Freight transport dispatcher


Freight transport dispatchers receive and transmit reliable messages, track vehicles and equipment, and record other important information. They oversee the planning operations of dispatching by coordinating different modes of transport. Freight transport dispatchers structure routes or services and determine the appropriate mode of transport. They are also responsible for equipment and vehicle maintenance and workers dispatching. The freight transport dispatchers provide the legal and contractual documentation for the transporting parties.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to freight transport dispatcher:

dispatcher of freight
freight dispatching operator
air freight dispatcher
freight dispatcher
dispatching officer
freight dispatching officer
freight transportation dispatcher
freight logistics dispatcher

Minimum qualifications

A high school diploma or equivalent is generally the minimum required to work as a freight transport dispatcher.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Freight transport dispatcher is a Skill level 2 occupation.

Freight transport dispatcher career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to freight transport dispatcher.

bus route supervisor
water traffic coordinator
automated cable vehicle controller
cargo vehicle driver
tram controller

Long term prospects

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of freight transport dispatcher. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of freight transport dispatcher with a significant experience and/or extensive training.

freight inspector
ship captain
marine cargo inspector
aeronautical information specialist
aircraft pilot

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of freight transport dispatcher.

Geographic areas: Know the geographic area in detail; know where different organisations carry out operations.
Road transport legislation: Know road transport regulations at regional, national, and European level in matters of safety and environmental requirements.
Freight transport methods: Understand different modalities of transport such as air, sea, or intermodal freight transport. Specialise in one of the modalities and possess a deeper knowledge of the details and procedures of that modality.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of freight transport dispatcher.

  • Conduct analysis of ship data: Collect information from a vessel’s management software and cross reference it to analyse the data from different points of view. Analyse data and apply judgement to inform decision-making.
  • Communicate verbal instructions: Communicate transparent instructions. Ensure that messages are understood and followed correctly.
  • Manage truck drivers: Manage the operational performance of truck drivers.
  • Keep task records: Organise and classify records of prepared reports and correspondence related to the performed work and progress records of tasks.
  • Make independent operating decisions: Make immediate operating decisions as necessary without reference to others, taking into account the circumstances and any relevant procedures and legislation. Determine alone which option is the best for a particular situation.
  • Apply transportation management concepts: Apply transport industry management concepts in order to improve transportation processes, reduce waste, increase efficiency, and improve schedule preparation.
  • Schedule and dispatch drivers: Schedule and dispatch drivers, working equipment and service vehicles to desired locations as requested by customers; use telephone or radio communication.
  • Manage fleet capacity: Manage the existing fleet, its availability and carrying capacity in order to schedule itineraries.
  • Manage dispatch software systems: Manage dispatch software systems to execute tasks such as work order generation, route planning, and other activities.
  • Supervise crew: Supervise and observe the behaviour of employees.
  • Work in a water transport team: Work confidently in a group in water transport services, in which each individual operates in their own area of responsibility to reach a common goal, such as a good customer interaction, maritime safety, and ship maintenance.
  • Monitor vehicle fleet operations: Monitor the operations of the vehicle fleet; track delays and identify repair needs; analyse fleet information to develop and implement improvement actions.
  • Prepare transportation routes: Prepare routes by chosing the best possible way and foresee adjustments in case of need, by providing additional running time or adapting capacity and timing in response to changes in circumstances, thereby ensuring an efficient use of resources and achievement of customer relations goals.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of freight transport dispatcher. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Warehouse operations: Know the basic principles and practices of warehouse operations such as goods storage. Understand and satisfy customer needs and requirements while effectively utilising warehouse equipment, space and labour.
  • Intermodalism: Understand intermodalism by calculating, understanding, and responding to its role in changing customer requirements and increasing competitiveness of supply chains in a global marketplace.
  • Statistics: The study of statistical theory, methods and practices such as collection, organisation, analysis, interpretation and presentation of data. It deals with all aspects of data including the planning of data collection in terms of the design of surveys and experiments in order to forecast and plan work-related activities.
  • Intermodal options: Know current and future intermodal options and alternatives such as the piggybacking system, the road-rail system, fishy back system, birdyback systems, low body systems or the push-pull cargo sprinter.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of freight transport dispatcher. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Stay alert: Stay focused and alert at all times; react quickly in the case of unexpected events. Concentrate and do not get distracted performing a task over a long period of time.
  • Organise information: Arrange information according to a specified set of rules. Catalogue and classify information based on the characteristics of that information.
  • Have computer literacy: Utilise computers, IT equipment and modern day technology in an efficient way.
  • Handle intermodal equipment: Handle intermodal equipment e.g. cranes, sideloaders, forklifts and hostler trucks.

ISCO group and title

4323 – Transport clerks

  1. Freight transport dispatcher – ESCO
Last updated on December 7, 2022

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