Some companies are choosing to cut out the middleman thanks to advances in technology. The best shipper load board can help you avoid working with freight brokers and handle finding carriers on your own.
While there are many benefits of using a freight broker, the ease of direct communication with a carrier and the speed at which a shipper can hire the carrier might be worth the effort. Here’s a look at the top load board options for shippers.
Quicklook: Best Shipper Load Boards
- Best For In-Depth Carrier Details: Truckstop.com
- Best For Comparing Market Prices for Loads: DAT
- Best For Simple-To-Learn Shipper Load Board: Direct Freight
- Best For Free Shipper Load Board: NextLOAD
- Best For Load Board That Integrates With Any TMS: 123LoadBoard
5 Best Shipper Load Board Options
No matter why you’re choosing to meet carriers directly instead of working with a freight broker, you can find a loadboard that meets your requirements. Here’s a look at the top five leading options for shippers.
Truckstop.com is one of the leading truck load board options, but the price to join is high. You’ll receive in-depth insight into what it will be like working with a carrier with some of the higher subscription tiers. Even though the monthly subscription price is higher than that of the competitors, it is still far cheaper than having to deal with delays or carrier issues, which makes this load board more appealing.
Best For: In-Depth Carrier Details
- Highly respected load board
- Trusted by many shippers and carriers
- Large network of carriers
- Specialized trucks available
- Better long-term relationships overall
- Insights into rates so you pay fair, competitive rates
- Credit score review process before hiring a carrier
- Load insights to leverage your freight popularity
- Book It Now feature to find carriers fast
- Extremely pricey for a shipper load board
- Very competitive marketplace
- Starts at $99 per month
DAT can help you connect with carriers, but the platform is also great for seeing the going rate for transporting goods. You can view similar loads and their current rates. This transparent pricing data helps shippers negotiate with carriers and reach a fair price.
Best For: Comparing Market Prices For Loads
- Ability to view average shipping prices for similar services
- In-depth carrier details
- One of the largest loadboards
- Simple load board navigation
- Easy to manage budgets and view past rates
- More than 1,300,000 drivers use the loadboard
- Active load board with nearly 500,000 transactions daily
- Difficult customer service on platform
- Starts at $139 per month
Direct Freight offers one of the simplest user interfaces of all load boards. You can receive quotes very quickly and get granular about the shipment details to make sure carriers are informed about what you’re looking for.
Best For: Simple-To-Learn Shipper Load Board
- Credit checks available
- Text alerts available
- Up-to-date information on loads booked through the program
- Tracking based on location of drivers
- FMCSA documents posted by carriers for shipper review
- On-the-go loadboard using the mobile app
- Ability to review carrier bids and hire accordingly
- Simple and straightforward communication
- Secure exchange of documents
- Self-service through videos and reading
- Can be challenging to quote loads on the loadboard
Pricing: $34.99 per month
NextLOAD is a free load board that both carriers and truckers can use without paying a subscription fee. The load board isn’t new. It dates back to 2014, which means you can use it with confidence knowing you’re in good company. Creating an account is fast and easy, too.
Best For: Free Shipper Load Board
- Load board app available for desktop, iOS or Android devices
- Notifications for new quotes for posted loads
- Entirely free load board no matter how many shipments you post per month
- Load board from Apex
- Cost-effective, especially for shippers looking to hire carriers infrequently
- Real-time data to stay updated on industry updates
- Easy to use despite being free
- Hard to come by unique truck types on the platform
- Extremely active, which can make it challenging to keep up with
The greatest advantage of working with 123LoadBoard is that you can integrate it with your TMS for speed and efficiency. This allows for automatic load posting, which can help you meet carriers faster and get quotes the moment you know you’ll need goods transported.
Best For: Load Board That Integrates With Any TMS
- Free TMS integration
- Credit checks through TransCredit
- More than 88,000 carriers
- Easy-to-use mobile app
- Live GPS truck locator 24/7
- Automated postings based on what you input
- Can set up FTP, email or API posting to speed up the process
- 150,000 loads contracted through the load board move daily
- Some glitches with the PC app
- Low rates on 123Loadboard
What Is a Shipper Load Board?
A shipper load board offers features designed to help shippers meet carriers and owner-operators to fulfill loads. Some load boards tailor their services more to truckers than they do to shippers, while others know the importance of offering beneficial features that help shippers make informed decisions.
But what is a load board? It’s basically an online forum for posting specifics on your next load and allowing carriers to submit quotes or complete the load for you.
The best load boards allow you to be more detailed about the load as well as your expectations. This makes it easier to find an ideal driver for each type of freight.
Advantages of Shipper Load Boards
You’ll experience many great advantages when using a shipper load board. These advantages include the following:
- Free or discounted membership as a shipper
- Shipment tracking features
- Carrier credit checks
- Fast, easy payment tools
- TMS integration for faster load posting
- Obtaining speedy carrier quotes
Finding Carriers Quickly and Optimizing Budgets
Ultimately, shipper load boards offer the benefit of speediness. You’ll be able to find carriers while staying true to your budget thanks to the average price insights that some load boards offer.
Many load boards not only help you find carriers but they often will provide freight tracking and easy payment options to help manage the process from start to finish as well. Find the load board that best serves your needs so that you can begin posting with ease.