19 Jan Job factsheet: logistics dispatcher
This is an exciting and stimulating job which requires a logical mind and deductive and analytical skills, reactivity, autonomy, as well as a lot of resistance to stress.
As an essential link in the logistics chain, the logistics dispatcher is generally responsible for all the activities relating to the transport and warehousing of goods. From planning to coordination of pick-up and delivery, the logistics dispatcher must not only deal with logistics teams (drivers, warehouse managers, etc.), but also with customers whilst respecting constraints and demands (cost, flow optimization, customer satisfaction, etc.).
Logistics dispatcher: tasks and responsibilities
To sum it up in a few words, we could say that it is: “coordinating drivers’ activities in order to maximize transport and customer service”
The main functions of logistics dispatcher are:
- Planning and dispatching pick-up and delivery;
- Stock management if necessary;
- Organization of timetables and travel ;
- Transmission of guidelines to drivers (instructions, documents, etc.);
- Communication with customers;
- Control of vehicle /drivers’ travel in relation to external constraints (roadworks, weather conditions, etc.);
- Inclusion of regulatory elements (driving time, prohibited traffic times, etc.);
- Coordination of relations between the client, the supplier and the driver;
- Minimization of drivers’ waiting time;
- Optimization and synchronization of transport operations;
- Cost control;
- Administrative management (reports, etc.);
- Pricing negotiation;
- Knowledge of regulations in the transport of goods.
This is a non-exclusive list because, in reality, the logistics dispatcher’s job includes a great many tasks which may vary from one company to another.
Training to become a logistics dispatcher
A high school diploma is generally required in the job offers. There are D.E.P. (diplôme d’études professionnelles), A.E.C (attestation d’études collégiales) or D.E.C (diplôme d’études collégiales) and some certificates:
- C road transport management;
- C goods dispatching in road transport;
- C transport logistics;
- C transport logistics techniques;
- C-Baccalauréat in transport logistics techniques/logistics management;
- Certificate in management of operations and logistics;
to only mention a few.
It is generally necessary to be bilingual because the logistics dispatcher must communicate with both French-speaking and English-speaking players (drivers, customers, etc.). Knowledge of geography is also expected in order to best plan and coordinate transportation.
Skills in computer software tools (common software and specific programs) are required because, nowadays, the majority of companies have computerized all their business activities.
Varied sectors of activity for the logistics dispatcher
Logistics dispatchers can work in different sectors of activity:
- Manufacturing companies
- Warehouses – Logistics depots
- Road transport companies: transport LTL, transport TL, messaging, bulk (tanker)
- Maritime transport
- Rail transport
- Public transport
- Medical fields (emergencies)
The Canadian sectorial Council for the supply chain describes the professional standard for the logistics dispatcher.
In this article, the use of the masculine form to designate the function of logistics dispatcher is only to simplify the text.