Truck dispatchers are irreplaceable specialists for cargo transportation companies. They are ideally oriented in the loading board, the work schedules of truckers, and communication with customers. Working with truck dispatchers greatly simplifies the management of your own business, as confirmed on this site. Today we will look into this profession in detail, understand how it is valid and how they become dispatchers.
What do dispatchers do?
To explain briefly, they manage the cargo on behalf of the carrier. But in this short formulation lies a lot of responsibility, buildings, and communications with different people. In fact, if the owner-operator works without a dispatcher, he spends most of his time on work that could be done faster and more efficiently by another specialist. Therefore, we advise you to take a closer look at hiring a freight dispatcher in order to concentrate on more important matters.
So, what are the duties of the dispatcher?
Keeping records of trips
Dispatcher electronically records brief information about each departure of truckers with cargo in order to have it reported. With the maintenance of these records, it is easier for the company to monitor the workload of truckers, make checks for trucks and manage resources. The truck dispatcher also creates invoices and monitors payments from clients.
Communication with customers and truckers
Dispatchers are constantly in touch. Customers often call to find out how things are with delivery, truckers call to solve urgent issues on the road with a truck or cargo.
Search for new customers
These specialists are also looking for new orders for the transport company and communicate with potential customers, agreeing on cooperation. Truck dispatchers tell future customers about the company’s tariffs, delivery terms, and deadlines.
Solving truckers’ problems
Anything can happen on the road. For example, the weather may suddenly deteriorate, or the cargo may be damaged. And the dispatcher is fully responsible for this and must cope with the situation.
Truck dispatchers think over routes that will be more efficient, cheaper, and safer for the cargo and the trucker. That is, a specialist must take into account weather conditions, restrictions for trucks on the road, and delivery times in order to plan a route.
Transfer of information between customers and drivers
Dispatchers also transmit essential information from drivers (for example, about delayed delivery) to customers and from customers (about the loading point, for example) to the trucker. Communication should be fast and understandable for all parties.
The difference between freight brokers and truck dispatchers
Owners-operators often think that there is no point in hiring a dispatcher if they have already contacted a good food broker. It is believed that these specialists are engaged in absolutely the same thing: they have the same responsibilities, and they are subject to the exact requirements. However, this is a big misconception in the field of cargo transportation. So, a broker is an intermediary legal entity that can represent the interests of the shipper and the client at the same time. While the truck dispatcher is 100% a member of your team who is on your side.
The broker is also required to obtain special licenses and permits, which makes these specialists rare in the field. And dispatchers do not need special education (but it will only be a plus), the main thing for them is work experience and communication skills. K
What do truck dispatchers use in their work?
There are many programs that speed up and facilitate the work of the dispatcher. So they can concentrate on quality communication with customers and truckers. They use:
- Route planning software: dispatchers enter truck parameters, point A and point B, into the program, and the system gives them several routes. Next, the dispatcher must check them for dead zones, weather conditions in these states on certain days, etc.
- The program for fleet management: it is necessary for the dispatcher to better understand the schedule of drivers and the availability of free trucks. In addition to this software, a truck locator is usually added to find the right trucker faster.
- Trip Locator: dispatchers can use this software to track all current deliveries, in which state the truck is located, how much it still needs to travel, etc.
How to choose a truck dispatcher?
When conducting an interview, you should focus on a variety of indicators — from stress tolerance to work experience. But there are some requirements that are suitable for most owner-operators when they are looking for an employee to join their team. Among them:
- high school diploma;
- the skill to manage truckers, their working hours, fleet;
- experience in communicating with clients;
- the ability to make reports on trips and delivered goods;
- the ability to make invoices and work with factoring if it is relevant to your company;
- possession of office software;
- knowledge of transport rules and laws;
- organizational, communication, and time management skills.
Rely on the needs of your transportation company to choose the perfect candidate. Remember, the dispatcher is always on your side. His salary depends on the quantity and quality of downloads, so he will look for the best deals for you.