What are the disadvantages of trucking load boards?
November 23, 2022
For many truckers today, using a load board can be the perfect way to find consistent work. Load boards are very useful as they allow you to find job, develop partnerships, grow your reputation, and make money. However, while load boards have many positives for truckers, they could be improved.
Need an example? Here are some potential downsides of using load boards for truckers. If you understand the following, it becomes much easier to ensure you get a good return on your investment. Before committing to load boards in full, consider the following points of contention.
Pay for the key features
The first downside of a trucking load board is that you need to pay to use most of the services and features you want. While free load boards exist, they are not always the best place for quality work. Most of the time, if you're going to carry out more analysis or learn more about the brokers that you want to tender for contracts with, you probably need to sign-up.
This means that you could spend a lot of money – an average of $35/month for most load boards – for nothing.
The costs are higher
You will find that the general cost of doing business on load boards is higher than you get with direct contracts. This is because load boards tend to add fees to the broker, and shippers can also count on extra costs, commissions, and fees. The broker then either hits you with these added fees, reducing your payout or gives you a smaller payout in the first place as they remove the fees.
You will also find that you get no real support when covering your costs and expenses, which can make haggling for jobs a tedious experience.
Lack of verification of data
Most of the time, load boards give you data on a broker so that you know their general history. How often do they pay? What kind of jobs do they usually need you for? How far, on average, are you traveling?
This kind of information is useful but rarely verified or proven. This means that you need to have a level of trust in the information and data that is being provided. If you are making big calls and decisions based on that data, it is a lot of faith to put into figures that cannot be independently verified.
Data security and privacy issues
Another issue that you need to factor in is data privacy and data security concerns. Most of the time, your data will not be private when on a load board. This means that information about your performance is always available there. It means that you can get lots of calls trying to get you to work for brokers, which is not so bad, but it also means that you have no guarantee that your information is safe and secure.
If you worry that your contact details and performance data will be too visible, you might find that load boards are not the right choice for you.
Making connections is tough
While many truckers will use load boards to form relationships, it sometimes takes work. Most brokers you work with will want to hire you when they need you and promptly forget that you exist. That can feel a little degrading at times, making it hard to form lasting partnerships truckers need to thrive.
Most of the brokers you work with will see you in the same way as they do someone they buy from when using eBay: thanks for the service, but that’s it.
Keep these factors in mind, and it can make it much easier for you to use load boards confidently in the service. Load boards for truckers are great – but they are not perfect. If you choose a good quality load board, you can often still thrive, but you should be aware of the limitations and downsides before using a load board.