You have your business plan, your equipment, and your legal documents. Now it is time to find your freight.
Load boards are a common freight finding tool. Load boards allow you access to any broker or shipper (within the load board network) who is looking for your specific type of carrier to haul their freight. This allows you to cast the widest net to find customers, brokers, and shippers.
Load boards can be as different as the companies they supply. Before making a commitment to a load board, make sure you are getting the best service for your company. You want a load board with a large selection of your preferred lanes and a high demand for your type of equipment. Free trials are the best way to test the market before making a financial investment. (Note, some load boards do not advertise free trials but will offer them to you if you ask.)
Utilizing a dispatcher is another option. Dispatchers save you time by working the load boards for you. Give them your business type and hauling expectations then they find you the best paying freight for the lane and freight you haul. If using a service like ProDispatch, the dispatcher will also fill out the broker packets for you, saving you even more time so you can focus on just delivering the freight.
Lining up potential customers is only half the battle. You also need to make sure your customers can and will pay for your services. If your customers do not pay you for your work, you will not be in business very long. Do not get dragged down by a customer you should not trust. Before hauling for anyone, run a credit check.
For better business protection, use a credit check system independent from your load board. Credit ranking on a load board can be anywhere from 6 months to a year old. At TAFS, we offer our clients a free credit check system that is updated daily.
You have the customers. You know they will pay for your services. However, do you know WHEN those customers will pay? Sometimes customers remit payments based on 30, 60, or even 90-day terms. This can leave you in a bind if you have immediate expenses like fuel and insurance. If the gap between the drop-off and payment is detrimental to your business, try factoring. Factoring provides advances quickly without the hassle of bank loans and interest payments. However, not every factoring company is the same. Make sure you a getting the best partner for your business. Vet the factoring company before signing up for services. Find out the true cost of their program.
Finding freight is a process. Whether you use a load board, dispatcher, or find customer on your own, it will take time and practice. Make sure you keep your business goals in mind and refer to your business plan as often as needed. You can do it!