Load boards are used in the shipping industry to bring shipping and carrier companies together. The shipping company lists freight on the load board, and carriers bid intending to win the contract to deliver the freight.
The main advantage of a load board is that it allows shippers to submit freight directly to several carriers. The carriers then bid for those loads against each other, and those whose bids are the lowest win the contract to deliver it.
Using load boards to find freight
Load boards are usually available on the Internet, and they are run by three different types of companies:
- Brokers – Brokers work on commission to bring carriers and shippers together.
- Carriers – A carrier is a company or individual that can transport goods nationally or internationally by air, road, or sea.
- Shipper/consignor – a company or individual that owns the cargo being shipped.
The broker or consignor can upload details of the freight onto the load board. This information is used by carriers/truckers to find shipping work, on the boards they can browse loads before bidding on those they wish to deliver.
How load boards work for carriers
When a load board is used, the carrier will bid against other companies on the board for the consignment. The lowest-priced carrier will be awarded the freight contract.
The benefits of using load boards
Load boards, in particular online ones, have many benefits.
The consignment is made available to a greater number of carriers. The load board gives the shippers a direct way of making their freight available to as many carriers as they wish. Their freight is, therefore, more likely to be awarded to the most competitive carrier bid by those who are bidding on it.
Load boards help carriers to improve their competitive position in the market by providing them with access to a wide range and variety of loads. This results in better competition between their competitors and increases the range of services that they can offer to customers. Direct contact with shippers also provides new opportunities for business growth.
The disadvantages of using load boards
Load boards indeed offer a way for carriers to find work. However, as many carriers can bid on each load there is a downward pressure on the price to deliver freight. This is a benefit to shippers and consumers, but it does make it less profitable for carriers.
Conclusion: is using a load board right for you?
If you’re a carrier, load boards are an essential part of business and are an excellent way to win new business. This is especially as many of these boards now come with competitive pricing, excellent customer service and the ability to upload details of your fleet.
As a shipper, load board can be beneficial in helping you to find the right carrier for your freight. Many companies choose not to take this route and instead use a third-party website like Shiply to help them find carriers to complete the delivery for them.