Load boards (also know as freight boards) are online matching systems that allow shippers and freight brokers to post loads. They also allow carriers to post their free equipment. These systems allow shippers and carriers to find each other and enter into agreements to move freight.
Most trucking load boards are sophisticated and allow you to post and search for loads using a number of criteria. Additionally, they provide various services for both freight brokers and carriers. Depending on the board, you can find services such as:
- Load matching
- Credit information/days to pay
- Message boards
- Ability to make notes on shippers/carriers
- FMCSA verification
- Finance of pre-approved loads using factoring
- Mobile access
Free or paid?
The freight board market is extremely competitive and there are a number of providers – both free and paid. If you choose a paid service, you will see that prices vary based on the plan you select. Prices can reach $100 per month for premium plans. Keep in mind that the old rule that you get what you pay for certainly applies here.
However, paid load boards are not always better. Your best bet is to shop around and select the board that best fits your needs and budget.
Are loadboards helpful?
Working with freight load boards has its benefits and disadvantages. On one hand, it can help new owner operators and freight brokers get started in the business. However, there is a lot of competition and profit margins are slim. You can get more information by reading, “Are Load Boards Worth It?”
How do you factor invoices through a load board?
Many load boards integrate work with companies that offer freight bill factoring. This integration allows you to finance slow-paying freight bills and can be useful if you are just starting up or are running low on funds. Some factors also offer fuel advances, which provide funding for fuel and other expenses as soon as you pick up the load. While fuel advances have benefits, they can also be expensive. Use them strategically and only with loads that have a good profit margin. Note that fuel advances are provided only to carriers and not to brokers.