Need More Loads for Your Trucking Business? Check Out These 6 Tips!
As a trucking company, keeping your trucks busy and on the road, as much as possible is super important. After all, that’s how you make money! But sometimes, finding enough loads to keep your trucks on the road can be a challenge. So if you’re looking for more loads for your trucking business, check out these six tips.
1. Use Load Boards to Find More Loads
For trucking companies, clients don’t just appear from thin air – meaning you will need to look for your leads. There are plenty of potential customers out there, but locating them and ensuring they’re the right fit takes time and effort. That’s why load boards or online marketplaces can be a great tool for finding more business opportunities. Not only do load boards provide access to an unprecedented range of loads from providers all over the continent, but they also give you the ability to specify exactly what criteria your ideal client should meet. Whether it’s a large shipment that requires special permits or short-haul local deliveries where you’ll be coming back quickly, load boards offer truckers the flexibility to find new work quickly and efficiently.
With load boards or online marketplaces, you can usually filter the results by categories like origin, destination, and cargo type to make sure you’re only seeing loads that meet your specific criteria. There are now several online marketplaces that match trucking companies with shippers who need freight hauled. These platforms make it easy to find new customers and start hauling without doing too much legwork yourself. Check out platforms like Convoy, uShip, or TransCore’s Loadlink system to get started.
With utilizing load boards to find your next loads, all it takes is a little research and setup time. After that, you’ll have a steady stream of leads rolling in that will keep your trucks on the road. So if you’re looking to increase your income or get better quality loads that fit your specific criteria, take some time to explore the load board options available.
2. Stay in Touch with Your Network
When it comes to filling your load requirements, your network or potential one can be an absolute goldmine! Staying in touch with friends, previous employers, and contacts in the industry can be a great resource for finding more loads. Often overlooked, this personal network can yield potential leads that will keep your trucks busy. It can be a great practice to connect with your network every few weeks. This will help keep the line of communication open and nourish your relationship in the long term. While conversing with your network, you can then let them know that you’re looking for more freight leading to more loads to be hauled!
Another potential network underutilized by many is social media platforms. Never underestimate the power of social media! On these social platforms, you can make announcements on channels such as Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn and reach out to hundreds (or even thousands) of people all at once. You can also utilize your presence on social media to start building on your existing network by making new virtual connections. These new connections could equal new leads, but also they could give you the opportunity to engage in interesting conversations with other drivers worldwide. At the end of the day, when finding more loads for your truck, remember that your network is just another tool in your belt and can be an incredibly useful asset along the way.
3. Call Up Some Freight Brokers
Another avenue to consider for getting loads would be utilizing freight brokers. Freight brokers can be especially helpful for owner-operators and fleet owners that are just starting out. The brokers connect shippers to the trucking companies and find and secure loads for them to haul. Freight brokers can be a great choice because they do most of the legwork for you, such as negotiating rates, amongst other things.
Taking the time to form relationships with freight brokers is an important part of the growing trucking business. It’s no secret that finding customers can be difficult and time-consuming, so why not let the professionals help you? Start by researching freight brokers in your area and creating a list of those you’d like to contact. Then reach out directly and introduce yourself so they know who you are and your services. You may even want to make an informational video or put together a packet explaining more details about your company that they can use when they need to find someone to fill their open loads.
Depending on how many contacts you make, this could take some time, but it can ultimately be the difference between success and failure in this industry. Connecting with people actively involved in the trucking sector is key, so be sure to attend events, join forums, join networking groups, and generally get involved with other experts who can provide valuable insight into what’s happening in the industry. All of these methods together can give you a much larger customer base than just relying on traditional channels alone. So make sure you’re taking advantage of all your options! And don’t forget –– building relationships with freight brokers is the first step towards ensuring your business stays competitive in the long run!
4. Look for Repeat Customers
Building strong relationships with repeat customers is one of your best bets to keep the loads going. So once you’ve completed a task to their satisfaction, be sure to stay in contact with them – not just by sending them an invoice, but by following up personally or even checking in at regular intervals.
This can make a huge difference when it comes time for another job. Your customer will remember your outstanding service and professionalism, and they’ll be much more likely to reach out to you first instead of searching for someone else. In addition, building relationships in this way helps ensure ongoing work, so next time there’s a need for extra hands or hauling services be sure to focus on keeping those lines of communication open – it’s an investment that is well worth the effort!
5. Hire a Fleet Dispatcher
Another option in helping secure more loads for your trucking company is hiring a dispatcher. Either by direct hire or contract, bringing in a dispatcher with industry experience and their own personal network can give a trucking company a much-needed boost. Dispatchers help connect your business with brokers and shippers they may already be in business or communication with. Not only do dispatchers secure and set up loads, but in some cases, they can also provide back office services such as billing, collections, and accounting.
6. Register as a Government Contractor
Working as a government contractor is another avenue owner operators and fleet owners can use to find loads. The government, either state, local, or federal, frequently outsources work it needs to be filled. This outsourcing happens in many different sectors of government, and transportation is no exception. There are numerous government contracts that need to be filled on all levels of government so why not register as a government contractor and reap the benefits? Please note working as a government contractor does come with a few extra hurdles.
Sometimes, special clearance will need to be granted before you can haul. Another hurdle can be with securing payment. Oftentimes with government contracts, getting paid can be a lengthy process. You may be stuck waiting to receive that government check. Factoring through a company like Provident Commercial Finance can help you get paid in a more timely manner. In turn, this can help you to stay profitable and keep your trucks on the road.
Finding enough loads to keep your trucks busy can be tough sometimes, but it’s not impossible. With a little effort, you can find all the work you need to keep your business running smoothly.
By using load boards/marketplaces, staying in touch and growing your network, using freight brokers or a dispatcher, focusing on repeat customers, and pursuing government contacts, you can ensure you will find all the loads you need to make sure your trucking company is a success!
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