A truck dispatcher is like a puppet master, pulling the strings and deciding what goes where. It’s a field that requires meticulous attention to detail, in addition to superior organizational and time management skills. Truck dispatching is a unique field that is rapidly growing. It can be done from anywhere, including from home, on almost any scale as long as the right procedures are put into place.
Find the Best Technology
Gone are the days of scheduling and dispatching by hand. There is a long list of dispatching software available to support truck dispatchers and increase the efficiency of their operations. Do some research to find out what kind of technology you will need to dispatch your fleet of trucks. Truck dispatching software manages a number of aspects, including prioritizing time-sensitive cargo, monitoring the weather, calculating the best routes and tracking driver processes.
The right technology will ensure you are able to dispatch trucks efficiently, on time and on budget, without wasting resources.
Pay Attention to the Details
Truck dispatching is an industry that requires painstaking attention to detail. The dispatcher has to consider a long list of factors when deciding which truck to send where. Dispatchers need to provide the driver with the shortest possible route to take to make the delivery. This helps to reduce fuel costs and saves time in transit. In addition, dispatchers pay special attention to fuel rates in each area, guiding their drivers through the most economical route.
Dispatchers also need to consider connected loads. By making an effective load schedule, the dispatcher can save the trucking company considerable time and money and can help increase the satisfaction of their customers. Strong negotiation skills are also necessary to be a successful dispatcher, as they often need to work with vendors to secure the best rates for their fleet.
Understand Your Drivers
Truck dispatchers don’t work in a silo. While they may be behind a computer, they are constantly liaising with their drivers. It’s imperative that dispatchers have a good rapport with their drivers and know them well in order to ensure efficient deliveries. Knowing how often drivers stop, their driving habits and how effectively they fill out their paperwork helps the dispatcher to create efficient schedules and delivery routes.
Having experience as a truck driver is not necessary to become a dispatcher. While road experience is definitely an asset and provides the dispatcher with important context and background information about the industry, it’s not a requirement. Having a strong relationship with the driving team can be a bonus when learning the tricks of the trade, as drivers can provide useful insider tips and help the dispatcher gain familiarity with the Department of Transportation regulations.
- Customer service and reliability are key to operating a successful dispatching company. The dispatcher has two customers, truck drivers and clients.
- Always have contingency plans in mind. Delays happen. Time is money is an adage that could not be more true than it is for the trucking business.
Anam Ahmed is a Toronto-based writer and editor with over a decade of experience helping small businesses and entrepreneurs reach new heights. She has experience ghostwriting and editing business books, especially those in the "For Dummies" series, in addition to writing and editing web content for the brand. Anam works as a marketing strategist and copywriter, collaborating with everyone from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups, lifestyle bloggers to professional athletes. As a small business owner herself, she is well-versed in what it takes to run and market a small business. Anam earned an M.A. from the University of Toronto and a B.A.H. from Queen's University. Learn more at www.anamahmed.ca.