For many small brokers, load boards are the lifeline that connects auto transport drivers to their business. Load boards continue to be common essential tools for auto transport brokers, with more load boards popping up every day each with more features and benefits than the last.
But even with their various benefits, load boards aren’t perfect; they can cause serious stress for brokers, carriers, and dealers alike, with some of the flaws pointed out by brokers including more accountability for users, having a more nuanced rating system, and checks on legal documentation; let’s discuss these supposed flaws, and whether load boards have the ability to fix them.
Let’s say that six different brokers post the same load on a load board, after buying the same lead list from the same lead broker – but only one of the six actually secured the contract. Only one broker inf that group would be legally posting that load, while the other five are promising access to a load that they don’t actually have. The other brokers would be breaking the rules — however, most major load boards have no way of reprimanding them.
This issue of load boards lacking policies for removing or banning rule-breakers opens the door for scammers. Generally, load boards don’t feel the need to police their users or keep them accountable. But many brokers disagree with this.
We believe that brokers with F-ratings shouldn’t be in this industry. “Somebody should say no to them,” an anonymous broker told Super Dispatch. “Brokers like that are working to get cancellations, not move cars. But these load boards allow them to move cars, without even a proven contract. [The Load board] doesn’t care if someone complains, they still take their money.” This broker, like a few others, asked to stay anonymous.
“We need a load board that cares,” the anonymous broker shared. “We need a load board that takes the [BBB rated] F-rated companies and kicks them off and says, “When you get back up to a C-rating, give us a call.”
Of course, not all brokers agree. Another anonymous broker said that they don’t think load boards should get in between carrier – broker disputes. To them, a load board is just a medium to connect to carriers, not a legal entity.
We need a load board that cares. We need a load board that takes the [BBB rated] F-rated companies and kicks them off.
Regardless of their overall opinion of existing load boards, nearly every broker believes that load boards need a more intricate rating system. In many cases, the two parties in a transaction (a broker or carrier) can only give a negative or positive rating to the business partner overall, without much nuance.
This results in good carriers who work with few brokers getting very little ratings, and bad experiences negatively changing the reputation of an entire business.
“You should be able to give someone more ratings,” Melissa at High End Transport said. “You should be able to rate every load [instead of the entire brokerage or carrier.] Because people may use the same carriers over and over again. So they may only haul for particular brokers, so it ends up being really low on your rating…If [a carrier] has under 2,000 ratings in the last ten years, obviously that’s not correct.”
One suggestion from a broker might surprise many carriers; one broker suggested that the freight also be rated by its relevance to market rate. If a load offer is low compared to market rate, the load should be labeled low rate.
Amazon, the largest online retail marketplace, allows customers to rate sellers by purchase. Why should any transaction-based business be any different? Other brokers thought that the most senior carriers should have stars or checkmarks next to their names – as a way to show brokers who is the most experienced.
One anonymous broker suggested that freight should also be rated by its relevance to market rate. If a load offer is low compared to market rate, the load should be labeled low rate. Or good rate or fair rate. This way, better paying brokers will rise to the top of the list and low-balling brokers will be forced to raise prices to meet market rate.
Carriers must submit proof of insurance to load boards in order to prove that they are able to be auto transport drivers. But the system is easily gamed – for instance, a carrier can activate insurance for 30 days, submit it to a load board, and then cancel the insurance. Because the load board does not regularly check on insurance, it’s possible for carriers to get away with outdated insurance.
“The driver stops sending in document packets [to the load board] for whatever reason. So they have to send me a certificate holder copy, every time they move a car,” one broker said. “How much of a waste of time is that when we are giving [them] a million dollars a month,” the broker said of the fees required to be a part of the mass load board system.
To me, that’s the broker’s job… If we go to a courtroom, and we brokered a load to a trucker and that trucker killed somebody…we [as brokers] can be held liable.
But not all brokers think that insurance certification is required of a load board. After all, without a load board, a broker has to verify carrier insurance by themselves anyway.
“To me, that’s the broker’s job,” Melissa at High End Transport said. “If we go to a courtroom, and we brokered a load to a trucker and that trucker killed somebody and it came out that his insurance wasn’t ready or whatever we [as brokers] can be held liable. Because in the court of law, it’s the broker’s job to check out the carriers so I think load boards do as much as they need to do in that situation.”
This brings the conversation back to the topic of technology as a decision maker.
Does technology like load boards (and even Super Dispatch) need to be involved in disputes between carriers, brokers and shippers?
This means that load boards can only survive by being compatible with carrier and broker auto transport software that processes loads like our own.
Analog load boards have their purpose: allowing carriers and brokers to connect with each other in a low-cost and simple way. These load boards will likely stay in the industry forever, as they provide an essential function.
But as the industry continues to progress forward, carriers and brokers will need smarter tools in addition to analog load boards. Regardless how analog load boards will be used in the future, they will need to work with all of the technology that is emerging – not against it.
New load boards (or existing ones) will catch up to new demands, like smart matching, carrier and broker vetting, and carrier tracking. And additionally, load boards must connect the industry together, not further fragment it.
This means that load boards can only survive by being compatible with carrier and broker auto transport software that processes loads like our own. Super Dispatch’s Super Loadboard is just this: a more advanced and modern load board, with the ability to a more advanced rating system, take loads directly from competing load boards like Central Dispatch, and a much more modern user interface. Super Loadboard has more features than other load boards, and integrates directly with Super Dispatch’s transportation management system.
Whether you’re an auto broker, dealer, auctioneer, or car hauler, Super Loadboard will help your business by making it easier than ever to search, find, and book loads online. Request a demo today!Published on May 4, 2019
The new way to transport cars