Why trucking companies should send professional invoices
Whether you transport goods across the city, country, or across borders – your clients want to receive clear, organized invoices that explain exactly what you are charging for, as well as the advantage of working with you. Your invoice is a great way to ensure you continue to stand apart from the competition after the haul has been completed. It reminds clients of the great service you provided so they will engage you again, as well as refer you to their business associates.
Sending organized, well-designed invoices also instills confidence and credibility in the trucking services you provide. You are an expert in logistics and the safe delivery of goods – make sure your invoice reflects your skill and professionalism.
Once you've downloaded your free invoice template, you'll need to customize it to fit your specific business. Here are the 10 key things to include on your invoice:
- Title and Description: Name the project and briefly describe what type of work your client is being invoiced for.
- Company Details: Add your company name, address, phone number, and logo to the top-right corner.
- Customer Details: Under "Bill To", add your customer's name, address, and contact information.
- Invoice Number: Include a unique invoice number to help you track down this invoice in the future. You can format this based on sequence and customer. For example, if you're sending your very first customer their first invoice, the invoice number could be 001-001.
- Dates: Include the date when your invoice has been issued and the date when payment is due.
- Line Item: Add individual line items for each unique good or service you provided. For each line item, include a brief description, quantity, individual unit price, and total price.
- Subtotal: Add up the subtotal of your goods or services, before tax has been applied.
- Tax: Indicate the tax rate applied to the subtotal. This is legally required to provide on invoices, and your rate may differ depending on where you run your business.
- Total: Outline the total amount due from the customer, after tax.
- Notes: Include any additional info your customer should know, including terms of service and payment terms (for example, payments are due 30 days after the invoice has been issued).
- Look through our wide range of specialized trucking company invoice templates in different designs and colors, and pick the one that best reflects your brand
- Download the template in the format you like to use, such as Word, Excel, PDF, Google Docs, or Google Sheets. It’s free!
- Add your business name and contact information. If you provide special features such as cross-border or rush service – make sure you mention it here where your clients will notice
- Insert your logo, website, and any other professional-looking transportation graphics
- Add in your client’s name and contact information
- Generate a unique invoice number
- Include the date of the invoice and the dates the trucking job was started and competed, and the payment due date
- List the services you provided, the competed delivery dates, and prices based on mileage, hourly rate, or flat rate. Also make sure all the necessary information is included for insurance purposes
- Add or remove lines to customize the invoice format to include special charges such as customs fees
- If you are including a discount for a repeat customer, or to encourage more work from a first-time client, add a line explaining the discount so your client knows they are getting a deal
- Calculate the total price of the project, including applicable tax, and list the total at the bottom of the invoice
- Include your payment terms, such as the methods of payment you accept
- Add a personal line at the end, especially if this is a valued, regular client. Thank them for the business, or tell them how much you enjoyed working with them. It could lead to even more work and some great referrals!
- Save the invoice – and give a copy to your client!
When is the right time to send an invoice to your trucking clients?
The right time to send an invoice varies with the trucking job and the client. Some trucking companies wait to send an invoice at the end of a delivery, especially if it is a short haul.
As an independent trucking business owner or contractor, you need to keep the revenue coming in, so many trucking companies ask for full payment or a percentage of the estimated cost up front, with the remainder on completion of the project.
If you are dealing with a regular client, you can discuss the option of invoicing monthly, or at other convenient intervals.
Handy invoicing tips for trucking company professionals
Always include a ‘payment due’ date
Whether you are asking for a portion of the money upfront, or on completion of the delivery, this is a clear indication of when you expect payment without sounding too aggressive. It also helps you predict your future finances.
List all delivery dates and any relevant details, such as the contact person and loading and unloading instructions.
Detail, details, details
You want your trucking invoice to be clear and easy-to-read, but don’t be afraid to put in details where needed. You want your client to understand exactly what went into making their delivery a success.
Accepted payment methods
Let your clients know the methods of payments you accept ahead of time so payment arrangements won’t get in the way of you being paid on time. Clients appreciate flexibility in how they pay, so consider electronic options such as e-Transfers and online payment methods.
Include any customs information
If you are transporting goods to another country, make sure you include all the necessary administrative or customs fees you incur.
Don’t be shy about following up
If a payment is late, follow up immediately. Be friendly and polite and your clients should appreciate the reminder. It also shows your professionalism by having a system in place to track your revenue.