The role of a work from home dispatcher is just as important in the $700-billion-dollar Logistics and Trucking industry as their office-based dispatch counterparts.
Dispatchers find freight for trucking companies to transport. While the job may look similar to customer support jobs, dispatchers actually have more tasks to fulfill.
They are in constant communication and negotiation between the driver, broker, trucking company, shipper, receiver, and other parties involved in freight logistics.
A Day in the Life of a Home Based Dispatcher
A work from home dispatcher may be miles away (or across the world), but he/she can manage a group of truck drivers via phone.
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Dispatchers are experts in spreadsheets, real-time maps, and Skype (or other messaging platforms).
As a truck dispatcher, your day would likely involve tasks such as:
- Finding loads/freight and negotiate rates with brokers. This is the main job of truck dispatchers. They find freights to keep trucking companies busy and make sure the rates are agreeable to all parties. Dispatchers may also be responsible for checking credit-worthiness of suppliers.
- Arranging package pickups and deliveries. If you already have customers and would no longer need to find packages every day, your job would likely revolve around arranging pick-up, deliveries and other handling concerns.
- Picking out the best routes for drivers. Because you are the one scheduling all the logistics of a delivery, you’ll also determine the best routes for truck drivers to reach their destinations safely and on time.
- Managing daily schedule of drivers. Sometimes, cancellations occur. Bad weather conditions make it impossible to reach destinations. Or other instances wherein scheduled delivers may have to be rescheduled. During these instances, the job of a dispatcher is to update drivers throughout the day to save gas and other resources.
- Conducting team meetings. As a work from home dispatcher, you may be far from your team, but you’re going to serve as the leader to all drivers.
- Logging records. At the end of the day, what you’re doing is part of a larger trucking and logistics business. Ensuring the drivers log their schedules, incidents, route changes, and other details of the trip is just as important.
- Generating invoices. You’ve negotiated on fees between all parties involved, so it’s only fitting that you handle the invoicing as well.
- Keeping up-to-date with weather conditions. As I explained earlier, you need to be on top of things that could affect the schedule of deliveries.
Generally speaking, a trucking dispatcher must decide on the most efficient and most cost-effective loads for all the trucks on the team.
How Much do Dispatchers Get Paid?
Trucking dispatchers are non-emergency.
The emergency dispatchers take care of distress calls and work with emergency services like ambulance, fire department or police. The rates of emergency dispatchers are higher (about $18 an hour), while trucking dispatchers who are employed with a company earn around $15/hour.
A freelancer dispatcher is paid with commissions (either prepaid or by the number of load/freight/job closed within a week). On average, a dispatcher could handle around 3 to 5 trucks at a time with each truck bringing you in an average income of $1000/month, so that’s around $3000 to $5000 monthly.
This is the main reason why many prefer independent truck dispatcher jobs than being tied to just one company.
Where to Find Work from Home Dispatcher Jobs
However, there is no other way to learn the ropes of truck dispatching than to be employed with a trucking company first.
The good news is that home based truck dispatching exist, so you can work from the comforts of your own home day in, day out.
So if you’re looking to get some experience and want to apply to virtual dispatcher jobs, here are 5 leads to get you started:
- Trucking Agents.net – Aside from dispatchers, this company also hires brokers, drivers, trucking agents, fleet owners interested in leasing their trucks, and more.
- Premier Dispatch Services LLC – Requires the basics – a year of dispatch experience, your own computer, high-speed internet access, and hardware (phone/fax/printer, etc.).
- Learn Dispatch International – If you’re planning to build your own trucking dispatch company, but you don’t have an idea where to begin, joining companies like this will give you all the information you need to manage your own fleet, clients, brokers, trucks, and so on.
- Swaggin Wagon – This is an example of a small trucking company that specializes in the delivery of frac sand. The company has over 150 trucks and regularly looks for a dispatcher to help handle scheduling.
- Central Dispatch – Although not like the other sites on this list, Central Dispatch is a marketplace of sorts where you can network with dealers, shippers, other dispatchers, clients, and so on. There is a fee, but if you’re willing to dig deep into this industry, this website is a goldmine.
The outlook of work from home dispatcher jobs look good, but since this is a high-stress job, many people who began this career employed with a trucking company often decide to turn it into a full-time business.
After all, running a dispatcher business brings the same responsibilities (and stress) as it does with either independent or employed dispatchers.
How to Start a Dispatching Home Business
The trucking and logistics industry has many players.
As a dispatcher, you play only one of the several important roles.
As such, when you decide to launch a dispatching home business, you should know the ins and outs of this role already. You also need the following:
- Dispatcher license – Depending on where you’re located, your state may require you to have a high school diploma and obtain additional truck dispatching course.
- A small office – Ideally, your office should have a computer, internet, printer, fax machine, and a landline. Ideally, the office should be in a quiet environment, so you could answer and make calls without any issues.
- Dispatching software – This can be a life-saver when organizing invoices, names, schedules, shipping information and so on. It also keeps records of past transactions, help in keeping tabs on payments made.
- Employer Identification Number (EIN) – All businesses in the U.S. require an EIN from the IRS.
- Get paperwork – Write contracts, so all transactions you do are documented. Pick a business structure (LLC, sole proprietorship, etc.) that you think is most suitable for your this business.
- Create a marketing plan – Are you taking this business to the next level? Craft a marketing plan that will outline how you’re going to promote your dispatching services.
The Bottom Line
In fact, dispatching is a high-paced position, you must be able to work under pressure gracefully. This is probably the most important characteristic of dispatchers because burn out in this field is very real.
Being a work from home dispatcher doesn’t make the job any easier. There’s a lot that is required of a dispatcher. First, your communication and negotiation skills must be top-notch, since your goal is to always find the middle ground with other players of the trucking/logistics industry.
Second, you should be highly organized, expert in spreadsheets, good with numbers, and have leadership skills.
And this free video will show you exactly everything you need to do to get started. Click here to watch it now.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment potential for all dispatchers is expected to rise across the United States due to the continuous growth of the trucking, transportation, and shipping industries, so there’s no better time to explore this career than now.