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Dispatching 101

In today's market, finding loads can be challenging, especially with increasing fraud and a slow market. Despite these concerns, here are some dispatching tips to help increase your revenue or improve your thought process to ensure you're getting the best rate for your miles.

*disclaimer: rates used below are not legit but are used to help explain the dispatching tip*

Dispatching Tip #1: Best Load Boards To Find Freight

Internet Truckstop and DAT are the top two load boards to find freight. When browsing these load boards, keep the following in mind:

  • Always look to see how many trucks are available for the lanes you’re interested in. The less trucks available, the better the chance of getting the rate you want.
  • Always look how long the load has been posted. The longer it’s been posted the more likely you are to get a better rate.

Dispatching Tip #2: Local Runs

Local runs are considered any job that is roughly within 200 miles or less of your home base. When doing local runs, make sure you consider the following:

  • Does the compensation for the load justify the time spent waiting to load and unload your truck?
  • Make sure you are making the most of your time and consider how many local runs you can complete in a day at a lower rate. Am I able to do a local run and a longer route pick up in the evening to make more revenue on the same day?

Dispatching Tip #3: Regional Runs

Regional runs are considered any job within a limited radius near an office or home. For regional runs, you will typically pick up a load and deliver it that night or the next morning, depending on the mileage and the operating hours of shippers and receivers

With regional runs, you should be getting double the rate of a local run or more, depending on the load details. For example, if a broker offers $550 for a 300-mile full truckload, always try asking for an additional $100. If they can't do $100, negotiate for $50 more before agreeing to the original rate.

Dispatching Tip #4: Multi Stop Loads

Multi-stop loads involve a single truckload making multiple deliveries along a specific route. Typically, a run from point A to point B has a flat rate, but any additional stops within the run should include a stop-off charge. For example, you should be paid an additional $35 per extra stop.

Dispatching Tip #5: Detention/Tracking

Detention is known as the time that a carrier has to wait at a shipper’s or receiver’s facility beyond the agree-upon time for loading and unloading. Carriers don’t always get paid for detention time if it’s not properly tracked, so be sure to do the following:

  • Always ensure times and dates are noted on the BOL and have the shipper and/or receiver initial the waiting time. This increases your chances of being compensated for waiting.
  • Always track any available information on broker loads so they can verify when you arrive and know you’re not lying about waiting.
  • From what we’ve experienced, most brokers don’t pay detention for the first two hours.

Dispatching Tip #6: Over The Road

Over the road is typically referred to trips longer than regional runs. When hauling over the road loads, consider the following tips:

  • Always try to create a relationship with a broker, they may potentially give you a round trip or weekly loads which will give you more opportunity for growth and better rates.

  • Set yourself up for success by managing your ELD to maximize hauling loads at better rates and effectively manage your time.

  • Don’t haul loads to states that won’t offer return loads unless the state you’re going to justifies the loss. For instance, you might find a high-paying load from NY to TX, but returning from TX might only offer half the amount. Always look ahead and plan accordingly

Additional Dispatching Tips

  • Always ask for more money - the worst case is they will say no. If they do say no, make sure it’s worth your fuel and waiting time.

  • If you are empty, when calling on a load mention it

  • If you are tarping a load, make sure the rate is in a price range to include that.
    Example: 450 miles x 2.5 fuel price $1125 + $200 tarping charge = $1325 rate.

  • If you accept an advance for a lumper fee, always ensure it's submitted with paperwork to avoid deductions, even if you didn't pay for it yourself. All receipts/documents provided to you for the load must be handed in. Lumpers, scale tickets, wash outs, etc. The more you provide the less issues and deductions.

  • Are you deadheading? Make sure they know how many deadhead miles you have, what time you can be there, and if you can deliver the load when they need it. If you are deadheading and they have no one else able to take the load, you can increase your chances to get more money.

While all these dispatching tips above will help you increase your profits from the loads you haul, you saw always remember the rule of thumb – if a freight rate is too good to be true – it probably is fraud.