Trucking is a great American tradition. However, they might still call the highway their home, but how do truckers actually find work in this day and age. Here are the options open to truck drivers today.
Load boards are one of the easiest ways to find shipping work. The most popular public load boards charge a monthly subscription fee but are usually replete with work opportunities. Shipping brokers and individual carrier companies post jobs on a load board in order to find individual truckers. A well-organized trucker can use load boards tactically – finding enough loads in the right places so that their trailer is never empty on the road. The best load boards allow trucker to check out potential employers’ creditworthiness – a little bit like the way in which consumers can assess the reviews on an eBay seller site.
Shipping brokers are middlemen and act a bit like outsourced sales professionals – working to match loads with truckers as efficiently as possible. Working with a shipping broker often means the opportunity to make lots of money through constant load pickups. Brokers don’t do their job for free, however. A good shipping broker will often take quite a hefty commission payment from every load they arrange for you. Many truckers consider this to be a fair price to pay for the amount of work they receive. Shipping brokers also take care of a great deal of the administration usually placed on the shoulders of a freelance truck driver.
By far the most stable method of finding employment in the trucking industry is through a company contract. Developing a relationship and signing a contract with a shipper directly ensures that a trucker will be given a certain number of loads per year. This is excellent news for truckers that want to be able to consistently plan their finances and not worry about work drying up for periods of time. Unfortunately, it also takes some of the freedom away from the trucking game. You cannot simply choose to take on no loads for a month: you are contracted to carry what the shipping company offers you and larger shippers also often subject their truckers to a great deal of on-the-job surveillance. However, contracts have several advantages on top of stability. Most notably, shipping companies are able to offer their contracted truckers health insurance and dental plans – a big deal in the USA. Unfortunately, benefits are often one of the first things to go when a shipping company is in trouble.
Load Matching Apps
The newest way of finding a load is through a load matching app. These apps are usually used by truckers to fill in time between other jobs. Load matching apps are essentially load boards that are tailored towards mobile use. Using these apps, all communication can be completed without having to ring up a shipping broker to negotiate and exchange insurance information – as is done when using load boards. These emerging platforms are becoming extremely popular with truckers looking to pick up extra work for minimal hassle.