Get The Most Out Of Your Freight Load Board
The trucking industry has dozens of load boards and marketplaces to choose from, some are free but most of the better ones typically come with a monthly subscription fee. The average owner-operator is a member of 3 to 4 load boards at a time in order to maximize on available loads and trucking tools. The important thing is to know how to get the most out of your freight load board.
The following article will hopefully shed some light on what popular tools seem to work for owner operators.
Tips to enhance your load board membership
1. Post Your Truck
Before you start searching for a load, post your truck. Many brokers and shippers don’t post their loads and will search for available trucks. Approximately 30-40% of all available loads never make it up onto any board. If you don’t advertise your empty trucks, you’ll never get the call and be out of luck.
2. Monitor Load Availability
The larger load boards typically have a tool to display load and truck availability. With this tool you can easily monitor supply and demand to ensure that you aren’t going to haul a load into a city where there’s no reciprocal load coming out. If that is the case, use the one-way haul as a negotiation tool to get paid more.
3. Check Credit Ratings and Payment “Days-to-Pay”
Make sure that you check the credit and payment trends of the company posting the load prior to calling. This will help you effectively weed out companies with whom you don’t want to do business. Some sites like 123loadboard help members by offering two (2) sources of credit information. This makes it much easier to select your preferred companies.
4. Download Free Mobile Apps
The most popular load boards offer mobile apps that can be used while you’re on the road and away from your laptop. One of the most popular mobile load board apps is available for free download at:
5. Turn on Alert Notifications
When searching for loads, most load boards allow you to save the search and create an alert. This way you will get immediately notified when any new load appears matching your pre-selected search criteria. Let the freight matching platform work for you for a change.
6. Factor Your Loads (also known as Quick Pay)
Most companies can’t afford to wait weeks or even months to get paid. They need strong cash flow to meet immediate financial demands like paying their drivers and covering fuel costs. Factoring (also know as “Quick Pay”) provides quick, affordable cash and eliminates the hassle of trying to collect from customers on your own.
A very popular factoring company is Thunder Funding. With Thunder Funding, you’ll automatically receive a number of other value-added specialty services at no extra charge! Learn more about quick pay and factoring.
7. Complete Your Company Profile
Ensure that your company profile is complete and that you’ve included your authority information. This way when you post your truck, the broker, 3PL, freight forwarder or shipper will be able to perform their initial due diligence on you without having to involve you in nonsense calls.
8. Use the Load Planner on your freight load board
Don’t fall into the trap of booking and then hauling one load at a time. To be an effective owner-operator, you’ll need to pre-book 3 to 5 loads ahead of time. This way you can schedule your week should you need to be back home for your son’s graduation, etc. Only a very few load boards offer load planning tools similar to 123Loadboard’s Load Planner.
9. Upload Your Operating Documents
Some freight matching services include the ability to save time and money by faxing directly from your dashboard. 123Loadboard is such a service. They help you eliminate unnecessary stops and allow you to spend more time on the road.
Load boards offer a great way to find loads and offer an array of trucking tools from which to choose. Keep in mind that not all are created equal. Before joining a freight matching site, ensure that they have great customer service and that they offer a free trial so you can test drive them first. 123Loadboard is such a service and offers a free trial. Sign up and make it your freight load board today.