In the current market where freight volumes are down, it’s more important than ever for you to be able to make your business as efficient as possible so that you can maximize your profits and increase volume. If you’re like many owner operators and trucking companies, however, you may be relying on traditional load boards, a time-consuming and older technology, to find loads for your truck or drivers. Traditional load boards typically aren’t real-time, which is why they can be frustrating to use. That begs the question, are load boards worth it?
In this blog, we’ll discuss some of the challenges of traditional load boards — and how real-time, smart load boards that use digital freight matching technology are a better option for busy carriers/owner operators like you.
One of the major issues with traditional load boards is that they aren’t real-time. By the time you see a load posted on a load board, that load may already be gone, picked up by another driver. We’ve also heard reports from truckers that in some cases, rates posted on traditional load board posts are inaccurate. Some truckers report that when they contact the poster about a load, that they’re told the rate is lower than the posted rate.
Traditional load boards often require that you purchase a monthly subscription to view the information posted there. Each load board monthly subscription costs anywhere from $35 to $150/month. If you use five or six load boards at a time, those monthly subscription fees can quickly add up, which can affect your profit margins.
Most traditional load boards are public, meaning they are open to any trucker, carrier, broker or 3PL who is interested in joining. That means there are people from all over the country competing for the same loads, trying to outbid one another. The competition over who can offer the lowest rate to a broker can become fierce. As a result, the rates on traditional load boards are often lower than those available elsewhere.
One of the biggest problems with traditional load boards is that you can’t immediately book the load when you see it posted. You have to call or email the broker to first find out if the load is available and second negotiate the rate. If you may take you two to three hours or more to search and identify a good load and then negotiate and finalize a load booking with a broker by phone or email. Spending two to three hours on a single load can really impact your drive time, which affects your revenue.
There are better ways to find high-quality open loads with your favorite brokers. Trucker Tools’ digital freight marketplace, available for free in Trucker Tools’ free driver app, is one of them. With Trucker Tools’ smart load board, you can quickly search for available loads in real-time for free. Simply tap on the Loads button in the driver app and you’ll see a list or map view of nearby available loads with your preferred brokers. (Note: you must request permission from brokers/3PLs to see their open loads in Trucker Tools’ driver app.) Each load you see listed in the driver app includes the lane, dates, broker contact info, deadhead miles, nearby reload opportunities, type of load and load type. All load information you see listed is pulled directly from brokers’ transportation management systems, so it’s accurate, real-time and reliable.
Once you find a load that interests you, you can submit a rate quote to the broker directly from the app in a matter of seconds. Simply tap on the Quote or Show Interest button to instantly submit a rate quote to the broker. Some broker loads may be listed as Book-It-Now loads in the Trucker Tools driver app. With those loads, you can book the load directly from the app — no phone calls are necessary. When you book a Book-It-Now load, the load is automatically booked in the broker’s TMS and you receive an automated email confirming the load booking.
With Book-It-Now, you can search for and book loads at times that are convenient for you. You don’t have to wait for a call back from a broker to confirm the details or rates because you have all the information you need. Trucker Tools’ smart load board also is a private network, which means you don’t face the same level of competition that you do with load boards.
We recently surveyed truckers who use Book-It-Now and asked them what they like about using our automated load booking tool. One trucker said, “It saves time by eliminating phone calls,” while another commented, “Can book quick and easy.” Other truckers noted that you “can book loads with no calls” and that “it’s fast.” Another trucker reported liking the convenience and flexibility of being able to book a load any time — from weekdays to weekends, or late at night.
Read “New Load Search Options Now Available in Trucker Tools’ Driver App” to learn more about finding loads and reloads quickly and easily.
Download Trucker Tools’ free driver app: https://www.truckertools.com/carriers/trucker-tools-app/.