Starting a dispatch company can be a rewarding experience.
Without dispatchers, commercial trucks wouldn't be able to haul 71% of the US nation's freight.
Dispatchers connect the dots between shippers and carriers. They are also part of your team. That is the difference between a trucking dispatcher and a freight broker.Though becoming a trucking dispatcher or opening your own dispatching business is a tempting idea, there are a few things to learn or do.
You may need to get comfortable navigating load boards, negotiating contracts, and working with carriers.
Today, you'll find how to become a truck driver dispatcher and how to start a truck dispatch business.
What does a truck dispatcher do? [Meaning]
A truck dispatcher manages the freight hauled by the company trucks at a profitable price for the company in return.
They do this by using load boards, creating personal connections with shippers, negotiating with brokers, dispatching drivers, setting up their routes, etc.
Freight dispatchers are responsible for the logistics of the load from pickup to delivery. They also have to communicate to the customer about any updates during the haul.
The most important task of a dispatcher is to keep the company trucks rolling.
Understand Your Responsibilities
Before getting started, make sure to understand the truck dispatcher's responsibilities.
Truck dispatchers are responsible for providing truck drivers with information about where to pick up and where to deliver the goods.
Some truck dispatchers assign the vehicles and the drivers that will deliver the customer's load.
They negotiate the rates for the load.
Most dispatchers handle all the billing and paperwork on behalf of their clients.
Large trucking companies and government agencies employ their own dispatchers and provide them with the tools needed to get the job done.
As an independent professional, you're responsible for renting the space and equipment.
You can even work from home to cut costs and have more flexibility.
Dispatcher vs broker
Speaking about booking loads, many confuse the meaning of a truck dispatcher's role with a freight broker's role.
A freight broker acts as a middleman between the shipper and the carrier. Brokers are not legally allowed to represent either of the parties. At the same time, the freight brokers are required to have an authority through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCSA).
A truck dispatcher is directly affiliated with the carrier and represents the carrier's best interests when negotiating prices with shippers or brokers and usually works as an employee or as a contractor of the carrier.
Now, as you understand the difference between a broker and a dispatcher, you need to choose whether you want to operate a truck dispatcher as an employee or as a business.
Truck dispatcher as an employee or as a business
- Becoming a truck dispatcher for another employer.
If you want to become a truck dispatcher for another company, the process is the same as it would be for finding any trucking job. You may look on job boards or approach individual carriers for any open truck dispatcher position.
Ask carriers if they'd be willing to train you or if they'd be willing to offer your an entry-level position.
Entry-level requirements may vary from carrier to carrier, but most employers will at least want a high school diploma or GED and some customer service experience.
- Becoming a truck dispatcher as a business opportunity.
Things get more interesting for those who view becoming a truck dispatcher as a business opportunity.
If you want to become an independent truck dispatcher, the first thing you need is education.
People often think that they can jump right into starting their own business without doing their homework.
But, the truth is that you need to start with training that focuses both on the basic information around truck dispatching and promoting the carrier.
Once you have a grasp of truck dispatching and of how you want to operate your business, you can follow the below steps:
How to configure your home office for truck dispatching
As an independent professional, you can work from home. Working from home can reduce costs and give you more flexibility.
Prepare your desk for work.
You need a rugged computer and a printer connected to the internet.
Basic computer skills are essential.
Invest in a high-quality telephone system so you can communicate effectively with drivers, suppliers, and partners.
How to Become a Truck Dispatcher
1.Register Your Business
The first step is choosing your company name.
The company name should be short and easy to remember.
To make it more clear about what your company is about, you can additionally use in the name the term "truck dispatch".
After, you decided on what your company name should be, the next step is to officially register your company.
Apply for your Employer Identification Number (EIN) with the IRS and determine your business structure. Among business models you can choose from sole proprietorship, limited liability company (LLC), and partnership. But the most popular business structure for small business owners is the LLC.
This will determine how much tax you pay and other legal obligations.
2. Get a Load boar subscription
Until you get your first good clients and have an established online presence, it's important to the cash flow stable.
Load boards are great online tools where you get access to many available loads that meet your load criteria.
There are a few load board out there. But, the most notable load board in the trucking industry is DAT.
DAT load boards provides you with access to tens or even hundreds of new loads posted each day across the country.
3. Market your dispatch services
The next important thing to do is to spread the message about your dispatch services to carriers.
Start by establishing an online presence.
Today, online presence provides great visibility at low costs.
Build a website that showcases all truck dispatch services, the story about you, and how can you help potential clients.
To build more traffic to the company website, build different social media profiles on Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, etc.
Build your social media profiles and send traffic towards your website.
Let your company website be the result of all your marketing efforts.
Besides online, you can invest in other forms of advertising to increase your company's brand awareness.
Consider offering discounts to first time clients.