Free Load Boards: Are They the Right Choice for Your Trucking Business?
Are free loads board worth the cost savings?
As an owner-operator or freight broker in a fast-paced and growing market, you have options when choosing a great-paying load or the right carrier for your freight.
One way to find the right load or truck to grow your business? Load Boards. With all the options available for owner-operators and trucking brokers, it can be hard to choose the one that’s right for your business.
Perhaps money is a top concern, and you are tempted to choose a free load board. After all, running your own trucking or brokerage business can be expensive with several upfront investments required. While there are benefits to saving money on a free load board, there are things to consider before choosing to post your truck or load on a free load board.
Below are the pros and cons of free load boards. Use this information to make smart business decisions early on to protect your truck, your future, and your business.
Free Load Boards: The Benefits
1. Easy on the wallet
This one is obvious: a free load board won’t break the bank. You’ll be able to access loads, trucks and essential contact information of carriers and brokers for no upfront fee, but you may still pay a price. If your top goal is to get loaded or post your truck for free, a free load board may be a good start.
Read on to find out why free load boards may actually end up costing you more money down the line.
2. Free load boards allow you to test a load board for your business
Maybe you’re not totally sold on the idea of having a load board for your business. If you work with a single broker and they fill your truck on a regular basis, or you call one carrier to move your freight, a load board isn’t always required to grow your business. But if you want to take on the spot market, you’ll need a load board.
A free load board will allow you to test a load board to explore whether it is a worthwhile tool for your business without committing long term.
NOTE: Most load boards allow you to pay on a monthly basis. This allows you to cancel the subscription if it does not work to grow your business.
Free Load Boards: The Risks
The security of load board is important to consider before purchasing or choosing a load board for your business. A number of fraud cases have been reported on Load Boards. When there is no barrier to entry on a load board, fraud is more likely. Your business security may be worth the monthly fee of load boards. You will want to work with verified and trusted brokers and carriers to keep your business safe and growing. One fraud case could break the bank.
2. Low Number of Loads and Trucks
For the reasons above, free load boards are less popular among top players in the industry. Brokers are usually unwilling or more hesitant to waste time on free load boards, and capacity is lower due to most carriers joining paid load boards.
On a free load board, you won’t get the quantity or quality of loads or trucks that you will have access to on a paid load board. If choice of load or truck is important to grow your business, a free load board is not the way to go.
3. Less Advanced Technology and Features
When a load board is free, the development team behind the application is usually smaller and less dedicated to making the application work seamlessly. However, even if thetechnology is top-notch, a free load board’s add-ons are very often minimal.
A load board should provide you with data and solutions that help you grow your business. For example, Truckstop’s Load Board Pro allows you to see real rates data in order to get a fair price for your load or truck.
Look into the various features of load boards and calculate the return on your investment before deciding which to use.
4. Free isn’t always free forever.
Some load boards are free, but only for a limited time. These load boards may give you a trial and charge you after 30 days or later. Make sure to read the fine print before signing up for a free load board or entering your credit card information.
We think paid load boards are a worthy investment to grow your business. The return on your investment is usually made up in a short amount of time. With access to rates data, quality brokers and carriers, and other useful features, you will make more money in the long run.
Want to see how Jackson Moving and Storage uses Truckstop’s Load Board? Read the case study here.
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