3 Best Load Boards for Freight Brokers

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Load boards have become an essential resource for freight brokers across the country. They are indispensable tools that help brokers quickly and efficiently locate carriers and connect them with new loads. The top load boards for brokers are full-service tools to find carriers, build new relationships, expand your business, and more.

Since load boards are such an essential piece of every brokerage, we thought brokers might benefit from our top 3 best load boards for freight brokers, and why we’ve chosen these boards over the many options out there. 

Consider These Factors Before Choosing a Load Board:

Most load boards come equipped with the usual tools and search functionalities you’d expect to be able to find carriers and connect them with loads. These boards operate like an online marketplace where carriers, shippers, brokers, owner-operators, and more can post or find available loads.

In addition to these standard tools, there are several factors brokers should consider before committing to a load board.

  1. Market Insights:

The best load boards for brokers provide market insights that can help brokers make more informed decisions, save money, and optimize their resources on every load. These insights are essential for most brokerages who want to grow.

Look for load boards that include lane insights and data, average route quotes, and freight market trends. Without this data at their fingertips, many brokers end up wasting time and money searching for data elsewhere, or ignore powerful insights resulting in under-optimized loads.

  1. Time to publish:

Some load boards have delays that can range from a few hours to several days before a post is shown. If a broker is stuck using one of these load boards, they may be missing out on deals that can be quickly picked up on other platforms.

Look for a load board with a reputation for posting quickly and fast turnaround times. Speed is essential for brokers to stay on top of client requirements and maintain a competitive advantage.

  1. Reliability:

When quickly finding and shipping loads is essential in maintaining your business and exceeding client expectations, the last thing a broker needs is their load board going down or being unavailable.

For example - DAT, one of the largest load boards in the country, has recently experienced several intermittent outages, causing frustration and lost productivity for thousands of brokers and carriers. 


(A screenshot from the DAT Status Page during outages in March 2024.)

“This outage — or whatever it is — is costing me money and time, which I don’t have.” - said a concerned carrier when speaking to FreightWaves about the outage.

When choosing a load board, be sure to investigate their reliability and any history of outages. Making the right decision before committing to a load board can save brokers both money and stress down the line.

  1. Large Network of Carriers:

Smaller load boards have a big challenge when it comes to access to a wide range of carriers. When selecting a load board, choosing one that has a large network of carriers can make a huge difference in how quickly a load is matched, regardless of the size or destination.

Small load boards can be efficient for some niche brokers, but for most it’s essential to have access to a large network of carriers across the country.

  1. Unlimited Searches:

Some load boards for brokers have limits on the number of searches that can be performed by any one account. This can be suitable for individuals or owner-operators who only need a small number of searches, but becomes far too restrictive for brokers who need to perform multiple searches daily. 

When choosing a load board for brokers, be sure to check that they have an option for unlimited searches available. 

3 Best Load Boards for Freight Brokers

Now that we know what to look for in a load board, here are our top recommendations for load boards for freight brokers:

  1. Truckstop: Truckstop.com

Truckstop was one of the earliest load boards to come online in 1995, and they’re still truckin’ along today. They boast over 80 million loads posted per year, have a large carrier network, essential search tools for brokers, real-time updates, and unlimited searches for brokers - ticking off most of our boxes for best load boards.

Market insights are also available for a fee with their Pro plan.

  1. 123Loadboard: 123Loadboard.com

123Loadboard has a variety of options and is widely used by brokers across the country. It’s often seen as a more affordable option with unlimited searches on every plan, provides real-time updates in their premium plan, and additional market insights such as lane rate averages are included in their premium plus plan.

They also have a large network of carriers with more than 72 million loads moved yearly. 

  1. Direct Freight: DirectFreight.com

Direct Freight is one of the oldest free load boards for brokers, and provides a unique experience by allowing both brokers and carriers to post loads without a fee. This low-cost option means that it has over 300,000 new loads posted every day, and gives brokers wide-reaching access to carriers.


In addition to unlimited searches, they also provide real-time updates and market insights with their premium plans.

Conclusion

Load boards are an essential part of a modern SmartBroker’s tech stack, and many brokers depend on them to expand their carrier network and last minute loads. While these tools are great, they’re no replacement for the tried and true methods of building strong, lasting relationships with carriers. The most successful brokers use a combination of load boards along with building a network of carriers they can rely on. 

Load boards are a fantastic tool, and can be essential to expand your brokerage’s network of carriers, find carriers for last-minute loads, and gain new insights into the market. Every broker should have a load board they know they can rely on as a piece of their technology stack.

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