We sat down with Ross Miller, a Carrier Sales Sourcing Specialist at a major brokerage, to...
Best Ways to Find Loads to Haul
Access to the correct loads is essential for any company, whether a business with one truck or an entire fleet. Owner-operators have found it increasingly challenging when looking for loads to haul because of unreliable supply chains and congested ports. These challenges have put a damper on the industry, creating even more hurdles.
Plus, the driver shortage is also causing issues. CNBC reported that there was “a shortage of 80,000 drivers last year, an all-time high that could reach 160,000 by 2030.” With the ongoing shortages, inflation, federal government concerns, and overall economic climate in 2023, the trucking industry is seeing multiple struggles for independent truck drivers. Even with truck drivers figuring out how to find loads to haul, the outlook for load searching still looks good and can be less time-consuming than ever. That’s because in our age of technology, there are many tools and more creative ways to find loads and freight matching than ever before.
For your business to remain lucrative, you must know how to obtain trucking contracts and locate loads for trucks.
1. Don’t Rely Only on Load Boards
With all the technology at your fingertips, who wants to cold call and prospect solely on load boards? Yes, load boards provide a vital service in aggregating available loads and capacity, but there are so many other options for finding freight! By leveraging today’s technology, mobile apps, expert websites, load boards, and social media, businesses will start to realize more steady bookings and can begin to find their transportation carrier niche.
2. Looking for Loads to Haul Starts With Tracking Prospect Data
Tracking prospect data is a way to find the loads that fit what you are looking for, or load matching. While getting started with a strong CRM is great, you need to have an additional resource for aggregating and connecting to potential leads. In other words, you should have a clear digital profile that can help you get your brand in front of more eyes. That’s where CarrierSource can help.
Claim your CarrierSource page first. Remember that CarrierSource, while built as a digital profile for carriers, is another great prospecting and lead generation too. It creates a way for a company looking for loads to haul to target lanes, customers, and leads based on views, engagements, and connection requests.
3. Network and Connect With Freight Brokers
When determining how to find loads to haul, do not look past networking and connecting with brokers and shippers in the trucking business. Joining local or national organizations in the industry will help employees build relationships while developing a network of possible business partners. Owner-operators looking for loads to haul can avoid the hassle of finding their hauls by working with a dispatcher or even a team of dispatchers at freight brokers. Brokers can find loads and will bargain for the best price to move your freight, but still, it’s important to realize that brokers will take a percentage of your earnings for their services.
4. Spend Less on Paid Ads
Paid advertisements are a promising avenue for marketing for trucking companies, and they do work. However, ads consume a ton of resources to create and manage. They also can eat up a budget in no time. Spend less on paid ads by collaborating with a third party that will take care of this for you. Start thinking about leveraging potential warm connections, especially those where you share a common thread, such as a connection to a past client that may have referrals for your business.
5. Put Your Best Foot Forward With a Professional Online Presence
With a professional website, you can highlight your services and draw in direct clients. Your website must function well, look good, and describe your services. These qualities help you effectively obtain business outside a traditional truck load board while drawing attention to your company.
For example, pre-built templates within CarrierSource offer industry-specific features, user-friendly functionality, and customizability.
6. Prioritize Customer Service.
Customer service should be a no-brainer when contemplating how to find loads to haul. Optimizing customer service is a way to gain recurring, long-term customers and referrals. Referrals can make or break a business; therefore, excellent customer service should be a primary objective. This can include setting a standard for customer responsiveness and knowing which customers work best for your business. Doing so helps to eliminate overpromising on loads or potential lanes where you may not live up to stellar expectations.
7. Gather Reviews as a Post-Service Survey.
Everyone has experienced a customer representative asking for survey responses or reviews following a call. It happens all the time, and you can do the same by asking for reviews from your past clients! It’s relatively simple. Provide a great experience, and use pre-built email templates from CarrierSource to request your customers leave their feedback on your profile. It’s a simple, painless way to integrate CarrierSource into your process, and it also helps you to know what you are and is not doing right.
Find More Loads to Haul With Your CarrierSource Profile
Like most business strategies, finding more loads depends on which techniques work best for your company. Staying current with the latest trends is vital when looking for loads to haul. Leveraging platforms that offer real-time, fully transparent information takes the guesswork out of finding your next pick-up. Your business will soar by incorporating expert websites, utilizing social media, generating repeat customers, and improving search results.
Stop relying so heavily on load boards and overpaying for advertisements. Instead, network with freight brokers, track data, optimize customer service, and use the voice of your customer. Take advantage of the most up-to-date technology and a professional online presence by claiming your CarrierSource profile now.