Owners-operators, at the beginning of their activities, inevitably face issues with the dispatch company, as indicated on this site. Does your company need dispatcher services? How to choose the exemplary dispatch service to succeed? Is it possible to do this on your own? Before we start answering all these questions, it is essential to understand who the owners-operators are. Often these are former truckers who have worked for several years in transport companies. They saw only one part of the job — the delivery of the cargo. And the work of the dispatcher was not completely clear and visible to them.
Or the owners-operators are ordinary people who have not worked in transport companies. That is, they may not understand at all what dispatchers are doing and what their role is in the entire delivery chain.
We often come across the opinion that dispatching services are not needed because they only do what they communicate with truckers. Of course, if this were their only duty, it would be easy to reduce such an employee. But such a misconception appears precisely because the work of dispatchers is invisible but very, very important.
With an understanding of this feature of owner-operators, we advise you to read this article.
What does the dispatch service do?
To begin with, we propose to define the role of dispatchers in transport companies and the business of owner-operators. So, they manage the cargo on behalf of your company. That is, they have vast responsibilities. Dispatchers plan routes for truckers, check the laws of different states and traffic regulations, communicate with truckers, help solve their problems on the road, communicate with customers, search for cargo and potential customers, and make invoices and reports on completed routes.
Sometimes dispatchers can take on the responsibilities of managing the fleet, the schedule of truckers, and the availability of trucks. Dispatching services take payment in different ways — hourly payment, rate, or percentage. We recommend contacting those specialists who work for a fixed percentage of the delivery. Then they are looking for the best loads for you so that you will succeed and they will earn.
Do you need a dispatch service?
This is the first question you should ask yourself. We are supporters of a reasonable approach that involves an analysis of needs and weaknesses. Identify weaknesses in your company. For example, you do not have clients, or you, as the owner-operator, do not have the opportunity to deal with paperwork and planning. As we can see, these needs can be covered by hiring a dispatcher. So, you need a dispatch service. If you have completely different problems that the dispatcher will not solve, then you need another specialist. You should not hire a dispatcher if you really like to deal with organizational issues. The main thing is to honestly answer the question — are other areas of your work sagging due to constant employment?
You also need to clearly define for yourself the pros and cons of using dispatch services. The main drawback that all owners-operators note is the cost. Usually, companies charge 10% of the shipping cost. And this is quite an impressive amount that can scare. However, it should be understood that a good dispatch service will provide you with a constant flow of cargo and regular customers. This means that your business will grow and develop. And it’s not a pity to give 7-10% for this, isn’t it?
Among the advantages, it is evident that the owner-operator has no paper or organizational problems. You have many more important things to do than checking the weather conditions in a particular state. You need to either be a trucker on your own or deal with financial and strategic tasks in your own business. And the dispatcher will take on essential but exhausting and monotonous work. Not a bad deal, isn’t it?
How to choose a good dispatch service?
We have several points on which you can choose those specialists who will suit you perfectly.
There is nothing more important than the opinion and experience of your colleagues, truckers, and cargo transportation specialists. Ask them about different dispatch services or read reviews on independent websites. Often, truthful reviews give much more information than advertising promises.
Dispatchers’ work experience
There is no direct correlation with the fact that if the dispatch service has been on the market for a long time, then it suits you. But still, we trust newcomers in the field a little less. You should not be confused or amazed by the amount of time this service is running, but it is better to check this information.
Communication with dispatchers
These people will manage communication with customers and truckers on your behalf. Therefore, they should communicate with you in clear language and on business. The service should respond quickly, and it should be easy to work with.
Find out about additional costs
Before signing the contract, be sure to re-read it and make sure that there are no additional expenses that are required of you.
Remember that the dispatch service should simplify your work and life, not complicate it. As soon as you feel that something is going wrong, it is better to look for another company and turn to other specialists.