Have you ever thought about becoming a dispatcher for a trucking company, but you were not sure how to go about it, or for that matter, what exactly is involved?
In addition, what is a dispatcher and what does he or she do, anyway? Is there a trucking dispatcher training course? Are there truck dispatcher license requirements to be a dispatcher? How do you get a job dispatching for a trucking company? Is there such a thing as an independent truck dispatcher? Is this a stressful job?
Oh my, so many questions and I will try to answer them all.
First, what is a truck dispatcher, you ask? Well, he or she is an employee for a trucking company (a carrier) that contacts clients and or brokers and procures loads. The information he gathers is where the load will pick up, where it will deliver, what is the freight that is being hauled, what time and day should it pick up and what time and day should it deliver.
Moreover, most importantly, what is the client willing to pay to have that load picked up and delivered? The dispatcher then “dispatches” a truck and driver to pick up that load. He gives the driver all the information he needs, often including directions and special instructions. The driver will keep him updated on the progress of the load and in turn, the dispatcher will let the client know.
A dispatcher spends a lot of time on the phone and it can be a very stressful job. He/she has to keep track of where the trucks, trailers and drivers are, as well as whether or not the loads are being picked up and/or delivered on time. If the load delivery is late due to a truck break down or other issues, the dispatcher is responsible for alerting the client and being of assistance to the driver to remedy the issue. He also will negotiate what the client will pay, to see if the load is worth his company’s time.
At times, it can be overwhelming. However, that does not have to be the case! Not if that dispatcher is using a great dispatch software like TMS Digital Dispatch! TMS Digital Dispatch keeps track of the load information, including the customer/client that will be billed, the pickup and delivery locations, appointment times, the rates, the driver, truck and trailer statuses and locations and so much more!
Below are a few helpful steps that are listed below.
I took some small liberties with the content editing, but they were right on the spot with their descriptions.
Step 1: Complete education and training.
You do not need formal certification to become a trucking dispatcher. However, it does help to have a high school graduate diploma or a GED. Earning an associate degree in shipping, logistics, or project management gives you a foundation in the industry and makes you more marketable to shipping companies. Any course, certificate, or degree that builds your management, problem-solving, and analytical skills helps.
Step 2: Get industry experience.
Before branching out on your own, consider applying for jobs as a truck dispatcher for a freight carrier (trucking) company. You can also complete internships and training programs with carriers to get better informed about the industry.
Step 3: Hone your skills.
Use your time in entry-level jobs or as an intern to hone and develop your skills. Research Department of Transportation regulations and rules, take online courses and be curious. Look up and explore all the different roles in the logistics industry and how they fit together. A mentor can help you find your way. If you know someone in the industry already, ask them for some guidance. You can even work with them while you develop your craft.
Step 4: Register your business.
When you are ready to branch out on your own, you will need to choose a name for your company, make sure it is not already in use, and register your business. You can operate as a sole proprietor, but it is a good idea to register your operation as a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC). An LLC helps protect your personal assets if something goes wrong with your business.
Step 5: Subscribe to a quality load board
If you want to be a truck dispatcher, you have to find drivers to dispatch and loads for them to move. Signing up with a load board gives you access to both.
Step 6: Connect with shippers and brokers.
Shippers are the companies who have freight they need drivers to pick up and transport. Brokers are the intermediaries between carriers and shippers. As a freight dispatcher, you are effectively working as the manager for the carrier, so you need to connect with shippers and brokers to find jobs for your drivers. As you make contacts with more shippers and brokers, you will have more loads to dispatch, and more routes to manage, which is where you will make your money.
Above are a few great tips of how to become a dispatcher. However, to be a successful dispatcher, you need a great dispatch app, that helps you stay organized and sane! TMS Digital Dispatch is that program. It allows you to handle all different types of loads, for example, TL, LTL, Split, Cross-docked and brokered. You can even do Deadheads. It has built in Auto-rating and a great Fuel surcharge by effective date tool. You can customize your screens to view the data, at a glance, for efficiency! Built in Billing, Settlements and reports for management! APIs for 3rd party interfaces, including multiple accounting packages, mileagers and ELDs. Much, much more!