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.
For those just looking for our top recommendations, here are our picks for the best load boards.
Interested in a personalized recommendation for your trucking business? Fill out the form below.
When reviewing load boards, we took the following factors into account.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Some load boards have started to offer Quickpay options to carriers for a small fee. Other load boards have integrated with factoring companies so carriers can quickly see which loads can be factored and then have a more streamlined process for factoring those loads.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Uber Freight is a digital broker matching shippers with available carriers. Rates on the load board are set by Uber Freight’s algorithm.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
GoShare is a digital broker focused on hot shot and on-demand delivery shipments. Smaller vehicles and couriers are the primary carrier audience.
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.
Cargomatic is a digital broker boasting a network of 35K+ carriers. This load board focuses primarily on local freight.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 is a management and accounting tool for dump truck owner operators and brokers. The software includes a load board dedicated to dump truck loads.
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.
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.
Getting started using load boards is a straightforward process for brokers, shippers, and carriers. Here’s what the typical process looks like:
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.
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.
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:
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.
Truckstop is a popular load board that advertises 35K+ flatbed loads each day. Tiered pricing to match business needs for carriers and brokers.
GoShare specializes in hot shot, expedited, and small shipment loads, making it popular for smaller vehicle carriers.
DAT has some of the most robust features to help freight brokers check rates and find trusted carriers quickly.
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.
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.
A wide range of companies can host load boards including: