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Load Boards for Owner-Operators: How to Find the Best Freight

As an owner-operator of a fleet of trucks or service vehicles, finding ways to ensure probability is a top priority. Trucking operations are vital for keeping shelves stocked and ensuring products arrive at their proper destination. However, there are many challenges surrounding moving goods and finding loads, which impacts your bottom line. 

Thankfully, load boards enhance connectivity with your loads, empowering you to enhance operations and keep freight moving. Here, you can learn more about load boards, including the benefits of using them and how to choose a load board to suit your needs.

What Is a Load Board?

Load boards are a freight matching service that connects carriers and shippers. This online marketplace allows freight brokers, shippers and truck owner-operators to post and find available loads. Some load boards require users to pay monthly or yearly subscription fees, but companies outweigh these costs by enhancing productivity. Most load boards allow users to search for and post loads using various criteria. Different boards offer unique services, including mobile access, credit information, load matching, message boards, financing and more. 

Essentially, these platforms allow carriers, brokers and shippers to connect digitally. This process significantly reduces the time necessary to find trucks and loads. Rather than calling various companies to inquire about availability, users can quickly find the trucks or loads they need to keep operating costs as low as possible. 

How Do Load Boards Work?

Load boards function simply. Users can purchase a subscription or create an online account to access posts. Shippers post available loads to the load board and list other essential information, such as the desired location and equipment necessary to move the freight. Carriers then search for available freight options they can carry. 

These apps and websites have search functions, allowing users to find specific loads to suit their needs. Both parties benefit from load board usage as shippers can keep products moving and carriers can fill their trucks to maximize efficiency and check market freight rates. To keep moving shipments as quickly as possible, it's best to provide as much information as possible about a load, including the shipping weight, delivery locations, pickups and similar data.

Features of Load Boards

Each load board offers unique features, but there are several common features you should look for. These features appear in the most popular load boards, ensuring you can access the tools necessary to maximize efficiency and enhance operations. Some common features include:

  • Searching for loads by equipment type, location, rate and similar information
  • Posting available loads
  • Contacting brokers or shippers directly
  • Accessing load details and carrier information
  • Using pricing tools to negotiate fair rates
  • Integrating with software and platforms for automatic posting capabilities
  • Examining traffic and weather updates
  • Leveraging load planning tools to reduce empty miles

Depending on the platform you choose, you may also have access to features such as:

  • Fuel surcharge calculators
  • Bidding capabilities
  • Electronic documentation
  • Backhaul suggestions
  • Load suggestions
  • Fuel programs
  • Integrated tech tracking
  • Coordinate routes
  • Instant load booking
  • Map-based searches
  • Fuel savings
  • Load-matching notifications

Benefits of Using Load Boards for Owner-Operators

Communication is vital in the trucking industry, and load boards can aid in managing your fleet. There are several advantages of using load boards for owner-operators, including:

  • Finding high-paying freight: You can improve your bottom line by selecting high-paying freight options. You can be as selective as you want with load boards, allowing you to take control of your fleet movements and shipments. 
  • Accessing convenient centralized listings: Finding available loads is easy, with mobile or desktop access in many cases. These boards are available every day and every hour, empowering you to receive the most up-to-date information regarding loads and truck availability. These platforms are user-friendly and allow you to easily choose a listing that suits your needs. 
  • Building relationships with brokers: Brokers provide insight into load availability for owner-operators, so cultivating these relationships can strengthen your competitive hold. Brokers use load boards to find trucks to move their shipments, providing opportunities for you to enhance operations. By communicating with brokers and forming relationships, you can find many profitable opportunities.

How to Choose a Load Board

Being a successful owner-operator involves knowing how to select tools to benefit your business. While users benefit from different types of load boards, choosing the best one to suit your needs is essential. There are many providers offering different functionalities and capabilities at varying price points and commitments, so you must know how to find the right one. Take a look at these tips for choosing your provider:

  • Consider the load board price: One of the first elements to consider is price. Many boards have monthly or yearly subscription fees. Although you can offset these costs by maximizing efficient operations, you must consider whether you want to commit to an entire year and if you have the funds to make consistent payments. 
  • Read board reviews: The current load board users will depict the platform's environment and whether the site is worth your time. Read as many reviews as you can find, looking for good and bad qualities to note. You should consider other options if you notice large amounts of low reviews. 
  • Evaluate features: It's essential to find a load board that will meet your needs. You'll likely be paying for your service, so you must ensure you have access to the tools and features that will streamline your operations. Consider which features are must-have, nice-to-have or worth putting on the back burner. This evaluation can quickly highlight which platforms will support your operations and streamline movement. 

Streamline Operations With Bestpass

Utilizing a load board is an excellent way to minimize costs and streamline efficiency. However, there are many other ways you can improve your bottom line and further enhance movement. At Bestpass, you can find tolling solutions to streamline administrative tasks and keep your fleet moving. 

Bestpass is your trusted toll management solution. As a comprehensive payment platform provider, we have the tools and resources fleets of all sizes need to save time and money. Our solution empowers fleets to consolidate payments, provide insight into cost per vehicle and access deals from select tolling authorities. 

We bridge the gap between fleets and tolling authorities to create a beneficial and time-saving solution for everyone. We're the premier payment option for fleets across Canada and the United States so you can feel confident in our capabilities. Request a demo of our solution to see how we can help your business. 

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