Best Load Boards for Truckers, Brokers, and Shippers in 2024

Updated 1/9/2024

With limited time and a seemingly endless supply of load boards, selecting the right one can feel overwhelming. To save you time, we reviewed more than 25 load boards on the market.

Our list includes paid load boards, free load boards, and specialty load boards that focus on hot shot, LTL, drayage, and more.

Keep reading to learn about our methodology and in-depth reviews on each load board.

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About the author
Kyle Fretwell of TruckInfo.net
Kyle Fretwell has worked as a researcher and data-journalist for over a decade. His work has appeared in publications such as Bloomberg, Fox Business, MSN, USA Today, CNBC, and the Houston Chronicle.

He now manages TruckInfo.net's content team and is a regular fixture at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville.

Comparing Load Boards

When reviewing load boards, we took the following factors into account.

Pricing Model 

Our guide covers both free and paid load boards. 

Paid load boards are more likely to have built-in tools, more loads for truckers, and more carriers for brokers and shippers. Paid load boards typically offer different subscription tiers based on functionality and might have different subscription fees for truckers, brokers, and shippers.

While free load boards typically have limited features, they can still be a great choice for companies on a budget. Some factoring companies offer load boards to their customers as a perk while some trucking management systems (TMS) offer load boards within their software. Some “digital” brokers like Convoy and Uber Freight also offer load boards, though loads may be more limited.

Customers

While trucking companies and shippers can use most load boards, brokers typically can’t post loads to a board operated by another broker. When a broker offers their own load board, they typically market the load board as “directly connecting shippers and carriers.” Some digital brokers, like Convoy, have started to blur the line by acting as the broker in most cases while still allowing third-party brokers to post loads for a fee.

While digital broker platforms like Convoy and Uber Freight can be easy to use, they can prevent carriers from forming working relationships with brokers and shippers.

Specialty

To help streamline load matching, some load boards specialize in specific load types such as oversized loads, car shipping, less-than-truckload, box truck loads, etc.

Rates & Bidding

Load boards may or not display rates for loads. The posted rates may or may not be negotiable depending on how the load board is set up. Some of the more digital-first load boards have moved towards a self-service model where carriers can simply book loads without having to work directly with a broker or shipper. More traditional load boards simply help carriers find loads but they will still need to work with the broker or shipper to agree on the rate.

Mobile App

Most load boards we reviewed offer a mobile app for drivers so they can easily find their next load. While this can be a big plus, not all apps have been positively reviewed by drivers.

Quickpay & Factoring

Some load boards have started to offer Quickpay options to carriers for a small fee. Other load boards have integrated with truck factoring companies so carriers can quickly see which loads can be factored and then have a more streamlined process for factoring those loads.

Integrations

For companies using a TMS, choosing a load board that can be directly connected to their software can save time and paperwork. Some load boards also connect with ELD devices and other tools to help streamline tracking, load selection, and more.

Volume

While large load boards offer more opportunities for carriers to match with brokers and shippers, larger load boards also have more competition so rates can be driven up or down depending on the freight market. Still, larger load boards are usually preferable unless a company is looking for a specialized load board.

Best Load Boards (Paid)

DAT One

Overview

DAT Solutions is one of the largest and most well-known load board providers. The platform offers a wide range of features and capabilities, including load searching and filtering, load tracking, optional invoice factoring, and a private network to pair trusted carriers and brokers repeatedly.

Note: DAT Power & TruckersEdge have merged into DAT One. DAT One has several different offerings and pricing (details below).


Customers

  • Carriers, Brokers, & Shippers

Specialty

  • All Freight

Rates

  • Rates are set between broker/shipper and carrier
  • Contracted rates available to members on some plans
  • Tracks average market rates by lane

Mobile App

  • 2.0 star rating on App Store
  • 2.9 star rating on Google Play

Quickpay / Factoring

  • Partners with OTR Solutions to offer freight factoring through the load board 

Advertised Volume

  • Tracking by email or phone request during business hours

Integrations

  • DAT Developer Portal provides access to application programming interface (API) tools to connect with trucking management software. 
  • TruckLogics advertises easy integration with the DAT load board

Pricing

Carriers
  • Standard: $45/month for limited features recommended for partial loads
  • Enhanced: $85/month recommended for leased drivers. Adds 30-day average lane rates and the ability to call DAT to post and search availability from the road.
  • Pro: $135/month recommended for owner operators. Adds 15-day average lane rates, automatic triangle haul route suggestions, assistance collecting invoices, and access to Canadian routes.
  • Select: $180/month. Adds auto-refresh function, data that helps identify where your trailer type can earn the most, notifications when ideal loads post to the board, and added filtering features to narrow in on the best matches.
  • Office: $295/month for all features. Adds preferred and blocked companies, access to contract lane rates, and reports on which companies are most active on your preferred routes. 
Brokers 
  • Express: $145/month for limited features including 30-day rate data and unlimited search and load posting.
  • Select: $260/month. Adds many features, including carrier safety ratings, alerts for best matches, and multiple filtered searches.
  • Office: $395/month for all features. Adds features including carrier insurance checks, group postings, and access to contract market rates.
Combo (Carrier and Broker)
  • Select: $260/month for limited features, including market conditions index reports, Canada market access, and routing suggestions.
  • Office: $395/month for all features, including access to contract lane rates.
Shipper 
  • Pricing available by request

Truckstop Load Board

Overview

Truckstop is a popular load board with tiered pricing plans that match a range of needs. Carriers can compare up to 10 loads at once. Brokers and shippers looking to capitalize on their network of trusted carriers will especially like the “book it now” feature. This feature offers loads with instant booking for the broker or shipper’s pre-selected carriers.


Customers

  • Carriers, Brokers, & Shippers

Specialty

  • All Freight

Rates

  • Rates are set between broker/shipper and carrier
  • Some plans offer rate insights and trends data

Mobile App

  • 4.6 star rating on App Store
  • 3.8 star rating on Google Play

Quickpay / Factoring

  • Offers non-recourse factoring (limits when uncollectible invoices must be repaid) with rates starting at 2.99%

Advertised Volume

  • Live stats on the Truckstop website
  • 35K+ Flatbed
  • 20K+ Heavy Haul

Integrations

  • EZ Loader TMS, Prime Software TMS, Rose Rocket TMS, and Turvo Logistics

Pricing

Carriers
  • Basic: $39/month for limited features, including load searching, instant booking options, and negotiation tools.
  • Advanced: $125/month. Adds route planners, IFTA calculator, and broker credit checks.
  • Pro: $149/month. Adds multiple features, including load comparison tools, rate insights, heat maps, and best-paying loads search.
Brokers 
  • Basic: $99/month for limited features including negotiation tools, and unlimited search and load posting.
  • Pro: $219/month. Adds many features, including carrier performance ratings, real-time updates, and the ability to post “book it now” loads for your preferred carriers.
  • Premium: $349/month for all features. Adds carrier monitoring tools and predictive carrier sourcing to proactively identify carriers by lane. 
Shipper 
  • Basic: $99/month for limited features including negotiation tools, and unlimited search and load posting.
  • Advanced: $160/month. Adds carrier performance ratings, rate insights, and carrier credit ratings.
  • Pro: $219/month. Adds real-time updates, load insights, and the ability to post “book it now” loads for your preferred carriers.

123Loadboard

Overview

123Loadboard offers a free trial for carriers, making it one of the easier load boards to check out in full before committing. Brokers have the option to lower their monthly subscription fee by posting through an integrated TMS or API.


Customers

  • Carriers, Brokers, & Shippers

Specialty

  • All Freight

Rates

  • Rates are set between broker/shipper and carrier
  • Some plans offer industry rate insights

Mobile App

  • 4.9 star rating on App Store
  • 4.8 star rating on Google Play

Quickpay / Factoring

  • Partners with Thunder Funding to offer invoice factoring and fuel advances 

Advertised Volume

  • 53.6M+ truckloads posted annually
  • 88,614 qualified carriers

Integrations

  • 30+ TMS integrations

Pricing

Carriers 
  • 10-day free trial for all carrier plans
  • Standard: $35/month for limited features and maximum 1 user. Includes real-time load alerts and mobile app access.
  • Premium: $45/month for up to 2 users. Adds multiple features, including mileage and maps through PC*Miler, broker credit scores, and a load planner.
  • Premium Plus: $55/month for up to 3 users. Adds industry rate data, and enhanced mileage, maps and tolls.
Brokers 
  • Enterprise: $99/month for full features including messaging and bidding tools, and unlimited search and load posting.
  • $49/month for brokers posting through an integrated TMS or API

TruckerPath

Overview

TruckerPath includes a load board within a package of trucking business tools that include ELD, navigation, and dispatcher services. The load board is available as a free standalone for carriers, but the free model is limited and includes display ads on the interface. Paid plans remove the ads and offer more robust tools for finding the best loads.


Customers

  • Carriers, Brokers, & Shippers

Specialty

  • All Freight

Rates

  • Rates are set between broker/shipper and carrier
  • Some plans offer industry rate insights

Mobile App

  • 4.7 star rating on App Store
  • 4.1 star rating on Google Play

Quickpay / Factoring

  • Offers non-recourse freight factoring through InstaPay 

Advertised Volume

  • 800K+ brokers
  • 150K+ daily loads

Integrations

  • TruckerPath offers its own TMS, and also integrates with 10 TMS partners

Pricing

Carriers 
  • Free access with ads and limited load views
  • Essential: $16.67/month for ad-free viewing, broker credit scores, and unlimited load views.
  • Preferred: $33.33/month. Adds 30-day rate data, fuel surcharge calculator, and live load alerts.
  • Ultimate: $74.99/month. Adds multiple features, including bid data from other carriers, rate trends by lane, and market power reports for origin and destination cities.
Brokers 
  • Free access to post loads only
  • Premium: (still in beta testing, not yet available). Will include unlimited truck search, carrier management, GPS tracking, market rates, and capacity tools.

Comfreight

Overview

While Comfreight started out as a load board , they have since expanded to  financial offerings that  support their load board. The load board requires a subscription but they do not advertise pricing.


Customers

  • Carriers, Brokers, & Shippers

Specialty

  • All Freight

Rates

  • Rates are set between broker/shipper and carrier

Mobile App

  • 4.3 star rating on App Store
  • 4.2 star rating on Google Play

Quickpay / Factoring

  • Offers a range of freight factoring and Quickpay options through Haulpay by Comfreight 

Advertised Volume

  • None advertised

Integrations

  • API integration with most TMS software

Pricing

Carriers 
  • Free sign-up, but unclear what access is available without payment. 
  • Paid plan pricing by request only
Brokers 
  • Same pricing and access as Carriers

Direct Freight

Overview

Direct Freight offers free and subscription service load board access to carriers and brokers. The load board focuses on truck and van loads only. Specialized loads like heavy hauling are not included. While still offering 10K+ loads daily, they have less available volume than some others on this list.


Customers

  • Carriers, Brokers, & Shippers

Specialty

  • Truckloads Only

Rates

  • Rates are set between broker/shipper and carrier

Mobile App

  • 4.0 star rating on App Store
  • 3.8 star rating on Google Play

Quickpay / Factoring

  • Offers freight factoring through a partnership with Riviera Finance

Advertised Volume

  • None advertised
  • Daily volume 10K+ according to active load map

Integrations

  • McLeod, Descartes Aljex, MercuryGate, Trimble

Pricing

Carriers 
  • Free plan with limited features that include searches and basic credit information
  • Premium: $34.95/month. Adds additional search functionality, full credit reports, profit reports, and freight rate averages. 15-day free trial.
Brokers 
  • Same pricing and access as Carriers

BulkLoads.com
Best Load Board for Bulk Freight

Overview

BulkLoads runs a free to access load board matching bulk freight brokers and shippers with available carriers. Grain loads, fertilizer, and liquid freight are the most common. BulkLoads covers all US states and Canada, but the highest volume is found in the Midwest and Texas.


Customers

  • Carriers, Brokers, & Shippers

Specialty

  • Bulk Freight

Rates

  • Rates are set between broker/shipper and carrier

Mobile App

  • 4.8 star rating on App Store
  • 4.7 star rating on Google Play

Quickpay / Factoring

  • Offers freight factoring and fuel cards through partnership with Smart Freight Funding 

Advertised Volume

  • Used by 12K+ bulk freight companies
  • Highest volume offered in Midwest and Texas

Integrations

  • None advertised

Pricing

Carriers 
  • Free access, but reviews indicate premium search features are charged separately
Brokers 
  • Same pricing and access as Carriers

Fr8star

Overview

Fr8star specializes in heavy haul and oversize loads, and has begun offering general freight on its load board. The platform includes search filters for a variety of specialized equipment options, including flatbeds and step decks. Carriers and brokers are ranked in tiers according to customer feedback and number of jobs completed.


Customers

  • Carriers, Brokers, & Shippers

Specialty

  • Heavy Haul and Oversized Loads

Rates

  • Rates are set between broker/shipper and carrier

Mobile App

  • Not yet rated on App Store or Google Play

Quickpay / Factoring

  • Not offered

Advertised Volume

  • None advertised
  • Specialized load board with growing offering for general freight

Integrations

  • AuctionTime.com, Equipmentfacts, HiBid

Pricing

Carriers 
  • Free plan with limited features that include in-app messaging and load tracking
  • Full Access: $25/week (~$108.33/month). Adds carrier board access, bidding rights, preferred load board, and dedicated customer rep.
Brokers 
  • Basic:$25/week for limited features that include rate calculator, merchant processing, and load tracking.
  • Pro: $49/week. Adds bid comparison tools and instant rates. 
  • Premium: $99/week. Adds feature sharing shipper contact information with the broker.

Central Dispatch
‍‍ Best Load Board for Car Haulers

Overview

Central Dispatch specializes in auto transportation loads. Carriers are able to add shippers to preferred and blocked lists to make favored loads more visible. Central Dispatch is not a broker, but recommends BATS CRM as their preferred broker.


Customers

  • Carriers, Brokers, & Shippers

Specialty

  • Auto Transport

Rates

  • Rates are set between broker/shipper and carrier

Mobile App

  • No mobile app

Quickpay / Factoring

  • Not offered

Advertised Volume

  • No advertised volume
  • Used by 13K+ auto transportation companies

Integrations

  • BATS CRM

Pricing

Carriers 
  • Pricing details have been removed from the Central Dispatch website
  • Previously advertised pricing began at $104.95/month for carriers
Brokers 
  • Pricing details have been removed from the Central Dispatch website
  • Previously advertised pricing began at $59.95/month for shippers

MyVirtualFleet

Overview

MyVirtualFleet provides a load board just for small loads, hot shot, and expedited shipments. They also offer GPS tracking, compliance tools, and an accounting module. Each solution is priced separately.


Customers

  • Carriers, Brokers, & Shippers

Specialty

  • Cargo Vans, Sprinters, & Straight Trucks

Rates

  • Rates are set between broker/shipper and carrier

Mobile App

  • 3.4 star rating on App Store
  • 3.6 star rating on Google Play

Quickpay / Factoring

  • Not offered

Advertised Volume

  • No advertised volume

Integrations

  • None

Pricing

Carriers 
  • Pricing by request only
  • $100/month for GPS tracking
  • Claims to be inexpensive
Brokers 
  • Pricing by request only
  • Claims to be inexpensive

Best Free Load Boards for Truckers

Carriers looking for free load boards have no shortage of options. Many brokers host their own load boards with just their loads. “Digital brokers” like Convoy and Uber Freight also host their own loads but offer technology that saves carriers from making any phone calls to book a load. Some load boards also make money by offering services like factoring or only charging fees to brokers/shippers.


TruckSmarter
‍‍ Best Free Load Board

Overview

TruckSmarter is a completely free to use load board for both carriers, brokers, and shippers. With an advertised volume of 100k+ high quality loads each day, it’s easy to see how this load board has grown in popularity.


Specialty

  • All Freight

Rates

  • Rates are set between broker/shipper and carrier

Quickpay / Factoring

  • TruckSmarter earns its income by offering 2% factoring. Carriers must apply and enter into a contract to take part in this program. Factoring contracts can be canceled with 30 days notice.

Mobile App

  • 4.8 star rating on App Store
  • 4.8 star rating on Google Play

Transfix

Overview

Transfix is a digital broker running a free load board through its dedicated app for carriers. The platform also offers an optional dedicated drop network.


Specialty

  • All Freight

Rates

  • Rates are set by the Transfix algorithm

Quickpay / Factoring

  • 48 hour quickpay available through partnership with TriumphPay

Mobile App

  • 4.8 star rating on App Store
  • 4.7 star rating on Google Play

RXO

Overview

RXO is a digital broker that claims to have one of the largest load volumes in the business. This can make their free load board an attractive draw for carriers. RXO also maintains a network of last mile service providers.


Specialty

  • All Freight

Rates

  • Rates are set by RXO
  • RXO Choice program lets approved owner operators define preferred rates by lane

Quickpay / Factoring

  • 30-day standard free processing
  • Quick Pay options include: 2-day payments at a 3% discount, 7-day payments at a 2% discount, or 15-day payments at a 1% discount

Mobile App

  • 4.8 star rating on App Store
  • 4.4 star rating on Google Play

Nextload

Overview

Nextload is free for both carriers and brokers/shippers. A variety of search criteria are available, including minimum rates, partial truck loads, and company name. Nextload also highlights companies that have a credit relationship with their parent company, Apex Capital.


Specialty

  • All Freight

Rates

  • Rates are set between broker/shipper and carrier

Quickpay / Factoring

  • NextLoad is a product of Apex Capital, which offers freight factoring and fuel loans
  • Rates vary
  • Advertises payment in minutes

Mobile App

  • 4.6 star rating on App Store
  • 4.4 star rating on Google Play

Uber Freight

Overview

Uber Freight is a digital broker matching shippers with available carriers. Rates on the load board are set by Uber Freight’s algorithm.


Specialty

  • All Freight

Rates

  • Rates are set by Uber Freight

Quickpay / Factoring

  • Quickpay options available
  • LightningPay 2 hour settlements via the Uber Freight Card

Mobile App

  • 4.6 star rating on App Store
  • 4.4 star rating on Google Play

Convoy

Overview

Convoy is a digital freight broker that offers a wide range of load opportunities. They have recently broadened their offering to post loads from other brokers as well. Carriers enter bids on loads, which can lead to lower rates as carriers bid against each other to secure a load.


Specialty

  • All Freight

Rates

  • Carriers bid on loads

Quickpay / Factoring

  • Quickpay offers payment in two days for no fee, or within 8 hours with a fee

Mobile App

  • 4.7 star rating on App Store
  • 4.2 star rating on Google Play

Amazon Relay

Overview

Amazon Relay is a digital broker connecting carriers with shippers through the Amazon network. Approved carriers are able to book loads instantly from the load board.

You can read our full guide to Amazon Relay here.


Specialty

  • Dry van, reefer, power-only, and box truck

Rates

  • Rates are set by Amazon

Quickpay / Factoring

  • Amazon pays on a weekly pay cycle

Mobile App

  • 4.7 star rating on App store
  • 4.1 star rating on Google Play

TQL Load Board

Overview

TQL is a digital broker that maintains a decent volume (65K+ per week) load board free for carriers. The complimentary Carrier Dashboard web portal and mobile app automate steps like check-calls and invoices.


Specialty

  • All Freight

Rates

  • Rates are set by TQL

Quickpay / Factoring

  • 28-day standard processing
  • 7-day quickpay at 3% of gross pay
  • 1-day quickpay at 5% of gross pay

Mobile App

  • 4.9 star rating on App Store
  • 4.6 star rating on Google Play

Doft

Overview

Doft is a load pairing app that runs similarly to Uber or Lyft. A percentage (typically 4.99%) is charged to both shippers and carriers for using the app. Doft also offers a fee-based premium membership for carriers that offers features like rate calculation tools and instant book offers.


Specialty

  • All Freight

Rates

  • Carriers bid on loads and shippers select their preferred bid

Quickpay / Factoring

  • Quickpay is available to premium members. Factoring is offered on a recourse basis at 2.49%

Mobile App

  • 4.6 star rating on App Store
  • 4.6 star rating on Google Play

Loadsmart

Overview

Loadsmart is also a digital broker that also offers a free TMS service for carriers and 1.5% factoring. Loadsmart also offers a management system for shippers that is priced per module and feeds into the load board.


Specialty

  • All Freight

Rates

  • Rates are set by Loadsmart

Quickpay / Factoring

  • Loadsmart offers quickpay through a partnership with TriumphPay and factoring at 1.5%

Mobile App

  • 4.4 star rating on App Store
  • 3.6 star rating on Google Play

GoShare

Overview

GoShare is a digital broker focused on hot shot and on-demand delivery shipments. Smaller vehicles and couriers are the primary carrier audience.


Specialty

  • Hot shot loads
  • Pickup trucks, cargo vans, box trucks, courier service

Rates

  • Estimates set by GoShare, followed by carrier bids and customer selection

Quickpay / Factoring

  • No quickpay options
  • Customer invoices processed through GoShare - standard processing in 4-5 days
  • Pay advances through a partnership with Level

Mobile App

  • 4.8 star rating on App Store
  • 2.7 star rating on Google Play

DrayNow

Overview

DrayNow is a specialized management platform connecting intermodal freight shippers and brokers with carriers. Unlike traditional load boards, DrayNow facilitates the booking and management process, including payment to carriers.


Specialty

  • Drayage

Rates

  • Rates are listed

Quickpay / Factoring

  • Quickpay on all loads

Mobile App

  • 3.6 star rating on App Store
  • 3.7 star rating on Google Play

Cargomatic

Overview

Cargomatic is a digital broker boasting a network of 35K+ carriers. This load board focuses primarily on local freight.


Specialty

  • Local, Drayage, Intermodal

Rates

  • Rates are set by Cargomatic

Quickpay / Factoring

  • Quickpay offered in alignment with industry standards
  • No details provided on website

Mobile App

  • 3.7 star rating on App Store
  • 3.1 star rating on Google Play

Flock Freight

Overview

Flock Freight is a digital broker with a free load board for carriers. Carriers can also opt to receive notification emails for loads matching their preferred criteria.


Specialty

  • All Freight

Rates

  • Instant book rates set by Flock Freight
  • Carriers can also submit bids on some loads
  • Shippers can request quotes through the platform

Quickpay / Factoring

  • 30-day standard processing
  • Quickpay available but rates are undisclosed

Mobile App

  • No mobile app

uShip

Overview

uShip connects carriers with individual customers, often with small loads. The load board best suits carriers looking for LTL or hot shot rather than full truckloads.


Specialty

  • LTL, hot shot

Rates

  • Carriers can place quotes (bids) on customer listings. Some listings can be booked without bids, depending on the customer’s preference.

Quickpay / Factoring

  • None offered
  • Customers pay a deposit when they accept a carrier’s quote. That deposit goes to pay uShip fees. Payment timing after delivery depends on payment terms agreed with the customer.

Mobile App

  • 2.2 star rating on App Store
  • 3.5 star rating on Google Play

Warp

Overview

Warp connects their approved carriers with loads by emailing out bids matching the carrier’s location and preferences. The carrier can respond by accepting a suggested rate, placing a bid, or refusing the load.


Specialty

  • All Freight

Rates

  • Warp suggests rates, or carriers can provide a bid

Quickpay / Factoring

  • WARP offers quick pay (4% fee) for next-day payment, net-7 (3% fee), net-15 (2% fee), or 30-day payment (in full)

Mobile App

  • 2.4 star rating on App Store
  • Unrated on Google Play

Shiply

Overview

Shiply is a free marketplace where individual customers connect with delivery services. Carriers bid on each customer’s listing, and the customer then selects their preferred bid. The platform includes search terms that include full truckload and car hauling listings.


Specialty

  • Auto transport, small loads, full truckloads also available

Rates

  • Customers create listings for carriers to bid on. Customers then select their preferred carrier based on quotes.

Quickpay / Factoring

  • None offered. Payments made by customers to carriers through the platform. Shiply adds its fee to each quote.

Mobile App

  • Unrated on App Store
  • 1.4 star rating on Google Play

TMS with Specialized Load Boards

Some TMS platforms offer load boards directly from their app interface. More often than not, these software solutions pull in third-party load boards such as the ones above. However, some solutions have proprietary load boards available. While these will only be applicable to carriers in a given niche, they are worth considering for businesses operating specialty fleets.

Trux – Best Load Board for Dump Trucks

Trux is a management and accounting tool for dump truck owner operators and brokers. The software includes a load board dedicated to dump truck loads.

Try Trux

Additional Load Boards

  • Fedex
  • JB Hunt
  • CH Robinson
  • Coyote
  • Schneider
  • Knight Swift
  • Malone
  • Trulos
  • Stylectus
  • Synergy RV Transport

FAQs

What is a load board?

A load board is a freight matching service that that connects shippers, freight brokers, and carriers so they can exchange information about available loads and trucks for transportation.

Shippers and freight brokers post available loads with details such as pickup/delivery locations, the type of cargo, and the sometimes the rate. Carriers can then search and book available loads.

Who uses load boards?

Shippers and freight brokers use load boards to find carriers to transport their cargo, while carriers use them to find loads. Load boards are used by both large and small trucking companies and are often essential for small carriers and independent owner-operators who may not have established relationships with shippers or freight brokers.

Even carriers that have contract lanes might use load boards to avoid deadhead miles on a return trip.

How can I get started using load boards?

Getting started using load boards is a straightforward process for brokers, shippers, and carriers. Here’s what the typical process looks like:

  • Research – Use the criteria and summaries we outline above to find load boards that best fit your needs.
  • Register – Set up an account with your chosen load boards. You’ll likely need to provide your contact and business information, such as company name, phone number, and email address. 
  • Post or Search Loads – Brokers and shippers can post loads with criteria like origin, destination, and load type. Carriers search the load boards to find loads that work for them. 
  • Booking – Carriers typically contact the broker/shipper or submit a bid through the load board to finalize terms. Some load boards also offer automated booking options.
  • Payment – After delivery, carriers can wait for payment through traditional means, or opt for quick pay or factoring company payments. Some load boards facilitate these payment options as well as coordinating loads.

How much do load boards cost?

Many load boards are free to use. Premium load boards can cost anywhere from $25/month to $200+/month depending on the customer type and features.

Free load boards typically offer only limited features or loads. Companies that offer free access generally earn income through ads/product placement on the load board or by offering other income-generating services like factoring or quickpay. For example, TruckSmarter is free to use for carriers and brokers but they make money by offering 2% factoring. 

Subscription-based load boards that charge by the week, month, or year tend to offer the most robust features. The best features are reserved for the higher-cost subscription plans. These features make it easier to pinpoint the highest paying loads and shipping lanes with sortable data and rate research. For example, DAT offers carriers a limited feature plan from $45 per month. Unlocking all of the features available to carriers on DAT’s load board is priced at $295 per month.

Can you factor freight from load boards?

Yes, some load boards even offer freight factoring directly, while others connect carriers to third-party factoring companies.

Not all load boards will facilitate freight factoring, so check our guide above to highlight those who offer this option.

Which load board is the best?

The best load board will depend on your business and its current needs. We’ve found these load boards to be the top rated overall:

Best Free Load Board for Carriers

While TruckSmarter is a free load board for truckers, shippers, and brokers, it also received the most positive app store ratings of all load boards we researched. 

Best Load Board for Flatbed

Truckstop is a popular load board that advertises 35K+ flatbed loads each day. Tiered pricing to match business needs for carriers and brokers.

Best Load Board for Cargo Van

GoShare specializes in hot shot, expedited, and small shipment loads, making it popular for smaller vehicle carriers.

Best Load Board for Freight Brokers

DAT has some of the most robust features to help freight brokers check rates and find trusted carriers quickly.

What load boards pay the most?

Load boards do not usually set rates directly, unless the load board is run by a broker. Most load boards leave the rates to what is negotiated between the carriers and the shippers or brokers posting the loads. 

Some load boards allow carriers to sort loads by the highest paying rates or provide data to help carriers identify high paying lanes. Using these features can help carriers increase their rates and go after the best loads.

What is a direct shipper or broker-free load board?

Direct shipper or broker-free load boards is usually a misnomer as the company providing the load board is acting as the broker in most cases.

Who has load boards?

A wide range of companies can host load boards including:

  • Load board companies – Some companies specialize in providing load boards, these are typically premium load boards that charge users
  • Brokers/Shippers – Brokers and even large shippers frequently host their own load boards so carriers can quickly find their available loads
  • Trucking Companies – It’s not uncommon for large trucking companies to have their own internal load boards for their drivers and owner operators to access
  • Factoring companies – Many factoring companies offer free load boards as a way to help their carriers
  • TMS Solutions – A number of TMS companies also offer load boards within their software
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