What is a Load Board and why are they Important?

A load board is an online marketplace where shippers and carriers come together through a bidding process to negotiate freight rates. Load boards are beneficial for both parties involved, as well as shippers and carriers who cut out the middleman. This is because load boards provide transparent rates on transportation options, which, in turn, reduces overhead. Shippers get high-quality shipping at low rates and carriers get more business to drive their bottom line up. 

Load Boards: A Brief History

Load boards have been around since before World War II when trucking started to become an important industry for shippers and carriers alike.

Traditional load boards were in the form of paper boards: trucks would pick up paper copies of trucking routes that companies would bid on. They had companies such as FedX and UPS, which took loads off the board, but still, there wasn’t a lot of competition to drive down costs because it was still a fairly new industry.

As technology progressed, so did load boards (along with other industries). In the 1970s and 1980s, computers became more widespread, making it easier for shippers and carriers to compete for business. It wasn’t until the 1990s that computer loading software was created, which led to changes in the load board industry itself. Today, companies can access load boards online via PC or mobile device to look for shipping work on sites like https://www.shiply.com/us/truck-loads. 

Benefits of using a load board

Load boards provide shippers with a trusted and transparent platform to negotiate rates with carriers. This allows carriers to list their services and locate more business for their trucks by identifying suitable freight on the load board. Specifically, load boards offer the following:

Identify trustworthy companies

A load board can include details on an individual company’s business license, insurance, drivers, vehicles, and other information to assess the reliability of carriers. This is beneficial for both shippers and carriers, who do not have time to do their own research into a company. Shippers can then take more time to thoroughly check the business license and vehicle details of the company before contracting with them for the job so that they are safe in contracting with them.

Complete credit checks

Load boards allow shippers and carriers to perform credit checks without needing the assistance of a third party. This is beneficial for both shippers and carriers, as they can now assess a company’s financial standing before contracting with them.

Shippers/Carriers can develop relationships outside of the load board

Load boards provide an avenue for companies to bid on freight. Shippers can also communicate with individual carriers via Skype, phone, or email, if preferred, rather than communicating with them through a load board. This allows for more personal interactions between parties, which increases trust and allows for the development of long-term relationships between shippers and carriers.

Reduce overhead

With load boards, carriers can save on operating costs by cutting out the middle man. They can then pass on savings to their customers. This allows them to keep prices affordable for their customers but still get paid for work completed.

Shipper/Carrier can make a profit

If carriers can list rates and services on a load board, they will have more work to get done. This allows them to make a profit while cutting out the middle man, meaning they make more money without having to pay as much money to work as they would through other types of freight delivery.

Increase business potential

By being listed on a load board, shippers and carriers can trade business with each other by utilizing the same platform. This creates an additional channel for both parties to get business done and increase overall revenue for both parties involved.

The wider benefits of using load boards

It’s not just the immediate businesses that benefit from the use of load boards. The wider community also has an interest in the efficient transportation of goods. By allowing truckers to locate truck loads in real-time and bid for work online, they can cut down on empty journeys.

Why reducing empty truck journeys is important

Reducing empty truck journeys is important for several reasons. First and foremost, this can help to reduce emissions at the tailpipe of the truck, which in turn helps to reduce pollution.

Also, reducing empty journeys means fewer trucks are being used. This reduces the number of vehicles required, which in turn reduces the level of traffic on the roads and therefore reduces the number of accidents on the road.

Load boards in today’s world

Load boards have changed a lot since their inception and are continuing to change as time goes on. As technology advances and more companies enter into eCommerce, load boards have adapted to keep up with demand. An example of this is shippers being able to bid on freight on their mobile phones or tablets. Load boards have also introduced other useful features:

Load boards are now more accessible through mobile devices

This provides shippers and carriers with a convenient platform for bidding on freight work no matter where they are. This has meant that load boards have had to change their appearance to match the needs of customers, who now want an easy way to place bids on freight. It has meant that load boards have had to offer a simple and easy interface that allows users access with as little hassle as possible.

Automatic bidding features allow shippers to automatically bid for freight based on a price set by the company themselves. This removes the potential for error in terms of submitting a high bid that may be too much compared to what carriers can afford to pay. It also gives business owners the ability to run their fleet in a more hands-off way, which is beneficial for companies such as trucking companies that have to transport large amounts of freight from one destination to another.

Despite the changes that have taken place in the load board industry over time, load boards are still able to provide a solid platform for shippers and carriers to trade business. Load boards have maintained their position in the freight industry and continue to grow as technology advances. This can only be a good thing next year and beyond, as this means more businesses will be able to get involved with trading work on load boards, resulting in more efficient transport of goods.


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