Your Guide to Commercial Truck Financing

commercial truck financingAre you getting into the commercial trucking industry? Then you’ll want to learn your options for commercial truck financing.

Commercial trucks are incredibly expensive. When you’re just getting started, there’s probably no way you have the cash to buy the trucks you need outright. Luckily, there are plenty of financing options that will help you get your business underway without breaking the bank.

In this guide to commercial truck financing, we’ll walk you through the whole process.

Keep reading before you get started!

Why Do You Need Commercial Truck Financing?

If you’re a truck driver or work in the trucking industry, you might decide to walk away from your regular paycheck for the exciting promise of being a business owner. Becoming an owner-operator can be incredibly rewarding, with a high-income potential. But as a business owner, you’ll also have new risks and responsibilities to manage.

Getting financing for your truck or trucks is just one of those responsibilities, but it’s a big one. Without the vehicle, you can’t get your business started at all.

There are a few steps you need to take to help ensure that you’ll qualify for commercial truck financing at the lowest rate possible. The good news is that this kind of financing is easy to get compared to a lot of other kinds of business loans. The truck works as a form of collateral, so institutions are more likely to take the risk of financing you, knowing they can easily get their money back by selling the truck.

However, if you’re only buying one truck, lenders can be a bit more reluctant to give you the funding. That’s because your entire business becomes reliant on that single vehicle. And, if you’re just starting out, you won’t have a track record to prove your business can make money.

That’s why it’s so important to follow all the necessary steps so you’ll qualify for commercial truck financing, no matter what your business situation is. With these tips, you’ll be well on your way to financing your commercial venture in no time.

1. Show Proof of Business

First, you’ll need to prove that you own a registered business that the lender can finance.

There are a few different ways to show this proof, depending on the kind of business you have.

Corporations and LLCs

This is the easiest type of business to show proof for. The lender can simply look up the official records of your business on the internet – you’ll be listed on the Secretary of State site for your state. The good news is that it’s also very easy for you to set up this type of business.

Sole Proprietorships and Partnerships – Existing

If you haven’t yet organized your business as a legal entity, you’re a sole proprietorship or a partnership by default. If you’ve shown business income on your taxes for at least a year, you can use your Schedule C form as your proof of business.

If it’s a partnership, you’ll use the Schedule K-1 form instead.

Sole Proprietorships and Partnerships – New

If you don’t have a year’s worth of taxes to show, you can use your Employer Identification Number to show proof of business instead. You can sometimes also use your Doing Business As name.

To get your Employer Identification Number, just visit the IRS’s website – it’s free. The confirmation letter they send will serve as your proof of business.

What Else Will You Need?

In the trucking industry, you won’t just need proof of business – you’ll also need your Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). You might also need to get a U.S. Department of Transportation number.

Even if your lender doesn’t ask you to document these things, you should still have them – otherwise, you risk getting in trouble and losing your business.

2. Grow Your Credit Score

Next, you need to get your personal credit score in order so you’ll qualify for commercial truck financing. This can have a huge impact on whether or not you qualify, especially if you’re just getting started.

You’ll need your credit score to be approved for your fuel card and fleet card, too, which are important tools for your business cash flow.

The higher your credit score, the lower your down payment will tend to be. If your credit score is low, getting a co-signer for your application can help.

3. Find Your Truck

With that in order, it’s time to find the right truck to lease.

You probably won’t be able to afford to finance a new truck, so you’ll need to look for a good used option. Find a truck that’s under 10 years old, and has under 700,000 miles. The better the condition, the better your financing options will be.

Most lenders won’t want to finance old, worn-out trucks at all. That’s because they’re more likely to break down, and don’t offer as much collateral value.

4. Save Up Your Down Payment

If you’re just getting into the business, you’ll need a down payment for the truck. You should also have some cash reserve saved up for business expenses along the way.

Depending on your credit score, you can expect to pay a down payment of about 10 to 30 percent. Save up enough cash to cover a month or two of repairs, living expenses, insurance premiums, and the like. Lenders like to see that you’ll be able to keep things going if business starts out slow.

5. Get Insured

Proper insurance is essential for commercial truck financing. Even if you get pre-approved without insurance, you’ll need to show proof of insurance after the financing goes through.

Looking for Commercial Truck Financing?

Once you’ve completed all these steps, the only thing left is to find the right commercial truck financing company for your needs.

When you become an owner-operator, you can be your own boss and grow your business to your heart’s content. Good financing sets you up for success by getting you off to the right start. If you follow these steps, you’ll have everything in working order before you approach a lender.

Want to know how to make your trucking business stand out from the crowd? ComFreight can help – find out more about us here.

 

What is digital freight factoring?

Digital Freight Factoring

What is digital freight factoring?

Digital freight factoring is a new way to request, manage and service payment advances. It automates purchases of freight invoices. Digital freight factoring is superior to old-school freight factoring in several ways:

  • Instant digital payment requests
  • Digitization of backup documents
  • Digital updates on payment status
  • Faster payment processing
  • Faster accounts receivable

Haul Pay – Digital Freight Factoring & Quick Pay

We realized just how much more factoring and quick pay clients could benefit from a fully digital experience. We built Haul Pay to ensure the best possible freight payment experience. Haul Pay reduces the time to manage and get payment advances.

Haul Pay is currently offered to owner-operators and trucking companies (carriers) through our web app and an available free mobile app. We included our open source load board to help you find loads. Payment requests can be make in the app in seconds and documents are digitized. This makes tracking payments a breeze.

Invoices are automatically generated for you. This means you don’t need to worry about providing an invoice to factor a load or request an advance. We generate that for you. You just upload/attach a copy or image of the rate confirmation and BOL.

What are the core client benefits of Haul Pay?

  • Fastest possible payment processing
  • 24/7 Mobile and web payment requests
  • Get push, text and email for payment status
  • Same day and next day payment options
  • Get instant payment advances at pickup
  • No extra fees, large reserve or long term contracts

Haul Pay enables carriers to get the lowest possible non-recourse and recourse factoring rates. Haul Pay provides the best peace of mind for credit and accounts. We include free software that can integrate with your accounting tools. The web app even lets you pull reporting and track payment history from any device.

Is Haul Pay only for carriers and owner-operators?

A new broker program is currently in the works. This new program will enable brokers to offer quick pay. There will be two options for the program and they will enable brokers to offer quick pay to their carriers. This program will ensure brokers maintain a competitive advantage and are able to service their carriers with the fastest possible payments for freight invoices. If you’re a broker and are interested in offering your carriers quick pay send us an email today at support@comfreight.com

Stay tuned for more updates on Haul Pay and digital freight factoring here on our blog.

We look forward to extending more credit and the fastest payment options as we continue to expand our technology here at ComFreight.

Copyright © 2018 – ComFreight.com™

Why is a Load Board the Best Way to Supplement Loads?

load boardA load board is a great solution for any trucking company or individual trucker looking to supplement loads.

Over 70% of all freight tonnage moved across the USA is moved by truck, so there’s always work out there.

But how do you find customers and take on that work?

You don’t want to be hauling half-full trucks for half the price when you can fill up your fleet to the brim and make far more money.

If your core customers aren’t shipping enough to fill up your truck, a load board could be the solution you’re looking for.

In fact, it doesn’t matter whether you’re a carrier or looking to ship goods. There are great benefits to using this type of board on both sides of the equation.

Find out why you should be using one all the time to make your life easier and more profitable, right here and now.

What Is a Load Board?

A load board is an online digital marketplace where shippers list their goods, ready for truckers to haul.

Truckers make offers to the shipper, using an account registered on the online system for their business. Or it can be the other way around – we’ll explain a bit more about how this works below.

It’s a great way of your maximizing revenue per trip ratio. By filling up your truck with a second load, you’re receiving more cash – rather than wasting time and gas on trips which only feel like they’re partly worth your effort.

Alternatively, you can find specific jobs by telling the world how far you’re willing to drive and how much you can take at once.

Some boards have extra benefits which allow you to get paid much faster. In fact, our Haul Pay freight factoring system means you can get paid immediately after you deliver a load.

You won’t be waiting for your invoices to clear.

This is great news, as your cash flow won’t freeze up. If you’re an owner-operator especially if your business is relatively new – you’ll know how important cash flow is.

So why wait?

Get paid right away with Haul Pay, with no hidden fees – unlike some other freight factoring operators.

We operate this system on a low 3.5% flat fee rate per load, and free next day payments, you won’t have the stress of chasing clients for payments to keep your business running.

I’m a Carrier

Looking to supplement loads?

Log in to your chosen load board and post about your truck. You can tell other users how much space you’ve got and where you’re driving from. Plus you’ll specify the weight limit you’ve got available, so that only shippers with suitable loads get in touch.

Enter your upcoming destinations, and post a radius you’re willing to travel to pick up or drop off any other extra loads. And you’ll set a rate you think is fair, which can be negotiated by shipping companies looking for a truck.

Or, rather than posting your truck and asking shippers to come to you, you can search shipping listings instead.

This way, you can narrow down local options which are convenient enough for you to visit en route to your destination.

You then bid against other truckers to grab the job.

While it’s competitive, there are many shipping jobs available on most days. And new jobs are posted all the time. This means that the chances of grabbing a decent supplementary load for your main haul and increasing your income is high.

With the number of trucks and truckers on our roads steadily increasing each year, finding work easily is a real blessing.

Our system even provides gas and revenue estimates to help you assess whether a job is worth a detour or not.

I’m a Shipper

Load boards are used by shippers to advertise their loads. And to agree prices with haulage truckers to take these loads to their destination.

All you need to do is post the basic information about your load; weight, length, and the required delivery date.

You’ll get a competitive offer for your shipping load, as truckers must bid against each other to win your load. But as they only need take on jobs they want to, on their own authority, it’s a win-win situation.

With intuitive tools at hand to investigate rate trends over time, you’ll know what offers are fair, and which are great.

Meanwhile, truckers can take advantage of the same tools to assess the market and make the right pitch.

You can even save your favorite trucks to your account, so that you can make use of their services again in the future.

Find Work Right Now on Our Load Board

If you’re a trucker or a shipper, get yourself set up on our load board right now.

You can set up an account with just a few basic details.

Whenever you’re ready to take on work, just browse our listings to pick up suitable jobs (or list new work) in no time.

Our helpful and free tutorial will get you up to speed with the system in minutes. So if your truck is idling, or you’re a shipper with a load waiting for the right haulage, you won’t be waiting long to spring into action.

Integrate With Us

As an add-on to software you are already be using, our seamless integration gives you all the benefits of ComFreight’s system in the same place.

This speeds up the freight matching process, so you can list and manage multiple jobs with little effort.

Take things a step further and directly integrate with our load board using our top-notch freight API.

21st Century Trucking: How Freight Brokers Can Benefit From Using Load Boards

freight brokersMore than 70% of freight in the U.S. is moved by trucks. That’s a lot of loads and a lot of money to be had if you’re in the freight business.

As a freight broker, you may be wondering how you can reach more available loads and drivers, and ultimately how you can increase your shipments and bottom line.

Well, there is an easy way to do that: load boards. Signing up for load boards will give you real-time access to thousands of loads, carriers, and more.

Keep reading to learn why your company should be using load boards.

How Does a Load Board Work?

A load board is an online system in which shippers or freight brokers post loads that they need to be carried. Load boards include information about the load, including pick-up and drop-off location, the due date for delivery, the type of trailer or vehicle needed, and the weight of the load.

Some load boards already have set a price they will pay carriers. Others, like ours at Comfrieght, allow brokers and carriers to bid on the load.

Everything is done within the online board or app, including the bidding and contracting. However, many companies include contact information so that calling is another option.

Once a carrier or broker accepts the job and the shipper accepts the bid, both parties are made aware and the truck is directed to pick up the load.

How Can Freight Brokers Benefit from Load Boards?

Freight brokers can benefit from using load boards in numerous ways. Load boards allow brokers to match loads to drivers and trucks, stay up-to-date with available shipments, increase efficiency and profits, and keep drivers happy.

1. Loads in Real-Time

Load boards are updated quickly and constantly. This means freight brokers have constant real-time access to available loads. You can get alerts when new loads are posted.

In addition, load boards include updates on available drivers. As a broker, you have unlimited truck and load posting and the ability find owner-operators and match them to loads quickly and easily. You can even sign up for alerts that tell you when a truck match is nearby.

Plus, loads are available 24/7 and all across the country. This means you can keep drivers running at all times in various locations.

2. Low Cost, High Reward

Most load boards are free to use (like ours) or charge a low monthly/annual fee.

If the load board allows for bidding, this could greatly benefit you and your drivers. Bidding means brokers can request a price that is competitive and loaders can accept the best offers.

With the market rates included in the load board app, you can make sure your bid or charge matches the market trends. This will keep your company from over- or under-bidding.

If you have carriers that are close to the load, you can bid a lower price because less travel is needed. Also, strict delivery deadlines can allow you to bid higher if you know you can get the job done the quickest.

Using a load board is one of the best ways to improve your bottom line. It keeps your trucks full and on the road, meaning more profit for your business.

Load boards also make it easy to track shipments and invoices, ensuring money doesn’t fall through the cracks.

3. Convenient Tracking and Pay

Load boards are easy to use for all parties. Drivers especially benefit from the ease of use and access on the road.

Everything is electronic meaning no more paperwork and the hassle of it. Plus, load boards uses a type of built-in freight factoring, which makes payments simple and quick.

After a carrier or owner-operator delivers the load, they pull up the Haul Pay tool. This tool is part of the load board app and lets the shipper put in the invoice amount and company information for payment.

The signed bill of lading and load details are added to the payment tool and submitted.

The best part? Payments are freely deposited within 24 hours. Or, you can choose to get same day pay for a small fee.

This fast payment turnaround will make both your freight-brokerage company and your drivers happy.

These online and app tools also make it easy to track invoices and payment. This will come in handy when tax-time comes and keep payroll easy.

The system also allows freight brokers to track load pickups and deliveries.

4. Trucks are Kept Full, Deadheading Eliminated

The biggest profit losses in trucking are downtime and deadheading. Deadheading is basically when you drivers are sent on the road without any freight. This happens when drivers don’t have anything to haul back from or to a location.

With a load board, you can prevent this. A load board lets you find loads nearby drop off locations. So, once the driver drops off a load to its delivery location, they can pick up another nearby.

Similarly, if you need to send a driver to a location, look for a drop off nearby.

Again, load boards let you find drivers that are already nearby shipment locations. So, you don’t have to send drivers far with an empty trailer.

Using load boards can seriously lower downtime and make sure your carriers and owner-operators are kept on the road. With the user-friendly system, the load search tool and alerts will help you find load matches to haul.

Sign up for ComFreight Today and Improve Your Business

Convinced yet? You should be.

As a broker, your job is to pair loads with drivers. There is no better or easier way to do that than a load board.

Our load board allows unlimited posting and job acceptance, real-time alerts, fast pay with no reserves, and many benefits for brokers and drivers.

Take the next step in improving your business and sign up for ComFreight for free today.

How to Find the Best Load Boards for Your Next Gig

best load boardsAre you a trucker or carrier searching for reliable, well-paying loads?

Maybe you already have a steady clientele built up and you just need to supplement your income. Or perhaps you’re just starting out and eager to get your shipping business up and running.

In either case, the answer is the same. If you want to be one of the best carriers in the business, you need to use the best load boards.

But with so many different boards to choose from, how do you know which ones to use?

In this post, we’ll reveal our expert tips for finding the best load boards for your business.

1. Don’t Rely Solely on Freebies

Yes, there are plenty of free load boards online. You might even find a few decent loads listed on them.

But if you’re relying only on the free listings, chances are you’re missing out on better and higher-paying loads. On paid load boards, you’ll find more selection that better suits your business, trucks, and routes.

Of course, you do need to make (and stick to) a budget. Don’t go signing up for the most expensive load boards assuming they’re the best. Many of the best load boards are available to you for less than $20 per month.

Another tip is to search for paid load boards that offer a free trial period. That way, you can test it out and see if it’s a good match for your company.

Take your time, do your research, and find out which load boards are working for other carriers. Then you’ll be in a much better decision to find the boards that are best for you.

2. Make Safety a Priority

As a responsible carrier, you’ve probably already taken all standard safety precautions.

To access the best load boards, though, your safety rating must be as high as possible.

Brokers and shippers want to know that you’ll deliver their loads safely, intact, and on time. With 31.4 million registered trucks in the US, they have plenty of others to choose from if your safety rating is less than stellar.

To win the best loads on the best boards, make sure you have a “satisfactory” Carrier Safety Rating. Your Safety Evaluation Area scores for Accident, Driver, Vehicle, and Safety Management should also be high.

If necessary, ask for reviews from past or current customers. A string of positive reviews will assure future clients that you’re reliable and trustworthy.

3. Find User-Friendly Load Boards

You can search and search until you find the best load board in the world. But if you can’t figure out how to use it, it’s not going to do you a bit of good.

In your research, look for boards that feature an intuitive, easy-to-use interface. Is it easy to navigate between loads, listings, and other pages? Do they have a mobile app, messaging service, and other valuable features?

Time is money, so you don’t want to waste yours trying to figure out how a load board works. If a site is taking too much time, move on until you find one that’s simple to use.

Another thing to remember is that the best load boards can be accessed from anywhere. Since you spend so much time on the road, you can’t always wait until the next time you’re in the office.

Seek boards that are mobile-friendly, perhaps through an app or mobile website. There should also be some sort of instant messaging service so you can communicate wherever and whenever you need to.

4. Seek Out Those Added Features

In addition to a site that’s easy to use, what else should you look for in a load board?

Some of the best load boards offer free notifications 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Set up alerts and get notified when loads get posted along your preferred routes. That way, you have the chance to snag your ideals loads before someone else gets them first.

Another thing to look for is a site that allows brokers to post loads for free. This almost always ensures a higher number of listings, giving you more loads to choose from.

Other “extra” features you may want to look for include load planners, credit ratings and scores, mileage and routing trackers, or free corporate websites.

5. Don’t Forget to Post Your Truck

A common mistake many carriers make is not posting their own trucks on load boards.

Remember that load boards work both ways. Brokers and shippers use these boards to get their freight moved, but it’s also a place for you to list your services.

Many loads never get posted in the first place. The only way to access these “invisible” loads is by receiving a call from a broker who’s selected your trucking company.

To get those calls, though, your company needs to be listed. Once you’ve found the best load boards, set up profiles for your trucking business.

Bonus tip: Consider listing your truck later in the afternoon, once all the morning loads have cleared out of the way. You might be surprised at how many loads you’re able to pick up!

Ready to Find the Best Load Boards?

With so much competition in the trucking industry, you can’t afford to use anything less than the best load boards.

Using the best boards ensures your business will thrive now and in the years to come.

Here at Comfreight, we understand the shipping industry inside and out. We’re experts in matching the right shippers, carriers, and brokers.

Click here to find out more about our load boards for carriers.

You may also contact us directly with any questions or concerns.

What are you waiting for? Get in touch and start using the best load boards today!

8 Tips To Finding Truck Driving Jobs Online

truck driving jobsFinding truck driving jobs can prove to be difficult.

You wouldn’t think so, given the national shortage of truck drivers. In fact, the turnover rate of trucking jobs is a steep 90%. Most truckers leave their positions within their first year.

Regardless, the job search is tough. One of the main reasons why it’s so tough is due to the high number of applicants per position. When there are so many candidates vying for the same job, it’s difficult to get a hiring manager to notice you.

Candidates who can’t find jobs in their fields will look to other fields for work. Those other fields include trucking.

How can you hope to find a job when the competition is so fierce?

Read on to find out.

8 Tips For Finding Truck Driving Jobs Online

Truck driving jobs are posted all over the Internet. For that reason, you need to cast your job hunting net long and wide to find the trucking job you want.

Perhaps the biggest obstacle to finding truck driving jobs online is the traditional mindset. Many people still think of finding a job as “looking in the newspaper and checking company websites.” And in the early days of the Internet, that mindset held true.

But that is no longer the case. Now you have far more options than finding companies online and checking their official websites.

1. Job Boards

Job boards function much like the jobs portion of the classified ads in newspapers. They list job postings made by companies looking for new talent. Popular job boards include Glassdoor, Indeed, and Monster.

Many job boards require you to start an account. In order to start an account, you’ll need to enter your basic information as well as your work and education history.

Most job boards require you to upload a resume to use as a basis for your information. Even though you have to upload a base resume, many boards let you upload different resumes when applying.

Once your account is set up, you can start finding and applying for jobs.

There are two ways to search for jobs on job boards. The first is by job title or description. The second is by geographic location.

Truck driving jobs are scattered throughout the country. Nearly every industry has a need for drivers. To increase your chances, you should apply to as many jobs in your general area as possible.

2. Dedicated Sites

Dedicated sites are job boards dedicated to one specific industry. In this case, you want to focus on trucking-based dedicated sites.

Popular trucking dedicated sites include JobsinTrucks.com, EveryTruckJob.com, and TruckJobSeekers.com.

Since these sites are still job boards, they work much the same as regular job boards. You start an account, upload a resume, and start applying for jobs.

An added bonus of dedicated sites is many of them have apps that you can install on your phone. That way, you can stay up-to-date on the latest listings even while on the go. Truck Driver Job Search and Truck Driving Jobs are two common apps.

3. Government Sites

The state and federal governments occasionally look for truck drivers to ship government property. Typically their truck driving jobs are contract jobs.

Still, a contract job is work to do while looking for a full-time job. Plus, hauling for the government is a great past employment experience to list on your resume.

4. Company Sites

Job boards are so popular now that many job seekers don’t bother looking at company sites.

However, if there is a particular company that you want to work for, it’s wise to keep an eye on its website. Companies don’t post every single opening that they have on job boards.

A trucking opportunity for a company you like might pop up, and you won’t know about it unless you check the company’s site frequently.

5. Search Engines

Looking for a job via a search engine is often rough. So many results pop up, and many aren’t even links to jobs.

However, you can use search engines for other job-seeking purposes.

For instance, you can use search engines to find a local company that you’re interested in working for. Many times, companies stay out of the public light unless they want to network or advertise their services. You may get lucky and find a hidden gem in your backyard.

Some companies also post on job boards anonymously or through a staffing agency. Doing so makes it hard to establish contact with a company.

However, if you copy and paste the job description into a search engine, you might get lucky and find the company’s listing.

6. Craigslist

Craigslist has gained an unsavory reputation as an unsafe haven for thieves and scam artists. That reputation only worsened with the emergence of the Craigslist Killer in 2009.

It’s true that anyone using Craiglist should exercise precaution when posting and answering ads. After all, Craigslist doesn’t monitor the content posted to its site.

However, many companies use the site to anonymously post ads for free.

Again, exercise precaution when turning to Craigslist. But the same can be said of all interactions you make on the Internet. That includes ones that you make as a result of job boards and other job-hunting sites.

7. Resume Builders

Resume builders help you build a resume and upload it onto the Internet. Popular resume builders include VisualCV, SlashCV, and Uptowork.

Best of all, these sites are often operated by people who know people in the industry. They can keep you in mind for future trucking positions that come across their desks. Better yet, they can act as a reference for those positions.

8. Social Media

The importance of social media cannot be understated.

Many company employees have professional Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts. They use their accounts for networking with professionals in their industry.

Additionally, there are groups dedicated to different industries on all of these platforms. Many times, employees will use these groups to network and post jobs in their companies.

By maintaining a social media presence, you can meet contacts in companies you want to work for. You can also reach out to those contacts about the jobs they post.

Need More Trucking Industry Advice? Check Us Out!

At ComFreight, we keep on top of what’s going on in the trucking industry. We report all the changes in employment, technology, and other aspects of the industry as they happen.

For more advice on the trucking industry, please feel free to check out our blog reel!

5 Qualities to Look for in a Freight Load Board

Freight Load BoardAre you in business as a trucker or trucking company owner?

Using a freight load board or freight marketplace is an amazing way to supplement your core customers. This is especially true when business is slow or you’re trying to expand your customer base.

The convenience of a good freight marketplace also lets you land shipper loads and broker loads in one place.

Take your business to the next level with this easy solution. Post an offer on the board and start getting bids. Competitive bids and fast notifications let you haul more freight and make more money.

Don’t waste time on a lousy freight marketplace or trying to choose one when you don’t know what to look for.

In this post, we’ll teach you the top 5 qualities to look for in a freight load board.

1. Free Sign-Up

Did you know that trucks carry more than 70% of all freight moved in America?

With such a powerful market, there’s no shortage of people trying to squeeze money out of truckers. Keep this in mind when looking for a good freight load board.

It can get costly to use a paid board. Many times you don’t know what you’re paying for until you’ve already signed up. Pay attention and avoid the many rip-offs out there.

Even boards that give you a “free trial” when you sign up can be sneaky.

The free trial version may be so limited you can barely get work before it’s time to pay. Or they’ll give you such a short trial period that you can’t get a feel for how good it is before they start charging you.

The good news is that you don’t have to pay for access to a good freight load board. Choose a freight marketplace that lets you sign up for free. That way, you only have to pay for what’s worthwhile to you.

2. Freight Matching

Freight matching makes it easier than ever to consolidate freight.

A simple announcement lets potential clients know you have leftover space and you’re able to pick up another load. Make a post specifying your free space and simply wait for bids.

Since gas prices have increased by more than 100% since 1995, the savings you’ll enjoy with freight matching will make a big difference in your monthly spendings.

Avoid missed opportunities and half-empty trips by choosing a freight load board that gives instant alerts when matching trucks are found. You can save a lot of time and money if you get an email notification when an opportunity presents itself.

Choose a board that gives you instant notifications when matches are found.

3. Fast, Reliable Payment

Look for a freight load board that makes it easy not only to get bids but also to get paid. You don’t want your business to be stuck in first gear because you’re waiting for delayed payments.

Knowing you’ll get paid quickly makes it easy to avoid the risks around slow-paying loads. Too many of these can make it very hard to run or expand your business.

Faster cash flow makes it easier to keep hauling continually. You’ll be able to cover any expenses for maintenance and improvement much sooner. You’ll be shocked by the difference in workflow if you haven’t already experienced it.

Look for efficient payment solutions when choosing a freight load board. Also, be wary of hidden fees. Make sure you’re seeing the real sum and won’t get blindsided by a stack of hidden fees.

When you use a good freight marketplace and factoring company, you’ll have fast, simple factoring without hidden fees. Click here to learn more.

4. User Rating System

You’ll find it much easier to know what you’re getting into with the help of a user rating system. This will also allow you to pick good posts and opportunities.

Direct feedback from other users lets you see who and what you’re dealing with. If a load or shipper isn’t worthwhile, you’ll know it.

It also adds extra incentive for people to do their best. Everyone wants to get good ratings and avoid negative ones.

The best rating systems give you more details on what’s good and bad about the post or user. Instead of a vague, general rating, you can find specific ratings for different factors.

This lets you know if the information provided is accurate, how quickly you’ll get paid, and the quality of service to expect.

User comments will give you extra clarity and help you find the most relevant offers.

5. Board Customization

Want to be more efficient in sorting the good from the bad? You can do this if the freight load board lets you filter and customize your searches and board pages.

Saving posts for later viewing or repeated use can speed up your workflow. This makes it very easy to return to posts, loads and trucks. Just go to your saved posts page — no need to manually find it again.

This is especially helpful if you’re a carrier wanting to keep track of loads you plan to haul later. It also helps if you just want to keep track of good posts and shippers.

Another great time-saving function to look for is the ability to hide or block posters you don’t want to deal with. You shouldn’t have to waste time looking at irrelevant posts.

Whether it’s a post with requirements you don’t meet, one offering the wrong price, or one you don’t trust, it doesn’t belong on your feed.

Choosing Your Freight Load Board

Finding a solid freight marketplace that offers you the tools you need for efficient business can be a long search. It takes precious time that could be better used for hauling loads and making money.

We offer you a freight load board that has all these essential qualities. Sign up for free to get started looking for freight to carry.

Have a suggestion or question? Contact us!

Why Every Trucker Should Use a Load Board to Find Hauls

load boardAre you one of the 3.5 million truckers in the US?

If so, you’re part of the massive industry that delivers 68% of all goods throughout America.

To be profitable, you want to locate, haul, and deliver those goods as efficiently as possible. One of the easiest and most popular ways to do this is by using a load board.

If you’ve never considered using these boards, you’re missing valuable business opportunities.

Read on to learn why every trucker should use a load board to find hauls.

What Is a Load Board?

There’s a lot of misinformation about the trucking industry, so let’s first define exactly what a load board is.

Load boards are online “matching” systems where shippers and freight brokers post loads. The board acts as a go-between for shippers and carriers to find each other. From here, they can enter agreements to haul freight.

While load boards are useful for all trucking companies, newer operators may especially benefit from them. Some like ComFreight can even help connect you on an ongoing basis to real direct shipper business. Keeping you moving perpetually.

How Do Load Boards Work?

Most load boards feature sophisticated designs but are easy to navigate. They allow you to post routes and search for loads using different criteria. They also provide services for freight brokers and carriers.

Load boards often offer services like:

  • Load matching
  • Client credit information
  • Message boards
  • FMCSA verification
  • Mobile access/apps
  • Create, read, or send notes

Because the market is so competitive, you’ll find many load boards online. Some are free to use, while others require a paid subscription.

Which is better? In most cases, you get what you pay for. However, the most important thing to do is shop around and find the boards that best suit your business and budget.

Benefits of Using a Load Board

If you’re just getting started or trying to expand your business, load boards are a terrific place to start. Some load boards aren’t quite as advanced as others though.

Here are seven benefits you’ll experience when you use a load board.

1. Easy to Use

Most load boards list all the information you need in one simple, easy to use table. Even if you’re not especially tech-savvy, you’ll have no problem navigating the boards. Click here for an example of how it works.

2. Up-to-Date Information

For the most current information on freight waiting for pick up, you won’t find a better source than load boards. Most sites update hourly; some are even updated every few minutes.

3. Low Cost (or Even Free)

Joining loads boards doesn’t require a large investment. Monthly subscriptions costs are generally low, and in some cases, even free.

4. Convenience

One of the best advantages of using a load board is having access to all this information anytime. It’s there 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

5. Good for Shippers

Load boards benefit shippers that have excess freight and insufficient carriers to move it. The board allows them to find reputable carriers so their products get moved faster.

6. Good for Carriers

Load boards help to keep trucks fuller and minimize deadhead miles. Instead of driving back empty from a delivery, drivers can use boards to locate freight along their route.

7. Easy Accessibility

Drivers can access load boards wherever they have an internet connection. In today’s era of smartphones, this means almost anywhere. Many boards also offer mobile apps for easy access on the road.

Tips for Using Load Boards

Now that you know why you should use load boards, let’s outline a few helpful tips for getting the most out of them.

Shop Around

Don’t settle for whichever boards show up first in your Google search. Do your research and find the boards that offer the most loads and the best rates for the areas you service.

If possible, sign up on more than one load board. No single board has all the information you need, so being active on a few boards increases your chances of finding better loads.

Post a Company Profile

When you log onto load boards, you’re sure to read up on the shipper’s company, reputation, and reviews. Don’t forget that works both ways!

Draw shippers to your company by creating a standout company profile on whichever boards you choose. Highlight your fleet size, home base, type of freight you haul, and any stellar customer reviews.

Know Your Bottom Line

As a business owner, you should always know your break-even point. Before you start calling about loads, keep your per-mile rate in mind to ensure you’ll at least break even on the journey.

Keeping these numbers handy will enable you to select the best loads and negotiate better rates. This will save you a lot of time, effort, and money.

Avoid Scams

Like everywhere else, scammers sometimes appear on load boards. Trust your gut when talking to potential leads. Remember that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Be smart and make sure to run credit checks on anyone you’re considering doing business with. You should also request and review their identification and insurance verification.

Be Patient and Persistent

It’s not always easy to locate loads that fit your schedule and offer an acceptable rate. Sometimes it may take several hours and dozens of phone calls or emails.

Don’t settle for the first loads that appear on the board. Use advanced search features to find the most profitable loads on the routes you want to travel.

Whatever you do, don’t settle for less than your bottom line. Be professional but firm in your negotiations. And don’t be afraid to turn down a load that simply won’t benefit your business.

Build Your Reputation

Both online and face-to-face, nothing is as powerful as your reputation. Stand out from the crowd by picking up and delivering loads on time and as promised.

Get those positive reviews rolling in. As you build your reputation across these boards, shippers may start coming to you with loads instead of you seeking them out.

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re new to the industry or you’ve been in it for a while, there are compelling reasons to use load boards for your business.

Would you like to learn more about how load boards work? Would you like to see a live one to get a feel for it?

Click here to learn more about our carrier load board at Comfreight.

We’re building an advanced load board that takes half the work out of what the other load boards require to enable you to book loads. Join today or stay tuned for more!

4 Reasons You Should Use a Freight Marketplace

freight marketplaceThere is a disruption happening to the freight industry.

New Web developments and trends have introduced the concept of the freight marketplace. It’s an opportunity to escape restrictions and negatives of working with distribution companies.

The freight marketplace places the power into the hands of professionals by matching them to freight carriers.

It works by allowing shippers to post listings for their freight and giving carriers and brokers the ability to make offers. Thus, eliminating the middle man leading to greater profits and less downtime.

That’s only the beginning.

Interested in how this new marketplace removes inefficiencies? Need reasons why you should partake? Read on to find out.

The Freight Marketplace: Making Valuable Connections

The freight marketplace is growing in popularity due to the widespread use of modern technology. It allows one to create connections which present a greater amount of options with pricing and available services.

The platforms are easy-to-use much like other online booking sites.

Shippers enjoy a wider access to providers and vice versa.

The benefits are especially true for small businesses. This alone should provide an ample understanding of the benefits a freight marketplace offers. Yet, buckle up because there’s more you’ll absolutely love to hear.

Four Good Reasons to Join a Freight Marketplace

Familiarity and marketplace navigation will provide a strong baseline of the benefits. Open one of the many marketplaces along side the following to pair up benefits to its features.

1. Real-time travel data

Mobile access links carriers and shippers with the ability to use satellite tracking to monitor and report shipments. This inclusion of real-time travel data reduces extra costs through accountability.

The data provides shippers an opportunity to request audits such as errors in invoicing or overpaying for services. In turn, it gives truckers transparency with their services. Transparency helps to develop strong, lasting relationships.

Real-time travel data also provides companies enhanced information to make improvements. Improvements to their fleet would include anything from fuel efficiency to administrative pains.

Email alerts are the primary channel for real-time updates for both parties. It aids with bidding and ensuring shipments are on time.

2. Freight management

Freight management is a process of improving inventory management and tracking shipment statuses. The optimization of this business element helps to reduce the already high costs of logistics.

Because businesses and shippers are able to quickly match logistics needs to carriers and brokers, they:

  • Keep inventory levels low
  • Require less handling
  • Reduces damage to products
  • Increase satisfaction with all parties
  • Improve delivery time

The benefits go two ways.

A business that gains these benefits pass them on to truckers. Efficiency is increased meaning more available jobs with fewer disruptions.

The freight marketplace factors into the management with its ability to unload to a thirsty marketplace and get things done.

3. Less paperwork & bargaining

The benefits enjoyed by shippers provide similar gains for those in logistics. It’s clear with paperwork and communication issues that are often present within the industry.

The marketplace uses specialized tools to increase efficiency. The result of which is leading to less back-and-forth with carriers. It virtually eliminates having to get in touch with the parties with bids and confirmation.

As a trucker, you gain direct access to the shipper.

These platforms granting direct access helps build rapport and trust.

The marketplace has built-in tech to solve all logistics needs. One of its main features being a centralized location for shipping & tracking. It allows truckers to make bids from within the system instead of needing to constantly provide updates.

Through this trust and rapport, the trucker can deliver a better service. The truckers worry less about the paperwork and overhead so they may focus on their transit.

4. Competition

Lastly, competition is good.

Spending in U.S. logistics reached $1.48 trillion in 2015. Though, most of this was handled by major logistics companies. The tough competition has all but cut out the smaller competitors.

It’s changing, though.

The direct access allows smaller organizations or individuals to cater their services. It gives them the ability to present a better value proposition so they may compete with larger companies.

This healthy competition changes the industry.

It raises expectations of the services. It also creates a new baseline with the demands and needs of the shippers.

Competition will continue to drive the market. Already it has shown significant leaps forward with the recent entry into the industry from giants like Uber and Amazon.

In all, it will change the workflow of the trucking industry to provide better services and rates. Something everyone to be happy about.

What the Future Holds

The digital marketplace for freight is at a cross road.

Funding is readily available versus a few years ago. We’re reaching a real moment of disruption. One that will challenge decades of an established industry.

These tools have increased the availability of professionals. Giving the opportunity to all those that have the appropriate license. Yet, the capacity of goods remains the same and only time will tell how much of an impact it will make.

It comes down to time.

There are challenges ahead that are not exclusive to availability. Will this shift will reveal the much needed, trusted relationships so many brokerages seek? We will see as the adoption grows.

Removing the Dead Weight

A freight marketplace has several benefits as outlined in this post. The biggest of which is removing the dead weight of the middleman. Carriers and brokers gain direct access to shippers resulting in higher profits and less downtime.

These marketplaces improve satisfaction across the board. No longer will truckers get stuck waiting 30, 60, or even 90 days for payment. Nor will they eat the costs of deadheading since plenty of options become available.

Integration of ComFrieght is a breeze. Our platform is helping to shape the freight marketplace. We’re delighted to offer carriers and brokers an efficient and easy way to post listings and confirm payments.

What are you waiting for? Check the online marketplace today!

Freight Rates Continue To Rise

Freight rates continue to rise as peak season continues to progress. Freight rates are rising to three-year highs as tracked through the ComFreight Rate Trend tool. Rates are set to continue to rise slightly as capacity demand primarily drives the increase.

Here are rate trends as tracked through the Rate Trend tool on ComFreight for the past 2 weeks of bid and invoice rate data.

Reefer: US AVG $2:45/Mile

Dry Van: US AVG $2.10/Mile

Flatbed: US AVG $2.29/Mile

We expect rates to continue to rise slightly as we go into the final stretch of peak season.

Looking for tools to make better pricing decisions? The Rate Trend tool is included free with any full access account on ComFreight. This tool is available to shippers, carriers and brokers. Not signed up yet? Sign up here and then upgrade to full access today!

Actual example screenshot of the rate trend tool for Los Angeles, CA to Denver, CO. 

Copyright © 2017 – ComFreight.com™