There really is no limit to the number of industries that have been disrupted by the onslaught of a closely connected world. Those industries which have adapted to these changes are thriving while those which tried to resist the change have fallen by the wayside.
The trucking industry has found out that the internet can be a useful tool in making their business infinitely more efficient.
So, what exactly is a trucking load board?
Till not to long back, truckers used to post hand written notes on bulletins at truck stops that would help them find back hauls. These back hauls are essential for the trucker as it reduces empty miles. On the other hand shippers used to lose out on valuable capacity because they simply did not know where the available trucks were to carry their freight.
This is where the trucking load board has come in. Large shipping companies have their private load boards while the smaller ones rely on public boards; however they function in a similar manner.
These boards are accessible to the shipping company as well as the trucking company who posts online where the available space and preferred kind of freight, is as well as the destination of that truck. The shipping company then matches that with their own requirements and gets their shipments on the way as fast as possible.
The bigger shipping companies usually have a fixed set of trucking companies that they work with and use this board to ensure efficiency and equal distribution of loads among the different companies.
The public boards however are of more use to smaller companies or companies that need extra trucks to find the best rates.
These boards are now expanding in their capabilities by including a social layer to their user interfaces. The various truckers or shippers can form their own trusted network of people/companies who they are comfortable working with so that they can contact them easily if the logistics work out for both of them.
The brokers who used to scour the rest stop bulletins can access information from a single point and can help get the truckers freight to carry.
This system has made it easier for everyone involved as well as cut down on wasted resources to all the parties involved. This is only the beginning for such systems which will soon involve automatic updates via GPS about the various locations of the truck and its intended destination, as well as have automated driver check-ins so the freight can be tracked with ease.
The best thing about these services is that they can add on as a layer on top of existing systems that are being used by transportation companies.
The next step with these systems will also involve a focus on mobile access to all of these services while looking to add still further functionality. Soon all major players in the supply chain sector will have their own apps which will allow access to their networks from any place on the road.
This is a prime example of real world applications of technology that is changing the transportation and logistics industry.