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What is central dispatch? Central dispatch is a load board that helps connect carriers with shipping jobs. Carriers use central dispatch to find loads (jobs) to haul and to get rates from companies looking for freight transportation.
Central dispatch was established in 1999 as a way to better connect carriers and shipping companies. The system has been refined over the years, and it continues to be an important tool for both carriers and shippers. Carrier advantages include access to jobs from reputable companies, ease of use, central rating system, and 24/7 support. Shipper advantages include reduced shipping costs, improved communication, increased efficiency, and access to a large network of qualified carriers.
Central dispatch is an important tool for both carriers and brokers/shippers. It provides a way for carriers to find loads from reputable companies and gives shippers access to a large network of qualified carriers. The system has been refined over the years, making it an efficient way to connect carriers and shipping companies. Carrier advantages include access to jobs from reputable companies, ease of use, central rating system, and 24/07 support. Shipper advantages include reduced shipping costs, improved communication, increased efficiency, and access to a large network of qualified carriers. Carriers on central dispatch are rated and vetted, ensuring that only qualified carriers are given jobs. This benefits the shipper by providing them with quality service. Central dispatch is an important tool for both carriers and shippers and continues to be refined over the years.
When a car transport agent (a.k.a. broker) needs to transport a vehicle, they can create a posting on Central Dispatch looking for a carrier who would be interested in pickup and delivery or their client's vehicle or vehicles.
The fee the broker offers for a certain transport is completely up to how fast the client needs the car loaded up and their expected margin, which is normally a flat figure. Mom and pop agents may charge as little as $75. Where larger companies charge $150-175 for short distance and up to $350 for cross-country. In general, the higher up on the board it is price-wise, the faster the car will be moved because more carriers would be interested in completing the task for the broker if he or she was willing to pay more.
If it takes longer it takes to relocate a vehicle, it will be usually due to carriers just passing on the listing and seek better paying options to do the job. Being "over optimistic"in expecting a carrier to take a low bid usually will cause delays. This comes from lack of experience, usually.
If the agent's is listing too low most carriers won't bother to call if there is much better options out there. However, from time to time the carrier may reach out to negotiate the broker's fee. In fact, this happens frequently if the vehicle is desirable. Usually light and small or when it's right next to another pickup. In either case, the broker isn't providing a realistic price. Of course, the broker has the option of standing firm on his price or adjusting it to match the carrier's minimum acceptable fee.
We consistently do a thorough investigation on each carrier that applies for one of our Central Dispatch transports. We check the FMCSA's website to ensure they are licensed and have the correct USDOT Numbers.
We also double-check that the carrier is covered by insurance. As a fully licensed and bonded car transportation company, we absolutely know how much auto transport insurance a transport should have to adequately protect your car in the unlikely event of damage during shipment.
Yes, we assess the carrier's history and reputation on the Central Dispatch load board. What other brokers think of them in their comments and evaluations of the carrier provides a solid view of how things will go by hiring that carrier to do the job. They must have a high score rating. They should have more than a couple of years under their belt doing this. There must be evidence to show they have carried a may vehicles on Central Dispatch. Before choosing to assign a transport to a vehicle, we examine all of these factors as their reputation will generally be an extension of ours.
The main benefit of utilizing a dispatch board / load board like Central Dispatch is that it may save you time and money by quickly locating a carrier if you're paying a fair rate for transportation.
The main drawback of utilizing Central Dispatch is that you won't always get the best carriers on the road. Transports may also sit and wait for days if you try to save money. Well-known, reputable brokers don't entirely rely on Central Dispatch. They have their own network of drivers. They typically use Central Dispatch when they need to fill an open spaces on for harder routes that they can't get filled.
On a daily basis, there are thousands of carriers on the road of a network consisting of over 14,000 users. "Mom and pop" (also known as owner-operator) carriers dominate the market. They have a stronghold on it due to being less top heavy as many shipping giants are. For example, UPS can't charge what an owner operator does. That's why you don't see them or anyone else shipping cars.
At the same token, many of these car transport businesses are new or barely managing to keep going. As a transport broker, you must go through your processes with great care to ensure that any goods you send are properly certified, insured, not cutting corners, and totally reputable. They are an extension of the quality of service a broker provides.