How to Access Load Boards(With or without MC as a trucker or dispatcher)

Introduction:

In today’s blog post, we will discuss how independent freight dispatchers can access load boards without an MC number. While there are several resources available on this topic, we’ll provide a comprehensive guide that covers how brokers, carriers, and dispatchers can access load boards. By using a visual approach and breaking down the process, we aim to simplify understanding for both experienced and newcomers to the transportation industry.

Let’s start by clarifying the concept of shippers. 

Shippers can be thought of as manufacturers or businesses that produce and manage goods such as furniture, cars, trailers, and different kinds of freight. They may have their own warehouses or rely on distribution centers to store and ship their products. Essentially, shippers are the source of the freight that needs to be transported.

Introducing the Players:

To better understand how to get load board access, we’ll discuss four key players in the transportation industry: shippers, brokers, carriers, and independent freight dispatchers.

1. Shippers:

Shippers are responsible for producing goods and have the freight that needs to be moved. They may include manufacturers and distribution centers. The crucial point to remember is that shippers have the freight, which is the primary focus of all players involved.

2. Brokers:

Brokers, viewed as businesses rather than individuals, act as intermediaries between shippers and carriers. They connect shippers with carriers who can transport the freight. Brokers make the process easier for shippers by handling logistics and finding suitable carriers.

3. Carriers:

Carriers are the players who physically move the freight from point A to point B. They have trucks and drivers to transport the goods. Carriers may work directly with shippers or through brokers, depending on the arrangement.

4. Independent Freight Dispatchers:

Independent freight dispatchers play a crucial role in managing and coordinating the transportation process. They are like a management company or consulting firm that works with carriers. Unlike brokers, dispatchers can only represent carriers and cannot directly work with shippers. Dispatchers offer their services to carriers, assisting them in finding and managing loads efficiently.

load board access

The Load Board Access Process:

Now that we understand the key players, let’s dive into how they access load boards and collaborate to move freight effectively. The carrier, or independent freight dispatcher, cannot directly contact the shipper without the shipper’s permission. It’s illegal to do so. The shipper already has a contract with the broker, who connects them with the carriers.

Now, let’s talk about how these players access the load board. The load board is a platform where shippers and brokers post available freight for carriers to bid on and move. It acts as a marketplace for connecting shippers’ freight with carriers’ capacity.

Shippers access the load board through their contracted brokers. The brokers have access to various load boards and post the available freight on behalf of the shippers. They provide all the necessary information about the load, such as origin, destination, weight, and rate. Carriers or dispatchers can then search for these available loads on the load board and submit bids or accept offers to move the freight.

Carriers or dispatchers also have direct access to load boards. They can create accounts on load board platforms and search for available loads that match their equipment and preferred lanes. They can view the load details, negotiate rates, and accept offers to transport the freight. The load board provides a convenient way for carriers to find and secure loads that fit their business requirements.

Independent freight dispatchers, as mentioned earlier, operate as a management and consulting company. They work closely with carriers and assist them in finding loads and managing their operations. Dispatchers typically have access to load boards on behalf of the carriers they represent. They search for suitable loads, negotiate rates, and coordinate the logistics of the transportation process.

It’s important to note that access to load boards may require certain qualifications or memberships. Some load boards may require carriers to have an active MC number, insurance, and other necessary credentials. Brokers and dispatchers, on the other hand, may need specific agreements or partnerships with load board providers to access and post loads.


Types of Loadboards:


There are two types of load boards that are free and paid load boards.
In paid load boards, there are two major giants in the market, which are DAT load board and Tuckersedge. They have different subscription plans depending on features and users.
Besides these two, there are many others, such as DirectFreight, 123Loadboard, and Trucker Path.

Free types of load boards are the boards offered by different brokerages in which they post loads they have like Convoy Loadboard, Total Quality Logistics Load board, and Spot Freight Load board, for carriers.

How to Get DAT and Truckstop access?

If you are a carrier, you don’t need to purchase many load boards. In my opinion, DAT load board subscription is enough to keep you moving. With that, you can get free load board access, but almost 95% of the loads I get from DAT load board, and with that, truckstop’s subscription can be a plus point and it will increase your probability of getting consistent loads.
To get access to DAT, go to Google or any other search engine and type DAT load board, go to their website, and click the “sign up” option. You will see different plans.

If you are one truck owner operator, then in my opinion, the “DAT OneStandard” subscription is enough for you, which will cost you around $48/month with taxes included. If you’re a dispatch firm, then “DAT One Office” is for you, It will cost you around $300/month but it can give you advanced features and access to multiple dispatchers.
You simply need to visit their website, choose a plan, and provide your trucking company’s details, like MC Authority, company name, and owner’s name and number. If you face any issues, you can contact a customer service representative.

If you are a dispatcher and don’t have any MC, then you have to choose the dispatcher option while applying for the load board. In my opinion, you should call their customer representative directly and explain to them, Whenever I faced difficulty getting load board access, I called the customer representative and told them I am a dispatcher and need load board access to find loads for my carriers, and they gave me access to the load board.
Note that rates can change in the future, which you can check on their website. 

If you are a newly formed brokerage company, then you have to contact a load board representative and verify your Brokerage Authority and Surety Bond details to get access to the broker load board.


Conclusion:

In summary, shippers access the load board through their contracted brokers, while carriers and independent freight dispatchers can directly access the load board by providing their authority details to find and secure available loads. Each player has a specific role and utilizes the load board to efficiently connect shippers’ freight with carriers’ capacity, facilitating the movement of goods in the transportation industry.

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