If you're in the trucking industry, finding the right load board is critical for optimizing operations and maximizing your profits. But with so many options available, it might be difficult for your business to know where to start. 

Having the right load board will unlock your trucking operations potential by streamlining your search for the best freight and maximizing truck utilization, boosting efficiency and profitability. 

If you're tired of the endless search for the ideal loads, outdated listings, and inefficient processes, you're in luck. Today, we're prepared to navigate the world of load boards by exploring some of the top providers and helping you match the right tools to your unique trucking needs.


What is a load board?

What is loadboard2

Load boards are online platforms designed to connect shippers to available capacity through brokers, or directly to the carriers themselves. Dispatchers can browse listings for loads that match their trucks' availability and specific lane preferences. Then, they can submit bids to compete for the business.

As you can see, load boards are essential tools for trucking dispatchers. Dispatchers couldn't find new business, fill dead head miles , and improve their efficiency without them.

Benefits of using load boards



Load boards offer a wide range of benefits for trucking industry businesses, including:

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Increased freight access:

Using a load board will give you access to a vast array of shippers and expand your opportunities to build connections and diversify your clientele.

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Improved efficiency:

Load boards will help you find loads that match your trucks’ availability and lane preferences. This will save you time and money by reducing the need to search for loads through a more traditional, manual process.

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Competitive pricing:

When you use a load board, you can compare various rates from shippers to identify the best possible price for your loads.

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Greater flexibility:

Load boards offer much more flexibility in choosing the loads you want to haul. After you've used one or more for a while, there's a great chance you'll have increased profits and optimized your operations.


Types of load boards


Load boards are not all the same – most offer unique features and benefits that may either appeal to your business directly or even be the opposite of what you're looking for. That's why it's important to know the difference between the types of load boards out there.

Free load boards

Free load boards are available to anyone who might need them. These platforms often feature limited functionalities and may include listings that are less frequently updated. While these aspects require careful navigation, free load boards remain an integral component of freight sourcing for many carriers.

Paid load boards

Paid load boards require a subscription fee and offer more features and benefits, like access to real-time load information and more specific, advanced search capabilities. Beyond just listings, paid load boards often provide valuable tools for business management, including credit information on shippers and brokers, detailed analytics to aid in decision-making, and personalized support services.

Traditional load boards

A traditional load board lists the loads available for immediate shipment and helps you connect to them with contact information, etc. They typically have a very straightforward interface that's easier for those new to load boards and are accessible with free or low-cost options. However, they often don’t work in real-time – thus, their information can be less accurate. You may also find a need to negotiate directly with shippers after choosing a load due to a lack of transparent pricing on the board itself.

Real-time load boards/smart load boards

Smart load boards provide access to loads updated in real-time, helping you stay ahead of the game with current market data and giving you a competitive advantage in finding the best loads quickly. Here are some features you'll frequently see on these boards:

LT_Clock Repeat Live data & automatic updates: Listings refresh frequently, minimizing the risk of pursuing no longer available loads.
LT_Filter Advanced filtering and lane matching: Quickly filter loads that match your equipment, lane preferences, and desired destination.
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Automation tools: Some provide bidding capabilities or suggest loads tailored to your business needs.
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Communication features: Sometimes smart load boards include messaging abilities to communicate with shippers or brokers directly within the platform.
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Analytics: Advanced load boards may provide market insights, helping you analyze trends and make informed pricing decisions.


It’s important to remember that not all smart load boards offer the same features. You’ll need to research providers to find the ones with the most important functionalities for your operations.

Specialized load boards

If you need a more specialized load board that focuses on specific types of freight – think oversized or overweight loads, refrigerated goods, or hazardous materials – there are quite a few available for more niche operators in the trucking industry.


Best trucking load board providers


Now that you have a better idea about the diversity of load boards let's talk about the best of the best. If you want to take advantage of the very best features modern load boards have to offer, these are the providers to look to first:



$50 - $200+ /month

DAT is one of the most popular load boards. They're known for their extensive network of shippers and carriers and standard features like real-time load updates, lane matching, credit checks, and more. DAT also provides powerful tools like market rate insights, which enable you to negotiate the best price for your services more confidently. They offer a free version with simplified features and subscription plans ranging from around $50 to $200+ per month, with variations depending on desired features.




$39 - $149+ /month

Truckstop is another popular paid load board used by many dispatchers. Along with features like real-time load updates, lane matching, credit checks, and other standard features, Truckstop emphasizes tools that help you streamline your workflow. These include document management solutions and factoring services that help you speed up your payment processes. Their pricing is similar to DAT – tiered and dependent on the functionalities your business requires, ranging between $39 and $149+.


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123Loadboard is a popular free load board offering the same essential features as paid load boards but with a simpler, straightforward functionality. If you're just getting started, this is an excellent option for your trucking business.


Uber Freight

Uber Freight

Uber Freight is a newcomer to the industry and an entirely digital freight marketplace focusing primarily on ease of use and modern technology. You can expect real-time load updates and lane matching alongside advanced features like automated booking, upfront load and facility details, and instant pricing tools that help you modernize your load-finding process. Pricing here tends to be per load so that costs may fluctuate depending on your shipment volume.



J. B. Hunt

If you're already contracted with JB Hunt, their free load board offers access to their substantial network of shippers with all the core features you'd expect from the highest quality load boards in the industry. JB Hunt also prioritizes carrier-focused tools like quick pay options and convenient document management. Plus, they offer the unique advantage of seamless integration with the broader JB Hunt Carrier 360 ecosystem to enable a more connected experience.

Choosing the right load board for your business

Choosing the right load board

Making the best choice of load boards for your business can significantly affect the efficiency and success of your trucking dispatch operations. You should consider which features are most important to you, your budget, and the type of freight you typically handle.

Remember to read reviews, explore free trials, and directly compare features between load boards before you commit to a paid subscription. It's fine to experiment with different boards over time to decide which one is the best fit for your unique business needs!

Learn more about truck dispatching in "The Ultimate Guide to Truck Dispatching: Everything You Need to Know."



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