A load board is a website that matches freight shippers (and brokers) with carriers. Shippers and brokers post loads that need hauling. Likewise, owner-operators and fleets can post their available capacity. Load boards allow shippers and carriers to find each other and enter commercial agreements to move the freight.
Load boards offer various options. Some boards are free, while others sell packages that offer a variety of enhanced services. Most boards offer some or all of these services:
- Matching a load with a trucker
- Credit reports on the shipper/broker
- Days to pay information
- Mobile access
- Ability to finance loads from certain shippers
Are free load boards useful?
The market is competitive and there are a number of freight boards – both free and paid. Most boards charge less than 100 CAD per month for their services, though prices vary. As a rule of thumb, you get what you pay for. However, paid load boards are not always better than free ones.
Start by using free loads boards and see how that works for your trucking company. If the results are not satisfactory, consider using one of the more popular paid services.
The right way to use a load board
One of the main mistakes that an owner-operator (or small fleet owner) can make is working solely with load boards. While load boards can be useful, competition is high and profit margins are low. You will often be working with freight brokers – further cutting into your profits.
Instead, use boards strategically while you build relationships. For more information, read “How to Use a Trucking Load Board“.
Beware of whom you work with
Another problem is that you will work with shippers and freight brokers that you do not know well. To minimize risks, run a credit check to make sure that they pay on time. Companies such as Ansonia, Equifax, and Dun and Bradstreet provide credit reports.
How long do they take to pay freight bills?
Even if the brokers or shippers you choose to work with have good credit, review their payment policies. Many brokers and shippers pay freight bills in 30 to 60 days. Few small fleet owners and owner-operators can afford to wait that long for payment. They need money sooner to pay for fuel and other expenses.
If you cannot wait for payments, consider factoring your freight bills. This solution allows you to finance invoices from slow-paying shippers. By factoring your freight bills, you can take on shippers that pay slowly while protecting your cash flow.
Get more information
We are a leading factoring company in Canada and can finance owner-operators at competitive terms. For more information, get a factoring quote or call us toll-free at (877) 300 3258.