Exploring this Job
Learn more about the dispatching field by working part-time in a trucking company. An entry-level customer service position is a good way to gain exposure to the types of services a trucking company provides, the clients who use these services, and types of trucks and truck drivers that are used in the business. Another way to explore the field is by visiting the Web sites of various trucking companies. You can find companies by using a search engine and key words such as "top trucking companies."
Truck dispatchers assign truck drivers to pick up and deliver freight and cargo according to established schedules. They may arrange for local transport if they work for a local trucking company or they may coordinate drivers and schedules for multiple-day trucking in long-haul rigs. They take truck service orders from customers and communicate with them through phone calls and e-mail. The job requires strong communication and organizational skills, especially with keeping records and tracking freight orders. Dispatchers make sure the truck trailers are filled by consolidating the freight orders, to make the trip as cost-efficient as possible. They also make sure that truck drivers are certified and have the appropriate licensing, particularly to meet specialized freight load transportation requirements. Truck dispatchers use computers, mobile devices, and satellite tracking systems and global positioning system (GPS) technology to monitor the progress of trucks during their delivery routes. They help troubleshoot problems that may arise during the route, such as truck breakdowns, traffic or weather issues, or changes in delivery dates or locations. Truck dispatchers may work alone or they may work in a team, reporting to a dispatch manager or supervisor.