Considering Dispatch Training? The Difference Between Local and Highway Dispatching Explained

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While we tend to associate dispatching careers in transportation simply with trucking, you might be surprised to learn there are a range of different specializations and roles within this industry. After completing your dispatching training, you’ll possess the skills necessary to perform well in a number of dispatching-related careers, including becoming an Operations Manager, a Load Planner, a Safety and Compliance Officer, and more. Additionally, professionals with dispatching knowledge might also consider a career as a dispatcher, working at either a local, regional, or national level. Dispatchers work to create efficient schedules and routes for truck drivers, ensuring that goods and services are delivered from one vendor to a customer. If you’re considering a career in dispatching, explore the differences between OTR (national or highway) dispatching, regional dispatching and local dispatching below to help you make an informed decision about your future. 

What a Career in OTR (or Highway) Dispatching Looks Like for Dispatch Training Students

One of the most common career paths of dispatch training graduates is that of OTR (Over-the-Road) dispatching. Also known as highway dispatching, this sector of dispatch services involves the cross-country delivery of loads of goods or products. When you enter a career as an OTR Dispatcher, you can expect to be coordinating schedules and routes of significant length, delivering loads to clients in all areas of the country. OTR dispatchers may find employment with larger transportation companies which have the resources necessary to employ truckers for cross-country trips. If you’re up for the challenge of coordinating routes and logistics for longer routes, this could be the career path for you.

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OTR dispatchers coordinate cross-country routes

Working as a Regional Dispatcher

Regional dispatchers, like the title suggests, are in charge of dispatching operations for a specific region. If you choose to work as a regional dispatcher, some of your responsibilities will include creating and scheduling routes and hours for drivers transporting goods in a designated region of Canada. You’ll monitor the weather within this region, serve as a point of contact for both drivers and suppliers, and coordinate cost-efficient schedules and routes based on your knowledge. When you become a regional dispatcher after completing dispatcher courses, your expertise will inform the decisions you make on the job, ensuring that errors are minimized along each route. 

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Regional dispatchers serve as a point of contact for drivers within a specific region

Becoming a Local Dispatcher: What You Need to Know

If you choose to become a local dispatcher, you’ll be responsible for a small area radius of transportation. In this line of work, dispatchers are typically employed by a contractor. Additionally, local dispatchers must have an extensive knowledge of local roads, and possess the skills and insight necessary to assist drivers in navigating smaller, often more treacherous roads. If you’re interested in working at a smaller business during your dispatching career, then a career as a local dispatcher could be a great fit. 

Want to learn more about enrolling in dispatcher schools?

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