What Does a Truck Dispatcher Do A truck dispatcher’s job is essentially to manage freight on behalf of a carrier. That includes using load boards and personal connections to locate freight that needs to be shipped, speaking to brokers, conducting negotiations, and eventually dispatching drivers and setting up their routes. In many cases, the position also includes some back-end work like reviewing truck drivers’ logs and tracking their hours.
A truck dispatcher is often confused with a freight broker, but the two positions have different and distinct roles. A broker is a legal entity that serves as a middleman between the shipper or manufacturer (who needs their freight moved) and the carrier (who can move that freight). The freight broker is legally allowed to represent both the carrier and the shipper at the same time, but they should never have a personal investment on either side.
Unlike a freight broker, a truck dispatcher is directly affiliated
Unlike a freight broker, a truck dispatcher is directly affiliated with a carrier and is consistently working on their behalf. Even if you are an independent freight dispatcher, you are still essentially an employee of whichever carrier you are currently working for and whenever you conduct negotiations with a freight broker, you do so on behalf of the carrier.
Freight Broker Startup Guide
Unlike brokers, freight dispatchers are not legally allowed to represent shippers or manufacturers A freight brokerage business is required to have freight broker authority through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and a freight broker bond (surety bond), among other requirements. If you’re interested in starting a freight brokering business, visit DAT’s Freight Broker Startup Guide for more information and more freight broker training resources
How to Become a Truck Dispatch
People often wonder, “How do I become a semi-truck dispatch?” The answer to that question begins with a follow-up question: are you looking at becoming a truck dispatcher for another employer or as an independent business opportunity?
If you simply want to become a truck dispaTCH for another company, then the process is much the same as it would be for finding any job. You can look on job boards to see if there are any open truck dispatcher positions that interest you, or you can approach individual carriers and express your interest in becoming a freight dispatcher. You can ask if they’d be willing to train you or if they can offer you some kind of entry level position.
Requirements will vary, but many employers will at least want a high school diploma or GED and some customer service experience. Many people are perfectly happy working as an employee of a single company rather than as an independent truck dispatcher.