Who is an Independent Truck Dispatcher?
What would you expect my job to entail if I were to tell you I am an independent truck dispatcher? Would you have any idea at all what my day-to-day responsibilities include?
Chances are the answer is no. Very few people understand what those who take on this role actually do for a living. It somehow feels shrouded in mystery.
I want to take this opportunity to change that!
Common Misconceptions Regarding Independent Truck Dispatchers
Many misconceptions exist in connection with the role of independent truck dispatchers. Some mistake them for freight brokers, while others believe they work as an employee for a trucking company. Both of these ideas are incorrect.
To shed some light on the objectives and responsibilities those in this profession take on, I will aim to answer the following questions in this post:
Who are independent truck dispatchers?
What do independent truck dispatchers do?
Defining Independent Truck Dispatchers
As indicated above, the first step in fully understanding the vital role of independent truck dispatchers is to better understand who these people are and what duties they perform.
First, let’s define precisely who an independent truck dispatcher is. For the sake of this post:
An independent truck dispatcher is an individual who assists a licensed motor carrier with the load booking process and specific administrative tasks including, but not limited to billing activities, permit applications, and in some cases, handling complaints.
Who Are Independent Truck Dispatchers and What Do They Do?
In keeping things as simple as possible, essentially, an independent truck dispatcher is a specialized virtual assistant with a specific knowledge base who works with smaller trucking companies. It is not merely a general administrative role, as it takes a certain familiarity with industry logistics and other specialized knowledge to be successful in the position.
In another post, 2 Must-Have Skills for Every Truck Dispatcher, I discuss the primary duties of truck dispatchers and the most critical skills for success in the role. If you have some time, the video included in the post is an excellent reference for those looking to truly understand what independent truck dispatchers do in their day-to-day activities and what enables them to achieve their goals.
Further, my post, Who Hires Independent Truck Dispatchers, offers an in-depth explanation of why independent truck dispatchers are so critically important and who typically hires them.
Independent Truck Dispatcher Vs. Freight Broker
There are some frequently revealed misconceptions about the role; therefore, I want to take a moment to discuss one of them here to untangle the confusion between the role of an independent truck dispatcher and a freight broker.
Are these two jobs one and the same? No. Absolutely not.
While some independent truck dispatchers may work for freight brokers, and some freight brokers may operate as independent truck dispatchers, they are two very different professions.
As we mentioned earlier in this post, an independent truck dispatcher’s primary role is to assist a trucking company with its load booking process. However, a freight broker serves the purpose of helping a shipper or receiver in finding a suitable licensed transportation company for transporting their cargo.
They have very different goals, and, as you will see, their interests do not necessarily align. The difference lies, essentially, in who the individual assists—trucking companies or shippers and receivers.
A Direct Comparison
Let’s compare independent truck dispatchers with freight brokers to better understand why they are not the same profession and why their goals differ significantly.
Independent Truck Dispatchers
Assist a trucking company with the load booking process
Complete administrative tasks in connection with this objective
Have specialized industry knowledge in addition to administrative skills
Find loads and negotiate the highest possible rate with a freight broker
Assist a shipper or receiver with finding appropriate trucking companies to transport their cargo.
Aid in seeking out carriers with the necessary licenses for the particular freight
Negotiate the lowest possible rate to transport specific cargo loads
As you can see, they are two unique positions. While they may overlap, the goals and objectives are quite different.
I hope this post gave you a better understanding of what independent trucking dispatchers are responsible for accomplishing.
© By Roman Shmundyak March 2022
Are you thinking about becoming an independent truck dispatcher? LearnDispatch offers online truck dispatcher training courses which are suitable for people not familiar with transportation industry. Learn more about our training by visiting Training Details page or choose your course by clicking here.