More technology seems to be floating up to the surface every day for logistics and trucking. Between ELD or logging requirements and technology to load matching and load finding tools. Some of the biggest successes have not been related to brokerages at all but have been facilitators of business. Others have become successful app powered brokerages like Transfix, Cargo Chief and others. Where is the overlap?
Some of the leading logistics companies are bridging the gaps required by their customers but using third party software solutions or marketplaces to expand their reach. The leading commercial freight marketplace product is from ComFreight.com and their user base of both direct shippers, carriers and brokers willing to interact and work together online continues to grow and expand every day.
ComFreight is releasing a new product that will improve the load board and marketplace game even further. For more information on ComFreight’s logistics marketplace you can visit their load matching and load board style application here.
The new application is used via any user’s mobile or web browser and can be used on any device. The application has an improved mobile user interface that makes it easier for users who aren’t in front of a computer to continue to find loads or trucks without having to install any special application or mobile app to use the core features.
New load matching apps and web apps will soon be the main way that smaller self-owned trucking companies and owner operators find their loads and freight outside of current contracted agreements. As these grow in popularity it’s sure to increase the ease for carriers and trucking companies trying to find loads while they are on the go.
Brokers are also trying to take advantage of this trend by adding their own apps to their offerings to carriers to help them access specific loads at specific target rates that the broker is trying to cover for their network. This trend looks like it will continue as brokers try to better connect with the smaller carriers they are utilizing within their networks.
New developments in APIs or Application Programming Interfaces have helped accelerate the ability for brokers, shippers and carriers to automatically match their freight or capacity to each other in a more streamlined way. The major load boards have all joined this trend and ComFreght Load Board and Web App is leading the way.
Shippers are usually not the common user of load boards. Typically shippers are working with brokers or other transportation providers under contract and are sometimes open to giving new parties interesting in managing their freight a shot at their freight.
With more shippers looking to save money on shipments and freight moves they are moving into more unfamiliar territory and trying methods of covering their freight that they may have not tried in the past. Some of these are not traditional load boards but freight marketplace style apps and platforms.
These web platforms allow shippers to post available lanes or recurring business out for bid by brokers or carriers who can supplement or be a new potential single source provider of capacity to these shippers. Shippers have the added benefit of getting multiple options for capacity for their freight from these type of sites and web apps.
The best shipper load board is one that focuses on procurement for the shipper and getting the shipper the best possible rate for their moves wile also providing trust. These new options are allowing shippers to broaden their horizons and grow their options and lower their landed cost for freight moves on many of their common lanes.
Freight load boards are back…actually they aren’t back…They are changing every month, every quarter and every year…if you’re looking in the right places of course. The old standby load board has been replaced by load boards promising free everything. Well nothing is really free now is it? Data of users and annoying advertising take over these sites and instead of a clean way to find more freight loads and shipments for trucking people and users in the industry end up scouring through poorly designed sites with thousands of fluff loads.
The alternative move has been one towards quality over quantity and this what has become the revolution in load boards. Platforms that can support multiple different day to day needs that logistics software has traditionally also supported but in a streamlined and easy to use way. These ‘load boards’ are moving more towards freight marketplaces and open exchanges where shippers, brokers and freight carriers can interact to find the best match and grow their businesses together through optimal pricing and placement.
Check out this recent article here on Cerasis about Freight Marketplaces and Freight Load board trends where they rank freight marketplace load board and freight bidding platforms 1-5 based on their most recent reviews. Newer platforms and load boards are starting to blur the lines between logistics data for decision making, mobile friendly web apps and the traditional load board. This seems to be the forward trend in the future of load boards today.
Oh where oh where are the shipper load boards…no not the ones from 1995 or that look like they’re from 1995. There are better solutions you ask? To what? I don’t know…oh wait I do. How do you match up buyers and sellers in the transportation industry? Where there is a will there is a way.
Continued development is happening but it’s not quite there yet. Platforms that are basically traditional loads boards are starting to compete with apps that are basically freight brokerages. Where and how the clash will happen is yet to be seen but it’s definitely coming.
So for now hold onto your hats and enjoy the show. The space that was once only a few major Load Boards like DAT, GetLoaded, DirectFreight and others are now starting to get competition from apps like Keychain and Cargomatic and even new freight marketplace like load boards like ComFreight.
More to come. See ya all on the new blog soon!
What is a load board these days? It seems like everyone and their kitchen sink wants to build some version of a load board either as a weekend project or as a way out of their current job. Hoping that looking back in time at something that is as old as the virtual yellow pages will actually add more value to the trucking companies online experience.
When internet use became more wide-spread the dispatcher of a trucking company probably had no idea what a load board was. But once online use started to climb they quickly realized it was a great way to find shipments from shippers and brokers to keep their trucks full and moving. Now you see a trucking company using multiple different traditional load boards to find freight for their trucks all at the same time.
So what keeps them around? Quantity of loads? Quality? In many cases it’s just a mind game. Trucking companies think “well there are a lot of loads on this site” which equates to it being a real solution to their business. Even if they never call or even try to dig deeper into the systems they are using. What they are actually using is a lot of fluff.
At the end of the day the cost of the load board is a business expense for most trucking companies. They need to have a few around even if they are hauling on regular lanes in the off chance they need a back-haul and some trucking companies live off of the boards and can build an entire small business of their own with the right board that helps them build the right relationships at the right time.
What if a platform did this for you. All the time. Without you needing to be logged in. Without having to take a deep cut into your margin on a factoring company hosted board or a ‘free load board’ like ush….that in reality is sucking money out of your pockets. It’s killing your business. And what about shippers? Do carriers want to interact with direct shippers and how much are they willing to do to build an carry those relationships.
So we suppose there will always be a role for the freight broker to? Well more and more brokers are trying to find ways to keep their carriers happy even if that means quick paying them or making sure they have a back-haul and acting like a dispatch service by finding them loads from a competing business. Oh the joys of being a freight broker.
There might be a solution to all of this madness. Something that gives you everything you need….without biting into your revenue or margins…without costing more than your cable bill and cell phone bill combined in monthly subscription costs that connects direct shippers to carriers and brokers and helps pre-screen only quality brokers to connect with carriers so carriers stay happy and paid.
More to come on this topic…
In the meantime enjoy paying your monthly car payments oh and your load board subscriptions. And if you’re not doing that make sure to check that last load you found on ush**t because you might want some blood pressure medication after you discover how much money these transactional sites are stealing from your bottom line…
The Load Board Guru