LOAD BOARDS AND THEIR IMPACT ON SMALL TRUCK AND LTL FREIGHT BUSINESS
The increase in use of smaller trucks has had several impacts on the LTL shipping on the larger class 8 (semi tractor-trailers).
Unfortunately, two very serious complications have grown out the increased use of smaller trucks. The first fact is that just about
anyone with a truck and trailer can haul a shipment, even those that do not meet the requirements as FMCSA compliant carriers.
The pitfall here is that rarely do the unregistered carriers maintain the mandatory insurance minimums for liability and cargo insurance.
Since they are not under the scrutiny and regulation as the compliant carriers are, they are not subjected to the driver's qualifications
and vehicle/equipment inspections and standards that legal compliant carriers must satisfy. This creates the potential for unqualified
drivers and inadequate or unsafe equipment to be hauling freight on the nation's highways. This poses a “real and present danger” to
The second issue, the explosion of “load matching services” that have sprouted all over the Internet. Unlike legitimate freight load boards,
many of these Internet matching services perform no screening of the qualifications of the transporters and do not prohibit non compliant
transporters from using the load matching services. Although the service is much like a broker’s service, these boards are not regulated
or licensed as brokers and assume no liability for any consequences resulting from bad services, unsafe operations, or unscrupulous
The combination of these two factors has given rise to a tremendous number of horror stories being reported through out the country.
Stories frequently include theft and loss of shipments; overcharges; damaged shipments; late or non delivery of shipments; and a variety
of combinations that have resulted in shippers suffering losses and damage as a result of utilizing non compliant haulers that freely use
these so called “load matching services”. Here, as much as anywhere, the old adage of “buyer beware” is very appropriate. It is the
responsibility of each shipper to verify their selected transporter’s credentials, insurance, and legal right to transport shipments across
state lines. Through this site's work we will discuss how a shipper can verify the legitimacy of a compliant motor carrier and take
precautions to reduce the risks of becoming a victim of illegal haulers.
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Some sites work differently from other load boards in that they operate similar to a reverse auction. A shipper lists an item and
transporters bid on it There is no contact allowed between the shipper and bidder except through the website since direct
communications is prohibited. You may also encounter "phantom" loads that do not exist. There also appears to be numerous auction
buyers that have nothing to ship but only want quotes or shipping cost ideas before bidding. All this can be extremely time consuming
and often wastes the motor carrier's time for hours or days ending in no transaction.
One of the most often heard criticisms of some load boards by legal motor carriers is the fact that they don't screen any of their
motor carriers for legality. Several claim to be a neutral venue denying they're a transportation service provider or broker. When they
do not screen their transporters or verify their legal credentials, i.e. motor carrier authority & insurance, they can become a haven for
illegal transporters operating without interstate motor carrier authority and often with no insurance. Since those transporters do not
have all the expenses of a legal motor carrier, they can offer a much reduced rate. The end result is that you are competing with illegal
motor carriers who have an unfair advantage. Unfortunately, even when the load board staff is made aware that someone is operating
illegally, they rarely take action.
The forum portion of our website is a place where you can meet and exchange transportation ideas. Many of our members are
motorcycle, boat, and auto transporters and they have a wealth of experience and knowledge available for your use. . Feel free to
check it out and ask any questions you want in our forum. Click on the stop sign at the top of any page to view the activities we have