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If you are a small trucking company owner or an owner operator, you know how challenging it can be to find good loads and negotiate fair rates with brokers and shippers. You also know how time-consuming and stressful it can be to handle all the paperwork, invoicing, compliance, and customer service that comes with running a trucking business.
That’s why many small trucking companies and owner-operators choose to outsource their dispatching needs to a professional dispatch service. A truck dispatch service is a third-party company that acts as a middleman between you and the freight market. They help you find the best loads, negotiate the highest rates, handle the paperwork, and deal with any issues that may arise along the way. Dispatch services like AFT Dispatch, represent the carrier and owner operator, so your truck dispatcher always has your best interests in mind.
But how do you find the best dispatch service for your business? What are the benefits and drawbacks of using dispatch services? And what are the key factors to consider when choosing between multiple dispatch services? In this article, we will answer these questions and more. Plus, be sure to visit the other detailed posts we’ve written for you and linked below.
|What is a dispatch service?||A third-party company that helps you find loads, negotiate rates, handle paperwork, and help deal with issues that may arise along the way.|
|What are the benefits of using dispatch services?||You can save time, money, and stress by outsourcing your dispatching needs. You can focus on driving and growing your business. You can access more loads and better rates than you could on your own. You can get expert advice and support from experienced truck dispatchers.|
|What are the drawbacks of using dispatch services?||You have to pay a fee or a percentage of your revenue to the dispatch company. You have to share some control and information as well as trust your truck dispatcher to act in your best interest. You have to communicate clearly and regularly.|
|What are the key factors to consider when choosing between dispatch services?||The reputation and experience of a specific dispatch company. Services offered and fees charged. Communication and transparency. The compatibility and flexibility.|
Benefits of Using Dispatch Services
Using dispatch services can have many benefits for your trucking business, such as:
One of the main benefits of using dispatch services is that they can save you a lot of time and hassle. As a truck driver, you have to deal with many tasks that are not directly related to driving, such as finding loads, negotiating rates, handling paperwork, invoicing, compliance, and customer service. These tasks can take up a lot of your time and energy, and distract you from your core business. By outsourcing these tasks to a company providing dispatch services, you can free up your time and focus on what you do best: driving and growing your trucking company.
A dispatch service will find the best loads for you based on your preferences and availability, and negotiate the highest rates for you with brokers and shippers. They will also handle all the paperwork and documentation for you, such as agreements, contracts, bills of lading, proof of delivery, and invoices. They should also work closely with your factor and insurance company to run broker credit checks and produce unique insurance certificates listing the broker as a certificate holder. They will also deal with issues or problems that may arise along the way, such as delays, damages, claims, or disputes.
By using dispatch services, you can avoid wasting time on low-paying loads or running too many deadhead miles, which can reduce your profitability and efficiency. A good dispatch service should find the highest paying loads for you that match your equipment, location, and schedule, and minimize your empty miles by finding you profitable backhauls. These being some of the minimum requirements for a good truck dispatcher.
Another benefit of using dispatch services is that it can help you save money on various aspects of your trucking business. Dispatch services can help you find the highest paying loads and negotiate the best rates for you with brokers and shippers, which can increase your revenue and profit margin. Dispatch services can also help you reduce your overhead costs by taking care of the administrative and operational tasks that you would otherwise have to pay for, such as paperwork, billing and invoicing, customer service, and other types of support. By outsourcing these tasks to a dispatch service, you can lower your expenses and improve your cash flow.
Additionally, some dispatch services can help you save money on fuel, tolls, and maintenance by finding you the most efficient routes and minimizing empty miles. A solid truck dispatcher can use their expertise and technology to plan and optimize your routes, find you backhauls or help reduce your deadhead miles. By using a dispatch service, you can save money on fuel consumption, wear and tear, and repairs, which can extend the lifespan of your equipment and reduce your downtime. Truckers know that maintenance and repairs are very expensive in trucking. Breakdowns over the road are almost always very expensive. Many truckers have found maintaining their equipment when they’re home to be an effective way to avoid costly repairs.
Accessing More Loads and Better Rates
Getting Expert Advice and Support
Drawbacks of Using Dispatch Services
Using dispatch services can also have some drawbacks for your trucking business, such as:
Paying a Fee or a Percentage of Your Revenue
A dispatch service is not a free service. You have to pay a fee or a percentage of your revenue to the dispatch company for their services. Depending on the dispatch service and what they offer, the fee or percentage can vary from 5% to 10% or more. You have to weigh the costs and benefits of using dispatch services and make sure that it is worth it for your trucking business.
Sharing Some Control and Information
When dispatch services, you have to share some control and information with the dispatch company. You have to trust the dispatch service to find the best loads and rates for you, and to handle the paperwork and communication for you. You also have to share your personal and business information, such as insurance, authority, banking and tax information. You have to make sure that the dispatch service is reliable, trustworthy, and professional, and that they respect your privacy and confidentiality.
Communicating Clearly and Regularly
Communication is key when using dispatch services. You have to communicate clearly and regularly with your truck dispatcher about your preferences, availability, location, status, and any issues or concerns that you may have. You also have to follow the instructions and guidelines of the dispatch service and keep them updated on your progress and performance. You have to make sure that the dispatch service is responsive, attentive, and respectful, and that they listen to your needs and feedback.
Key Factors to Consider When Choosing Between Dispatch Services
Choosing a dispatch service is an important decision for your trucking business. Look for dispatch services that suit your needs, goals, and budget, and that you can trust and work with. Here are some key factors to consider when choosing between different dispatch services:
Reputation and Experience
You want to choose a dispatch service that has a good reputation and experience in the trucking industry. You can check the reviews and ratings of the dispatch service online, or ask for references and testimonials from their current or previous clients. You can also ask how long they have been in business. You want to choose a dispatch service that has a proven track record of delivering quality service and results, and that has a loyal and satisfied customer base.
Services and Fees
You want to choose a dispatch service that offers the services and fees that match your needs and budget. You can ask about the types of services they offer, such as load finding, rate negotiation, paperwork, invoicing, compliance, customer service, and other support. You can also ask about the fees they charge, such as a flat fee, a percentage of your revenue, or a combination of both. You want to choose a dispatch service that offers a fair and transparent pricing structure, and that does not have any hidden or extra charges.
Communication and Transparency
You want to choose dispatch services that have good communication and a transparency policy. You can ask about the methods and frequency of communication they use, such as phone, email, text, or app. You can also ask about the level and type of information they share with you, such as load details, rates, contracts, invoices, and reports. You want to choose dispatch services that communicate with you clearly and regularly, and that keep you informed and updated on everything that affects your business. Make sure whoever you work with, is always providing you with the original rate confirmation for every load they book for you. This is very important.
Compatibility and Flexibility
You want to choose a dispatch service that is compatible and flexible with your business. You can ask about the types of trucks, trailers, and freight they work with, and if they have any preferences or restrictions. You can also ask about the level of control and input you have over your loads, routes, and schedules, and if they can accommodate your special requests or needs. You want to choose a dispatch service that understands and respects your business, and that can adapt and adjust to your changing needs and situations.
The Obligatory Shameless Plug
Using dispatch services can be a great way to save time, money, and stress, and to grow your trucking business. However, you have to choose the right dispatch service for your needs, goals, and budget. You have to consider the reputation, experience, services, fees, communication, transparency, compatibility, and flexibility of the dispatch service, and compare them with your expectations and preferences.
If you are looking for a reliable, professional, and affordable dispatch service, have a look at what we offer at AFT Dispatch. AFT Dispatch is a dispatch service that specializes in working with small trucking companies and owner-operators. We offer a wide range of services, such as load finding, rate negotiation, paperwork, invoicing, compliance, customer service, driver support, and more. We charge a flat fee of 7% of your gross revenue, with no hidden or extra charges. We communicate with you clearly and regularly, and we keep you informed and updated on everything that affects your business. We only work with semi trucks and semi trailers. No HotShots or LTL. No Sprinters or Cargo vans.
To learn more about how we can help you grow your trucking business, visit our website and select whether you are a carrier or an owner-operator. You can also call or text us at (801) 448-6363 and speak with us about your situation, needs, and preferences. AFT Dispatch is the truck dispatch service you need to take your trucking business to the next level. Don’t wait, contact us today and get started!