Alternativni-My-Cer-logo-za-primenu-na-belim-pozadinama

+1 (312) 526-6676

What is a “Truck Dispatcher”?

What is a “Truck Dispatcher”?

A truck dispatcher (also known as a freight dispatcher) career can be extremely lucrative, but it does not happen quickly and within its own struggles. You need to be familiar with different types of equipment, from truck and trailer parts to items used for securing the freight. Not to mention the different types of drivers, certifications, regulations in regards to specific freight and so on. But fear not. In this article, our aim is to demystify the position of a truck dispatcher, and perhaps even to convince you into becoming one!

Types of truck dispatchers

Generally speaking, there are two types of truck dispatchers. There is an independent truck dispatcher, and the one working for a company. A truck dispatcher is a person who has a truck capacity, whose job is to find the freight. Not to be confused with a broker – a person who has freight, and is looking for a truck capacity to take care of that freight.

“Sometimes these roles and responsibilities overlap, but they are fundamentally different. A freight broker is more like a hockey team’s general manager, while a freight dispatcher is more like a coach. Both play an important role, but a dispatcher has a more hands-on role on the front lines, while the broker is more back of house.”

Duties of a truck dispatcher 

The function of a truck dispatcher is to manage freight on behalf of a carrier. This includes finding optimal options via load boards and personal connections, speaking with brokers, negotiating, and eventually assigning drivers and setting up their routes. In many situations, the job of a dispatcher might also include back-end tasks such as verifying truck drivers logs and keeping track of their hours. Depending on the workload on the particular day, a dispatcher can sometimes work in a high paced environment, handling over 100 calls on busier days. Acting as a point of contact for drivers who are currently on the road is one of the parts of your job. It all comes down to organization, which is crucial in the logistics industry. Strong communication and computer skills, as well as the organizational ability to handle schedule and route coordination activities are also required.

There are some general rules of thumb, when it comes to the position of a truck dispatcher. With that in mind, we must mention that the actual duties will vary from one company to another. In smaller companies, you might need to book loads, track them and obtain all the paperwork necessary upon completion. In bigger ones, there might be a separate team handling each of the three tasks. An experienced truck dispatcher must know all the moving parts of the job.

What makes a good truck dispatcher?

An accomplished dispatcher holds his composure even in stressful situations. He can talk things out in any situation. Some of the crucial skills an established truck dispatcher should have are:

  • Multitasking ability – talking to a broker or a driver while writing down the information provided from them is a part of your daily job
  • Adaptable – to new drivers, to unforeseen situations, to market fluctuations and much more
  • Negotiation skills and confidence – in order to convince the other party in working with you, you need to have a firm presence, inner confidence, and you need to be able to talk your way out or into a situation
  • Emotional self-control – do not let your emotions get in your way. Working with people can be tough sometimes, but a good dispatcher, above all else, has a firm grip on his emotions.

 

Truck dispatcher job position pros

There are a lot of upsides that come with this job position. We’ve included some of the bigger ones in the list below.

 

    • Flexibility – Depending on your contractor, this is a position that can be done remotely. In the past couple of years, remote work has been favored by many groups of people, as well as corporations. You might not want to waste time switching between public transportation. You might be more productive and focused when you are by yourself. Or you just prefer staying in on a rainy day. 
    • Equipment – It cannot be simpler. All you need is a regular office computer, laptop or a tablet. Yeah, you can dispatch your trucks across platforms. How come? Well, all of the job is done via a web browser. There are no software applications required of you to install, and because of that there are no system requirements that your computer must match. A quad core processor with 8 GB of RAM will give you plenty of power to do all the tasks necessary. 
  • Predictable Workload – Workload on a daily basis can be somewhat predetermined and finished in advance – truck dispatcher position rewards organized people. You can cover all of your truck’s capacity on any given day, and then pre book those same trucks a couple of days in advance, if that is something you want to do.


Verdict

There are a lot of nuances to keep track of when it comes to dispatching, yet no day is the same. You frequently find yourself in a new area and market, or you schedule a load with specific specifications for the driver…

It honestly feels like playing a video game, where you’ve learned the rules on the first day, but each time you turn it on, you spawn on a different level, in a new world. Sure, customers are sometimes impatient because they need the shipment delivered to a certain place by a certain time. And dispatchers are at the core of it all, as drivers are under pressure to get everything there on time.