With the beginning of 2021 people of the globe hoped very much for better things to come, compared to the complicated and unpredictable 2020. Now it looks like the economy is struggling to come back to the booming economy humanity enjoyed before the COVID-19 outbreak. So, it’s vital to get an edge over the rivals in tough and highly competitive businesses of the present days. The trucking business is one of them. Despite the pandemic, lockdowns, and travel restrictions, lots of freight companies managed to tough it all out and showed strong performance in various ways, they admit trucking logistics software has made an enormous difference to them.
According to FreightWaves as of July 2020, the truckload rates rose almost 30% compared to 2019 levels and FTR Transportation Intelligence predicts rather a strong growth to truck freight that is going to make up 6% in 2021. Since the amount of freight will grow, not only more drivers will be in demand, but new technological solutions as well. Fully autonomous trucks and transportation dispatching software are just some of them, but they are the key ones.
That’s why today we are going to look closer at the best trucking dispatch systems that exist and to find out their benefits and drawbacks for the business owners who are eager to invest and implement them.
What is Dispatch Software for Trucking Companies?
Gone are the days when operators shouted into their phones to inform the drivers of the operation and order details. Software solutions have changed things much for good.
Cloud technologies nowadays allow users to upload data to a remote server and store it in the cloud. Thus, the data can be accessed from anywhere, and you can control and manage your fleet or freight even when you are traveling or resting. It’s convenient for trucking dispatch systems, which are as a rule a combination of mobile devices in the trucks and the dispatch software in the base office. The software keeps track of each truck en route through the GPS tracking devices set up in the vehicles. Simultaneously, the vehicles can get navigation and route adjustments in-vehicle for drivers not to get lost.
Thus, trucking dispatch software is primarily aimed to provide flawless communication between drivers and dispatchers, to manage routing, to make reporting accurate and timely, to facilitate quick financial transactions, to track assets, to manage fleet and vehicles, and much more.
The present-day market is full of tools that offer various options and their combinations, and it can be overwhelming to even search for a suitable solution since every business has its specifics. That’s why we’ve prepared a short overview of the best transportation dispatch software solutions available. The providers below best suit trucking companies and freight brokers, most of them have experience serving the industry for several years. Studying our review, you can choose the one right for you and your business.
5 Top Dispatching Software Solutions for Trucking Companies
ProTransport serves the trucking industry for over 15 years already, providing all-in-one versatile software customizable for fleets or freight brokerage companies of any size. With it, you get dispatching, accounting, safety, analytics, and maintenance combined. What’s important, ProTransport solutions can be integrated with various programs and tools including GPS, QuickBooks, fuel card providers, IFTA, and more.
ProTransport software is simple and easy-to-use due to its color-coded interface and intuitive dashboard. All the fleet operations are combined in a single system, and it allows quick performance measuring and taking strategic decisions based on the results.
Onfleet is the trusted solution for multi-national couriers, retailers, and distributors to on-demand delivery startups, and much more. The software solution is primarily focused on last-mile delivery and operates in over 90 countries already.
Onfleet allows to easily route, dispatch, track, and analyze deliveries, communicate with drivers and provide the clients with real-time updates in SMS. More than that, it offers proof-of-delivery along with feedback collection tools that will help you make your deliveries even better.
Developed by a fleet owner to organize his own company’s invoicing and records, this software was crafted with all the nuances of the trucking business in mind. However, it went beyond the father-son family business solution it was initially created.
Focused mainly on small trucking companies, the TruckingOffice software now facilitates effective dispatching, accounting, and IFTA reporting, it allows managers to stay on top of fleet maintenance and expenses. Through schedules’ maintenance, the fleet builders and operators increase revenue per mile, reduce roadside repairs, as well as streamline invoicing and financial issues!
Axon Trucking Software
Since 1982 Axon software has been used in the trucking industry, with over 16 000 users and 54 million loads entered. The solution works best for truckload/LTL carriers, auto, livestock, oilfield, and heavy-load shippers.
Axon Trucking can be integrated with mileage, routing and mapping software, thus allowing real-time tracking, fleet and fuel management, vehicles’ maintenance, and reporting through a convenient and easy-to-use mobile app.
McLeod LoadMaster and PowerBroker
Since 1985 McLeod offers LoadMaster dispatch solution and PowerBroker for trucking companies, third-party logistics, shipper companies, load carriers, fleets. At present it has around a thousand active users in transportation sphere.
Additionally, McLeod’s products can be integrated with the solutions that help manage paperwork, image documents, automate business processes, improve marketing and customer service, manage and measure fleet performance.
Pros and Cons of Existing Dispatch Software Solutions
It’s no brainer that dispatch software for trucking companies bring lots of benefits for their work and operation. Speaking in general we can’t but mention.
End-to-end truck or freight management. The term “dispatch” does not mean drivers’ management and dispatch operations at the beginning of the route only. Dispatch solutions allow insights into the entire journey and possible problems on routes, more than that routes can be updated and optimized on the go to decrease delivery and time of arrival.
Accurate data for timely decisions. With trucking logistics software, you can back up and store your data securely all in one place and access it with the help of any web-enabled device. It also enables quick data sharing and analysis for prompt and timely decisions.
Reduced back-office workloads. Dispatch software provides visibility into vehicle locations, and the operator does not need to call drivers to find out their locations. With real-time GPS data, the visibility becomes even more precise and the back office can focus on more important tasks and efficiency improvements.
Improved customer satisfaction. Dispatching software for trucking companies allows easy planning of the fastest routes and most effective routes for drivers as well as their correction on the go to avoid slowdowns from whatever unexpected conditions. It ensures that drivers arrive and deliver freights on-time.
Adapting to changing conditions. Many things can change for drivers en route — bad weather and traffic conditions are just some to mention, however, dispatch solutions help to quickly react to changing conditions, alter routes if it’s necessary, and keep drivers on time.
Reduced operating costs. Reduced expenses result not only from the flexible and dynamic route scheduling but also from the optimized and more effective work of the staff, timely vehicle maintenance, and allocation of the resources.
Even the best trucking dispatch software has its drawbacks, and we are going to mention some as well.
Lack of support 24/7. Even though the solutions that are offered off-the-shelf offer support to their customers, it’s not round the clock and at times can be a bit long to solve some burning issue.
Lack of integrations. Before choosing a solution to use for his trucking company, it’s vital to check which integrations it supports, otherwise you may face inability to link your software with QuickBooks, IFTA, or other important solutions.
Inability to upload documents or CC. Inability to upload bank statements or credit cards into some systems prevents their owners or managers from keeping track of financial records in real-time and forces them to look for suitable integrations or even alternatives. Inaccuracy. Some software automatically figures miles for all empty and loaded miles.
Lack of mobile versions. Unfortunately, even top fleet dispatch software solutions offered in the market today lack mobile apps for dispatchers. It makes the letter stay in front of a computer and complicates solving of the unexpected problems that may set in any time, even when a dispatcher is not near the PC.
So, purchasing transportation dispatch software will definitely solve lots of problems for your carrier company and help you optimize its work to a great extent. Still, any investment should be reasonable. With a custom trucking dispatch system development, you can craft a product that will match your needs to the last detail, with all the must-have and desirable features as well as integrations included and mobile apps created.
Stfalcon has carried out lots of projects related to the sphere of transportation and logistics software engineering. Even though we can’t boast a pure trucking dispatch solution development, we can mention Smartseeds, the service that unites cargo owners and freight operators into one system for the transportation of grains. Stfalcon developed this trucking logistics software to facilitate their mutually beneficial transactions.
Stfalcon’s team was also asked to provide transportation management application development for continuous communication with drivers over the whole itinerary.
The system with the following architecture was designed:
- API, for all the transactions,
- Client web-interface (frontend part) for cargo owners and freight operators,
- Web interface for system administrators (backend part),
- Geo-information service tracking the сo-ordinates of the vehicles en route,
- Mobile app for drivers,
- Uber-like mobile applications for cargo owners and freight operators.
Integration with 1C accounting, bank services, notifications system, and Google Maps API were implemented. However, Stfalcon aimed to make the service independent of external factors, so, we realized all the necessary features that we could on our own.
The project is now successfully operating in the market.
When you choose a transportation dispatching software, it’s reasonable to craft a list of the “must-have” features and operational functions you need along with the “nice to have” functionality you consider.
In case you choose a ready-made solution, even if it’s the best dispatch software advised by experts, make sure that it’s easy to use, has a robust feature set, applicable to your business niche, suits your company size, and has positive customer feedback along with reliable support.
However, to get a product that will 100% match your business specifics, we advise custom development. With Stfalcon you can not only get a state-of-art trucking dispatch software but a scalable solution that can be later adjusted to the needs of growing business and integrated with the third-party services that will help make your business operation more effective and smoother. Let’s discuss your trucking business in more detail and decide what product you need.