Once upon a time, in an age before advanced telecommunications, the transportation industry had to rely solely on the transporter's knowledge of their geography, and records were made manually only after deliveries had been made and the transporter returned to their point of origin.
This was mostly the case before cars and trucks became the primary mode of transportation (across land), but nonetheless, the need for more advanced systems of organization became an obvious factor in improving the efficiency of transportation and delivery.
Today, the dispatcher has become an essential part of the transportation team. They not only give directions before the transporter sets out, and take records upon the transporter's return, but they continue to work with the transporter during the entire length of their journeys.
Because of the many responsibilities undertaken by the dispatcher, there are many schools and programs across the country that offer very specialized and competitive courses to train dispatchers. And with increasingly-sophisticated technologies, the number of responsibilities, and the training required, is constantly increasing.
The dispatcher is the trucker's constant and direct line of communication with the transport company. The trucker depends on the dispatcher as a sort of steady lifeline, and this trust forms the backbone of the transportation industry.
Aside from this relationship of communication, a dispatcher course covers more tasks and responsibilities of the auto dispatcher, such as:
Freight Matching is the task of matching specific loads or freights with the right number of vehicles and the sizes of the cargo containers to optimize the transport with the least amount of vehicles needed.
Route Management requires skills to determine the fastest or best routes for the truckers, considering road allowances, underpass heights, highway tariffs, construction and traffic.
GPS Tracking involves managing the global positioning satellite of the tucks to keep track of their location at any given time and to assist the trucker in case of detours or mis-directions.
Border Crossing provides all the necessary documents for crossing borders depending on local customs and rules.
Specialized Freight handles any specific procedures regarding specialized freight and transportation services, including refrigerated freight, hazardous materials, and heavy-load freight.
Order management uses modern software programs to track and keep records of orders for archives as well as for estimation of similar orders.
Freight pricing handles the estimations of the cost of a transportation account and taking into account labor hours of the truckers, fuel, tariffs and fees. Also keeping track of repairs and servicing as it is required on the job.
Fuel optimization determines the total amounts of fuel required, optimal filling up locations at specific destinations of the itinerary.
Dispatcher training covers all of these tasks and more. But aside from all of these tasks, the dispatcher's main role is staying connected with the trucker during the long hours of the journey. While the basics of this communication are taught in schools, it is only with experience that the dispatcher comes to appreciate the important role of their relationship with the trucker, and vice versa.