Truckers are an important part of society. Not only do they transport the goods and materials that feed the economy, but trucking is the lifeblood of commerce. Truckers offer transportation services for both businesses and consumers.
So what does this mean for you?
Nowadays, many truck drivers are paid by the mile instead of by a fixed salary or hourly rate. Often the return journey is unpaid if the truck is empty. There are some issues around driving an empty truck. The simple answer would be to fill your truck with suitable truck loads.
Deadheading, the practice of driving an unladen truck, has several issues that can be detrimental to the truck driver, both at a personal level and for the safety of passengers. Not only are empty miles damaging to the environment, but an empty truck also handles differently to a loaded vehicle. In short:
- Deadheading is dangerous
- Deadheading is bad for the environment
- Deadheading is a waste of money
Reducing deadhead miles
The only way to reduce deadhead miles is to reduce the number of empty journeys. This is achieved by filling the return journey with freight. This used to be a technological nightmare. Today, however, there are plenty of online load boards.
What is a load board?
A load board, simply put, is a website where truckers can find and arrange freight. The concept is not new, but the internet and technology have made load boards easier to use for the trucker and more accessible for the shipper.
Load boards are easy-to-use portals that allow anyone to post any type of load they have available; from transporting one package across town to coordinating multiple loads that need to take the same route. Freight can be posted by anyone with a shipping product or service or by those who need a shipping product or service.
Truckers can find, quote, and complete work that matches their routes. For example, a driver delivers the cargo at a port. That vehicle is now available for another job on a similar route. The driver can search and quote for any suitable work – thereby reducing deadheading miles.
Free vs paid load boards
There are many free load boards. However, it is worth noting that free load boards do not offer much help around the bookkeeping process. In some cases, the shipper and trucker might be able to charge an agreed fee for their services. This might be easier from an accounting perspective if used in conjunction with a paid-for load board.
Paid boards offer other benefits including:
- supplier credit checks
- information on days to pay
- up to date information
- easy to use whilst on the go
- 24/7 availability
Finally, it is important to distinguish between load boards and freight matching websites. While the concept of a load board is quite old, it is only with the internet and modern technology that load boards have become a viable option for truckers and shippers alike. Load boards have many benefits for the trucker, shipper, and the environment.