Load boards are an invaluable asset in the truck driving industry. As an independent carrier, you need to use load boards to acquire new business and expand your trucking operation. Choosing the best load board for your business will help you increase your pickup efficiency so that you can spend less time looking for work and more time on the road.
Load boards connect owner-operators with freight brokers and shippers through an online list of loads. Load boards are extremely beneficial for finding new business opportunities and creating relationships with shippers and freight brokers. When a shipper or freight broker needs to transport a load, they often post the information regarding their load on load boards, including delivery dates, load weight, and the truck or trailer specifications necessary for the load.
In addition to shippers and freight brokers posting items that need to go from point A to point B, owner-operators can post information regarding their trucks so that shippers and freight brokers can instantly connect with available capacity. Some load boards also provide bidding services that allow owner-operators to offer their transportation services at a competitive rate.
You should be aware that there are both free and subscription-based load boards. As an owner-operator, you need to find the load board that is right for your business, and there are several factors to consider before choosing one.
Perhaps the most important thing you need from your load board service is accuracy regarding loads. If your load board fails to update in real time, you may find yourself wasting time by applying for loads that have already been booked. Some load boards will purposefully list freight that is no longer available to make it appear as though their load board has a great deal of activity.
When you choose an accurate load board that updates in real time, you’ll have access to new listings instantly and will avoid the hassle of applying for loads that are no longer available.
2. Customer Service
As an owner-operator, your rate per mile and truck usage can make or break your business. That’s why your load board must have exceptional customer support. If your load board experiences glitches or is temporarily unavailable, you need the ability to contact customer support quickly to fix the issue and reduce any impact on your business. If you have difficulty connecting with customer support when things go wrong, you’ll waste precious time better spent on the road.
In addition to outages and glitches, you also need effective customer support to address fake loads and scams. The FTC received over 4.8 million identity theft and fraud reports in 2020, and cybercriminals can use load boards to steal your personal information or defraud you. Having access to strong customer service is crucial for removing fraudulent loads, scams, and fake users.
3. Expansive Network
Your load board needs to feature a great deal of activity, but you also need the ability to track loads that best work for you. You need to know the number of loads currently available and the number of shippers, brokers, and owner-operators that use the board. If you sign up for a board that doesn’t contain many loads or loads that don’t line up with what you are looking for, you’ll find yourself struggling.
The loads listed on the load board need to be current. Otherwise, the load board might be attempting to attract users by including loads that are no longer available.
When using a load board, you’re not only attempting to pick up individual loads — you’re also trying to form relationships with shippers and brokers that will use your services in the future. Picking the right load board that features a wide network of shippers is crucial for your success as an owner-operator.
4. Easy-to-Use Interface
In addition to having many loads and users, your load board needs to be convenient and easily accessible so that you can find loads hassle-free.
Your load board also must have filters available so that you don’t waste time looking through listings that are not suitable for your business. Effective load boards often feature search filters that narrow your search by location, weight, and the type of material that needs to be transported.
5. Mobile Availability
As an owner-operator, you’re usually on the go, and you might not always have access to a computer. You need to be able to quickly access your load board through your smartphone. Your load board needs to offer a quality mobile application that’s convenient to use while traveling, is inclusive of real-time updates, and has effective filters that will help you find the right load for your next drive. But remember, you shouldn't use such mobile applications while driving.
6. Map View
An effective map view is critical for picking up desirable loads in your area. Map view is a convenient way to see the available freight in your area so that you can prioritize future loads based on your location.
The map view can be especially useful when using your load board on your mobile device. If you’re currently transporting a load, you can use the map view to find the next available load that is closest to your drop-off location. That way, you don’t need to waste time and energy searching for loads and traveling to a new location.
One effective application that can help you instantly start finding loads is Haulynx, powered by Xpress Technologies. Xpress Technologies integrates platforms so that you can find the right loads based on your individual needs.
Getting Started as an Owner-Operator with Xpress Technologies
Owner-operators need to find the best load boards that meet their needs by offering convenient features and effective customer support. Whether you’re getting started as an owner-operator or looking to improve your business, we recommend checking out our blog to learn more about load boards and the trucking industry.
Xpress Technologies helps owner-operators grow their businesses. With over 40 years of experience, we help fleets of all sizes with their unique freight needs. Whether you’re a new owner-operator or if you’re looking to expand your business, we’re here to help.