When sifting through a load board, it is sometimes tough to know if the person on the other end of the phone is really who they say they are. With chameleon brokerages using false MC numbers and people selling loads with less than stellar credit worthiness, it is ever important to verify the sources of these loads. There are some premium load board packages out there that can help in verifying information that comes across the load boards, but even some of the basic and free tech available to you can aid in weeding out some of these would-be crooks trying to fraudulently sell loads.
Never one to put all my eggs in one basket, always looking to diversify the spot freight I get to choose from, I subscribe to several different load searching boards and apps. Since what most of my trucks do is not “rate per mile” based, being local and regional flat rate hauls, I usually don’t opt for the beefed-up versions offered that help calculate lane rates and give trip-planning suggestions. Of the two biggest load boards out there, my basic DAT offers broker credit ratings and current average DTP (days to pay) as part of my subscription. I can also click on the MC of the broker in their load listing to link me to their setup info with DAT, such as their address, DTP 6-month history, bond info, insurance info and memberships such as TIA and NMFTA. As some of the basic packages go for load board subscriptions, this one has to be one of the more robust in helping me determine a broker’s status and if they are worthy of selling me a solid load.
For those not utilizing these load board features, there is also the “Google method”. In this day and age, it is almost an instinct when we don’t know something, to just punch what we want to know into the Google search bar. If you simply type in a broker’s MC in the format “MC XXXXXX”, you will get a slough of free results, with the first one usually being the SAFER lookup from the FMCSA. Along with the FMCSA results, numerous other results will follow from sites that range from collection specialists to reviews of that particular broker. The world of freight and broker verification is literally at your fingertips! You just have to take the first step in looking them up.
Whether it is from a subscription or free online, be sure to use the technology available to inform yourself against becoming the next victim. The worst thing would be to book a load and not get paid on it, only due to a lack of taking a few seconds to dig a little dirt up on a particular brokerage. Eliminate a lot of the guesswork by taking a few seconds to check on things like DTP and credit scores, so that later down the line you don’t have to find out you hauled a load for free!