A closer look at trucking dispatch software, its capabilities and benefits
By FarEye | October 13, 2022
Trucking is the most common method for transporting goods and with the e-commerce industry growing tremendously, the trucking industry needs to find the most efficient ways to distribute products.
Trucking dispatch companies need to easily interact between truck drivers, dispatchers and end-customers. Truck dispatching also includes coordinating and executing freight transportation between destinations, arranging pickups, organizing delivery schedules, consolidating goods, enforcing safety protocols, tracking delivery fleets, keeping records and more. These are complex and time-bound processes. Using traditional trucking dispatch practices it's extremely difficult to gain control and visibility over these core logistics operations.
Trucks that are being used now are equipped with satellite tracking systems and GPS technology for monitoring the locations of trucks. Trucking companies are opting for alternative fuel trucks or even electric trucks to cut operational and fuel costs. With the global freight trucking market to reach $5.5 Trillion by 2027, technology is helping the trucking industry to make way for safer driving practices and also contribute to the efficiency of the trucking dispatch service.
What is trucking dispatch software?
Trucking dispatch software provides means for a trucking company to manage every aspect of their logistics operations using a single interface. With features like automated route planning and scheduling, freight billing, driver management, real-time tracking, predictive intelligence, customer visibility, mobile seamless stakeholder collaboration and much more built-in capabilities, trucking dispatch software provides end-to-end visibility and control over transportation operations.
7 Key Capabilities of Trucking Dispatch Software
The best trucking dispatch software gives businesses complete control of every transportation process thus enabling them to provide consistent quality service. This quality service brings positive endorsements which strengthen the brand value of businesses. Some key features of the best trucking dispatch software are:
1. Effective optimization engine
Dispatch software for trucking companies optimizes routes in real-time based on different variable factors like weather, traffic, on-ways, tonnage, delivery type among others. It optimizes delivery productivity by eliminating route diversions and unnecessary stoppages. Advanced trucking management platforms optimize costs by reducing miles travelled, empty-miles and fuel consumption.
2. Real-time tracking
Trucking companies need to monitor the location and status of drivers constantly to enable smooth executing of dispatch processes. Such software ensures end-to-end tracking of ground-level delivery activities. This empowers businesses to gain visibility into truck location and status anytime anywhere. Real-time access to the existing traffic conditions makes it easier to adapt the best routes for delivery. This can be done by automating notifications to drivers for any unusual events and taking measures to ensure that freight arrives on time.
3. SLA enforcement
Service-level-agreements or SLAs are critical to ensuring productive and efficient delivery execution. Modern trucking dispatch tools allow shippers to ensure that trucking companies adhere to these regulations. Real-time visibility into on-going transportation helps businesses proactively understand if a said delivery will be early, on-time or delayed. These tools consolidate all carrier contracts in a centralized repository so that logistics stakeholders can accesses them later for analyzing carrier performance and gauge the level of SLA adherence. For maximum efficiency, such trucking management software handles multi-modal contracts and offer easy setup and role-based access options. It also sends notifications for expiring agreements.
4. Reports and analysis
Dispatch software for trucking companies uses business intelligence (BI) tools to present information. This information is presented in the form of customizable dashboards, predictive analytics, specialized maps to visualize shipping patterns, and numerous colorful charts making it easy to track and analyze strategies for streamlining the truck dispatch service. BI features also include reporting which drills down into analytics and custom reports which help in better planning and ensure data-driven decision making.
5. Seamless integration with 3PL and carrier systems
Third-party logistics provider and carrier systems can utilize trucking dispatch software to refine their existing processes and improve overall efficiency. Advanced dispatching platforms seamlessly integrate with 3PL systems, WMS, TMS, OMS, and GPS tools. This eliminates the need to rip and replace existing IT-infrastructure and ensures high-levels of visibility across disparate logistics functions.
6. Digital control tower
Robust dispatching management solutions are accompanied by digital control towers (DCTs). DCTs empower trucking businesses and shippers to monitor, manage and measure transportation operations across a supply chain network. These towers are powered by advanced alerting capabilities that proactively generate distributed notifications directly to the concerned logistics stakeholder to intimate the person about exceptions and emergencies like theft suspicion, unprecedented delays, vehicle breakdown, expired documents, non-compliance with operating procedures and more. It expedites the resolution of exceptions, reduced shipping costs and helps businesses achieve a perfect order index.
7. Proactive alerts
Proactive alerts help businesses to get updates regarding the status of a delivery truck and driver throughout final, middle and last-mile operations. The system provides alerts to automatically notify dispatchers about trips that may miss their scheduled delivery time, exceptions, prolonged stoppages, speeding and more. With the availability of real-time data, businesses can quickly inform drivers to take corrective measures in case of any disruption on the scheduled route. This also includes automatically sending alerts to customers if a delay occurs in the delivery of goods.
9 Benefits of Trucking Dispatch Software
Modern trucking management platforms are designed to help automate routing and scheduling processes, provide an efficient way to coordinate routes and deliveries. Here are some important advantages of such a platform.
1. Increase in On-Time In-Full deliveries
Such a platform helps the business to deliver the full quantity requested by the customer on the exact date. This is achievable through route optimization, proactive logistics management and real-time tracking of the fleet.
2. Intermodal trucking dispatch
Intermodal trucking dispatch would involve the use of two or more modes of transportation to deliver goods to the end-customer. Special standardized containers are used for intermodal transport of cargo on trucks, freight trains, and ships. Modern trucking management tools help improve container movements and increase freight visibility across roadways, railways, airways and waterways.
3. Real-time tracking
Real-time tracking provides complete visibility of ground-level transportation operations to shippers and trucking companies. The ability to communicate critical information in real-time to guide the delivery fleet throughout its journey efficiently helps in avoiding delayed deliveries.
4. Automatic route planning
The software would be able to find the best route by considering the total distance from the pickup point to the end destination, customer’s preferred delivery time windows, load time, rest time, fuel stops, the maximum number of deliverable points and the most efficient routes to save on fuel costs. It helps to calculate the best possible route for maximum delivery points by taking real-time problems like traffic or weather conditions into consideration.
5. Dynamic route optimization
Route optimization is the process of determining the most cost-efficient route while enabling the maximum number of delivery points. Using real-time information, dynamic route optimization can be implemented which can help to integrate new orders into the delivery schedule, taking traffic or weather conditions into consideration. In case of vehicle breakdown, the software would help to shift deliveries to other drivers automatically.
6. Accurate KPI benchmarking
The software will provide businesses with information to make informed decisions and determine the viability of their operations by allowing them to set KPIs to benchmark the performance and effectiveness of transportation functions and operations. Accurate benchmarking if KPIs help businesses intelligently select logistics partners and carriers. It also helps analyze the cause of delays and the performance of a particular route.
7. SLA adherence
A service-level agreement (SLA) is a commitment between a transporter and a customer that specifies, in measurable terms, what services the delivery service provider will furnish. Such software maps SLA adherence directly with carrier performance to give customers a holistic view of how a said delivery was executed and levy penalties in case of any irregularities.
8. Mitigating risks and delays
The software provides a variety of analytical tools to analyze and predict routes which in the past have caused delays in delivery. It also predicts the risks associated with routes taking into consideration all parameters which affect delivery execution.
9. Reduced fuel consumption
Real-time dynamic routing helps to provide the most efficient routes possible thus reducing fuel costs. It helps to monitor fuel consumption and implement better route management and reduce empty miles. The software effectively plans for return journeys and incorporates pickup jobs for returning vehicles to reduce empty-miles and optimize fuel usage.