What is a load board?

Published on
Mar 31, 2023
Contributed by

Anyone involved in the transportation of goods and products is likely familiar with the concept of a load board. It’s essentially an online marketplace for the trucking industry.Load boards are great for helping carriers find loads quickly. But this whole process can be tedious and difficult, especially if you don’t have good connections or are new to the trucking industry.Since many carriers use load boards to find top-paying loads, you’ll almost always have competition on these platforms, making it even more tricky. But, the good news is that once you know more about how load boards work, you’ll have more success finding loads and getting to work.With that in mind, let’s talk a little bit more about load boards, why you may want to use them, and more.

How load boards work

If you’re wondering how to use a load board, rest assured that they are generally very straightforward. Finding connections with shippers or brokers usually happens quickly.Shippers take the initial step by posting details of the load they need to transport. This information will include the origin and destination, size, cargo type, and more so that carriers can better understand the job before talking to the shipper.Once shippers have completed their post, carriers with matching requirements can find that load as they search for hauls on the load board. After they review the details, they’ll contact the shipper directly to negotiate rates and arrange the transportation.On most load boards, carriers can also make the first move by posting information about their available trucks, such as capacity or availability. Shippers can then search the load board and contact the carrier to make the deal.In either instance, load boards act as a marketplace to match and connect shippers and carriers. For this service, some load boards will charge a commission on all transactions or require a subscription to access the platform.

load board infographic

Types of load boards

There are different types of load boards available depending on what you need for your shipments. Most load boards will offer access to all freight types, but they may have varying requirements for users. Three of the most common differences include:

  • Subscription-based
  • Free (usually offered bybrokers)
  • Specialized (flatbed, dump truck, hot shot, etc.)

Before you sign up, it’s important to compare the various features and costs associated with the load board against how you plan to use it to make sure it’s worth the price.Want to know what is the best load board? While the answer varies for everyone, our blog here will break down how to find the best load board for your needs to complete more shipments (and make money).You may also want to consider working with a company like Flock Freight, where you get access to the best routes and rates — earning up to 20% more per haul in some instances. And, shippers will love that our hubless routes don’t involve additional handling, reducing the risk of loss or damage. Talk about a win-win scenario.

Benefits of using load boards

Using a load board in the trucking industry has a lot of benefits. Some of the most important advantages to consider include:

  • Quick and easy access to shippers and carriers
  • Increased efficiency in finding and booking loads
  • Potential cost savings due to increased competition
  • Larger pools of potential customers, shippers, and carriers
  • Access to information on trends, market rates, and supply and demand
  • Flexibility to choose loads or trucks that match your needs and schedule

Load boards are an excellent option, but that doesn’t mean they are your only option. Companies like Flock Freight offer additional features that load boards simply don’t. Some of the benefits of choosing Flock Freight are:

  • Dedicated shared truckloads (STLs) to help carriers haul full trucks
  • Quick and easy booking opportunities 24/7
  • Automated tracking features to ensure safe delivery
  • Comprehensive service, including planning, consolidation, and delivery
  • Customized load or carrier matches based on your preferences
  • Priority access to exclusive loads
  • Self-service technology to have more control from start to finish

How to use load boards effectively

The first thing to do if you want to use load boards as effectively as possible is familiarize yourself with the site. Start by creating a detailed profile and take time to learn how to search for loads and post jobs or trucks. This way, once you’re ready to find a load, you can start the search right away.You’ll also want to ensure you know how to filter your search results to find jobs that fit your preferences and needs. As a freight carrier, this will make it easier to quickly find a haul, and as a shipper, this makes it more likely that carriers seeing your posts will be a perfect match.Aside from understanding how to use the load board features, you’ll also set yourself up for success if you practice posting accurate and complete information each time. Look at other posts as examples to create the clearest, most communicative posts possible.Speaking of communication, when you match with a potential load opportunity, make sure you remain professional and build relationships with others to establish yourself as a reliable prospect. Always be clear about your abilities, rates, and availability.If you don’t want to worry about this, Flock Freight is your solution. We make communication a priority as an intermediary between shippers and carriers and offer easy-to-use tools to expedite the entire shipping process.Remember to act quickly when you find an open opportunity, as load boards are active marketplaces. To get the best rates, you should get in touch right away when you see a match on the load board.

Stay ahead of the competition: Maximize your shipping efficiency with Flock Freight’s load board

While most load boards are an effective tool that can help you find hauls fast, there’s a better way.At Flock Freight, we leverage technology to provide a unique solution using exclusive algorithms and machine learning. Not only do we help you find matches so freight gets on the road faster, but we also optimize shipping routes and pool shipments with shared truckloads to help carriers make more money.Get started with Flock Freight to make more money with less work, and start hauling today.