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Tips for Collecting Unpaid Debts in the Transportation Industry

Tips for Collecting Unpaid Debts in the Transportation Industry

The logistics and transportation industry is essential to run most businesses, corporate houses, production houses, etc in one way or the other. After having to deliver shipments, transportation providers have to wait to collect their freight invoices. This can be frustrating for business owners especially when their customers are slow at paying or don’t pay at all.

One of the challenges the transportation industry faces is recovering debts or freight invoices. They either receive it late or through litigation or never.

We can offer you simplified ways to ensure your company is in the best position to get paid for the services rendered.


Documentation is vital before proceeding to lift and deliver the cargo. You may ensure to have a contract in this respect and mention a penalty and late payment fee structure in an elaborate manner. It may not entirely reduce non-payments, but it can help reduce the chances of such an event.  Always ensure you have signed BOLs and that any discrepancies or issues are handled in written communication like email, not over the phone.

Contractual Jurisdiction

You should ensure that contractual terms are clear as per local laws of shippers and the receiving party areas. This will guard your interest in both places.  The best thing a motor carrier can do is to have a rules tariff in place for their company.  If you are not familiar with tariffs as they relate to the transportation industry, please give us a call so we can help educate you.

Pre-shipment Client Information

Do some homework for each and every shipper or broker you work for. Using sites like Freightcheckers.com or other rating and review sites is key to providing you with insight into how a company conducts business.  Additionally, be sure to thoroughly read your contract that you have with a company.  Any terms of the contract you are not comfortable with the need to be crossed out and initialed by someone with signing authority for your company.

Freight Invoice Collection Prior to Delivery

You can opt to put a clause in the contract stipulating the signing party to pay freight or freight invoice before the delivery of cargo.  This is called a COD shipment or cash on delivery.

Freight Collection – Credit limit

Furthermore, in order to survive the cut-throat business trends in the transportation industry, you may opt for 30, 60, and 90 days credit. This is where your worries start. Once the client has lapsed on 30 days period, you should immediately start following up with your customer for collecting your transportation invoice amount.  Having access to a site like Freightcheckers.com will allow your organization to leave reviews and ratings against your creditors which may be enough to get you paid immediately.

Engage a Transportation Collection Agency

Once you realize your efforts are not gaining traction you should immediately contact a collection agency that specializes in Transportation debt to increase the pressure against your creditor.  It’s paramount to take this step early on in the process to ensure your rights as a creditor are worth as much as possible.  The longer you wait the likelihood your invoice is paid in full goes down dramatically.

Disappeared Clients

This is a common situation where clients disappear within a year or so after starting the business. The Transportation industry is unlike most other industries as all is not loss in this situation. Though it is a much harder collection there are other options available to transportation providers when their customers go out of business.  Having a collection agency who understands Transportation is paramount for these types of debts to be collected.


The transportation industry is a volatile industry, and unpaid freight invoices are one of the biggest and most frustrating problems it faces. You need to hire a competitive and industry-relevant debt collection agency to help you in the process.

Why Choose AWA for Your Transportation Collection Needs?

AWA operates on a contingency fee basis, meaning, if we cannot collect, you owe us nothing. If collection efforts are successful, our rates will be based on how old and how much the debt is, if there is a damage claim, and whether the debtor is in or out of business. If you have unpaid freight invoices and are not sure what to do next, call 662-892-8591 to speak with one of AWA’s client specialists today or Contact Us Directly!

For more information on our agency practices and methods, view our AWA Collection Process Page.

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