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The Best Load Boards of 2024

Learn the ins and outs of load boards, their critical role in the transportation industry, and how they benefit owner-operators and shippers alike.

The transportation industry is a fast-paced and continuously changing landscape. This change can come from social and economic developments, a shift in the major players of the transportation industry, or the newest tools that are being utilized. One such tool that has become common place amongst new shippers and owner operators are load boards (sometimes known as freight boards).

What is a Load Board and How Does it Function?

Load boards are online forums/marketplaces where owner-operators, shippers, and brokers can post about loads or find loads nearby to keep their wheels moving. Well established shippers and brokers often have well set relationships with larger carriers, but these load boards are still instrumental for carriers trying to find extra work, or shippers who need to get something delivered.

But how do they work? Shippers, carriers, and brokers can post on these boards specific loads they are needing to ship (along with the parameters and the required equipment), empty trucks they have in an area (and the types of loads they are able to take), or available equipment for those looking to set up more than just a singular load. Carriers and owner operators may be required to bid on the load, which can save on the trouble of negotiating certain rates. Shippers and brokers can use them to find drivers in niche areas, or even to see real time trends in freight rates in different areas across the U.S.

Carriers and owner-operators can find these boards helpful in finding available loads that can fit specific criteria (think something suited for your equipment, or on a desired route).

What Are Some of the Best Load Boards for Shippers and Carriers?

Load boards are an amazing tool to help grow a business, create rapport, and reduce the time it takes to get into the industry. Here are the top 5 load boards we recommend:

 

  • DAT
  • TruckStop
  • Trucker Path
  • 123LoadBoard
  • TruckSmarter
DAT logo

DAT Load Board | View Site

Established Date: 1978

Monthly Subscription Cost: $45-$295

Frieght Types: Flatbed, van, refrigerated, container, specialized, and more

Key Features:

  • Fuel highlights
  • Profit estimator
  • Rate comparison
  • Fuel savings program
  • Detailed search parameters
DAT logo

TruckStop | View Site

Established Date: 1995

Monthly Subscription Cost: $39-$149

Frieght Types: Flatbed, van, reefer, heavy haul, specialized, LTL/partial

Key Features:

  • Highly rated
  • Fast payment
  • Market insights (Pro Plan)
  • Search by load/truck type
Trucker Path logo

Trucker Path | View Site

Established Date: 2013

Monthly Subscription Cost: Free version is available, paid versions $240-$1,099 yearly

Frieght Types: Flatbed, van, refrigerated, container, specialized, and more

Key Features:

  • Rate negotiation
  • Backhaul loads available
  • Search by multiple parameters and freight-specific requirements
123loadboard Logo

123LoadBoard | View Site

Established Date: 2004

Monthly Subscription Cost: $37-$79

Frieght Types: Flatbed, van, refrigerated, and hotshot

Key Features:

  • Free to post loads
  • Fuel cards
  • Quick pay program
  • Search by city and state
TruckSmarter logo

TruckSmarter | View Site

Established Date: 2021

Monthly Subscription Cost: Free

Frieght Types: Flatbed, step deck, van, refrigerated, hotshot, power only, conestoga, container, box truck, and car hauling

Key Features:

  • Deadhead estimator
  • In-app bid and book
  • Load suggestions
  • Cardless fuel discount programs
  • Search loads by several filters

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