What is a dispatcher?

The dispatcher is responsible for the management and allocation of resources/means of production/goods or personnel. He supervises the execution of services, sets deadlines and ensures that operational processes run smoothly.

What are the areas of responsibility for dispatchers in different sectors?

In the classic setting, the dispatcher works in goods management and goods traffic in the areas of logistics and transport. Possible employers are forwarders, companies in railway transport, logistics companies and postal and courier services.

In other areas, such as human resources, the so-called personnel dispatcher is responsible for human resources. He is used in recruiting, prepares pay slips or manages the deployment of temporary workers. In materials management, the dispatcher has the task of scheduling all necessary resources for production and calculating costs.

What does a dispatcher do (logistics)?  

In the logistics sector, dispatchers carry out transport planning (also called scheduling) and are thus the coordinators of all logistical tasks in a forwarding or courier company, regardless of whether the transport is handled by rail, road, sea or air.

The following tasks may be part of the activities of a dispatcher in logistics:

  • Creating quotes and comparing prices for the transport of goods
  • Accepting orders, planning and monitoring transport orders 
  • Tour planning and allocation to employees and means of transport
  • Observing all applicable restrictions and legal requirements
  • Coordination of resources in accordance with deadlines and requirements
  • Monitoring of delivery quantities, dates and documents
  • Assignment of driving personnel and fleet
  • Licencing and organisation of official requirements
  • Maintenance of supplier master data
  • Vehicle deployment planning
  • Planning of upcoming maintenance work on the vehicles
  • Complaints processing
  • Fleet management

In some companies, the dispatcher’s job is also distinguished from the job of the planner. In this case, the planner is responsible for allocating the tours for the fleet, not the dispatcher.

How does one become a dispatcher (logistics)?

The profession of a dispatcher is usually based on a completed commercial apprenticeship. Ideally, this is supplemented by further training in the desired area of specialisation. Depending on the company and the job description, corresponding prior knowledge regarding the job focus (commercial or technical) is also required.

A completed apprenticeship in one of the following areas serves as a basis for further training as a dispatcher:

  • Air traffic clerk
  • Shipping clerk
  • Freight forwarding and logistics services clerk
  • Rail and road transport clerk
  • Logistics/materials management specialist
  • Courier, express and postal services clerk

The following initial professions can also be helpful for starting out as a dispatcher:

  • Warehouse logistics specialist
  • Industrial clerk
  • Office management clerk
  • Tourism and leisure clerk
  • Freight forwarding and logistics services clerk
  • Transport logistics specialist
  • Business administrator/economist

What makes a good dispatcher in logistics? What are the prerequisites for a job as a dispatcher in logistics?

In addition to the aforementioned completed commercial apprenticeship and soft skills, further training in the area of warehouse management/logistics or trade is also advantageous. You can also score points with a general interest in transport in general.

In addition to training, a good dispatcher should ideally have the following skills and knowledge:

  • Personal responsibility
  • Strategic thinking and acting
  • Talent for organisation
  • Strong communication skills
  • Reliability
  • Very good MS Office skills
  • Good knowledge of foreign languages is an advantage

What further training opportunities does a dispatcher in logistics have?

With regard to further training, dispatchers have options such as further training to become a business economist for transport or logistics or even part-time studies in the areas of logistics, transport business administration or supply chain management.

Basically, the dispatcher’s job is a job with a secure future, even without further training. Even though technology is advancing in the logistics sector, the complexity of the tasks is increasing at the same time. Increasing globalisation and the ongoing shortage of skilled workers also ensure that more jobs are advertised than there are skilled workers.

The logistics software CarLo makes the dispatcher’s daily work easier. Thanks to the intelligent software, tours can be planned more efficiently and processes can be optimised, from order entry to scheduling to automatically planning tours and invoicing.