If you’re an owner-operator, your livelihood depends on keeping your truck loaded and moving. If your trailer is empty too much of the time and you’re putting on too many empty miles, it can signal a death knell for your business. Under that kind of pressure, constantly calling around and searching for loads can be a huge weight on your shoulders when where you really want that weight is in your cargo box or trailer.
That’s where load boards can help. Simply put, load boards are online marketplaces that bring shippers, brokers, and carriers together to move loads quickly and efficiently to their destinations. Generally, load boards include all the specific details of a load such as the contact information of the broker, where and when it needs to be picked up and delivered, its weight and dimensions, the type of truck required, and other essential details.
1. Load Boards are Huge Time Savers
By utilizing load boards, the time-consuming work of cold calling shippers or trying to establish relationships with brokers, the middlemen who connect shippers and carriers, can quickly become a thing of the past.
Not only can truckers find thousands of loads on load boards, but they can also filter listings by the specific criteria they want. For example, they can narrow their search for loads requiring a flatbed, a reefer truck, a step-deck, etc. Or if they already have a partial load where there’s room for more, they can search for something along their route that will fit their available dimensions.
And because carriers tend to call on load listings that provide full, complete details, there’s a built-in incentive for brokers to provide that information.
2. Load Boards Have Great Navigation Tools
Making a good living as a carrier is a lot about getting from point A to point B in the quickest, most efficient way possible. While load boards vary from platform to platform, a trucker can count on most to accurately calculate the best route to take for delivery and the mileage involved. These tools can factor in roads where certain truck types are prohibited or bridges that are too low to accommodate them. Not only that, but load boards can also provide location data for gas stations, weigh stations, truck stops, and other information carriers may need.
3. Load Boards Help Build Business Relationships
As an owner-operator, you want to be able to count on honest information and prompt payment from brokers. When searching for loads and before making any agreements, carriers can check a broker’s history of collaboration between shippers and carriers and how quickly they pay once the freight is delivered. In turn, brokers can get similar important information on the carriers that express an interest in their posted loads.
Such sharing of information allows both parties to enter into agreements with their eyes open. If information is posted accurately, loads are handled with care and delivered promptly, and payment is made in a timely manner, it can open the door to lasting and mutually beneficial business relationships.