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Freight matching services or Load Boards; contain loads that have been posted by brokers and shippers in a single location on the internet. :Load boards are used to find loads or truck loads. Typically on Load Boards anyone who would like to either search for loads/trucks or post loads/trucks has to open an account with that particular Load Board. Setting up an account with a Load Board is typically straight forward. A customer usually provides general information about themselves and, for carriers, provides a form of payment to the Load Board. For shippers, there is typically no cost to sign up as a member for a load board. After you have established an account as either a shipper or carrier, you can then begin to use the load board.
When trying to determine if a load board is good or not, a customer can evaluate how long the load board keeps loads in its system. Generally, a good load board will turns its inventory of loads daily meaning no load stays on the board for more than 24 hours. When the load board has a good relationship with its customers, a customer will find that the shippers and brokers will actively manage the loads they have posted not only daily but throughout the day. This works both ways, because the load board owners should also work actively to manage the board to keep all of the data as fresh as possible.
Regarding the loads placed on the load board, shippers typically post loads that are meant for full size trailers. However, there should be no surprise that on load boards a customer will find partial or LTL loads posted by shippers. One could definitely expect to see posted load sizes to vary from very small (single pallet) up to full loads (30,000lbs plus).
One of the pros about using load boards is the fact that neither carriers nor shippers are tied into contracts. This flexibility that load boards offer allows shippers and carriers to find and select the load board that works best for them without being tied into something that is not a good fit. Generally, memberships occur on a month to month basis and shippers and carriers are able to end their membership with the load board at any time. The load board owners, post sign up, will simply charge the account on a monthly basis until they are notified by the customer that they would like the account to be cancelled. Following the cancellation, the customer is free to sign up for a membership with the load board at any time.
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Load Boards: Where the Internet Meets the Trucking Industry
On the internet resides a host of websites where shippers, brokers, logistics companies, 3PLs, as well as others post their available freight loads online. If a company is not participating in this growing trend in the freight transportation business, it is probably missing out on many opportunities to increase business and profits.
Load boards are simply online tools where supply chain and shipping professionals can show what loads they have read to ship for motor carriers to see and respond to. They constitute the most modern way for both freight and trucking companies to find shipments. More and more everyday, shippers are using the internet to access Load Boards and uploading their available loads.
In the past before Load boards became more popular, shipping companies were trapped by freight brokers who acted as go betweens between the shipper and the motor carrier. A freight broker is a person or company that has the sole purpose in the freight moving business of linking trucks with freight. It is their job to contact trucking companies or independent owner operators and arrange for trucking jobs for a load to be hauled.
Freight brokers, at times, charge exorbitant fees for their services and in the past shippers had no true form of relief from the fees until the advent of Load Boards. Now using Load Boards, third party logistic companies and shippers can find carriers that meet their needs without the pressure of the fees.
Load Boards are large online bulletin boards. On the sites, truckers and carriers search the load boards for loads, both full and LTL, to line up backhauls or to fill trucks that would otherwise be empty. At the opposite end, brokers, shippers and intermediaries go to the load boards and enter information about their loads, and some general contact information. Next, the carriers will review the load board to find a request and call the contact phone number. From there the carrier or trucker and shipper or freight load broker conducts business as usual.
Having access to more carriers through load boards gives a company more opportunity to cover loads quickly. Companies like Vessage (vessage.com) are staples in the industry and are an ideal example of how load boards operate.
Mostly, no matter what a company’s shipping needs are, Internet load boards can help them cover more loads, and most of them offer free load posting.
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