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Transporting freight is an incredibly lucrative business. Every year, the trucking industry makes hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue. As an owner-operator looking to start or expand their small business, you need to know how to find freight to haul. There are many great tools and devices you can use for finding great loads and increasing your revenue.

Although there’s a lot of money to be made in trucking, not every load will turn a big profit. In fact, some loads will actually cost you money because of your truck’s operation costs.

You need to consider a wide variety of factors when determining which loads to pick up, and you need to utilize the best tools and devices for finding the most lucrative loads. Finding the right load for your business can be challenging, but using the right tools can make it easier.

Here at Xpress Technologies, we’re highlighting four critical tools that you can use to begin tracking down the best loads. These systems and devices are invaluable tools that will help you acquire great loads and optimize your workflow. When you find the right systems and devices, you’ll increase your revenue and efficiency, and you’ll be able to expand your trucking business.

Using Freight Brokers

Utilizing freight brokers is a great system for finding valuable loads in your area. Freight brokers can help you find lucrative and consistent freight. Whether you’re just starting out or have been in the industry for years, working with a freight broker helps you find connections and grow your client base.

One major advantage of working with freight brokers is that they’re able to connect you with loads you wouldn’t have access to otherwise. They also handle a lot of the legwork that goes into securing a load. They negotiate with shippers, which saves you time and can earn you more money.

One of the biggest draws of working with a broker is they’re a source of consistent freight. While you’re transporting a load, brokers can field calls and organize your next job. This support helps to keep your truck consistently full and turning a profit. And while brokers are incentivized by the deals they broker, they’re a no-cost resource for carriers.

You may prefer to work without a broker if you like to fly solo, do all the heavy lifting yourself, or have not found a preferred broker you trust yet. Without a broker you will be responsible for finding loads and contacting and negotiating with shippers – depending on your operation, you may opt for autonomy and choose to work independently.

It’s important to find a freight broker you trust and work well with. A good broker will have an intimate knowledge of the industry, know what types of loads you prefer and are best suited for, and should be upfront and transparent about any fees involved with their brokerage.

Many owner-operators prefer working with freight brokers rather than connecting directlywith shippers. If you enjoy finding freight on your own, you may want to work without a freight broker, but if you prefer to off-load some of the tedious work that goes into finding freight, working with a freight broker is an efficient and effective way to find new loads.

Load Boards

As an owner-operator, load boards are an invaluable tool that can boost your bottom line and meet the specific needs of your business. Not only can you post your truck on a load board and have freight brokers and shippers come to you, you can also actively seek desirable freight. You can easily access online load boards through a computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

Load boards are a great platform to network and find freight brokers who can connect you to valuable freight. A good broker will share all the specifics of a load on the load board so you’ll be able to tell whether you’re suited for the job upfront. You’re also able to negotiate your rate on the load board platform. Through load boards, you can network and grow your client base, expanding your business. You can form great professional relationships that will help you find desirable and consistent freight in the future.

You can also post your truck on load boards. You can indicate your truck’s availability so you can be connected with freight that matches your specifications. Using load boards to find loads is a great way to boost your freight mix and supply you with consistent loads.

Many different freight load boards are available to owner-operators, but it’s important to note that not every load board is worth your time. Some load boards require costly membership fees, while others don’t offer the right level of details. When finding the load board that’s right for your business, make sure that it contains an expansive network of freight, accurate listings, reliable customer service, an easy-to-use interface, a powerful mobile application, and a map view.

There are several great load boards currently on the market that you can choose from. Notable load boards that you should consider utilizing include:

  • Convoy (no cost to sign up)
  • DAT Freight & Analytics ($39.95/mo-$249/mo)
  • J.B. Hunt Transport Service, Inc (no cost to sign up)
  • Truckstop.com (no cost to sign up)
  • Uber Freight (no sot to sign up)
  • Xpress Technologies (no cost to sign up)

Freight Finder Mobile Software

Many load boards feature great mobile applications that will make finding loads even easier. You can use freight finder software through a smartphone or tablet, which will enable you to pick up a load at a moment’s notice. Notable load boards contain mobile applications for both Apple and Android devices and will connect you with shippers and freight brokers.

Some mobile applications also feature load matching capabilities, which can help you find the perfect load for your truck without having to contact shippers or freight brokers. Simply post your truck to the app, and you’ll be able to find loads that suit your truck’s specifications instantly. Some platforms even use machine learning-powered freight matching, which learns what loads to recommend based on your previous hauls.

When you utilize a load matching application, you’ll significantly reduce the hassle of negotiating rates or engaging in repeated communication with shippers or freight brokers. All you need to do is accept a compatible load, and then you’ll be able to transport it with no hassle or headache.

Map Search

When finding the right mobile freight finder software, you should look for an application that features map search. Load board map search is an invaluable tool for finding freight near you to increase your efficiency and revenue when transporting freight.

Load board map search supplies carriers with an intuitive way of seeing nearby available freight. You can use map search to strategically plan your drop-offs and pickups to maximize your efficiency and transport the most freight possible. For example, you can look for available loads that are near your drop-off points so that you can pick up new loads immediately after dropping off freight. By reducing your driving time between loads, you can cut down on deadheading and significantly improve efficiency for better profits.

Map search also allows you to search for both partial and full loads, meaning that you can pick up partial loads when you have available space in your truck. You can optimize the space in your truck by carrying mixed freight. Every time you drop off part of your load, you can pick up more freight by searching for partial loads near your drop-off point.

Some notable load board applications that feature map search capabilities include Xpress Technologies, J.B. Hunt, Direct Freight, and DAT Freight & Analytics.

A heat map, or cluster, is another feature of map search. The heat map indicates what lanes and locations contain the most profitable freight. You can compare the supply and demand for carriers in different cities, states, and lanes so that you can transport freight in areas with a higher demand for your services. When you haul freight in areas with higher demand, you can negotiate a better rate per mile and increase the amount of money you can make during transport.

Start Finding the Best Freight Today

As an owner-operator, you have access to many different tools for increasing your profit and expanding your business. You can combine traditional methods and new technologies to find profitable loads and cut down on deadheading.

Going through a freight broker to find new loads is an easy and reliable way to find valuable freight. When you find a great freight broker that you can trust, you’ll be able to find lucrative loads quickly and conveniently.

With the trucking industry’s growing digital capabilities, finding great loads can also be as simple as opening your web browser. Whether you’re utilizing a laptop, computer, tablet, or smartphone, you can find lucrative freight on load boards and begin increasing your efficiency and revenue. In addition to using load boards online, be sure to use your smartphone to download invaluable freight finder software, preferably one with map search capabilities.

Whether you’ve been driving for years or are just starting, you have access to many great tools that will help you expand your trucking business and increase your income. Start using the trucking industry’s best tools today and find great loads.