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One of the best ways a fleet can prove they are a carrier of choice and stand out among other carriers is by simply being reliable.

How to stand out on load boards

June 7, 2024
While a necessary part of business for many, load boards and brokers have challenges. Industry executives offer advice on how to stand out from the competition.

While operating off of load boards and brokered loads can have its risks, for many fleets, they are essential. There are actions fleet owners and carriers can take to ensure they stand out from the thousands of trucking operations on those load boards. And it’s these actions that will show brokers and shippers whether the fleet will make a good carrier partner.

Andy Dyer, the president of transportation management with AFS Logistics, a global third-party logistics provider, said one of the best ways a fleet can prove they are a carrier of choice and stand out among other carriers is by simply being reliable.

See also: Communication is about being understood, not just heard

The importance of relationships and integrations in finding loads

Establishing your fleet as a carrier of choice is the first step in building relationships with brokers and shippers. While some believe relationships aren’t required to get great loads, Dyer believes they are important.

“Connections with people matter,” Dyer told FleetOwner. “If [brokers] have a choice to make between the same rate with two providers, and they know one and they don't know the other, they're going to go with the one they know.”

Dyer sees this daily in his office. While he said his capacity managers welcome new carriers into their rotation, he often hears them making calls or connecting with already proven, reliable, and trustworthy carriers.

On the other end of the spectrum, Ed Stockman, co-founder and CEO of freight booking platform Newtrul, said building relationships with brokers, while helpful, isn’t necessary—especially when working from a freight booking platform. He also said that carriers and brokers working from an integrated platform might find that integration simplifies how they do business. In some instances, Stockman sees technology “outperforming and outpacing the human relationship component” when booking loads.

“We have carriers who don't have any load boards and only have integrations into shippers and brokers. They have algorithms that are quoting those loads on their behalf, and they don't pick up the phone,” Stockman noted.

With these integrations, everything is automated, from the quoting to the negotiating, which means fleet companies don’t have to devote time and energy searching for and acquiring loads. With integrations, carriers don’t need to quote loads, call multiple brokers or shippers, or negotiate rates because everything is automated, Stockman explained. This automation has even led to repeat business, he said.

See also: Using TMS to improve carrier-shipper relationships

“What's crazy about it is with those integrations and those automated, quoting, bidding, booking, negotiation-type carriers, they're doing way more repeat business than anybody else,” Stockman told FleetOwner.

Find what works

Dyer, like Stockman, recognizes the importance of integration and technology, but he emphasized that relationships must not be overlooked as part of being a responsible actor as a carrier. Yet, they both see the value in individual business owners doing what works best for them and their businesses.

Stockman encourages fleet owners and carriers to “pick a metric,” or an aspect of business they’d like to improve, be it time management, increased profits, or more miles, and then find strategies to improve those specific metrics.

Dyer’s advice to fleets when it comes to acquiring loads and standing out is to “know your customers.” By knowing their customers, fleets can adapt and improve their operations to meet their customers' needs more efficiently.

About the Author

Jade Brasher

Senior Editor Jade Brasher has covered vocational trucking and fleets since 2018. A graduate of The University of Alabama with a degree in journalism, Jade enjoys telling stories about the people behind the wheel and the intricate processes of the ever-evolving trucking industry.    

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