Portrait of a Trucking Company
Career Path : Automotive
The majority of freight in North America is moved by truck. Hauling several ton cargoes across the ribbons of asphalt that link up the continent, the truck driver is answerable to their employer, the trucking company. This is such an important part of the economy that thereâs even specialized training on the subject available through a transport training school.
Trucking companies can be managing hundreds of cargoes. It is the trucking companyâs responsibility to coordinate all the trucks in its fleet. True, some truck drivers are independent contractors who own their own vehicles, but plenty are owned and maintained by the company and even contractors need the larger framework for the company to help them find work.
A transports and freight office needs to have a central office. Thatâs the brain, where a central dispatcher or two keep in contact with trucks while theyâre on the road. This is getting increasingly technologically sophisticated. While once upon a time the sole means of contact was a two way CB radio, now things like GPS mean that the central office can know exactly where the vehicles are at all time, for an increasingly accurate picture of delivery date estimations. Itâs no surprise that the staff turns to dispatcher courses to keep their skills up to date.
Trucking companies may or may not own their own warehouses. If they do they need someone with a degree from a transport operations school to co-ordinate the actual cargos. Each steel container crate or tank will be tagged and tracked. Universal barcodes and computerized records keep track of what is being transported and if it needs special care. Â Some things being transported need to be kept at exact temperatures. This could be chilled, in the case of a truck full of milk, or kept warm for certain industrial products. Some cargo, like livestock, has to be periodically fed and watered. And of course some cargo is flammable, corrosive, explosive or even radioactive.
If they own their own trucks, they also need to be maintained. Though a small fleet can be outsourced, big companies will have their own giant garages, sized to fit the trucks they need to look after and staffed by people with degrees from an auto mechanic school. These graduates will need the certification and expertise to work on diesel engines. Trucks, by and large, use this fuel instead of regular gasoline.
Of course, not all trucking companies have these things. The smallest hauling is done in one person operations. A step above the man-with-a-van, these people canât leverage scale, but they can still make a comfortable living with an owner operated business.
Visit Canadian Automotive & Trucking Institute for more information on dispatcher courses.