Category: CDL Drivers

Brokers: Why You Need a Freight Board

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So, you decided to become a freight broker.  What was the reason? Was it the flexibility?  Wanting to become your own boss? The ability to turn hard work into a 6-figure income?  The prestige in being part of the supply chain that keeps America running?

Whatever the reason, you took the plunge to become a middleman between shippers and carriers and went through all of the processes of structuring your business and filing all of the legal forms to make your business possible.  (If you haven’t, more details on the process can be found here.)  Now what?  Where do you begin?  How do you get a list of shippers?  Do you know any truckers? You’re the middleman, how do you get in the middle?

Sure, you can use Google to search for names of shippers, and you may even be able to find some truckers, but it’s a tedious process that takes a lot of time.  And as we all know, time is money. Load brokers rely on their contacts for work and most people don’t have a handy Rolodex of direct shippers sitting on their desk, certainly not when first starting out.  But you can have one at your fingertips.  Load boards are your Rolodex.  

That’s the beauty of them.  Load boards give you all the information you need from shippers who need loads shipped to truckers looking to drive loads.  Even if you do have contacts that you can utilize, load boards can help you fill in gaps and keep trucks on the road when your regular contacts have nothing for you.  
Load boards have other advantages too.

  • They’re inexpensive.  For a small monthly fee you can have full access to their updated lists of shippers and carriers.
  • They’re convenient.  Because most of them these days are web-based, they can be accessed from any computer or mobile device 24/7 so there is no costly software requiring constant updates.
  • It reduces deadheading.  That’s when there’s a load going in one direction but not the return one.  The most successful freight brokers will keep trucks full, picking up loads for the return trip for efficiency.

  Okay, we’ve fully established that the success of your brokerage business depends on you finding a freight board.  But which one? There are so many of them out there and it’s important to find one that works for you. Many load boards have lots of bells and whistles and their main function gets lost in the mire.  Look for an interface that is straightforward with the load/truck search engine as the main feature.

Your main goal is to find concise, current loads and trucks, but there are a few other features that some load boards have that can help your business be more efficient.

  • Credit reports.  Know who you’re dealing with ahead of time.
  • Deadhead and Trip Miles.  Know your miles full and empty.
  • Weather Reports.  Know the weather where your trucks are.
  • Store and Send Documents.  Fax, email, or text with one click.
  • Email Alerts.  Get alerts on loads and trucks.
  • Load organization.  Keep everything organized so nothing gets lost in the shuffle.

DirectFreight has everything you should be looking for in a load board.  With its clear-cut interface, you can easily navigate your searches along with customized features like important saved documents and emails.  It not only provides up-to-date load and truck information, it helps your business to be more organized and professional. Check it out for yourself with a 15-day free membership at DirectFreight.com and make your freight brokerage firm prosper!

Why Load Boards Are a Shipper’s Best Friend

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When it comes to finding a dedicated loyal friend to help through busy times or when you need to find a new carrier, the freight shipper need not look any further than a good load board.   

 

What is a Load Board?

A load board is a web-based system that allows shippers to list a load that needs to be transported somewhere.  The shipper gives details such as “from” and “to” locations, freight size, type and other details, and carriers who can meet the requirements can apply for the job.  

Even if you are a shipper with contracts with established carriers, load boards can be a useful tool if problems arise and you need to find a new carrier quickly, or if your number of shipments is growing faster than your carrier’s capacity is, a common occurrence in our improving economy.  A load board can help you find one that is reliable and has a good credit record, as well as a good driving record. With the right load board, you loads can be viewed by thousands of drivers across the country. By putting all of the information out there, on both shippers and carriers, a marketplace of moving goods is created, for everyone’s benefit.

 

Why Would Shippers Use Load Boards?

For shippers, load boards are a way to ship freight and save money on the middleman (or middlewoman), i.e. a freight broker.  Freight brokers take care of load postings and find carriers for you. You pay them a percentage, of course, and they take care of finding a reliable carrier to move your freight.  They may have their own, independent contracts, but they often use the same load boards to find truckers that you would.

So why, then, would you use a freight broker when you could do it yourself?

You will save money by doing it yourself and many do, but ask yourself this:  “How much is my time worth?” How much time would it take for you to find a carrier, negotiate a price, and track your shipment and payments?  Multiply that time by the number of loads you have to ship. While a good load board, like Direct Freight, will streamline the process, it will still take time that you may use for other aspects of your business.  

For some, it’s worth the savings.  For others, using a freight broker gets that part of the job off their proverbial plates so they can concentrate on other ways to make their businesses successful.  With all of the useful information included on them, load boards help shippers make decisions that are less risky and more efficient.

Load boards are win-win.  Shippers learn whether or not the carrier has a good driving record and has the proper licenses,  and the carrier learns whether or not the shipper is reputable and pays carriers in a timely manner.

If you’ve got freight to ship and you don’t have a way to ship it, are unsatisfied with your current carrier, or have more freight than your current carrier can handle, go to www.directfreight.com and try our free 15-day trial and start posting those loads today!

Looking for Loads in All the Right Places

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The shipping industry of today is a trucker’s market.  There’s a shortage of CDL drivers which is good news for drivers looking for loads―there are a lot of them out there.  However, to be a successful owner/operator in the trucking industry, you have to find the right loads. It’s not just a matter of finding any load but finding the right one.  For that, you need more than just any load board.

Before you begin your search, think about what kind of client you’re looking for.  The goal is to find high-paying loads that are actually going to make you money. If you have an idea in your mind about what you’re looking for, you’ll increase your chances of finding it.  Are you looking for a large, well-known company? One with a good reputation? A client that you can work with on a regular basis? One that ships in areas where you want to work? Do you want to work with a freight broker?  Do you offer specialized services such as moving oversized construction equipment or refrigerated services?

With the answers to these questions in mind, it’s time to peruse the multitude of load sites out there but where should you begin?  There are so many load sites available online that it’s difficult to know where to begin. Free load sites are tempting, after all, why pay for something when you don’t have to?  There’s a good reason for that. Free load sites have to make money somehow, and they usually do it by having lots and lots of advertising on their websites, selling things other than load information.  Some free load boards are just lists of free load boards. Most loads that are found on the free sites are not posted directly to the site from shippers or brokers; they come from a load sharing service.

Load sites that charge a reasonable monthly fee will generally give you what you’re looking for instead of trying to sell you things you’re not.  While they all offer loads and shipping details, it’s important to find one that’s simple to use and that has all of the details you need to narrow your load search.  Some of the things you may need to know other than load weight, ship date, and trip distance are:

  • The age of the listing
  • Full or partial load
  • Trailer type
  • Number of “deadhead miles” or miles from your location to where you pick up the load
  • Is the poster a member of TIA (Transportation Intermediaries Assoc.), i.e. a broker that agrees to a high standard of business ethics?
  • Credit rating that includes credit score as well as the number of days it takes them to pay for services
  • Mileage calculator that includes tolls
  • Up-to-date fuel prices

With this information in hand, you’ll be able to find the right loads.  You’ll also be able to maximize your time by scheduling loads for your trips back too.  If you want to land these jobs, however, you have to make sure you’re the right driver.  

Begin with your insurance.  A shipper wants a driver with good insurance that includes freight insurance.  They’re trusting you with their freight and want to be covered if anything goes wrong.  

Insurance goes hand-in-hand with your safety rating.  A driver with an excellent driving record and safety rating will be hired over one with poor ones any day.  

Always be professional and be mindful of your reputation.  Drivers with a good and dependable reputation will get the higher-paying jobs.  

If you’re looking for a load site that’s not just any site, Direct Freight is the place to go.  It matches loads and drivers by using pertinent information so you can maximize your driving time and your earning potential.  It uses state-of-the-art tools to make the system work for you, including alerts via text or email for when new loads are posted.  Direct Freight is so sure that their service will be a tremendous benefit to you that they offer a free trial for 15 days.

Go to DirectFreight.com or call (888)894-4198 to find out how you can get started finding the right loads today!