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What is the Difference Between Freight Brokers and Dispatchers?

December 17, 2021 | Fork Freight

Freight brokers and dispatchers both work as intermediaries between shippers and the trucking industry. Freight brokers typically specialize in one or two specific commodities. Dispatchers will arrange for transportation regardless of goods type. Today, we are going to talk about what is the difference between freight brokers and dispatchers, when it comes to finding freight in the trucking industry period.

What is a Freight Broker?

Freight brokers are responsible for negotiating prices and services with several trucking companies. They typically work as a liaison between shippers and carriers, arranging all the freight transportation details to ensure that shipments arrive on time at their destination. Brokers will also help you find empty trailers from your carrier or provide quotes from multiple available carriers.

What is a Dispatcher?

A dispatcher is a person employed by a trucking company that assigns and organizes the drivers, loads, routes and deliveries for their fleet. The job of dispatchers can be very stressful because they are responsible for all aspects of truck transportation. Dispatchers will work with the shipper to determine which carrier would best fit their needs and then make the arrangements for pickup and delivery.

Freight brokers or dispatchers, Pros and Cons

Now that we have talked about what is the difference between freight brokers and dispatchers, let’s look at some of the pros and cons of each.

Pros of Freight Brokers

Freight brokers are typically the middlemen between the shipper and carrier. This means that they can negotiate rates to help you save money on your shipping costs, ensuring that each shipment is as cost-effective as possible for your business.

Freight Brokers are brokers for all types of freight. This means that they can help you find the best rates no matter what type of commodity your business needs to transport.

Freight brokers may assist with additional capacity. Shippers sometimes need to move more items than they anticipated, and freight brokers can help fill the gap. Brokers build personal relationships with shippers, carriers, and dispatchers so they are able to send extra business when needed.

Brokers provide more flexibility than asset-based carriers. Freight brokers can often accommodate last-minute shipments, whereas a carrier with its own assets may not.

Cons of Freight Brokers

The disadvantage to using a freight broker is that they are going to be motivated by their commission. This means that you can expect them to try and negotiate the lowest possible price. In some cases, this could lead carriers not offering very competitive rates, which will cost your business over time as shipping costs increase from year to year.

Pros of Dispatchers

Dispatchers can be a great choice because they deal directly with the carriers and will negotiate rates based on their experience as well as industry knowledge, which means that you could save money in some cases. They also have access to many different types of loads and carriers so finding empty trailers or full trucks

Dispatchers are responsible for the entire trucking process, from arranging transportation to checking in on drivers. This makes them a valuable asset because they will be able to ensure that your goods arrive quickly and safely—a great benefit since most people would rather pay more than wait longer or settle for less-than-ideal freight services.

Dispatchers are responsible for assigning and organizing the drivers, loads, routes and deliveries for their fleet. Dispatchers will work with a shipper to determine which carrier would best fit their needs and then make the arrangements for pickup and delivery. A dispatcher is looking out for your best interests because they have a personal stake in ensuring that each shipment arrives on time at its destination.

Cons of Dispatchers

Dispatchers usually work through intermediaries, which can add an extra layer of communication and coordination, which can sometimes cause problems. This is especially true for small businesses that are just starting out and don’t have the resources or knowledge to work directly with a dispatcher.

Freight brokers or dispatchers, which one should you use for your business?

Now that we’ve covered some of the pros and cons, let’s talk about who can benefit most from each type of intermediary.

If you are shipping a commodity that the freight broker specializes in, then they will be able to give you the best rate. If you have a shipment with special requirements, like hazardous materials, then using a dispatcher would be better because they will know all  the regulations.

The best way to find out is to contact each and see what they can offer your business. Chances are, you will need the services of both a freight broker and dispatcher to get the most efficient transportation for your goods.

Who is a Freight Broker Best For?

Freight brokers are best for large companies with specialized commodities or loads that need to be shipped by certain carriers because they have the contacts to get these items where they need to go. Freight brokers are great for companies that might not have time or resources to work with a dispatcher directly who can assist you in all aspects of your shipping needs.

Who is a Dispatcher Best For?

Dispatchers are best for smaller businesses without much experience because they can provide the tools and knowledge to help with transportation logistics. Dispatchers are also best for companies looking for a more personal touch when it comes to their shipments because they will be working directly with your company on each shipment, making sure everything goes smoothly from start to finish.

At the end of the day, it is important to work with a transportation professional that understands your specific needs. If you are unsure which type of intermediary would work best for your business, contact us and we would be happy to help.