Orders represent agreements between you and a Customer to move one or more Shipments of goods. Once it comes time to actually move the goods, you need to Dispatch those shipments -- either to a company truck and trailer, or to a third party carrier who will be moving the goods on your behalf.
Finding the Order
To do so, you will first need to find the Order you wish to dispatch. Navigate to the Order list and open the Order record. If you have a lot of active orders, you may need to use the search to find the one you are looking for. (See Searching The List View.)
Dispatching the Shipment(s)
Once you have opened the Order, you can Dispatch the related Shipments in one of two ways. The simplest way is to simply click on the 'Dispatch All Shipments' button in the Shipments section; this will dispatch all the Shipments in the Order to a single Dispatch.
Alternately, you can click on the next to a particular Shipment to Dispatch that shipment individually. This could be useful if you want to create separate Dispatches for each Shipment, or you want to add only one of the Shipments to an existing Dispatch.
(If you have multiple shipments that will be traveling on multiple trucks, or if you want to add shipments from the Order to an existing Dispatch, you might want to read about Advanced Orders and Dispatching.)
Doing either of these things will bring up a prompt asking whether you want to add these Shipments to a New or Existing dispatch. Select 'New'. You should now see an Edit Dispatch record screen. Depending on your company defaults, you should see either the Brokered Carrier or Company Truck Dispatch Type already selected.
Setting Up the Dispatch - Broker
Select the carrier you will be using from the Carrier drop-down. If you are using this carrier for the first time, it may be necessary to add them as a new Vendor.
Selecting the Carrier should populate the Contact field. The Equipment Type will be pulled in from the Shipment if you filled it out there; if not, you will need to specify it here. You may also want to record any PRO # and/or Quote #s the Carrier has provided.
In addition to selecting the Carrier, you also have the option of including a Carrier Rate for the Dispatch. This will automatically create a Bill to the Carrier, and a single Expense Item on that Bill for the amount you specify. To use this option, simply fill in the ‘Carrier Rate’ field, and ensure that the default ‘Expense Item’ is correct.
Once you have filled out the necessary information, click the ‘Save’ button at the bottom of the page.
You should now see the Dispatch record, complete with a newly-assigned Trip number at the top of the screen. Different sections of the page will display a Route Plan showing the pick-up and delivery locations, as well as a list of the Shipments that are being moved.
Setting Up the Dispatch - Carrier
Select the Company Truck that you want to assign to this Dispatch. This will also bring up fields for the Driver and Trailer. Depending on your settings, the system will default to the last known Driver or Trailer associated with the truck you have selected. The Branch and Dispatch Rep should also be assigned automatically, but if necessary you can adjust them here as well.
Once you have selected the correct truck, click 'Save' button to create the initial Dispatch.
Adjusting Drivers & Trailers — Carriers
You should now see the Dispatch record, complete with a newly-assigned Trip number at the top of the screen. The Driver and Trailer you selected will automatically be assigned to all the segments on your Route Plan.
Note that Tailwind allows you to assign different drivers and trailers to different segments of a Dispatch. Most of the time this will not be necessary, so assigning a Driver and/or Trailer to the first segment will automatically assign them to all remaining segments. If you are regularly swapping out Drivers and Trailers, you may want to read up on Advanced Orders & Dispatching.
Of course, shipping is not free – whoever you have lined up to move your shipments will need to be paid, whether that is a company Driver or an outside Carrier. And depending on the route, there may be additional fees associated with toll roads, border crossings and the like. These costs are listed on the dispatch as Expenses.
To add an expense, click the 'Add Bill' button that appears in the 'Expenses' section. This will bring up a new screen where you can create the Bill for the expenses.
The first step is to indicate who you will be paying. Once you select the appropriate Vendor or Personnel, most of the fields should be automatically populated; make any necessary changes, then click the 'Create' button.
You will now see the Bill record. To add the actual charges, navigate to the Payable Charges tab, fill out the charge details, and click 'Add Payable Charge' to add the line item to the Bill.
Once you are done adding payable charges, you can use the breadcrumb navigation at the top of the page to return to the Dispatch.
Adding Expenses - Driver Pay
While it may make sense to manually enter the expense information for an outside Carrier — since the rate is likely to change each time, based on whatever you have negotiated — this does not make as much sense for company drivers, who are presumably paid a standard rate. Whether this rate is based on hours, mileage, or routes, you will most likely want to set up an Automatic Payable for the driver, so that their pay is automatically added to the Expenses of any Dispatch where they are assigned.
You may also want to add some Notes concerning the dispatch.
To add a Note, click the ‘Add Note’ button. This will take you to the Add Note screen. Make sure to select the appropriate Note Type! An Internal Note will only be visible to you and other Tailwind users, while a Load Instruction note will appear on the Load Confirmation document.
Print Load Confirmation
Once you are sure the Dispatch information is correct, you will most likely want to print a Load Confirmation, or send it out directly to your Carrier or Driver. To do so, click on the ‘Print’ button at the top right of the page. This will bring up the two printing options.
‘Load Confirmation - Print’ will open a PDF file of the quote in a new browser tab. You can then print the quote, or save the file for your records.
‘Load Confirmation - Email’ will open a dialog allowing you to email the quote directly to the Customer. If you have a contact email set for the Customer, it will be set as the default destination — if not, you will need to enter the destination email manually. You can also add any notes or comments for the customer to the body of the email. The quote itself will be attached to the email as a PDF (the same one you would see if you chose the ‘Quote - Print’ option.) Once you have filled out the necessary information, click the ‘Email’ button to send out the load confirmation.
At this point, your Order is dispatched and the Carrier has been sent their instructions — you're done for now.
Once the rubber actually hits the road, you can use the software to track and update the Dispatch. This includes keeping track of possible delays, changes to the Route Plan, or even switching or dropping the shipment.