Searching for freight comes in many different forms. You can use load boards made available by private companies such as DAT or Truckstop.com, or those made available through Brokers such as Landstar or TQL. Using load boards is the easiest way to find freight, get loaded and heading down the road. Another method of finding freight is to go directly through shippers and receivers. Finding direct customers can be more lucrative than going through load boards and brokers however it can also be more time consuming. For this reason, new starters should focus on using load boards to gain new clients and move freight quicker. Another benefit of using load boards is that you can have consistent movements throughout the country. You may have a customer based in Los Angeles but what happens when you deliver in Oregon? If you do not have a customer in the area or access to load boards, you must dead head back to your base of operations.
We at Chronicle Logistics have a network of brokers and customers so that we can keep our drivers moving no matter where they are in the country. Developing your network may take time but the most common way to do so is via load boards,
Another important factor to consider is location and freight to truck ratios. If you have been driving for any period of time, you know that it is easy to get into California but difficult to get out of. Why is that? The reason is truck to load ratio. There are often far more trucks in California looking to go east than there are loads. This high demand for freight causes rates to go down as there is less competition negotiating rates.
Consider an area like Atlanta GA. The truck to load ratio for general flatbed, refrigerated, and other freight types are significantly much higher, as high as 1:80. Imagine that, 80 loads for every one truck! Who do you think has the negotiating power there? Another factor to consider is the value of the freight being hauled. I would pay more to have my Ferrari delivered than I would to have my Prius dropped off, no offense to Prius owners but hey, I don't have a Ferrari!
We at Chronicle Logistics consider these factors are far more when booking freight for our drivers and dispatch clients. We specialize in General Flatbed and LTL freight and after seeing drivers struggle with keeping their hotshots moving, we are considering developing a training program for self dispatching from the Drivers perspective. We are looking for feedback to see if this is something that our followers could benefit from. Please leave your comments and let us know what you think.