Do you want to start a truck dispatching company? If YES, here is a detailed guide on how to dispatch trucks from home starting with no money and no experience.
Dispatching trucks from home is a job that an experienced dispatcher can go into if they have the desire to be their own boss or work remotely. Not all home dispatchers are self-employed. Some of them work on a full-time basis for logistic companies that allow their staff to work remotely.
The duties of a truck dispatcher involve receiving requests for trucks, arranging for drivers, and coordinating the delivery of the load.
In order to do this work effectively, you must have a working phone, computer, and scanner equipment in your home to complete your tasks. This job is best suited for a dispatcher who already has experience but will like to work from home. Here is a detailed guide on how to start a dispatch truck from home.
How to Efficiently Dispatch Trucks from Home to Save Time and Money
1. Get the necessary training
This business is best suited for someone who already has experience in dispatch trucking. If you do not have experience in this field, then you will need to get training. There are many online and offline courses that you can take to teach you the things you need to know about truck dispatching.
2. Get the necessary start-up equipment
In order to operate a dispatch truck, you will need to have a phone, a computer with an internet connection, and access to the load board. You will also need a printer, scanner, and a fax machine.
3. Have a marketing plan
Next, you will need to come up with a marketing plan on how you intend to get customers for dispatching. Social media is a very good and cheap way of soliciting customers for this business. If you already have experience in the logistics industry, then you may already have contacts with some truck drivers who you can network or market your services to.
The Process Involved in Running a Truck Dispatching Business
a. Before the order is dispatched
In order to dispatch a truck, as soon as you get the load from the customer, you should also get Pick up address, contact name, and phone number. Next, you will have to call the shipper and consignee to lock in appointment dates and times. And make sure to ask the customer if there will be any special pickup or delivery requirements
It is important to get this information upfront so that you can go back and negotiate any additional requirements with the carrier upfront. Add in your percentage and get approval for those additional charges so that you will not jeopardize your fees in the end.
You should always put a call across to let them know when you expect your truck to arrive. You can ask the shipper if the driver needs some sort of pick-up number to get on the dock. It is best to ask as many questions as possible to prevent any unexpected surprises and also prevent potential detention or accruement of layover charges.
When you have gathered all the necessary information needed for the truck to arrive and deliver successfully, you will then have to get the driver on the line and dispatch for a successful trip. You will need to get the driver’s details such as name, truck number, trailer number, direct contact number et al.
b. Get current location and go time
You can google the driver’s current location and address to the pickup location to ensure that the driver has the best route in mind, by doing this, you can also alert the driver of any issues along the way.
Do an overview of the route and then provide the driver with the shipper pick-up location appointment time schedule. Tell the driver to make sure that once the shipper loads the freight that the seal is intact prior to leaving the location. This will prevent carrier liability for damages during transit.
c. Update your system
Next, you should update your system with a scanned copy of the bill of lading, the driver’s arrival and loading time, and the seal number to make sure that detention charges do not accrue. Most carriers charge around $60 per hour over their allotted time.
If the driver should be late from loading and the expected delivery time is now altered, make sure to call the consignee and reschedule the delivery appointment.
Most companies are particular about their delivery appointment times and even a few minutes off schedule can cause some unforeseen problems. Additional fees can accrue if the driver has to hold the freight on the trailer until another appointment date is arranged.
d. When the goods have been loaded
Make sure that the information you have is accurate, do a route comparison with the driver and advise him or her of any special requirements, appointment numbers et al.
Find out when the driver will take breaks, and rest stops. Depending on how far a journey your driver has to make, ensure that the driver understands that you are their contact person and if any issues or delays arise during transit, then you must be called as soon as possible.
Tell the driver to make a courtesy call to you at least twice a day (depending on the length of the trip). Calculate the mileage of the driver’s current location to the final destination and take into consideration the driver’s rest hours and fuel stops. Aim to provide the most accurate estimate of arrival time when giving you status updates to your customer.
e. When your driver is set and ready to go
Give your customer a courtesy call letting them know that the shipment has been picked up and is on schedule for on-time delivery. Assure your customer that you are on top of their shipment and that you will be tracking it around the clock and will advise if there are any issues along the way.
The fastest way to get paid for your shipment is to make sure that your driver calls you when the shipment is empty. Make sure that you get the signed bill of lading copy which is known as POD (proof of delivery). Providing your customer with the signed POD copy and your invoice completes the shipment. This is typically the only thing needed so that you can get paid.
Once you successfully conclude this shipment with your customer, this is the perfect time to ask about extra available loads and projects. Take the time to reach out to the shipper and consignee once your driver completes the full shipment.
Make sure that they had a nice experience with your driver then ask if they need any assistance with any future shipments. Find out if they are working on any projects so that you can start putting together a cost-effective strategy for them.
3 Tips to Help Maximize your Success in the Truck Dispatching Business
i. Find the Best Technology
Before, scheduling and dispatching were done manually, but these days, a lot of software has replaced the manual method. It is up to you to find out the type of technology that best suits you for your dispatch truck needs.
An ideal Truck dispatching software should be able to comfortably prioritize time-sensitive cargo, monitor the weather, calculate the best routes, and track driver processes among a host of other functions. Having the right technology will ensure that you dispatch trucks effectively, on time, and on budget, without wasting resources.
ii. Be detail-oriented
In order to do truck dispatching, you need to have an eye for details. There are a lot of factors that need to be considered when deciding which truck to send where. It is the duty of a dispatcher to give a driver the shortest and most efficient route to take when making a delivery.
This will ensure that fuel is not wasted by taking a longer router when there is a better alternative and it also saves time.
Also, it is the duty of a dispatcher to pay special attention to fuel rates in each area, guiding their drivers through the most economical route. Dispatchers also need to consider connected loads. If drops are scheduled the right way, the dispatcher can help to save the trucking company a lot of time and money.
c. Understand Your Drivers
Even though you are working as a Truck dispatcher from the comfort of your home, you will still need to be in constant contact with your drivers. And as such, it will be in your best interest to have a good rapport with your drivers and know them well in order to ensure efficient deliveries.
To do this, you will need to know how often drivers stop, their driving habits and how effectively they fill out their paperwork. This can help the dispatcher to create efficient schedules and delivery routes.
In conclusion, even though experience as a truck driver can go a long way if you want to dispatch trucks, this business can still be done even without this experience. A good relationship with the driving team can be a big plus when learning the tricks of the trade, as drivers can provide useful insider tips and help the dispatcher gain familiarity with the Department of Transportation regulations.