What is Central Dispatch & How Does it Work?

what is central dispatch and how does it work

Every day, thousands of auto transport company owners, drivers, and dispatchers search the internet for new loads to book.

Central Dispatch Load Board is without a doubt the best in the car shipping industry for finding vehicles. It is widely used and trusted by brokers, dealers, manufacturers, and more, making it a widely used and trusted solution for auto transportation.

This blog post will take you behind the scenes of the auto transport industry by showing you what Central Dispatch is, how brokers utilize it, and how they use it to transport vehicles all across the U.S.

What is Central Dispatch Load Board?

Central dispatch is the most popular method of vehicle transport from state to state or across the country used by auto brokers and carriers. Basically, it is a load board that matches auto brokers with carriers.

Unfortunately, this load board is only available to shippers and licensed auto brokers and carriers. It is not accessible to the general public. It’s basically a private platform for those in the auto transport industry.

A carrier’s advantages include access to jobs from reputable companies, ease of use, a central rating system, and 24/7 support. As a shipper, you benefit from reduced shipping costs, improved communication, increased efficiency, and access to a large network of qualified carriers.

What is the Central Dispatch Load Board

Central Dispatch is a Key Tool for Brokers and Carriers alike

Both carriers and brokers/shippers benefit from central dispatch. Shippers can access a large network of qualified carriers, and carriers can find loads from reputable companies. Over time, the system has been refined, making it a more efficient means of connecting carriers and shipping companies.

In central dispatch, carriers are rated and vetted, so that only qualified carriers are assigned jobs. This results in better service for shippers. A central dispatch system is an important tool for carriers and shippers, and it continues to be improved over the years.

How Does Central Dispatch Work for Brokers?

An auto transport broker can place an advertisement on Central Dispatch to find a carrier to haul a customer’s vehicle when it needs to be moved.

Brokers typically charge fees based on how fast the client needs the car loaded up and their expected margin, which is usually a flat rate. Larger companies charge $150-175 for short distances and up to $350 for cross-country.

The higher the price is on the board, the faster the car will move since more carriers would be interested in completing the task for the broker if he or she was willing to pay more.

How Central Dispatch Works For Carriers

Carriers can search the vehicles posted on CentralDispatch® by brokers, dealers, and other shippers. The postings include where the vehicle is going, and what the shipper is willing to pay to ship it. When a carrier finds a vehicle traveling along their route at an acceptable price, they contact the broker or shipper directly to inquire about taking it.

Brokers and carriers can haggle about the fee the carrier pays. Actually, that happens a lot, especially when the broker offers an unrealistic quote price. In any case, the broker has the option to stand firm on the fee or adjust the fee to accommodate the carrier’s price.

Notes: Whenever your vehicle is taking a long time to move, you should speak with your broker and have them increase the amount they are offering on Central Dispatch. Even a small increase in the carrier fee can have a huge impact. In some cases, just $30 can make the difference.

How AutoStar Transport Express Uses Central Dispatch

We are both auto carriers and auto transport brokers. To fulfill a customer’s transport, we always use our own fleet of trucks whenever possible. Unfortunately, when our own trucks are not available, we have to be an auto transport broker to get the job done.

As brokers, we have two options for locating a carrier. In addition to our vast network of carriers, we can also use the Central Dispatch load board.

Because we’ve been around for a long time (15+ years), we have a large network of carriers we can turn to.

A load board is used when we don’t have a partner carrier that we can use for a particular transport. Many carriers check Central Dispatch daily to find vehicles on their routes that they can haul. It is a highly effective and efficient tool.

How Does AutoStar Transport Express Vet Carriers on Central Dispatch?

For each Central Dispatch transport, we always conduct a thorough investigation of the carrier applying. The FMCSA website is checked to ensure they are licensed and have the correct USDOT numbers.

Additionally, we verify that the carrier is insured. Being a licensed and bonded auto transport company, we know exactly how much auto transport insurance a transport should carry to properly protect your car in the event that it is damaged during shipment.

Additionally, we know that insurance companies are reluctant (or slow) to pay out damage claims. If a carrier uses one of these insurance companies, we know to avoid working with them!

Finally, we examine their history and reputation rating on Central Dispatch. Is it low or high? What do other brokers say about them in their feedback and reviews? Have they been in business long? When was the last time they performed a Central Dispatch transport? All of these things are considered before choosing a carrier for transport!

Benefits and drawbacks of Central Dispatch?

Dispatch boards/load boards like Central Dispatch can save you both time and money by quickly locating carriers that are charging a fair rate for transportation.

The main drawback of Central Dispatch is that you won’t always get the best carriers. You may also have to wait for days if you try to save money.

Reputable car shipping companies don’t entirely rely on Central Dispatch. They have their own fleet of trucks. Most of the time, they only use Central Dispatch if a trailer has an open spot.

When you’re a transport broker, you must ensure that the goods you send are properly certified, insured, not cut corners, and totally reputable. Those factors reflect what kind of service you give your clients.

Final Remarks on Central Dispatch

If used properly, Central Dispatch load boards are a great tool for auto transport brokers to have in their toolbox. Unfortunately, most brokers just list their transports on Central Dispatch at the lowest price and wait for carriers to accept their price. And then, when a carrier comes along, they assign it without much thought to its quality.

Central Dispatch is just one of our tools. In order to complete our transports, we rely heavily on our own trucks and a network of partner carriers. The times when we have to use Central Dispatch, we make sure we seek out the best carriers so our clients’ transports are completed quickly and safely!


Edward Larrivee

Introducing Edward - the beach-loving car carrier guru at AutoStar Transport Express! With his expertise, Edward helps clients surf through the car shipping process with ease. And when he's not working, he's making waves on the sand court as an avid beach volleyball player. With Edward on your team, your car will arrive safely and on time, and you might even catch a tan!
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Victoria Ruiz

A wanderer at heart, Victoria keeps taking her RAM 1500 to new places. She has been working in the auto transport industry for 7+ years. As an evangelist for Auto Star Transport (and as a friend who transports her vehicle), Victoria loves helping Auto Star Transport customers with help guides and insights. She is nowhere to be found when she is not in the office.
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