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.
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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 halfway around the world, but they can manage a group of truck drivers via phone.
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 negotiating 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 the creditworthiness of suppliers.
- Arranging package pickups and deliveries. If you already have consistent customers and would no longer need to find packages every day, your job would likely revolve around arranging pickups, deliveries, and other package handling concerns.
- Picking out the best routes for drivers. Because you are the one scheduling all the logistics of delivery, you’ll also determine the best routes for truck drivers to reach their destinations safely and on time.
- Managing the daily driver schedule. Sometimes, cancellations occur. Bad weather conditions make it impossible to reach destinations. Scheduled deliveries may have to be rescheduled due to other circumstances. 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 working away from your team, but you’re still considered their leader. You’ll need to address their job-related concerns and improve morale.
- Logging and keeping records. Ensuring the drivers log their schedules, incidents, route changes, and other details of their trips is crucial to the success of the business.
- 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 mentioned 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 personnel.
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 on commissions (either prepaid or by the amount of load, freight, or jobs closed within a week). On average, a dispatcher can 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 being independent truck dispatchers to being tied to just one company.
Where to Find Work from Home Dispatcher Jobs
The best way to learn the ropes of truck dispatching is to be employed with a trucking company first. When you’ve learned the ins and outs of truck dispatching, becoming an independent truck dispatcher is going to be easier.
Here are some companies where you can apply for work from home dispatcher jobs:
- FlexJobs — Any time you’re looking for a work-from-home job, this is the first job board that you should be looking at. They vet the companies for you so you can rest assured that the opportunities here are legit.
- 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 — Requirements include 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 dispatchers to help handle scheduling.
- TTN Fleet Solutions — They provide transportation management solutions to various clients in the US and in Canada. They currently have openings for work from home dispatchers, with priority given to experienced dispatchers.
- New England Truck Center — They design, sell, service, and repair custom wreckers. Periodically looking for remote dispatchers to work with their drivers when there are calls for roadside assistance, towing, and hauling.
- TrueNorth Transportation Co. — TrueNorth is an expert in transportation and logistics, and they’re looking for virtual dispatchers who can not only manage truck drivers but also handle some customer service.
- Innovative Logistics — They’re experts in trucking business development and carrier services. They’re looking for dispatchers with more than 1 year of experience as a dispatcher to work from home and get paid on a percentage basis.
- Manchester Motor Freight — An intermodal container drayage trucking company based in Manchester, New Hampshire. They’re looking for dispatch driver managers who can manage a fleet of trucks from home.
- Dropoff — Same-day courier service serving businesses throughout the country since 2014. They’re looking for part-time work from home dispatchers to facilitate same-day deliveries by communicating with driver agents.
- Evonik Industries — Germany-headquartered specialty chemicals company with a huge operation in the US. They’re looking for experienced dispatchers to schedule safe, compliant, and prompt deliveries to their customers.
The future of work from home dispatcher jobs looks good, but since this is a fast-paced, 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 while providing the opportunity to earn more.
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 go through additional truck dispatching courses.
- Employer Identification Number (EIN) – All businesses in the U.S. require an EIN from the IRS.
- A small office – Ideally, your office should have a computer, high-speed internet, printer, fax machine, and a landline. Also, the office should be in a quiet environment, so you could answer and make calls without any issues.
- Dispatching software – An ideal dispatching software allows you to prioritize time-sensitive cargo, calculate the fastest and safest routes, monitor the weather, track drivers, and many other essential functions.
- Bookkeeping software – This is a godsend when organizing invoices, names, schedules, shipping information, and so on. It also keeps records of past transactions and helps you keep tabs on payments made.
- 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 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 while maintaining your composure. This is probably the most important characteristic of dispatchers because burnout 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, an expert in spreadsheets, good with numbers, and have leadership skills.
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.
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