Running a trucking business comes with its challenges. Finding profitable loads is one of them. As a business owner, you and your team must take the time to bid on shipping loads, build connections and find shippers who will become loyal clients. From load boards to freight brokers and industry associations, there are various resources you can use to find loads and grow your trucking business.

Load Boards

A load board is an online platform that connects trucking companies with freight brokers and shippers. Some examples are, Comfreight and 123LoadBoard.

Ushipit, for instance, is a shipping marketplace where individuals and businesses can connect with single-truck owners, small fleets and big trucking companies that provide extra cargo space. Here you can bid on shipping loads online and filter the results by category, weight, pricing model and customer type.

Some trucking load boards are free to use while others require a monthly fee. The downside is that you will be facing tight competition. For this reason, not all loads will be profitable.

Choose load boards that provide mobile access and credit reports on the shippers. Be aware that you will be working with freight brokers quite often, which will reduce your profit. Use more than one load board in order to find the best offers.

If you're not sure how much to bid on shipping loads, check what other trucking companies are charging. Call other carriers that handle similar loads and inquire about their rates. Use this information as a reference when bidding online.

Freight Brokers

Another option is to work with freight brokers. Their role is to help shippers find quality trucking companies and other carriers. They communicate with both parties, track the load and ensure everything goes smoothly.

By partnering with a freight broker, you will have readily available loads to haul. The drawback is that you will earn less than you would if you worked on your own.

Since a lot of this business is handled by freight brokers, it's worth networking with brokers in your area. Focus on newer ones with fewer existing relationships; they are more likely to give you a good price.

Industry Associations

When you're running a local business, connections are everything. To increase your chances of success, connect with industry associations that regularly use freight services. The American Corn Growers Association, the Brewers' Association, the American Iron and Steel Institute and the American Beverage Association are just a few examples.

Attend events organized by local and national industry associations. Find a way to meet their members and tell them about your services. This is a great way to build lasting relationships and expand your business.

Local Businesses

Get in touch with local grocery stores and supermarkets, furniture manufacturers, pet food distributors and other businesses in your community. They all need your freight services and may benefit from what you have to offer. Make cold calls, distribute brochures and speak to their shipping departments.

Promoting your trucking business locally is the best way to find clients who will give you loads regularly. If you're just getting started, bid on shipping loads online. Select a few load boards that feature offers in your area, sign up for an account and create a professional profile. Be patient and persistent. The more time and effort you put in, the higher your chances of success.