Load boards offer a great service in bringing loads to carriers though load brokers. Oftentimes however, loads are put up so hastily that many important details are left out. Typically all you’ll find is the pickup and drop-off cities as well as the pickup and drop-off dates, with little else in the way of descriptive details. Once in a while you’ll run across a gem of a load that features a little bit more, but usually after calling on them, you will discover the true meaning of some of these “additional load comments”. All of the examples here are actually local loads I called on this week to decipher, but are all prime examples of some of the “hidden meanings” I find in a handful of postings each and every day.
Stock ‘Em Deep, Sell ‘Em Cheap!
This particular set of five loads would’ve been great. Having three trucks in the area, I could have easily got three first thing in the morning and even doubled a couple of my trucks back for the fourth and fifth. After calling on them though, it seemed as though the posting broker either received them as a result of pricing them too cheap or perhaps happened to just be figuring he could sell them off to local carriers cheap and make a good profit margin. Being that this broker was trying to offer them at $75 below my normal rate for that particular local lane, I had no problem moving on from the idea I could grab even one of his five loads. This is often a tactic I see used in load boards, where because a broker has multiple loads to offer that are identical, they think they can get some kind of a bulk discount of some kind when they sell them to a carrier.
Always one to dabble into trying to find a specialty niche here in my market, I am always on the lookout for opportunities that can be found while sifting through loads. I happened to call on this load thinking that there could be a possibility to buy or lease a late model curtainside and possibly put a driver on it I know who would be interested in this lane and trailer type. Oftentimes you can find that the word dedicated can be synonymous with cheap. It is all too common, as it was in this case, that because someone thinks they are doing you a favor by finding a dedicated lane they can also try to justify shopping the opportunity to you cheap.
In an effort to field more calls on some loads, there are brokerages out there that will post the same load multiple times, under the disguise of putting different cities on them. Herein lies the problem for the carrier trying to place calls in a hot market while a load is fresh because wasting time on calling the same load three times, such as the one pictured here, could have been time better spent calling on three truly different loads. This happens quite a bit and you should be on the lookout for “repeat offenders” in the form of brokerages that do this on a regular basis.
Having done my fair share of military loads onto many of the California and Nevada bases, there are basic things that should be included on the postings for these that are often not made clear and wastes valuable time. Seeing that this load was coming out of a MCB (Marine Corp Base), I inquired to the broker to find out if they knew of any special clearances or restrictions for this load on pickup or delivery. Like most of my military general freight loads, this one did require the driver to be a US citizen with a clean background. This type of “special” information for a load should usually carry with it a slight premium in price, just like when we haul tanker-endorsed van loads and loads that require extra straps or bracing. It seems as though these details might have been left out because this broker just so happened to be firm on an average price without any premium to it. Always ask for the details like this and be on the lookout for base designators on postings such as MCB, AFB, ARB, MCLB, and Fort.
These examples are but a few of the day-to-day things to be on the lookout for to make your load searches go smoothly. In a hot market you want to be able to be the first call on each fresh new load that crosses your path, so wasting time on loads that are not desirable is not an option! It takes time to learn what some of the subtle terms that make certain loads and brokerages less than desirable are, but with practice it can save you precious minutes in landing that money haul you are looking for!