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Best 5 Free Load Boards

01.25.2023 | By Erica Chappell | 5 min. read

What are a carrier’s most essential needs? Trucks and drivers, of course. Licenses and insurance. A brick-and-mortar dispatch location. But most of all, you need to find loads. You can depend on paid tools, networking, and connections, but there’s another option: free load boards.

 

A quick overview of load boards

A load board is an online platform that allows carriers to easily connect with shippers and brokers. Shippers post their available loads, and carriers can search the board for loads that fit their requirements. Both shippers and carriers can contact each other regarding loads, and some load boards allow you to book instantly. 

Paid load boards have a host of features, including mileage calculation, truck routing, data, and analytics. But free load boards are just as popular, offering the basic features most carriers need. Some free options may have advertisements or charge you for certain features, so research is key. 

 

What factors make for a quality load board?

It’s always important to compare your options and know exactly what you’ll be getting. Here’s what to look for when determining the best free load boards:

Intuitive interface

A complicated website or app can really drain your time—and time is money for carriers. Look for a user-friendly interface that’s straightforward and doesn’t contain more (or less) information than you need. Sometimes, the simplest boards are best. 

Mobile-friendly

Not all free load boards have mobile functionality, but it is an important feature for many carriers, and especially for independent owner-operators. Busy, on-the-go dispatchers can also benefit from being able to access a load board from anywhere, at any time. 

Notifications

You don’t want to miss the perfect load, and with instant notifications, you don’t have to. Many boards will send 24/7 alerts to a phone or email address linked to your account. 

Freight matching

Freight matching lets you consolidate freight to fill your truck and get paid more. You post your location and amount of free space, and shippers can bid on that space. It’s a win-win, as both shippers and carriers can save time and resources. 

Free freight search and posting

As a carrier, you’re probably already looking for boards with the ability to search loads for free. When it’s also free for brokers and shippers to post, the board will likely have more loads listed. That means more opportunities for you and less competition. 

Additional features

You don’t have to settle for a bare-bones free load board. Some great features you may be able to get for free include mileage and routing, broker reviews, credit ratings, load planners and the ability to save posts or block irrelevant posters.

 

Best 5 free load boards

Today’s carriers have plenty of options when it comes to load boards, but they aren’t one-size-fits-all. Here are the pros and cons of some of the best free load boards.

1. Flock Freight

Flock Freight isn’t a load board—it’s better. Our platform has less than truckload (LTL), full truckload (TL), and more partial truckload options than anyone else, helping carriers find higher-paying loads and keep drivers moving. Plus, we’re the only platform offering shared truckloads, which minimize out-of-route mileage and pay $200 more per day. 

Benefits

  • carriers can sign up for free and start booking in 30 minutes
  • maximize trailer space with risk-free shared truckloads 
  • search thousands of available loads
  • get notifications and recommendations sent to your email
  • instantly submit a bid or book a load

Drawbacks

  • while Flock Freight doesn’t have a mobile app (yet), carriers can still access loads using mobile browsers and get custom load suggestions via email 

2. Free Freight Search

Free Freight Search advertises itself as “The world’s largest free load board,” with more than 138,000 carriers and brokers. It is one of the most popular free load boards with rates.

Benefits

  • both carriers and brokers get unlimited searching and posting
  • receive real-time email alerts
  • see credit reports for more than 10,000 brokers
  • get paid within hours of delivery

Drawbacks

  • some carriers may find customer support lacking, as it’s only available online

3. NextLOAD

Established in 2014, NextLOAD connects carriers with more than 65,000 loads per day. It offers a host of free features and is a great free load board with rates.

Benefits

  • filter loads by 10 criteria, including weight, length, distance, origin and minimum rate
  • set alerts for new loads that match your criteria
  • use NextLOAD on a smartphone, tablet or desktop
  • the platform removes expired loads daily

Drawbacks

  • highly competitive load board
  • must integrate with factoring partner to see broker credit scores

4. Trucker Path

Trucker Path is a well-known mapping and navigation app, but they also have a free load board, TruckLoads. It gives carriers access to more than 150,000 loads per day. 

Benefits

  • has an easy-to-use smartphone app and desktop capabilities
  • filter searches by weight, route and truck type
  • search loads for 10 truck types including dry van, flatbeds and reefers
  • check broker credit scores
  • integrate with the Trucker Path mapping app

Drawbacks

  • the app is free to download, but may serve ads and request users to upgrade

5. FreightFinder

FreightFinder has been around since 1998, so they know the industry. The design and features are basic, but it’s still one of the best free load boards out there.

Benefits

  • search in real-time on a simple, straightforward website
  • find TL and LTL loads for dry van, reefer, flatbed and containerized freight, as well as specialized loads
  • see mileage and routing information included in your search
  • trusted company with longevity in the industry

Drawbacks

  • customer service is not 24/7
  • does not have a mobile app

 

Are free load boards worth it?

While they may not provide as many features as paid options, free load boards are often worth it because they’re budget-friendly and simple to use. Many carriers depend on them to find at least some of their loads. For example, dispatchers can supplement their system with load boards that allow them to find headhauls or backhauls when freight contracts aren’t providing enough volume. 

It’s smart to sign up for multiple free load boards, test them out, and see which one is right for you. There’s little risk and great potential to maximize your loads and keep your drivers moving. 

 

Why Flock Freight is better than a load board

Signing up for Flock Freight is the smartest option of all. Our patented technology finds and fills trucks’ empty spaces, matching up carriers like you with shared truckloads (STL) that help you earn more and wait less. Shipments stay in a single truck, driven by a single driver, all the way to their destination. 

Eliminate hassles for your team and earn more from every linear foot of capacity. Learn more about the Flock Freight platform today. 


Earn the most on every haul when you partner with Flock Freight.