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Load Board

Load boards are online marketplaces for shippers and carriers to post and bid on truckloads. Learn more about how they are used and why FreightCenter utilizes them on behalf of our customers.

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What’s a Load Board?

A load board is an online marketplace where shippers and freight brokers can post freight loads for individual and company carriers to find. Once a driver sees a load they like based on their criteria, they can bid on it and contact the poster to finalize the deal.

Load boards are crucial for drivers because they are where they can find their next job. Brokers and shippers also consider them essential for finding and recruiting drivers for their shipments.

In the logistics industry, load boards are key to efficient freight movement. They provide platforms for shippers, brokers, carriers, and drivers to connect and interact, helping each other operate the supply chain smoothly.

Let’s explore more about load boards and why FreightCenter utilizes its boards to assist our customers in finding the right carrier for their next full truckloads.

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Why Choose FreightCenter for Freight Shipping?

Expertise in Freight Shipping: With over 25 years in the logistics industry, FreightCenter is dedicated to guiding you through the entire logistics process, from beginning to end. Our goal is to make freight shipping easy to understand and book. Don’t waste time researching and receiving quotes from individual carriers- FreightCenter’s got your back!

Competitive Rates with Tailored Solutions: We prioritize high-quality customer service without breaking your wallet. We utilize our relationships with regional and national carriers to offer you competitive, affordable rates while providing personalized solutions to your needs. Need a liftgate? We got you! Want to expedite your order? Leave it to us! We’re ready to provide tailored solutions that don’t compromise your freight shipment.

Personalized Customer Support: FreightCenter is committed to satisfying our customers. Our friendly customer support team is here to help you every step of the way, from initial inquiries to post-shipment concerns. We handle all aspects of logistics, including tracking, paperwork, and communication with carriers, so you can focus on your business while we manage your shipment. Choose us for our reliable service and affordable quotes!

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How is a Load Board Used?

What kind of load board you use will depend on what type of load you want to post. Load boards come in three varieties:

  • Traditional: These are basic load boards for drivers specializing in full truckload (FTL). These loads are over 15,000 lbs and don’t have any unusual aspects.
  • LTL: These boards specialize in smaller, less-than-truckload (LTL) shipments of 150-15,000 lbs. Shippers pay for part of the trailer and share space with other customers.
  • Miscellaneous: The loads posted on these boards don’t fall under traditional or LTL loads. They are unconventional loads that require special equipment or care, like oversized loads or animal livestock.

Once a board is selected, using it is relatively simple. Load boards are designed similarly to online marketplaces like Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, or even old-fashioned forums. Users must create an account and log in to the board to use its functions.

What users do on load boards varies depending on their role. Shippers and brokers can post loads for bidding as soon as they log on. Loads are uploaded like a social media post, including text and photos (if available). They must include specific details like:

  • Location
  • Route
  • Type of load being transported
  • What equipment is needed
  • Rates

Brokers and shippers can then view and accept bids from carriers or drivers whose bids are the most appealing. They can also find specific carriers registered on the board for targeted offers and view freight market prices and metrics to make informed decisions on their own load posts.

Once a load is available for viewing, carriers and drivers can automatically bid on it. They can filter their search results based on the above criteria and search for individual shippers and brokers if they have previously worked with them.

Aside from posting, searching, and bidding on loads, users can also use load boards for other purposes:

  • View user profiles, including location, route, available equipment, and travel preferences.
  • Research data like average rates and use them during negotiations with one another.
  • Track and update shipments throughout the delivery process.
  • Post on message boards (though further communications and payments will need to be done elsewhere)
  • View and complete Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) verification.
  • Review credit reports

 

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Benefits of Using a Load Board

Load boards are a necessity for drivers specializing in FTL shipments. For owner-operators not affiliated with a carrier (or even drivers working for one), these platforms are one of the only methods of obtaining loads.

However, they aren’t the only way anymore. Freight marketplaces are websites and software with the same functionalities as load boards but contain extra features like e-commerce metrics tools, automatic payment systems, fleet management systems, and document management tools. They may cost extra, but they have more to offer shippers and carriers.

Yet freight marketplaces are still not as popular as load boards. The reasons why this is the case may correlate to why these boards are beneficial to shippers, brokers, carriers, and drivers:

  • User-friendly: Load boards are easy to use; no technical knowledge is required. While they don’t offer additional functions as a freight marketplace, they have the basic features every driver needs.
  • Accessibility: The boards are available 24/7 and can be accessed from anywhere with an Internet connection, including computers, tablets, and smartphones.
  • Relationship Building: Some users compare load boards to online dating websites, and for good reason: they connect shippers, brokers, carriers, and drivers. If a shipper/broker likes a carrier/driver, they can give them the first opportunity to bid on their subsequent loads and even build long-term relationships.
  • Cost-effective: Load boards usually require a paid subscription to use their services, but they are less expensive than freight marketplaces. Some even offer limited services for free!

While load boards are simple and approachable to users of any experience level, there are drawbacks to using them:

  • Bare-bones: These websites can be simplistic and offer only basic functionalities. Users looking for an enhanced experience may find the boards lacking.
  • Competitive Bidding: Load boards are highly favored by drivers because they have been around for a long time and are more trusted than freight marketplaces. However, this also means that many drivers compete for the same loads, making it challenging for newer drivers to distinguish themselves.
  • Must Finish Transactions Elsewhere: Many inexpensive boards do not include additional features such as filing documents, making payments, or managing fleets remotely. Therefore, upon a successful bid, users have to connect elsewhere via phone or email, which can be inconvenient for some.
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Frequently Asked Questions about Load Boards

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Q. What are load boards?

A.

Load boards are online platforms and marketplaces for brokers, shippers, carriers, and drivers to post, view, and bid on full truckloads.

Q. Why are load boards used over freight marketplaces?

A.

Freight marketplaces may be newer and have more features, but load boards are more popular and straightforward to use. They can also be less expensive to subscribe to, and some even offer free services for any driver with an account.

Q. What load boards should I use?

A.

If you are working with a broker, they will utilize their preferred load boards to find carriers and drivers on your behalf. FreightCenter uses DAT and Truckstop’s boards for posting their customer’s loads, while handling the rest of the transaction after finding the right carrier.

Q. Is there anything else I can do with load boards besides posting and bidding on loads?

A.

Load boards can also be used to view accurate data on rate averages and credit reports, track shipments, write on message boards, and research individual users and their credentials.

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