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GSCW chat recap: Freight forwarding’s cash flow challenges

The complicated world of moving capital between freight forwarders and brokers

Amna Shah talks freight forwarding with Kevin Hill.

This fireside chat recap is from Day 6 of FreightWaves’ Global Supply Chain Week. Day 6 focused on global maritime logistics.

FIRESIDE CHAT TOPIC: Transactions between players in the freight brokerage industry

DETAILS: Working capital can be a challenge for freight forwarders. Amna Shah uses her expertise in freight financing and financial analytics to break down the ways to properly manage cash flow. 

SPEAKER: Shah is the senior consultant at AHS Consulting.

BIO: Shah founded AHS Consulting in Chattanooga, Tennessee, eight years ago to be a bridge between freight forwarders and international clients. 


“Whenever we need to release freight, we have to provide a copy of a check. … That’s one of the things that has always really bothered me and that’s one of the things we’re trying to change about this industry. Now since COVID it has moved forward and gotten out of this archaic state.”

“You cannot recognize revenue until you have delivered the service. Now what happens in freight forwarding is you are being the ultimate bank for your customer because you have outlaid so much freight for them and what comes in at that time is the matching principal for your revenue.”

“I’ve hooked up with a few banks that actually understand forwarding companies and are willing to help these companies to get a better cash flow deal, either by factoring or just giving them a decent credit because they understand this industry and how it works.”

“Your asset in a freight forwarding company is your accounts receivable. So as long as you have a timely invoice of your customers, and that is where the challenging part comes in, you can’t really raise an invoice with an audit.”

Kaylee Nix

Kaylee Nix is a meteorologist and reporter for FreightWaves. She joined the company in November of 2020 after spending two years as a broadcast meteorologist for a local television channel in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Kaylee graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 2018 and immediately made the Tennessee Valley her home. Kaylee creates written summaries of FreightWaves live podcasts and cultivates the social media for FreightWaves TV.