance a certain percentage of the invoice (such as 80%, 90% or even 100%) and the rest of the amount only gets paid once the client has paid the outstanding invoice in full and their service fee has been deducted. Make sure you know what percentage gets paid to you in advance.

Want to find out if our freight factoring company’s service will work for you? Get an instant factoring quote now.

Interstate Capital’s factoring programs include a long list of unique features including rates starting at just 0.49% per invoice, advance rates up to 100%, same-day funding, 24/7 automatic credit approvals, fuel advances (for motor carriers), professional collections, and much more.

Set-up is always fast and easy. There is no application fee and most companies will qualify for an instant online proposal in under 2 minutes just by completing the Instant Factoring form on this page. If you like what you see in your proposal, just click on the application link in your proposal and you’re on your way to fast funding.

How to Check Your Credit For Free

Let’s begin with the question; why are agency values important? Agency values are important because they will likely determine the success or failure of your agency. Now that gets my attention.

Whenever the success or failure of a business venture rests on one concept, it warrants the time and effort to understand what’s behind the question; what focus or concept do we believe will best produce the result we desire. So, one might ask; just exactly what are some agency values.

To begin, Values are what drives effort and effort is what produces results, good or bad. Effort in the wrong places seldom produces the right results. So there are really two things here that are important-Effort and Direction. While both are important, Effort comes first-you gotta have some before you can direct it. Today we are only talking about Effort, Direction is for another day.

An example of how values drive Effort is often and most visibly played out in sales. A lot of sales activity (Effort) often produces more sales but possibly not the right sales (Direction). Now here is the exciting part-You can really, control your effort by choosing the right Values and matching the talent of new hire to those Values. The key here is to understand that people work to satisfy their values, not yours and don’t try to put into someone something that is not already there. All that boils down to looking for and hiring people who have values that match the agency needs.

So now it is beginning to get clear. Why do we want to know your agency values? Answer; so you can hire people with values similar to those of our agency. Now what are some agency Values of importance?

1. Theoretical Values- those who value knowledge and continuous learning or intellectual growth.
2. Traditional Values- those who value the tradition inherent in social structure, rules, regulations and principals.
3. Utilitarian Values- those who value achievement, results, and rewards for their investments of time, resources and energy.
4. Individualistic Values- those who value personal recognition, freedom and control over their future and the future of others.
5. Social Values- those who act to enhance the well-being of others.
6. Aesthetic Values- those who pursue a balance in their lives, who are creative, self-expressive and have a love for beauty and nature.

Filling Up With The Wrong Fuel – A Customer Experience

October 17th 2014 – Accidentally putting petrol in my VW Passat instead of Diesel

The following is my tale of woe about my wrong fuel experience. Please don’t make the same mistakes that I made and save yourself the hassle.

On the Friday morning in question, I was driving my 6 month old VW Passat to work in Worcester as usual. The car is a B7 model 2 litre turbo diesel, not as good to drive as my previous VW Passat which was the B5.5 2 litre petrol model but not a bad car either. I had only had the car for 3 days and I picked it up with about a third of a tank of fuel in it on the previous Tuesday. I was sitting in the crawling traffic going into the town centre when the low fuel warning light lit up with a ping. I could easily have made it to work and back home on the remaining fuel but as there was a fuel station on my route into work and I was early anyway, I thought I would stop off and fill up with diesel before the weekend as I had a lot of running around to do on Saturday with the kids.

I pulled up at the pump and I remember running through the day’s tasks in my head so I wasn’t really concentrating on putting in the fuel, I was just doing that on autopilot. I filled the tank right up and then went to the kiosk to pay. I got back into the car and started the engine. It sounded rough which worried me and as I drove to the exit the engine stalled altogether. It then dawned on me what I had just done. I’d filled up with the wrong fuel. I’d had my previous car for 10 years and had got so used to filling up with unleaded petrol that I had just done what I was used to doing. I’m sure I probably turned as pale as a ghost and I just had an almost overwhelming feeling of panic because I was sure that I had just ruined a £14,000 car. To make matters worse I was blocking the station exit and there was a line of motorists behind me waiting to leave the station. I had to sheepishly explain to the chap behind me what I had done and I asked him if he would help me push the car out off to one side. He refused and told me to get it moved. Nice. The young lady in the next car, however, did volunteer to help and together we managed to move the car with her steering and me pushing on my own.

Wrong Fuel Removal – The Wrong Approach

The forecourt staff were sympathetic but I could tell this was a hassle for them too, one of them handed me a card that someone had left on the desk from a firm of wrong fuel removal engineers. I didn’t realise that the industry even existed until I saw the card, I did think that I should call my breakdown assistance firm and ask their advice first and they explained that they could have someone out to me in an hour and a half and that if they could remove the fuel from the car then it would cost me £250. I didn’t fancy sitting around for that long and I thought the cost was a bit steep so I called the firm on the card I had been given and spoke to a bored sounding lady who said they could have someone with me in about 30 minutes as there was a van in the area and that the cost would be £150. Whilst I waited I used my smartphone to search for “wrong fuel Worcester” to see what came up on Google. I found quite a few other companies offering the wrong fuel removal service but I couldn’t find the company named on the card who I had just called. I decided to sit tight and see what happened anyway.

About 45 minutes later a scruffy, dented Ford Transit pulled up next to me and door opened and clattered into the driver’s door on my car, my mood wasn’t good as it was and I got out of the car to confront this individual who had gone around to the back of the van. Thankfully, there was no damage to my car as the van had a plastic protector on its door. The van driver then appeared and announced that he was here to do the fuel drain. He was dressed in a paint covered overall and had paint all over his face and head. Quite obviously, he had just been painting. I followed him to the back of the van where he had an array of large 5 gallon plastic containers, a length of rubber hose and some sort of electric pump contraption. The equipment looked like it had just been thrown in to the back of the van along with various bits of rubbish and paper towels and the smell of petrol coming from the back of the van made my eyes water. I began to feel the panic rising again and had visions of a huge explosion occurring with me in the middle of it. When the “engineer” started to attempt to feed rubber hose down into my new car’s fuel tank (with no care being taken of the car bodywork which was now filthy all around the fuel tank aperture) something told me that this just wasn’t right and was probably downright dangerous. My sense of duty towards my fellow motorists on the forecourt kicked in and I asked him to stop what he was doing. I explained that I thought what he was doing was putting everyone at risk and he became somewhat aggressive and began to demand payment for wasted time. I had no intention of giving this chap my credit card and so I locked the car and told him I was going to speak to the police which, unsurprisingly, changed his attitude. As I walked off towards the kiosk I looked behind me to see him hurriedly packing the hose and container back into his van which then sped off in a cloud of smoke.

The Wrong Fuel – The Right Approach

It was more than an hour since I had put the wrong fuel in my car by this time, so I called work to keep them updated and then looked at my smartphone search page again for another wrong fuel removal company. The company that came top for the search “wrong fuel Worcester” had a great website, tailored for mobile display and had images showing uniformed engineers with well-maintained vans and also, many positive customer comments. I called the number and explained my predicament to a kind and sympathetic operator who assured me that an engineer was close and would be with me very quickly. My previous experience had left me a little suspicious and so I questioned her about the company, their engineers and their vehicles and she explained clearly to me about the procedure and the professionalism with which their representatives conducted themselves. This was good enough for me and 20 minutes later a smart looking van with company livery pulled up next to me on the forecourt and a uniformed engineer with a big smile on his face, got out.

He was a real breath of fresh air after the last chap. He was kind and courteous and spent a couple of minutes talking me through the process of removing the wrong fuel from my vehicle, explaining what the sparklingly clean equipment in his van did and roughly how long this would take. He explained about the cost involved and made sure that I was comfortable with this before going ahead. As he put protective padding onto my car around the fuel tank aperture, which he cleaned up beforehand, the engineer explained about the SPA passport that he held and he also gave me his Environmental Agency paperwork which allowed him to handle and transport dangerous chemicals, legally. This information and the engineer’s general attitude and consideration put my mind at ease and filled me with confidence that, this time, I had done the right thing.

I also discussed my fears about the damage done to the vehicle engine when the wrong fuel is introduced to the system and he supplied me with the following information which put my mind at ease on that front. Firstly, it is very rare that damage occurs to the engine of fuel system of a diesel vehicle when petrol is added. Only in circumstances where common sense is not applied, is there a risk of long term damage. Petrol is a solvent and doesn’t have the lubricating qualities of diesel fuel, therefore, if any amount of petrol is introduced to the system and is allowed to remain in the system then there is potentially a risk that, where there is metal to metal contact of components within the fuel system and the normal lubrication is compromised, excessive wear of those components can occur leading to failure in extreme circumstances. Also, the seals within the system can be affected by the solvent properties of the petrol which may lead to damage. There is a myth that it is OK to top up with diesel fuel if you’ve only added a little petrol to the tank, and to continue driving. This will lead to fuel system damage as described previously resulting in potentially expensive repairs being required. The most sensible and cost effective action is to get the fuel system completely drained and flushed through with fresh diesel to remove all traces of unleaded petrol.

This is just what the engineer did to my VW Passat and within 25 minutes I was ready to go. I was very impressed with the second wrong fuel removal company that I called out, they were prompt, efficient and the customer service and general attitude were brilliant, unlike the first company. The engineer explained to me about the problem existing within the industry whereby various “cowboy” companies had been set up and were being run by inexperienced and unlicensed individuals who were taking advantage of motorist’s vulnerable positions when they had put in the wrong fuel. Many people were being intimidated into paying up front for a fuel drain that was then performed by dangerously ill equipped individuals with no regard to the customer’s safety or the safety of others in the locality. He told me of many cases where he had been called out to jobs that he had to rectify after the “cowboy” wrong fuel company had done an incomplete job and had still made off with the money. It seems that I had had a lucky escape.

Once the fuel drain and fuel system flush was completed, the engineer started my car and it ticked over as if nothing had happened. I paid him with a credit card and thanked him for his assistance, in just 45 minutes he had come out to me and carried out a professional service with which I was very happy.

The Conclusion To The Wrong Fuel Situation

It’s fair to say that I learned a few things on that day when I put in the wrong fuel. Hopefully, someone else in the same predicament may come across this article before taking action and avoid some of the potential pitfalls. In summary, this would be my advice:

Pay attention to which fuel nozzle you pick up on the forecourt (this one goes without saying!)
If you have put in the wrong fuel, let the forecourt staff know, so that they can help you move your vehicle, if necessary.
Once you have told the staff or if you have left the forecourt, do some quick smartphone internet research and choose a wrong fuel recovery company with good customer feedback and a good informative website that shows a well organised and professional outfit.
If you don’t trust the engineer that arrives or you feel there is anything amiss with his/her conduct, don’t be afraid to speak up and, if necessary, turn them away from the job. Your safety is paramount and your vehicle was probably expensive. Don’t take a risk either way.
Don’t pay up front. Make sure you’re happy with the cost and the work involved. A good engineer will be courteous and will check with you beforehand anyway.

Courier Driver Insurance: What You Need to Know

There are many things that you need to set in place when you first start out working as a courier driver. However, one of the most important things on your list should be to ensure you have adequate insurance.

Finding suitable insurance is essential. Not only is insurance a legal requirement, but a policy that covers all your needs will also serve to provide you with peace of mind while you work. Here is what you need to know.

Courier Insurance is not Standard

Insurance is a legal requirement for every driver – in fact, even if you are not using your van a lot, it must still be insured. However, if you use your vehicle to carry out delivery work, you should be aware that you’ll need more than just standard vehicle insurance. As a courier driver, you will be considered a higher risk than other road users, because you will stop frequently, you have deadlines to meet, and you may also transport valuable goods that need to be covered under a policy. It therefore makes sense to spend adequate time researching the most suitable policy, even if that means spending a little more on it.

Different Types

There are different levels of policies that you can choose from. Everybody’s circumstances are unique, so it is important to find the most suitable policy for your personal situation when working as a courier driver. Various factors could influence your insurance, from the type of vehicle you drive to how far you travel and how many drop-offs you make.

One of the most important things to look for is goods in transit cover. This provides coverage for all the cargo you transport, some of which may be very valuable. If you have an accident or the goods are stolen, you are liable for the damage or loss, and this could cost you a lot of money. So to have complete peace of mind you’ll need to invest in decent goods in transit cover. (You should also find out what is not covered under a particular policy, as it may not include high-value goods like jewellery.)

Breakdown cover is another thing you should definitely consider including. This will provide you with protection should you experience problems on the road, as it can be very difficult if something goes wrong when you are working to a deadline.

Other things that may be covered in a policy include vandalism, overseas travel, public liability, employers’ liability, personal belongings and replacement van cover. You may also want to get a fleet policy if you have numerous vehicles. It’s important never to assume that any aspect is covered; always check the details carefully and understand exactly what you’re covered for as well as how much excess you will have to pay when you make a claim.

Look Around for a Suitable Policy

When you start your research for insurance, always search around and get quotes from various providers, as they’ll all provide slightly different policies at different prices. This is an important decision for any courier driver, so do spend some time over the process. And remember, don’t simply buy the cheapest you can find – you need to make sure it really does provide the cover you need.

Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world’s largest neutral trading hub for same day courier driver jobs in the express freight exchange industry. Over 3,000 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading courier jobs and capacity in a safe ‘wholesale’ environment.

Plasterboard Fixing For Your Home – What You Need To Know

Plasterboard is a gypsum inner layer usually sandwiched between layers of lining paper and other additives depending on the desired weight and strength of the lining paper. This means that the plasterboards come with different properties. The standard plasterboard can be used in most environments, but it is not that suitable to use in areas that are constantly wet such as the bathrooms and kitchens. If you want to use plasterboard in such areas, then you will need to go for those that are moisture resistant.

Common plasterboards are usually offered in square edge or tapered edge. The tapered edged boards are great for skimming or joining while the square edged boards are best for textured finishes. The sheets are generally in 1200mm to suit 600mm stud spacing that is common with houses today. You can however find other widths to match with your individual specifications. The standard ones have brown face and an ivory face. The ivory face is for plastering and plaster should therefore be kept off the brown reverse side or face. Plasterboards are very popular with new homes and even old homes. It is probably because of the benefits and advantages they come with.

The Advantages

· The boards help in preventing fire from spreading rapidly. This is because the gypsum is made of crystals that contain small water amounts also referred to as water of crystallization. In case of a fire, the water is pushed off greatly helping in keeping the temperatures down. It means that the boards can be used for fire protection. In special multi layered system applications, the boards can offer fire protection for several hours.

· The plasterboards are also great at cutting down the noise. They deter the transmission of airborne sounds like music and speech. You will actually find boards that have cores designed to offer better sound insulation.

· Wallpaper can be applied directly onto the boards to create a beautiful interior hence you are not limited to the natural look of the boards. It is, however advisable to seal the boards first so it is easy to strip down the wallpaper whenever the need arises. The boards also give you the liberty to paint to achieve your desired look.

· The boards are easy to cut and are readily available. It makes it possible for you to handle your DIY projects with ease when you know what you want.

· They are sagging resistant, but flexible at the same time, so you can have an excellent finish for a long time.

· These boards are easier to put up compared to plaster and they can be recycled.

It is possible for you to handle the plasterboards in DIY projects. However, if you are not very sure, it is always better to call in the experts. Plasterers know exactly how to work with the boards to fetch you excellent results within the shortest time possible. They can also advise you on what boards are best for your home as well as plastering techniques that will make your home stand out.