What is truck dispatching?
A true truck dispatch service helps owner-operators manage many of the back-office aspects of running the trucking company. Some freight dispatchers provide end to end services, managing everything from finding the loads to ensuring shippers pay their invoices on time. Other dispatchers specialize in certain services. Most dispatchers bill for their services in one of a few ways. They charge you either a high flat rate, a high percentage of the load, or a little mixture of both. The billing method is negotiable.
If you are going to use a dispatch service, consider the following:
- Determine what services you need: List everything you need to do to successfully operate your trucking company. Be detailed and include everything. Determine which things you can realistically do and which you can’t or won’t. Ensure that the dispatch services you are considering meet all these requirements. Anything that they can’t do must be done by someone else, and that’s YOU in most cases.
- Understand ALL costs: Understanding your costs and the cost of dispatching, before you start running loads. Total how much it costs you to run the business and how much the dispatcher is charging you. Use this number to determine what is the lowest that you can charge to cover all expenses. This calculation helps you and your dispatcher determine if a load is profitable enough to be worth pulling. Keep in mind that some dispatchers may ask that you quick pay them, which may add to your financial challenges and burden you even more.
What we can provide:
This service is perhaps the most important one they provide, especially for new owner-operators who are starting out and don’t yet have a list of clients.
Assigning Loads and Managing Drivers
A dispatch service should be familiar with your drivers (if you have them), their routes, how long they have been home, and their availability. This knowledge helps to match a load with your best resource to deliver it.
Maintaining Motor Carrier Compliance
This service is critical to ensure you can stay on the road doing what you do best – pulling loads.
Managing Weather Delays & Handling Issues
A good dispatcher can help you plan for and deal with weather delays, traffic congestion, and other issues that invariably crop up while you are on the road.
Providing Customer Care
A dispatcher can help you manage relationships with shippers, address issues that arise, and set proper service expectations.
Handling Billing Paperwork and Collections
A good dispatch service can also handle the paperwork associated with delivering and billing for a load. This paperwork can include all invoice submissions to the shipper (or a factoring company), collections follow-ups, and payment processing.
Updating Load Status
We stay in communication to update you on the load status and if there are any delays.
Freight Broker vs. Truck Dispatcher
There are some overlaps between what a dispatcher and a broker can do for your company. Before moving forward, it’s important to understand the advantages and disadvantages of working with either. A freight broker works with shippers and carriers, matching them and making a profit for doing so. Freight brokers can be good resources because they generally have established relationships with shippers and or consignees. However, their main incentive is to charge shippers as much as possible and pay carriers as little as possible. This strategy allows them to pocket the difference i.e. their profit. There is nothing wrong with this approach and a good broker is always a great resource. Just keep their incentives in mind when negotiating with them. A dispatcher, on the other hand, technically works for you, and, thus, should represent your best interests. Read the contract you have with them to make sure they do. However, many dispatchers find their loads through freight brokers and load boards. You may end up working with both a freight broker and a dispatcher at the same time. Some dispatchers do have their own list of shippers. Needless to say, they can be a great resource as well. In the long run, it is always best if you can find your own high paying shippers.
Serving The Eastern United States