Life before the load board

The Digital Age of Freight: Life Before the Load Board Revolution

Load boards have become truckers’ go-to destination for finding high-paying loads. They just need to type into their load boards their current city and where they are heading, and they will see dozens of loads. Life without load boards looks dark for shippers, carriers, brokers, and all other parties involved in the logistics industry. Even thinking about it sends shivers down my spine.

But have you ever wondered how life was before load boards? The new generation of truckers will not be aware of it, but things were working fine even before load boards, though no one can dispute that load boards have made things much simpler.

 Monopoly of Large Conglomerates

To take a wild guess, there used to be a truckers association or companies using their own trucks. But what about small companies? Initially, large conglomerates had a monopoly in the trucking industry. They had their own fleet of drivers. It was only after the deregulation of the industry by the Motor Carrier Act of 1980 that drivers could venture into the industry on their own.

 Struggle to Find New Loads

Now that the drivers were on their own, the main challenge was to find loads. Some of them were being contracted to deliver loads. They started looking for loads to make some money on their return journey.

One thing that is common today and during the pre-load board era is cold calling. Just like freight brokers or carriers cold call to get loads today, truckers used to cold call in hopes of finding new loads. They started using desperate approaches like hanging around truck stops or reaching out to local shippers for loads. After all, necessity is the mother of invention.

 Arrival of Load Boards

Soon after, companies that needed trucks started to put up bulletin boards at places where truckers dined or stopped for a drink. It was no sure-shot way of finding high paying shipments, but it worked for the time being. It was in 1978 that the first load board, Dial-A-Truck service or DAT, as it is popularly known today, was founded by Jubitz truck stop in Portland, Oregon. And that’s how it all started! The rest is history.

 Thank God for Load Boards!!

Thankfully today, we all don’t have to look for loads the traditional way. At US Ravens, we use DAT, one of the best load boards available in the market today. Do tell us in the comments which was your first load board. Was it DAT or any other? We would love to know.

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