Gain a Competitive Advantage by Automating Driver Dispatch for the Best Driver for a Load
Thought Leadership
Thought Leadership

Gain a Competitive Advantage by Automating Driver Dispatch for the Best Driver for a Load

April 27, 2023

By Optimal Dynamics

Dispatching is no simple task when handled manually. There are numerous factors at work for each decision, as dispatchers coordinate loads, drivers, and schedules to maximize profits. Fortunately, automation has become a game-changer for dispatchers, providing the best options for assigning loads to drivers or drivers to loads. Companies can optimize their resources and make these decisions quickly and efficiently for a competitive advantage.

This article presents the advantages of dispatch automation, plus the steps you need to successfully implement automated dispatch software. 

Understanding Driver Dispatching: The Key Challenges

Driver dispatching is all about coordinating and assigning drivers, trucks, and loads, helping the trucking business run smoothly and efficiently. A dispatcher’s daily to-do list can involve selecting the best driver for a load, considering all driver locations, schedules, and preferences. Dispatchers must consider driver needs, while also keeping resource optimization, profit maximization, and excellent customer service top of mind. Each day, the business trusts them to make sound decisions as they manage the following key challenges:

  • Managing driver schedules: One of a dispatcher's main challenges is managing driver schedules while ensuring they comply with Hours of Service (HOS) regulations. They must plan and communicate with drivers to ensure on-time pickup for their next load.
  • Handling customer service: Dispatchers must maintain strong customer relationships, promptly addressing their needs and concerns. This involves providing updates on pickup and delivery status, resolving any issues, and maintaining a high level of customer satisfaction.
  • Finding loads: Dispatchers must decide which loads to accept to maximize long-term profitability, not just short-term. This requires a deep understanding of market dynamics, including supply and demand, and how these factors will affect future decisions.
  • Maintaining documentation: Dispatching involves a considerable amount of documentation, from signed paperwork to driver logs. Managing these documents accurately and efficiently is essential to ensure a smooth-running business.
  • Keeping up with industry trends: The trucking industry is continually evolving, with new regulations, technologies, and market dynamics. Dispatchers must have current information on industry trends to maintain a competitive edge. 

Analyzing Business Performance

All trucking companies must continuously keep a close eye on their business performance with key performance indicators (KPIs). Regularly analyzing dispatching performance helps them identify inefficiencies, monitor progress, and make informed decisions to optimize operations. KPIs like on-time delivery rates, driver utilization, and revenue per truck per week offer insights into the effectiveness of their dispatching process.

In addition to these common KPIs, a few other areas are necessary to monitor, which may require additional research.

  • Driver satisfaction: Regularly gathering feedback from drivers can help pinpoint issues affecting their job satisfaction and productivity, such as communication gaps, challenging schedules, or insufficient support.
  • Customer satisfaction: Measuring customer satisfaction through surveys, reviews, and direct feedback can help identify areas where service levels need improvement and highlight opportunities for enhanced customer relations.
  • Network optimization: Analyzing network efficiency can reveal potential savings in time, fuel, and resources. With the right technology, companies can make plans to minimize costs.
  • Truckload bidding: Assessing the effectiveness of truckload bidding practices can help companies identify opportunities for more profitable loads. 

Analyzing dispatch performance yields insights to identify areas where improvements could drive greater efficiency and maximize profits. For example, improving communication channels between drivers and dispatchers would go a long way toward reducing friction and promoting better collaboration. Advanced platforms provide automation and optimization to drive dispatching decisions. 

The Benefits of Automation in Driver Dispatching

Automation, in particular, offers numerous benefits for trucking companies. It can greatly reduce their dependence on time-consuming and research-intensive tasks completed manually. Here are four specific benefits of automation for dispatchers. 

Improved efficiency in matching drivers and loads

Automation enables companies to manage the process of matching drivers and loads more efficiently. With advanced algorithms and data-driven insights, automated dispatch software considers driver factors, including their availability, preferences, skill sets, load requirements, and constraints, to suggest the best match options. For the business, this leads to better utilization of resources, shorter waiting times, and higher productivity.

Faster decision-making and better communication

Automation can process large volumes of data and enable faster decisions than manual processes. Once a decision is made, automation provides notifications to ensure everyone stays informed. Dispatchers can respond quickly, reach a decision, and then streamline communication with drivers by providing real-time information when faced with unexpected delays and last-minute load requests. 

Reduced manual workload and human error

Automating repetitive and time-consuming tasks can significantly reduce the manual workload of dispatchers. At the same time, it minimizes the risk of human error in data entry and planning, resulting in more accurate and reliable operations. This also allows dispatchers to focus on higher-value tasks like strategizing for growth and building relationships with customers and drivers. 

Increased profitability and competitiveness

Dispatch automation can have a direct impact on a company's bottom line. Companies can lower their operational costs and increase revenue through more efficient load planning and a reduced manual workload. Improved decision-making and communication also contribute to better customer service, which can help companies stand out in a competitive market. By embracing automation in their dispatching processes, trucking companies can increase their profitability and position themselves for long-term success.

Implementing Automation in Dispatching Processes 

For trucking companies looking to assess what dispatch automation would mean for their business, they can start with four basic steps.

1. Assess the current state of dispatch operations 

Before implementing any changes, evaluate how dispatching operations currently run. Analyze existing processes, workflows, and technologies to identify areas where automation can bring the most value and efficiency improvements.

2. Identify opportunities for automation 

Pinpoint opportunities by looking for tasks that are repetitive, time-consuming, or prone to human error. These are prime candidates for automation.

3. Select the right technology and platform

Research and choose the right technology and platform that align with your business needs and goals.

With the Dispatching module of Optimal Dynamics' Execute platform, companies can identify the best matches between drivers and loads, utilize feasibility and profitability estimates of each dispatch option, and automate the process of assigning drivers to loads.

4. Train dispatchers and drivers on new systems

Finally, it's essential to train dispatchers and drivers on the new automated system to maximize the benefits of automation. Provide hands-on training, ongoing support, and resources to help the team become proficient with the latest technology.

Use Cases for Automated Dispatching 

Trucking companies will find there are many use cases for automated dispatching. For each use case, the bottom line is increased profits, increased competitiveness in the industry, and better driver retention. Here are three such examples.

Regional carriers using automated dispatching to increase efficiency

Regional carriers may experience inefficient and time-consuming decision-making processes when planning load and driver assignments and communicating with customers. This can lead to carriers missing out on the best opportunities for loads because they don’t have the tools to quickly plan. By automating dispatch decisions, carriers get instant access to insights. They can improve their agility and save time through more efficient operations.

Nationwide logistics companies using automated dispatching to reduce empty miles

Complex nationwide logistics networks can struggle with low asset utilization and empty miles. Automated dispatching helps optimize their dispatch plans across the entire network. With fewer empty miles, companies reduce costs, increase profits, and improve driver satisfaction.

Small fleets using automated dispatching for better load selection

Small fleets may not have access to the same resources as their larger competitors, and manual load selection is one area that weighs heavily on their day-to-day operations. Dispatch automation allows small fleets to manage their drivers’ capacity more effectively, while taking into account hours of service and driver preferences. The result is more strategic, optimized decisions that support their driver and the business's profitability.


Gain a Competitive Advantage with Dispatch Automation

As technology continues to evolve, the potential for dispatch automation to transform the trucking industry will only continue to grow. With Optimal Dynamics’ Execute platform, companies can now streamline processes and make strategic, optimized decisions easier through automated dispatching.

Learn more about Execute.

Dispatch automation offers trucking companies the benefits of speed, efficiency, and optimization for assigning drivers to loads or loads to drivers.

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