Where are load boards heading?

Discussion in 'Freight Broker Forum' started by FreightMike, Mar 10, 2021.

  1. FreightMike

    FreightMike Bobtail Member

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    I have noticed that the big players in the digital freight broker space are really gaining momentum.

    What do you guys think about the direction load boards are going in? Do you think there is a place for a disrupter in this space?

    My experience with ITS / DAT as a broker has always been that there is a lack of personalization between myself and the truckers, I feel that there are still lots of 'spray and pray' tactics that's put us in a tough position to negotiate etc. I'd love to see more transparency between how we cover spot freight.

    What do y'all think?
     
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  3. rollin coal

    rollin coal Road Train Member

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    What exactly do you mean by transparency? It's a buzzword that gets used a lot. Imo the brokerages that have their own internal loadboards are the disrupters or at least the ones that do it very well are. They don't need DAT or ITS. Fortunately for DAT and ITS not very many brokerages have figured it out.
     
  4. FreightMike

    FreightMike Bobtail Member

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    There seems to be a lack of transparency created by the posting tactics used by both carriers and brokers that leads to a lot of inefficiencies. More transparency in the form of load/truck details, rates, carrier/broker quality, and even posting habits may lead to less time being wasted on both sides.

    I think you bring up a great point about digital brokerages who have their own load boards. They’ve been able to personalize their access to the carriers in their network and maximize engagement on their freight. It’s something that’s tough for small or mid-sized brokers to replicate when they’re using load boards.
     
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  5. TallJoe

    TallJoe Road Train Member

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    I stick to bigger brokers 99% to avoid headaches - all of them have their own load boards. I have not done a new broker-carrier setup in over two years now.
    I STILL use more expensive version of DAT and the cheapest version of ITS for reference and market reconnaissance - big guys sometimes post in their load boards for less than in DAT and ITS and the very fact they they duplicate their posts may give additional ounce of information - at least, it let you know that they want to push the load.

    Brokers with their own apps and bidding ability are already transparent in the sense that you know who they are and you don't have to call them to find out details needed for finalizing the deal (with the exception fo CH Robinson and Schneider, their posts don't have info on shipper/receiver and commodity). Also, I find it easier to be more greedy over the keyboard vs. over the phone. They still call and try to soften you down but at least you know that they took the bait.
    DAT and ITS will be fine in the nearest future but it is hard to imagine any real competition. For example, I did subscribe to 123 Loadboard for over a year, and it was a well designed and functional load board with nice features and a nice mobile app - all of it was much better than ITS - but so what, if the number of loads posted there was nowhere near the other two?
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2021
  6. rollin coal

    rollin coal Road Train Member

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    I am amazed by how lousy CHRW's internal loadboard is. I would put them in the category that doesn't do it very well. I'm assuming for the CHRW core and key carriers (of which we are not) that what they see is probably different than what I see though. They could sure use an upgrade on it but they have well over 100 years of success in this business so its hard to argue with their results. But things can always be improved on.

    I used to book a lot of freight with them several years ago but now only very rarely. The rates were always good. And having a decent point of contact with them is the same as it is with any mega-brokerage or brokerage period. I agree with you in general megas versus small time brokers and I also never book with smaller brokers. Megas have options everywhere and that is useful. They also have good credit. On those rare occasions when I post my truck if someone calls and we aren't already set up, I hang up.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2021
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  7. TallJoe

    TallJoe Road Train Member

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    Right now, CHR can't keep up with the rates. Probably, they are the only big guys that don't see what has been going on. No matter what others pay, I never get a good rate with them.

    I think that the main reason why I stay away from the new set ups is that I have grown to resent those obscure, ambiguous contract paragraphs and things they want me to agree with. Almost every one of them has something that I have a problem with, either by lack of comprehension of what exactly they try to make me agree with or my own overinterpretation. And there is never time to consult with a lawyer, even if I knew any.
     
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  8. Midwest Trucker

    Midwest Trucker Road Train Member

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    Seems like a lot of people more and more prefer no contact type automated boards. I think there is going to be a tug of war between the two where at times the automated boards actually perform with higher rates then placing calls the more traditional way.

    Joe seems to be performing at a high level lately on the more bid type automated boards. The traditional method of placing calls I think will win out during more lean times. However, due to Joes results I’m wondering if maybe a more traditional style phone call operation like my own would be smart to make sure we’re playing both sides.

    I had somewhat assumed the bid style would be lower rates as there seems to be more and more english language struggling carriers but maybe that doesn’t matter at all. Time will tell.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2021
  9. Dino soar

    Dino soar Road Train Member

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    Well you know Joe one time I was really concerned with Clauses and detention and different things in the contract and I called ooida. The lady that I spoke with was extremely knowledgeable and she said the simplest most important thing I ever could have heard.

    She said no matter what you sign if you're working for a broker it's in their favor. If it's something you really can't deal with you have to just go find your own freight. But if you're working for a broker whatever is in that agreement guaranteed it's all for them and against you.

    So for me I do read through the agreements if it's a new broker but I just look for outrageous things. Often they're not in the agreement they're in the rate con.

    Like there was one company that the agreement was okay but on the rate con they said that if for some reason any reason any reason whatsoever the receiver refused the load whoever's fault it was or was not I would agree to haul the load back to the shipper at like fifty cents a mile. That went straight into the trash.

    And the other thing that she said was that on the rate con and I suppose in the agreement, if layover and detention and truck ordered not used is nowhere in there they don't have to pay you anything.
     
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  10. PPDCT

    PPDCT Road Train Member

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    One suspects that there's something to be said for that, but the issue is spread, and availability. I'd be curious as to if there's any "click and go" like the above that isn't proprietary to the firm that operates it. If there is, I'm not aware of it. And obviously, market cap is the other difference. If you don't have a bazillion loads, you're not going to get the requisite number of carriers interested in perusing your wares, as it were.

    One wonders.
     
  11. TallJoe

    TallJoe Road Train Member

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    I don't assume my results to be much better than average performance among all the pool of carriers working off loadboards. When it comes to bidding it is completely beyond my control of whether I can win or not. Times have been exceptionally good and I was willing to become a work - horse, maybe a little bit of knowing where to look and anticipate freight but most of it is luck. For the most part, you may look at my performance like an index fund, when I do well that means that the whole market does well and vice versa...lol. I still think that masters of hustle can do better. I always say when you work off load boards, you don't control market and rates, the market and rates control you.
     
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