What Does a Dispatcher Do?

Freight dispatchers, also known as truck dispatchers, are transportation industry professionals responsible for scheduling and monitoring freight deliveries. They manage the whole process of a shipment’s delivery, from loading to unloading. Carriers and shippers are among the clients of a freight dispatcher.

Sometimes, people confuse a freight dispatcher with a freight broker, while these are two completely different professions. A freight broker is a licensed, third-party logistics agent that brings together a shipper and a carrier for freight delivery. The only service that a freight broker provides to a carrier is the rate negotiation with the shippers. On the other hand, a freight dispatcher is usually not licensed but represents a carrier’s best interests. Freight dispatchers provide their clients with a wide array of logistics and fleet management services.

The primary responsibility of a freight dispatcher is to take care of the client’s back-office operations and administrative tasks. Freight dispatchers also work for shippers to find a suitable carrier for their freight delivery. In this article, we have discussed the job duties of a freight dispatcher in detail.

Job responsibilities of a freight dispatcher

·        Finding loads

Finding loads to haul consistently is the core responsibility of a freight dispatcher. As a trucking dispatcher, you must ensure that your carrier’s trucks never remain empty. Truck dispatchers use different ways to find top-paying loads for their clients, such as load boards, cold calling to shippers, email marketing, and leveraging shipper networks.

·        Rate negotiation

Freight dispatchers negotiate the shipping rate with the shipper or broker on the carrier’s behalf. They use their communication skills and experience to get the most competitive rate for the carrier. Rate negotiation is one of the key services offered by a truck dispatcher.

·        Load booking and scheduling

Once the shipping rate is decided and the load is booked, the freight dispatcher gets essential information about the freight from the shipper or suppliers (such as freight dimensions, pickup and delivery locations, or any special requirements) and sends it to the carrier’s driver. The driver picks up the freight on the dispatcher’s provided information. It’s also called driver dispatching.

·        Route Optimization

Route optimization is one of the significant processes in freight delivery. The freight dispatcher uses modern logistics tools and TMS (Transportation Management System) to determine the best possible route to deliver a load. The route planned by the freight dispatcher usually has minimum bottlenecks and is cost-effective in terms of fuel consumption.

·        Paperwork management and record keeping

Freight dispatchers are responsible for managing business documents and paperwork for their carrier clients. They manage carrier packets, dispatching documents, bill of ladings, and any permits or licenses required to haul special freight. A truck dispatcher also maintains a record of dispatching calls, delivery routes, and driver logs. Once the freight is delivered, it’s the duty of the freight dispatcher to prepare carrier invoices and freight bills.

·        Freight tracking during the transit

A freight dispatcher is responsible to track the location and status of the shipment during the transit and conveying it to the shipper. Truck dispatchers use the modern real-time tracking system to keep clients informed about their shipment status.

·        Freight factoring

Freight factoring is a process that involves the selling of unpaid invoices by a carrier to a third-party factoring company to get paid. The factoring company charges a small fraction of invoices (2-3%) as its commission and pays the remaining to the carrier. Freight factoring helps carriers get paid immediately after delivering the load without waiting for the shipper or consignee to pay the invoices. Freight dispatchers facilitate the process of freight factoring. They contact a factoring company that charges a minimum factoring commission so the carriers can get paid the maximum of their invoices.

·        Ensure compliance with transportation rules and regulations

Truck dispatchers ensure that the business of the client complies with the transportation rules and regulations governed by the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) and DOT (the Department of Transportation).

Besides these duties, freight dispatchers also prepare business reports for their clients. The job responsibilities of truck dispatchers also depend on the type of trucking business they’re working for.

If you’re looking to start a career in freight dispatching, DispatchPrep.com offers a freight dispatching online training course to help you towards your goal.