Category: Shipping Industry

Simplify Your Hunt for Loads

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Whether your trucking company is big or small, using a load board to find loads can reap big rewards.  They are handy, profitable tools that are particularly useful for small fleet owners, owner-operators, and newcomers to the trucking industry.  Load boards are sort of like dating services for freight and trucking companies, minus the long walks on the beach. If you’re a trucking company looking for a hot date with an attractive load, load boards are the place to turn!

On online load boards, with a little or a lot of criteria, you can search for loads that are going to be the most cost-efficient and make you the most money.  While free load boards are available, they generally have less to offer and fewer options. DirectFreight is one of the most popular national online load boards and now offers new, easy-to-use filters that can narrow your loads or trucks into just the ones you’re looking for.  

Begin your search for freight or trucks by inputting your origin city or state on the main page.  A results page will be returned which you can sift through, or you can narrow your search further by adding:

Trailer Type

Load Size

Ship Date

You can also choose to sort them by:

Origin City

Age (newest)

Pay Rate (highest)
Deadhead Miles (shortest)

Trip Length (longest)

A list will be returned that includes all of your criteria information along with a full credit report and score for each result to minimize your risks, the load weight if available, and the age of the posting.  The list allows you to hide single results or all results for a particular company that doesn’t interest you. Clicking on a single result will yield more information if it is available, and give you the opportunity to perform a reverse search to find a returning load to cut down on deadhead miles.  DirectFreight is customizable so you get all of the information you want without the information you don’t. Get email alerts on your loads and trucks delivered directly to your inbox. Pick a load and calculate your mileage with one of our handy maps and receive information on any weather that may interfere with or impede your trip.  

DirectFreight is web-based, as all of the good load boards are.  Why is it better? In the olden days of load boards, software was loaded on your computer, which meant any updates or improvements to the software also needed to be manually loaded onto the computer which was costly and meant your computer was tied up for hours.  By having a cloud-based system, updates can be made automatically without service interruption and your information is automatically backed up so you don’t have to worry about a virus wiping out your data. You’re not tied to your desktop computer. The DirectFreight website can be accessed from anywhere using your mobile phone or tablet and because it’s web-based,  it’s available 24/7.

Load boards like DirectFreight keep your loads detailed and organized so your business can run like a well-oiled machine.  Go to DirectFreight and sign up for a free 15-day trial today!

With DirectFreight, the load and trucker dating site, load and trucker will live happily ever after!

Load Posting Made Easy with Direct Freight

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You’re a liaison.  A go-between. A middleman (or middlewoman).  An intermediary. A Freight Broker. You do the legwork needed to move freight down the street or across the world.  It could be a load of toys from a factory, food from farms, or a myriad of products from a distributor―anything from anyone who has goods that need to be shipped.  You take care of all of the details to get those goods from here to there. You make the necessary arrangements with trucking companies or individual carriers.

You are more than a liaison, however.  You’re the responsible party if anything goes wrong.  If you do your job well, you can also help reduce transportation costs, cut down on lost time, and allow your shipper to increase their shipping capacity as needed. As companies grow, it becomes more difficult for them to find the time to broker deals with trucking companies so many are turning to freight brokers like you to handle the task―to broker the deal, make all of the arrangements and make sure that the trucking companies have DOT compliance, a good credit record, and a clean driving record. It’s your responsibility to make sure everything goes smoothly and deal with any problems that arise.   

To be a successful broker, you need to ensure the fast and efficient delivery of goods.  Your relationships with shippers and carriers are your bread and butter. The very nature of your job requires a need to foster relationships with both shippers and carriers.  However, building a big database of customers can take years and even with a large collection of shippers and carriers at your disposal, there may be gaps in coverage. That’s why load posting on a superior load board is vital to any freight broker.  Load boards allow you to post loads that need to be shipped and find reliable truckers by seeing their credit report and driving history. Even the best brokers may not have trucking contacts everywhere. Load posting allows you to fill any gaps you may have in your service area and make it easy to post load details and get exposure to thousands of carriers looking for loads and building your list of contacts.  By fostering relationships with carriers, a good freight broker can provide vast shipping coverage and value combined with quality services.

With Direct Freight, posting loads couldn’t be easier. Loads can be posted for free but the monthly subscription allows access to credit reports, route weather, route planning, text alerts, load filtering, and other features to streamline load planning.  Because it’s web-based, the Direct Freight interface can be accessed anywhere via computer, and there’s also a mobile version for phones and tablets. Direct Freight is an indispensable tool to help freight brokers grow and maintain their business and build relationships with carriers and shippers all over the country.
If you’re a freight broker, Direct Freight is your key to success.  Call (888)894-4198 or go to www.directfreight.com, sign up for your free 14-day trial, and start load posting today!

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!

eCommerce and Its Effect on the Shipping Industry

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Since its inception in 1995, Amazon changed how the world shopped.  eCommerce took hold, giving consumers more choice and more convenience, bypassing the traditional brick and mortar stores, and now, more than 79% of Americans shop online.  eCommerce widened the playing field and no longer did merchants have to get their product into stores; with a good website, sellers could set up shop in their garages and ship their goods directly to consumers.  

The popularity of eCommerce has had a tremendous impact on the trucking industry.  While shipments of raw materials from one business to another have remained unchanged, the shipping patterns of finished products have changed dramatically.   Stores not only are stocked on a regular basis, but to remain competitive, they now rely heavily on eCommerce to drive sales. Online sales from retail chains may be delivered directly to the consumer, or they may be picked up at the store’s location which may add to their number of deliveries.  

Amazon’s two-day delivery model has had repercussions can be felt across all delivery platforms.  Consumers now have an expectation that whatever vendor they choose, when they sign on to a website and place an order, it will arrive within 2-3 days. This change in expectations has changed how all carriers do business.  The strict demand has led to an increase in smaller trucks being used more frequently instead of half-filled larger trucks. Because of this, the amount of commercial traffic on our highways has been steadily increasing, and the DOT projects that freight volume will grow by 45% by the year 2040.  Noise and air pollution are on the rise as well.  In order to stay in the race, trucking companies must be ready to adapt.  They need to become more efficient.

Advancements in technologies promise deliveries will eventually be made using drones and self-driving vehicles, however, these technologies are hardly perfected and they’re expensive.  This is where trucking companies need to step in and fill the demand. Large carriers are adapting by changing equipment such as adding smaller trailers to be able to traverse compact neighborhoods.  

Retailers and manufacturers have found a solution to the 2-day shipping expectation problem:  they’re opening more distribution centers across the country to cut down on shipping times. This means more half-filled trucks as well.

Another effect that Amazon has had on the marketplace is in shipping transparency.  Consumers demand to see where their package is all along its travel route. Larger carriers such as UPS and FedEx have set the bar high for tracking expectations, and at any time throughout its travels, a package can be located and its delivery predicted down to the hour.  To compete in the market, carriers must provide this kind of precise tracking services.

Consumers also have greater control over where they want their package delivered.  Home or office? At the store? With transparency, you may not have to have the lowest rates to come out on top.  People value good service and may be willing to pay a little more to get the product delivered quickly. However, it’s a tightrope walk with shipping rates.  The number one reason that consumers don’t complete a purchase and abandon their online shopping cart is higher-than-expected shipping costs.  

People aren’t only buying gifts and gadgets online.  Increasingly, consumers are turning to the internet for everyday items such as cosmetics, personal care items, furniture and even groceries.  It’s estimated that 20% of traditional brick and mortar stores will close in the next 5-8 years as online retailers take over more and more of the market.   

With Amazon poised to start their own direct shipping to compete with UPS and FedEx, it’s more important than ever for trucking companies to make changes in order to remain players in the intense competition in the trucking industry. It’s time to streamline operations and install and implement Electronic Logging Devices in vehicles as well as look to improve operating efficiencies, whether that means smaller trucks, shorter runs, or improvements in logistics.  Big changes in the shipping industry are already here. It’s time to step up and meet the challenge before you get left behind.