June 24, 2015

Finding Your Freight

If you’ve already started down the path of running your own motor carrier company, you find yourself stuck at the most crucial part – finding freight. When looking for freight, it’s not so much finding random loads to haul here and there, but finding consistent work that is worth your time.
Thanks to technology, finding freight is easier than ever. There are resources all over that can help you grow your business, however, without the proper planning, the path to growing can be unclear and overwhelming. Unfortunately, these resources can also make the competition a little tougher. So how do you succeed in as a motor carrier company? Find out below!

Work Directly With Shippers

The most successful motor carriers develop relationships with shippers and only use brokers or load boards for their backhauls. You typically get paid more for loads without a middleman, like a broker. So keep your profit margins up by working directly with shippers as often as you can.

What Clientele Do You Want

Before you start chasing down loads, define the client you want to work with. It’s not only about if something is a good load or client, it’s knowing your target client. This will give you a clear perspective on what you want and how you can find them.
Here is a a list of some of the things you should look for in an ideal client:

  • A large, established shipper
  • Pays well and on time
  • Good reputation
  • Has regular work
  • Shipments are on lanes you want to drive

There’s never a perfect client, but you should be able to find clients who are perfect for you. This is the first step to growing your business and becoming successful.

Finding Your Load

  • Load Boards – In 1978, Dial-A-Truck took on the task of creating load boards for truck owners and fleets of all sizes. Now, with the creation of the internet, you can find instant information by using load board websites. Drivers and truck companies can look to see if they can service the driving need based on the equipment they have and where they are located. After a few clicks, they have the contact information to finalize the deal. The only downside of a load board is that truck drivers do have to pay a monthly subscription fee for the service and prices may vary depending on the level of service available through the site.
  • Freight Brokers – Many shippers have been moving away from in-house freight transportation over to third party freight brokers. A freight broker is licensed to match up drivers and shippers as a in between person and takes a percentage of the freight revenue as payment. This may allow drivers to reach the larger shipping public and get more consistent volumes customized to their equipment or location.
  • Industry Associations – One way to find clients is through industry associations with local chapters in your area. For example, if you are interested in moving cars, you may consider organizations like the National Automobile Dealers Associations, your local automobile dealers association or the American International Automobile Dealers. You don’t need to join these organizations; you just want the list of their local members. Once you have prospects, call the clients and speak to the person in charge of shipping. Try to set up a meeting, determine how they select their carriers and get on the list. This option gives you an advantage because while competitors are on load boards, you are doing the hard work and securing prime clients directly to give you the highest paying freight loads.

Starting your own company helps build our economy. Once you find your freight, you’re ready to grow. Although running your own company can be tasking, when you find the right clients for you, everything will run smooth.

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