Through careful program matching based on your funding request and desired repayment terms, you can be well on your way to using working capital or revenue-based funding from Platform Funding to boost your business. Learn more about how the right financing can positively impact your transport company.
Transport Funding Bill
Since the bipartisan infrastructure bill passed in November of 2021, increased funding has been allocated for transportation and related needs. Other areas of improvement targeted in the bill include:
The infrastructure bill seeks to repair and replace crumbling roadways and bridges that cost transport companies money. Poorly maintained surfaces have always been obstacles to turning profits in trucking. Hours of wasted drive time and lost profits are now hopefully a thing of the past with added funding for surfaces. These issues impact profit for transport companies due to:
- Delays in delivery
- Wear and tear of vehicle
- Fuel waste and increased emissions
- Slowed productivity
- Increase in driver stress
There is a shortage of drivers and general support labor in transport, just like every other industry. As part of the infrastructure bill, the DRIVE-Safe Act was included. This act seeks to allow interstate traffic for younger drivers as part of apprenticeship programs with strict guidance, further boosting productivity. Funding provides federal dollars for apprenticeship programs, automatic emergency brake systems, and camera systems for new drivers.
Another part of the 2021 bill targets the lack of diversity in the transport and trucking industry. Trucking fleets and companies have far fewer women and people of color than other industries. Further, the corporations that employ the fleets are less likely to be owned by women.
The part of the bill that seeks to change that aspect provides funding for more training programs and scholarships for women and people of color. These programs will be coupled with training for business management and will receive selective funding for eligible entrepreneurial upstarts.
Recent news stories are an unpleasant reminder of the common fears that transport fleets share. The bipartisan infrastructure bill also provides funding for required safety upgrades to decrease transport injuries and fatalities. Initial safety measures include:
- Implementation of automatic emergency brake systems within two years
- Implementation of study regarding the efficacy of underride guards on sides and rear
- Implementation of underride guards on sides and rear
Transport Funding Options
SBA loans are guaranteed by the Small Business Administration and dispersed by other lenders. The paperwork is detailed, and the qualifications can be stringent. However, SBA loans provide some of the best rates and terms of any transport loans available if you qualify.
SBA 7(a)s are among the most popular financing options for funding small transport businesses. 7as can help fund up to $5 million to purchase equipment, machinery, upgrades, vehicles, and property purchases. Like with any other SBA, your credit and business credit must be in the medium to high range with no outstanding debts to the government.
Both 7(a) and microloans have reasonable rates and repayment terms that vary based on your financials. If you need less than $5 million for simple upgrades or building repairs, a microloan is a better option. Microloans provide up to $50,000 though the average amount disbursed is far less, and funds still can be allocated for the same purposes.
Veterans Advantage Loans
Like the other SBA loans, the Veterans Advantage offers the same manageable rates and terms. However, these specific loans are only for eligible servicemembers and veterans. As a result of their service, they receive reduced fees.
Whether you’re buying new trucks or weight stations or funding a new office space, industry-specific equipment is necessary for running a successful business. Gear, however, can be one of the most expensive investments that you make. Before you purchase your transport needs outright, investigate your options for equipment financing.
Equipment leasing is a practical option that keeps you safe from the loss incurred by equipment obsolescence. This loss is not common in most trucking industries but can happen with cameras, navigation, and office systems. Leasing gives you the option to buy after your term is up or lease a newer model.
There are many different types of loans available to fund equipment and other transport business needs. Compare rates between lending companies and look for repayment terms that work for your business model. Some typical loans in transport funding other than SBA-backed lending are:
- Bank Loans
- Installment Loans
- Short-Term Business Loans
- Medium-Term Business Loans
- Online Term Loans
Invoice factoring is a faster funding method if you don’t mind losing some of your profits in fees. You can sell your unpaid invoices to a funder for a discounted rate for transactional fees to the funder. They take care of settling the invoice later, and your payment goes to your bank account to free up working capital immediately.
Lines of Credit
Business Credit Cards
Be careful using lines of credit and credit cards to make big purchases. Much like lines of credit, interest rates are traditionally higher on business credit cards unless you can luck into an introductory offer. Often, late fees and changing interest rates can be detrimental to your business’s credit health.
While the bipartisan infrastructure bill may be the most extensive of its kind in working memory, it still leaves some questions about transport funding unanswered. As you determine which financing is best for you and your fleet, the financial experts at Platform Funding are available to add insight and guidance to the process.