The Future of Freight Dispatch Technology

The world relies on fast, accurate freight dispatch to transport goods around the world. Learn how these processes evolved over the years to keep up with a competitive, globalized marketplace.

Peter Prior
Oct 22, 2019 · 5 min read

What is freight dispatch?

Freight brokers with multiple warehouses, vehicles, and drivers rely on freight dispatch professionals to process new orders, pinpoint the nearest warehouse for picking up freight, then find and contact the driver with the best-suited existing route to fulfill the delivery. They’re meant to identify the most efficient way to optimize each driver’s route, meaning their work is akin to the notoriously challenging traveling salesman problem.

Yesterday’s freight dispatch technology

Historically, manual dispatch systems were developed to manage all of the data points associated with each shipment. For example, dispatchers used punch cards similar to employee time cards to note the capacity, regional territory, and freight type on a card for each truck. The time of important events like order placement or pickup would be stamped on each card to provide a full picture of each shipment’s history. Punched tags hanging on boards studded with pegs representing each vehicle are another example of a now outdated dispatch technology.

One of the first punched-card computing machines, manufactured by IBM in 1936.
Many companies today use freight dispatch processes that were better suited for a decade ago.

Machine learning brings truck dispatch to the era of automation

These efficiency improvements are far from incremental — Mothership’s truck dispatch app Ground Control not only powers real-time fleet tracking technology, but it instantly calculates the best routes as new orders come in. Automatic adjustments are made in the smartphone interface of partner drivers so they can immediately accommodate new jobs with minimal extra time spent.

Official Mothership Blog

The future of freight is same day