What Is Load Planning?

If you own a trucking company, you want to make as much profit as possible from every truck you send out. You never want to have a truck leave your facility half full, and you certainly don’t want one of your drivers carrying an empty load back to your facility. 

Proper freight planning can help you to maximize the profits from your load. If you do not have time for freight planning, fear not, some companies can handle the task for you. There are a few things you should know about load planning before you hire a freight planner. 

Load Planning Definition

Load planning is a method of blending cargo to maximize the capacity of your hauls. When you plan your loads, you can use a minimum number of trucks to take the maximum amount of products. It lessens the number of vehicles on the road, and that will curtail your company’s impact on the environment. It also makes your company more effective. If clients know that you use a load planner, it increases their confidence in you, which can help you increase sales.

Obviously, you can’t just start stuffing boxes in your truck or load random pallets in various trucks. You must consider many things when planning your loads, such as:

  • Where the product is going
  • The type of product you’re shipping
  • The truck’s center of gravity

What Does a Load Planner Do?

There is much to consider when planning a load. A load planner should think about anything that could cost your company money and ways to save. They consider several factors when putting together a freight plan for you. They want to know where you are going and the type of cargo you are carrying. They also need to know if your drivers have to work overtime.


Understanding the sequence of events a load will go through is important to load planning. A load planner must think of how the first action taken on a particular haul will affect the last. For example, the product that is delivered last should be loaded into the truck first and the first product to be dropped off should be loaded last.

Hiring a load planning company is always a worthwhile investment. Otherwise, you might have delays and additional mileage to pay for.


It is only normal to think of other trucking companies as your competition. However, teaming up with other companies can help you expand your operations. It can increase your revenue.


A load planner must make sure your trucks are compliant with the regulations set forth by the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration. They must look at the characteristics of the vehicle itself and the type of goods being transported. They have to consider the overall capacity of the truck, where the vehicle is going, and the size of the truck.

A driver is only allowed to drive 11 hours at a stretch. A driver must know how much time they require to get products to their destination. A load planner must work within a driver’s shift.

You should never risk a driver going over those 11 hours as it can result in large fees. It is best to hire a load planning company that also plans routes. If a load planner is familiar with the route a driver will take, there is less chance that the driver will end up going overtime.

 A load planner must consider the amount of time it will take to load and unload a truck as well.

What to Look For in a Load Planner

The load planner you hire should have many years of experience in the trucking industry, but they should also stay up to date with modern technology. There are computer programs that can make route planning easier for them. Ask what programs they use.

They should be able to provide you with references and give you an estimate of how much the service they provide will save you annually. Make sure that the company you hire is focused on small trucking companies. They have a more realistic understanding of your budget and needs.

Load planning is complicated and requires keen attention to detail and a comprehensive understanding of many different elements in the trucking industry. The right load planner will save you money and stress. They will let you focus on making your company the best it can be.