Finding Loads as a Carrier

To be successful as a car hauler you must keep your truck loaded as much as possible. There are a number of strategies for finding loads. Carriers either choose a path of repeat business through ongoing contracts, or doing one-offs.

The one-off market is very lucrative, but finding customers is challenging. As a carrier you don’t always know where you will be on the road. Finding a customer in exactly the right spot when you are empty and going exactly where you are going is nigh impossible… without brokers.

Central Dispatch

Most car carriers who are not set up with large carriers under contract use Central Dispatch. According to Central Dispatch’s FAQ on their website, over 13,000 carriers use their website each week.

It is a national load board for the spot market. The loads on this board are all one-offs. The majority of the loads on Central are from brokers. Brokers are the “gatherers” of the car shipping industry. They find customers and post their vehicles on Central Dispatch (mostly). Carriers sign into Central and look for loads matching their lanes from the thousands of vehicles (varies from 20,000-75,000 depending on the season).

Typically the carrier will spot the vehicle they want, call the broker listing the vehicle, and ask for the load. Once they agree on the price, the broker dispatches the vehicle to the carrier through Central. The contract is handled via Central. Most loads are cash on delivery, but some brokers handle all of the money for their customers, so billing is involved. Upon delivery the carrier sends the BOL to the broker for payment.

Central Dispatch is a subscription service, so there is a monthly cost involved. At last check it was a little over $100 a month for carriers.

Alternate Load Boards

There are alternate load boards for the spot market but none of them approach the scope of Central. These boards include: