Load boards make the car hauling world go round. And Super Dispatch has heard a lot of opinions on load boards. So we talked to brokers, carriers and dealers to create a series on car hauling load boards. This first post covers brokers and their opinions on the system as it stands.
?Are you a carrier/car hauler that wants to talk to about your wish list in a load board? Let us know in the comments, or email [email protected] ! We are putting together another article about carriers and load boards and are looking for more sources.
For many small brokers, car hauling load boards are the lifeline that connects their company to motor carriers. Load boards are essential for business. But the largest load boards can cause some serious stress for brokers, carriers and dealers alike. The jury is still out on whether existing load boards are completely effective or ineffective to brokers. But in the spirit of the holidays, here is a ?load board wish list? that we compiled from our broker interviews:
One of the largest car hauling load boards (Central Dispatch) takes a nearly completely transparent view of the transactions that take place there. If multiple brokers post the same load (because they all bought leads from the same lead broker – but only one of the six actually secured the contract) Central Dispatch has no way to reprimand five of the six brokers who posted without a contract. Even if this situation happens multiple times for the same broker, Central Dispatch doesn?t have an official policy to remove the broker.
?A broker like Autotransport123 has an F rating with the BBB…they are people that shouldn?t be in our industry. Somebody should say no to them,? an anonymous broker told Central Dispatch in November. ?They are working to get cancellations, not move cars. But Central Dispatch allows them to move cars, without even a proven contract. They don’t care if someone complains, they still take their money. This broker, like a few others, asked to stay anonymous. This broker wishes there were consequences for posting loads without a proven contract.
?We need a load board that gives a crap,? an anonymous broker said. ?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 Central Dispatch is just a medium to connect to carriers, not a legal entity.
We need a load board that gives a crap. 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.?
Regardless of their overall opinion of existing car hauling load boards, almost every broker thought that load boards need a more intricate rating system.
As it stands now, the largest load board Central Dispatch, has a minimal rating system. Carriers can rate a brokerage after a load, but the rating system has few options and no comment section.
?You should be able to give someone more ratings,? one anonymous broker 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.
That?s an interesting concept, but not new. 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 check marks next to their names – as a way to show brokers who is the most experienced.
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. 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 have to submit proof of insurance to Central Dispatch and other load boards to prove they are able to carry cars. But the system is easily gamed – for instance, a carrier can activate insurance for 30 days, submit it to Central Dispatch and then cancel the insurance. Because Central Dispatch does not regularly check up, it’s possible for carriers to get away with outdated insurance. Some brokers think that regular insurance checks are necessary considering what they pay. This means brokers have to do a lot more work to prove that Carriers are fit to carry a car:
The driver stops sending in document packets [on Central] because they are too lazy. So they have to send me a certificate holder copy, every time they move a damn car,? one broker said. ?How much of a waste of time is that when we are giving them [Central Dispatch] a million dollars a month? To have this crap on file and they provide nothing.
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 himself anyway.
To me, that’s the broker’s job, one large brokerage 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 Central does 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 Central Dispatch (and even Super Dispatch) need to be involved in disputes between carriers, brokers and shippers?
We heard so many suggestions, ideas and opinions that we couldn’t include all of them here. What do you think about current rating systems, certificate holding and accountability on load boards? Do you have a wish list?
Let us know in the comments or fill out this poll:
Published on December 17, 2018
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