A load board is an online marketplace or matching system that allows shippers and freight brokers to find carriers for their loads, while enabling carriers to maximize their earnings to find loads that keep their trucks full.
Also known as freight boards, load boards are a crucial element of the shipping industry and play a large role in ensuring that freight is matched to a carrier and is delivered on time.
Already familiar with load boards? Read about the benefits of a load board powered by a Digital Freight Network.
Load boards can be accessed online, either through a site or a freight app. Many load boards give you the option to use your preferred device, such as a cell phone, tablet, or computer.
Sign up to view Convoy’s load board.
To use a load board, you must first log in to the specific site or app for the load board you want to search. From there, your primary options are to either post or search for a load if you are a carrier, or an empty truck if you are a shipper or broker.
Some load boards provide additional uses and features, such as the ability to:
Shippers and freight brokers use load boards to post loads that they need transported, shippers acting on behalf of their own freight and freight brokers acting on behalf of the shipper they are working for.
Including specifics such as freight type, weight, pickup and delivery locations, and other information enables shippers and freight brokers to find a carrier who can do the job without time-consuming manual calling and emailing.
Load boards also vastly expand the number of carriers that shippers and freight brokers can expect to reach, with each load having the potential to be seen by thousands of carriers nation-wide. This expanded reach increases shippers’ and freight brokers’ likelihood of finding the very best carrier for the job.
Load boards can be helpful even if shippers and freight brokers already have dedicated carriers whom they work with. If demand surges and their dedicated carriers can’t handle the volume, or any other issues arise, a load board can help shippers and freight brokers find a carrier quickly to meet urgent needs.
Given these capabilities, load boards are also an ideal way for shippers to eliminate the need to use freight brokers, who find shippers carriers for a fee or percentage. By performing the same function as freight brokers, load boards can help shippers eliminate the intermediary and reduce costs.
Carriers and owner-operators use load boards to find contracts and ensure a steady source of work. They can do this by:
These load board capabilities help carriers find the highest-paying freight loads possible. Rather than being forced to settle for whatever loads they’re able to find in time through one or two brokers, carriers now have access to thousands of loads and the ability to choose what freight is optimal for their schedule.
Load boards also help carriers avoid empty miles, or miles in which truckers drive empty because they’re on the way to pick up a load or on their way home after dropping a load off.
Empty miles are not only a waste of time and money for truckers, but are also unnecessary contributors to carbon emissions. Load boards help prevent empty miles by making it easy for carriers to find additional loads to fill each empty segment of their trip.
The best load boards do much more than simply allow you to search for loads and empty equipment. When browsing load boards, look for features such as:
Many load boards require a monthly subscription fee, with exact costs depending on the software and the features available. As a result, the exact cost varies from one load board to the next, with many high quality free options and a range of paid options reaching up to $100 per month. Convoy offers access to its loads free of charge – with no monthly subscription fees or service charges.
With free load boards available, many shippers and carriers wonder, are subscription load boards worth it?
The answer, of course, comes down to your specific needs and budget. Free load boards save carriers and shippers the cost of the monthly subscription and many times offer the same level of access to loads or capacity. While some businesses choose to use paid load boards to access specific features or freight, it is important to closely monitor the costs of these paid services and continuously evaluate if they are the most effective solution for your business.
Convoy offers access to its loads free of charge through the Convoy app and website – with no monthly subscription fees or service charges. Convoy also provides benefits like free Convoy Quickpay™, Hassle-Free Detention, and the industry leading TruckYeah Savings Program.
Load boards provide a number of benefits to shippers / freight brokers and carriers alike, more than warranting the time it takes to find the best option and get onboarded.
For example, load boards enable users to:
For those who want to take the benefits of load boards even further, look for a load board from a digital freight network. Digital freight networks…
A digital freight network with load board capabilities and more, Convoy is currently transforming the freight industry with an open and fully connected digital marketplace for shippers and carriers. Sign up as a carrier to learn more today.
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