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Infographic: A Day in the Life of a Modern Truck Dispatcher

Published on October 21, 2019 by in Blog

Infographic: A Day in the Life of a Modern Truck Dispatcher

A lot of work goes on behind the scenes to ensure that store shelves are stocked and that businesses receive the materials and goods they need to keep running. All of this is made possible largely by Canada’s trucking industry, which moved an incredible 60.9 million shipments in 2016 alone.

Professionals with dispatcher training are essential in keeping this fast-moving industry running, acting as an important point of contact between drivers and clients and continually adjusting routes and loads to ensure that shipments (and drivers) arrive safely and on time. To do this they rely on sophisticated software capable of providing up-to-date information on drivers, trucks, and shipments, so that they can coordinate the wide variety of factors that go into a successful delivery. For individuals who are adept at multitasking, thrive in fast-paced environments, and have strong communication skills, it can be an incredibly rewarding job.

If you’ve been considering training for an exciting new career in the trucking industry with dispatch courses, here’s a quick overview of the types of responsibilities and concerns you can expect as a modern truck dispatcher.

dispatch courses

A Day in the Life of a Modern Truck Dispatcher

Truck dispatchers are essential to the transportation and logistics industry.

They act as a point of contact between drivers and clients.

They help ensure that loads are delivered efficiently and on time.

Every day, truck dispatchers work to:

  • Ensure deadlines are met
  • Improve efficiency
  • Keep customers happy
  • Keep drivers safe

Regular Tasks for Truck Dispatchers

  • Scheduling drivers to pick up and deliver loads
  • Maintaining up-to-date records
  • Facilitating border crossings
  • Monitoring drivers’ daily logs and working hours
  • Taking calls from clients
  • Flagging potential issues like bad weather
  • Rerouting drivers as needed

Did you know? Severe weather—including high winds, blizzards, and heavy rain or snow—are responsible for an estimated 23% of all trucking delays.

Dispatchers are Problem Solvers

Some of the unexpected issues dispatchers commonly handle include:

  • Sick drivers
  • Truck breakdowns
  • Traffic and congestion
  • Communication challenges
  • Changing client demands

Dispatchers are Decision Makers

Dispatchers need to take many factors into account when assigning loads, including:

  • The timeline that needs to be met
  • How many hours the driver has available
  • Where the load needs to go
  • “Empty kilometres” where a truck will drive empty

Did you know? Approximately 32 billion “empty kilometres” are driven by trucks across North America every year.

Essential Skills for Truck Dispatchers

  • Communication: Dispatchers spend time on the phone or messaging online with clients and drivers.
  • Multitasking: Dispatchers oversee a large number of drivers and routes.
  • Computer skills: Dispatchers use advanced software to track drivers and shipments.

Where Truck Dispatchers Work

As of December 2017, there were 69,411 Canadian trucking transportation companies:

  • Ontario (41.9%)
  • Alberta (16.4%)
  • Quebec (14.6%)
  • British Columbia (14.3%)

The Trucking Industry in Canada

  • Annual revenue: $37.9 billion
  • Annual distance travelled: 38.7 billion kilometres
  • Annual shipments: 60.9 million


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