Beginner's Guide to Trucking Dispatch Software

This beginner’s guide breaks down the key features, core benefits, and top buying considerations to equip you to make an informed software choice that meets your needs both now and into the future.
Published on
December 18, 2023
min read

As a carrier evaluating options to upgrade from spreadsheets or paper processes, the world of trucking dispatch software can feel overwhelming. With providers ranging from legacy solutions to cutting-edge upstarts, how do you know what’s right for your fleet? This beginner’s guide breaks down the key features, core benefits, and top buying considerations to equip you to make an informed software choice that meets your needs both now and into the future.

Must-Have Features

While trucking dispatch systems vary across providers, there are several "must-have" features to ensure you modernize operations:

  • User-Friendly Mobile Interface: An intuitive, driver-centric design that works seamlessly across devices is essential for adoption. Truckbase sets itself apart with an interface intentionally designed for ease of use.
  • Automated Dispatch: Optical character recognition (“OCR”) and smart load builders that auto-populate details save vast time over manual data entry. This improves accuracy too. Truckbase uses AI to extract load details from commonly used forms.
  • Dynamic Calendar View: A centralized dispatch calendar with interactive load cards lets dispatchers easily track and adjust schedules. Truckbase offers at-a-glance visibility of the entire fleet schedule.
  • Integrated Document Management: Scanning, storing and accessing documents like BOLs digitally, via mobile, eliminates paperwork headaches. Truckbase has built-in mobile document uploading.

What are the key benefits of upgrading to a modern trucking dispatch software system?

Transitioning to a modern dispatch system centralizes data and streamlines communication across your fleet:

  • Increased Efficiency: Automating mundane tasks reduces hours of manual work so you can dispatch more trucks per person. This lets you scale without ballooning labor costs.
  • Enhanced Cash Flow: Accelerated invoicing and settlements mean you get paid faster. With transparent records and analysis, you gain financial clarity too.
  • Improved Planning: With integrated data and a live view of fleet status, you can optimize routes, assets, and staff. This means less downtime and ability to capture more loads.
  • Stronger Customer Service: Real-time tracking and predictable ETAs build trust and credibility with shippers. This earns more business long-term.

Key Buying Considerations

As you evaluate providers, keep these factors in mind:

  • Target User & Fleet Size: Carefully consider if a vendor specializes in owner-operators, small fleets, or large carriers to find the right fit. Truckbase, for example, focuses on the underserved small and midsized carrier market.
  • Ease of Adoption: Simple, intuitive systems are critical for rapid implementation. Truckbase prides itself on UIs dispatchers can learn in under 30 minutes.
  • Ongoing Support: The level of post-purchase assistance speaks volumes about a partner. Truckbase offers white-glove onboarding and readily available support.
  • Adaptability: As you grow, can the software scale up? Truckbase delivers turnkey functionality for 10 trucks along with robust tools to manage 100.
  • Price, and Return on Investment: Cost must align with value delivered and company stage. Truckbase gives emerging fleets enterprise-grade benefits for a fraction of the price. Truckbase’s customers often experience a 30% reduction in manual work among dispatchers.

Making an informed software choice lays the foundation for streamlined operations and business growth. Let Truckbase’s dispatch expertise guide you each step of the evaluation process.

Learn more about Truckbase’s dispatch functionality, or book a demo today.

FAQs for buying trucking dispatch software

Q: What are examples of manual processes a TMS automates?

A: From booking loads, tracking status changes, managing documents like BOLs, and invoicing, a dispatch-focused TMS centralizes data flows that used to require lots of spreadsheets, emails, texts and calls.

Q: How long does it take to implement a new TMS?

A: Implementation timelines vary by provider but expect at minimum several weeks from purchase to go-live, and potentially months for complex legacy systems. Truckbase prides itself on rapid onboarding measured in days however.

Q: What happens if I outgrow my dispatch software?

A: Scalability should be a key consideration before buying. Truckbase serves anywhere from 5 to 100 trucks seamlessly for example. For even larger fleets however, at some point a migration to an enterprise TMS becomes necessary.

Q: Is it easy to switch or integrate other software tools with a new TMS?

A: Transitioning data and integrating complementary tools are common concerns. Truckbase's cloud-based API readily connects with accounting software, ELDs, and can handle all your EDI integration needs as well, making widespread adoption smooth.

Learn more about Truckbase’s dispatch functionality, or book a demo today.

Schedule your demo today to understand how Truckbase can help.

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