When it comes to payments, less freight can sometimes mean more problems. That’s especially true for less-than-truckload carriers, which are required to manually reconcile payments for each load on their trucks, which of course vary wildly in shape and size.
Fintech provider Relay Payments is hoping to make the lives of its LTL customers easier. The Atlanta-based company on Monday launched a payments solution, Relay for LTL Carriers, that automates the allocation of lumper fees across multiple LTL shipments, simplifying the payment process for carriers.
Relay, which services five of the top 10 LTL carriers in the U.S., aims to modernize the payments process for the transportation, logistics and supply chain industries by removing their reliance on cash and checks, which are still used heavily in day-to-day business. Its offerings include payments solutions for drivers, brokers, shippers and now LTL carriers.
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“Our LTL carriers have specific, complex workflows that can be time consuming, causing lost revenue and failed reimbursement,” explained Relay President Spencer Barkoff. “Working directly with our customers we were able to build technology to create operational efficiencies and increased revenue. This resulted in reduced driver time on dock and increased hours of service.”
As Barkoff outlined, the benefits of streamlined payments go beyond ease. Any time wasted on allocating loads and calculating payments can instead be spent in transit, boosting driver efficiency and, in turn, revenue. That’s especially valuable at a time when driver availability is at a premium, causing delivery delays and rising rates.
Relay’s new LTL offering will build on a productive 2021 for the company, which kicked off the year with a $43 million raise in January and followed it up by locking in a partnership to automate payments for Old Dominion Freight Line (NASDAQ:ODFL) and its 10,000 drivers. And in July, it was reported that Relay plans to raise an additional $60 million.
As industries that have traditionally been underserved by fintech companies and continue to rely on cash and checks, trucking and logistics are now beginning to grab the attention of payment providers.
Another fintech startup, Nebraska-based BasicBlock, this week announced a $78 million raise to support its own instant payments platform for cargo shipments. That service offers freight factoring, a process through which drivers are paid for their loads immediately before the amount due on the bill of lading invoice is collected at a later date.
CloudTrucks is another company breaking into the trucking fintech space, having raised $115 million in a series B in November to build out its “CT Cash” product, which helps carriers manage payments by optimizing their driving schedules for better rates, among other methods.