For trucking companies, it’s not just a matter of booking as many loads as possible, it’s important to book as many high-quality loads as possible. High-quality loads come from dependable shippers who have above-average margins, and pay in a timely manner. A good load board is a useful tool to help keep your trucks rolling, but is the monthly subscription fee worth it?
Load boards can help you:
Using a load board can help you gain trusted clients that you can build long-term relationships with. This allows you to cut out the middleman and not go through a freight broker, which will increase your margins.
A wise investor diversifies his investments to be able to weather any negative periods. The same approach should be applied to your trucking business. Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. If you get all your loads primarily from one source, you’ll be in trouble if that company has a problem.
Find a Trustworthy Broker
As part of their diversification, many companies will work directly with shippers and with freight brokers. It’s important to find one that is reliable and will earn you money. To learn more about how to find the right freight broker, go here.
Eliminate Deadhead Miles
If you’re going to be bringing home an empty truck, be sure to include those costs in your rates. Better yet, line up a load for the return trip. This is where load boards are essential. It’s so easy to search your return route for loads that can be made along the way.
Load boards allow you to shop around for loads that will be most beneficial to your company. Think quality, not quantity.
Are Free Load Boards a Good Deal?
As they say, the best things in life are free. This may be true for many things but for load boards, it is not. Free load boards will certainly save you a monthly fee that most load boards charge. However, most top companies prefer to post their loads on the paid sites so you won’t see the quantity or the quality that you would find on subscription load boards. Also, some of the “free” load boards are only free for a limited time, have duplicate loads and outdated information.
Tips for Working with Load Boards
Know the Low
Before you reply to a post to negotiate a rate, always know your lowest possible rate that allows you to break even. This will make negotiating a rate for a shipment much quicker and easier.
Walk on By
Don’t be afraid to say no. If a load isn’t going to earn much and may cause more problems than it’s worth, keep walking. Load boards make it easy to find one that will work for you.
If you’re finding a lot of good quality loads on a load board, be careful. If you book more than your company can handle, you’ll start missing deadlines. This could hurt your company’s reputation for being dependable and trustworthy. It’s important for your business’s success that you make timely deliveries.
If you’re starting out as a carrier, a good load board is essential. It’ll help you make contacts with which you can build direct relationships. Once you have those connections, it’s good to continue to use the load board to fill in gaps and book deadhead miles.
Direct Freight Services is a full-service subscription load board that can help you maximize your margins with our huge database of quality loads. With helpful features like the app, load searching, truck posting, credit reports and scores, load filtering, turn-by-turn routing, and text alerts, Direct Freight is the only load board you’ll ever need. Go to DirectFreight.com and try it out today!