A load board is a marketplace that allows carriers, brokers, and shippers to work together. While the best way to grow a trucking carrier is to get direct shippers, load boards have a place to help you build your business. They are a useful way to get started and start pulling loads. Additionally, they can be a good resource to fill up empty legs.
Here is a list of free load boards that provide freight loads for owner-operators based in Canada (or who want to pull loads to/from Canada). Note that some listings offer a free trial only, but this should be sufficient to help you determine if they are right for your company. These boards provide a combination of Canadian and transborder loads.
The boards are:
- The Canadian Loadboard
- Trusted Dispatch (Heavy equipment)
- ATS Brokered Loads
- JB Hunt
- Forest Commodities Boards
- CH Robinson
We’d like to note that although Load Link is not free, owner-operator consensus seems to be that they have the most widely available selection of Canadian loads. Consider working with them if your budget allows it.
Load board equals small profits
One disadvantage of using a load board is that you often work with brokers rather than direct shippers. Brokers take a large portion of the load’s profit, anywhere between 10% – 20%. Consequently, these loads often have very low profit margins. Always examine the financial details of the load against your expected costs to ensure that you will make sufficient profit to make it worth your while. You don’t want to end up pulling a load that has little profit or, worse, a loss.
Competition is very heavy
Competition for loads in a load board is very heavy. You have several carriers and some brokers bidding for these loads. Everybody will offer their lowest possible rate, especially for popular lanes and dry van loads. This is another reason why relying on load boards is not a reliable long-term strategy.
Some brokers pay slowly
One common problem of working with load-board based brokers is that some pay their invoices slowly. Many brokers don’t offer quick pays; instead they ask for net 30 to net 60 day terms. This delay can create problems for owner-operators who need money for fuel and other expenses.
You can solve this cash flow problem by factoring your freight bills. Factoring provides a cash advance against slow-paying invoices. Initial advances can range from 90% to 95% and are paid as soon as the load is successfully delivered. You get the remaining 5% to 10%, less a small fee, once the shipper/broker pays the invoice in full. To learn more, read “What is freight bill factoring?”
We are a leading factoring company and can provide high advances at low fees. For an instant quote, fill out this form. To speak with a credit manager, call (877) 300 3258.