Improve Inventory Turnover with Early Bond Releases

May 30, 2023
Import Insights
 min read
Christina Taylor
Registered Import Expert

The business of vehicle exporting is efficiency driven. One huge challenge to efficiency when exporting vehicles from Canada to the U.S. is having to wait out the 30-day DOT hold period. Meanwhile, it’s often perfectly possible for NHTSA to release your vehicle's bond early—it might be happening to you, and you might not even know!

Over the last year, we’ve seen exporters taking advantage of these early bond releases and finalizing sales early in full compliance with the DOT. We’d like to shed some light on how that happens.

If you’ve ever wondered how many more vehicles you could turn in 30 days, this advice is for you.

Redefining the DOT status quo

DOT Conformance bonds are a necessary part of getting your recently imported vehicle titled in the US. They ensure that, “the vehicle is not released to any person until either a bond release letter is received from NHTSA or that the vehicle is held for at least 30 days after the conformity package has been sent to NHTSA.” Nonetheless, these bonds tie up capital and carrying costs, limiting further purchasing power until they are released.

Of the two means listed in the DOT Conformance Surety Bond Requirements, receiving a bond letter is preferred as it is not tied to a fixed timeline. If one is granted by NHTSA, you could receive a bond letter in fewer than 30 days.

However, our findings indicate that some RIs don’t have the tools within their operations to effectively manage bond releases, and thus always wait out the 30-day hold period—even when an early release has been granted!

Free up your capital with automation

On Signal, 79% of vehicles crossing our automated platform this year have received early bond releases. Of those early releases, the average holding time was just 18 days—12 days faster than the ‘standard’ 30-day hold.

Of course, DOT times fluctuate and so these times are an observation, not a guarantee. However, they do beg the question: How many more vehicles could you and your RI turn if you could reduce the 30-day hold?

Naturally, we decided to do the math.

Let’s use 45 days as an example of an average industry turn for an exporter not signed up to Signal. Using the data above, these turns would be shortened to an average of 33 days simply by using our automated platform.

With an extra 12 days per turn, this vehicle exporter could add 3 more full inventory turns per year, from 8.1 full turns to 11.1. Being able to improve inventory turnover by three turns in one year is huge no matter your capital situation! If you’re capital constrained, you could purchase 37% more vehicles throughout the year. If you’re not capital constrained, your carrying cost would drop by up to 30%.

Best of all, doing this requires no spending by the exporter. It's as simple as your RI having the tools to upload bond releases efficiently and process vehicles faster, with less manual work.

Supercharge your inventory turns with Signal

Our mission is to provide RIs with the necessary tools to streamline the bond release process and give their exporters (i.e. you!) a competitive advantage. 

When your RI is on Signal Import, they are greeted with a dashboard that helps keep them organized at every stage of the DOT process. With automated folders for incoming inventory, DOT submissions, open recalls, titles available for release, and more, your RI no longer needs to rely on spreadsheets for manual tracking. 

Instead, the information you need is always at their fingertips. Our platform enables RIs to stay on top of their bond releases, ensuring that each release is promptly processed and attached to the corresponding vehicle, and customers are notified the moment their vehicle can be shipped.

Best of all, we’re here to help them leverage these benefits and provide transparency right back to you—all with the goal of helping you both turn vehicles faster than ever.

Interested to learn more about how Signal can help both you and your RIs improve inventory turnover? Get in touch today for a demo!

Canadian Supply Team:

Jesse Brown, Vice President:
McCaleb Morse, Director: 

Customer Success Team:

Christina Taylor, Director:
Lily Van Nen, Associate:

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