The modernisation of the transportation industry led to massive improvements in business efficiency. The formula for improvement was very straightforward – the simpler the method of connecting shippers/brokers to carriers, the better the loads will be distributed. So, naturally, the outcome will be more profit for each party.
The key to those improvements was digitalising the entire process as much as possible. As a result, the industry shifted from cold calls and endless outreach toward a digital solution accessible to everyone; you guessed it, load boards.
By adapting to this new model, the usage of mobile phones and the internet among shippers and carriers skyrocketed. In a study done by McKinsey & Company, 43% of all travel and logistics-related web queries were conducted on mobile devices.
Furthermore, if freight and logistics companies take advantage of digital technologies, their earnings before interest and taxes might increase by up to 13%.
The most crucial step toward reaching those increases is grasping and utilising a load board.
What is a load board?
A load board is an online marketplace. It connects shippers and brokers with carriers and owner-operators, helping them quickly move available loads.
Everything is gathered on a single platform, making finding loads and available trucks significantly easier. In addition, they are almost always tailored for all process participants, so regardless of your duty, you’ll benefit from a load board.
Who posts on the load board?
Carriers, freight brokers, shippers, and owner-operators use load boards. They can post on the load board when they have an available load or a truck. Then, it’s only a matter of time before someone will bid on their offer.
They can also take a proactive stance and search for a carrier/shipper themselves. By doing so, they speed up the process and quickly find a way to move the truck/load.
Carriers use the load board to search for available freight options that fit their preferences.Depending on the load board, they can search through dozens or even hundreds of loads. There is an option to find the one that suits them best on various criteria (vehicle type, location, weight, ETA). Once they find the offer, they can bid for that load. If they win it, proceed with the transportation process.
Carriers can also post their available trucks on the load board and specify their location and preferences. By doing so, shippers and brokers can contact them directly and double the chance of moving the truck quickly.
Freight brokers greatly benefit from load boards in various ways. Upon agreeing on the freight rate with the shipper, brokers can put the load up on the load board and wait for the carriers to contact them. Then, naturally, they input all the needed details about the load, making it easier for carriers to determine if they’re up to the task.
Brokers can also search through carriers whose trucks are near the pickup location and reach out to negotiate the rate. The load board can be convenient when evaluating the rate of the freight. Brokers can browse through the platform and search for the average rates of specific lanes.
With that data, they don’t always have to rely on their estimate but get a precise idea of how much that specific lane usually goes for.
Shippers use a load board exactly like freight brokers – they can search for loads on the platform or post their own and wait for the carriers to reach out. The main twist in using a load board as a shipper is that they’ll save on money they’d otherwise spend on the broker’s commission.
Shippers and brokers can benefit significantly from each other. But time and trust build quality business relationships, and sometimes there is no place for that.
Also, some shippers can’t or don’t want to pay for that service, so they choose to opt to hop on the platform themselves.
Owner-operators are smaller-scale carriers working independently from a single vehicle. However, just like carriers, they can post the location of their truck, the vehicle type, weight requirements, and other criteria and wait for shippers/brokers to contact them.
Of course, they can take the matter into their own hands and search for loads near their current location. The great benefit for owner-operators is the fact that they can easily pick the routes that they find the most convenient in a matter of minutes.
Furthermore, once they partner up with the right broker/shipper, the owner can easily repeat that route, knowing they will be available for freight. Of course, the brokers are always looking for reliable options and will be aware that they’ll always have that route covered.
Why use a load board?
Using a load board is the quickest and most effortless method of moving a load from point A to point B. It’s easily accessible by all participants of the freight process, it doesn’t require any special equipment, and it’s significantly cheaper than other methods.
The conventional methods, like cold calling or going back and forth with brokers and shippers, can get exhausting. In addition, it takes away a considerable chunk of time, which is crucial for all parties as they want their trucks and loads moving as soon as possible.
Without a load board, carriers and owner-operators would be bound to work with the same brokers/shippers they had previously succeeded. Building trust and good relationships is a big part of the business. Working with unreliable partners can lead to a loss of time and money and unsatisfied operators.
A load board eliminates that problem since you can access numerous available loads. Via a phone call, you’d have to discuss all the details with the broker (truck type, commodity type, ETA, etc.). All that info is immediately visible on a load board, making those endless calls obsolete.
Furthermore, a load board will usually have a trust score that displays how trustworthy that shipper/carrier is. This way, you’ll always be aware if there’s any risk when working with that particular person or company.
Of course, shippers and brokers greatly benefit from that info as well. They’ll also be a lot more aware of the standard rates for a lane they’re interested in, preventing loss of money that can easily occur if not careful enough.
It makes their job much easier, especially when the delivery is urgent, and they need a fast transport service. Also, with that many options in stock, and their reliability publicly visible, room for mistakes is minimal.
What are the benefits of load boards?
The main benefits of load boards are the convenience of having everything on a single platform. 24/7 access, faster handling of the process, and easier access to important information are at your disposal. Besides, decreasing deadheads is one of many load boards benefits worth mentioning. This saves you money while using load boards that are usually inexpensive or free. Sounds like a win-win.
How to use the load board?
The main characteristics you should look for in a load board are the simplicity of usage, amount of users, and the price-to-quality ratio. One of the load boards that put a checkmark next to all of these is KleverCargo.
Registering on the platform is pretty straightforward – insert the needed info, including:
- first and last name;
- phone number;
Upon filling out that data, confirm your email, and you can log into your account via your smartphone or computer.
From there, you’re ready to submit your company. Firstly, you need to add your company’s VATIN and CIN. Then fill out the required data, such as your company’s name, address, country code, etc. Once you add the data, the platform will take up to 24 hours to approve your company. In the meantime, you can look around the platform and explore its features. You’ll get a confirmation email once your company gets approved, and you can start using all platform features.
KleverCargo is filled with real-time offers that are open for bidding, which looks like this:
Hundreds of offers are active on the platform, guaranteeing you’ll find a route that fits your preferences. You can also input your preferences by clicking the “Filter” button to get more precise results.
Once you click on the load you’re interested in, you’ll be presented with all the details. Details include total weight, commodity, or special conditions, to name a few. If everything is to your liking, you simply select your company’s vehicle, offer the transport price, and click on “Submit vehicle” – simple as that.
The platform has an integrated notification button; once your bid is approved, you’ll get a notification, and the transport can start.
The entire process for shippers is just as simple. First, click “Create new” followed by “Transport request.” A menu will pop up where you must input the route information, like pickup and delivery dates, packaging method, or cargo value.
Once you fill everything out, confirm your selection, and the load is up for bidding.
Again, you’ll get a notification whenever someone places a bid, which you can immediately review. When you click “Cargo,” followed by “My transport requests, “you can see all the requests you posted.
When you click on one of them, you’ll see every bid for that load and, of course, accept the one that works best for you. Upon accepting the offer, it will be moved to the “Agreements” tab. There you can overview all the accepted proposals you currently have on the platform.
There are numerous other features to utilise on KleverCargo, such as adding a warehouse, rating the shipper/carrier, generating a CMR, and much more.
Benefit from technology
Digitalisation took the business world by storm. Every industry can drastically improve with a few tweaks and upgrades. The same applies to transportation, where load boards are the absolute king of speeding up the workflow and simplifying the entire process.
Numerous platforms on the market make it challenging to choose the one that’ll fit your needs well. But with a reliable solution like KleverCargo, you’ll get all the perks a load board can offer without overpaying for the service.
Embrace the digital era and make the right moves that make your job effortless.