Dispatching a fleet of trucks can be tough. You have to keep brokers or customers always updated. Communication with drivers for pick up numbers, delays, break downs, and at the same time look for more loads to book! In a healthy freight market it can be an easy day in the office, but it’s not always a healthy freight market for trucks, and this can cause a huge amounts of stress.
It all starts with your mindset. Your focus needs to be on the loads, and concentrating on anything else, chances are you will not catch the load you are looking for. You must know what lane you are looking for, and what type of money. Being a seasoned dispatcher you should already know which brokers and lanes pay the most. Don’t waste your time on the phone with cheap brokers or customers, because you may miss on a good load.
In order to be efficient in catching EVERY load, and being the FIRST caller for that load, this takes speed, and proper tools.
To start off, anyone can log onto a load board, call on the first load, accept the rate and get a truck loaded, but is it profitable? Drivers have this concept that the freight they haul is the trucking company’s either A) Direct Freight, or B) Direct Customer Freight. Not many understand the wires that are connected to get a truck loaded using spot market freight. This is where majority of owner operators, especially new owner operators blame the company, and the trucking industry. It’s not the trucking industry, it’s typically your dispatcher. A great dispatcher can either make or break a company. Imagine having 6 owner operators leased to your company and you hand them to a poor dispatcher that you hired. Within two weeks those guys will be gone. I’ve witnessed companies rise to over 100 trucks with 2 great dispatchers. However, those dispatchers are paid A LOT OF MONEY!
When a person opens their own MC, not all the time but typically, they don’t understand much about spot market freight, and they believe load boards are full of gold. Load boards are not full of gold, but there are a lot of diamonds hiding in the dirt. I personally know a guy that drives a truck, has 9 owner operators, and 2 company drivers, however he only uses a dispatch service. He pays well money to a woman that woks from home, and handles all his trucks. How does this work out for them? He doesn’t need a office with employees, and she has it so good that she doesn’t want to lose her deal, because what woman doesn’t want to wake up in her home and start making a lot of money?!
To be excellent in dispatch you must use 3 screens. Each screen must have a load board except 1. 1 screen must have your email, and google maps open at all times. This is how you never miss a load on either of the load boards, or your email account. Also it’s a great way to communicate with brokers or customers through emails, trust me, this can be you golden ticket to securing amazing freight before it even touches a load board. Majority of great paying brokers have serious customers, and they don’t like using load boards, unless they really have to. Google maps should always be open so you can QUICKLY check miles for the trip. Quickness is the biggest factor in booking a load. Wasting your time to load google maps, and what not, will surely make you miss on loads, and phone calls, plus it’s annoying!
Being a professional dispatch isn’t just booking a load that you see on a load board. Most dispatchers think “Hey, truckers don’t have time to look for freight, so I will book a load for them while they drive”. That’s not really helpful. You must know the owner operator’s needs. You must know what load is profitable, you must be the first to call on it, and you must sell your truck and want that load. Once you have that load, you must be professional, keep updates on the freight.