Requisition Number: Dispatcher
Job Title: Relief Dispatcher
City: Norfolk
State: VA

Relief Dispatcher

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Description/Job Summary

McAllister Towing is looking for a self-driven Maritime Dispatcher to join our team in Norfolk, VA! The ideal person is professional and trustworthy with the ability to work independently. MUST be able to work various shifts including days, nights, weekends, and holidays. This is an on-call/as needed position.

The Dispatcher handles communications between the home office, management, shipping agents, ships, pilots, and boat crews, ensuring that all are properly informed of shipping activity.


1. Operates electronic communication systems and equipment including two-way radios, telephone systems, fax machines, various computers and software programs, and cellular telephones.
2. Communicates and interfaces with management, shipping agents, and reporting agencies to gather information and schedules for shipping activity. Works with Personnel Department to coordinate crew activities.
3. Maintaining communications with agents, ships, pilots, terminals, and all boat crews necessary to complete ship movements, barge loading, and discharging. Ensures pilots are informed about their ships and schedules.
4. Organize and dispatch proper tugs and pilots needed for each job. Evaluate available equipment and crews in light of job requirements and assign tugs and crews accordingly.
5. Acts as a company representative, and receives and processes communications and orders from the U.S. Coast Guard relating to holds, boarding activity, vessel searches, oil spills, and accidents.
6. Oversee services performed by tug/barge crews and take appropriate measures to ensure that the work was performed in an efficient and professional manner.
7. Update and monitor database system with shipping and pilot activity.
8. Organizes and documents activities by completing forms, reports, logs, and records; will also complete all materials used for billing purposes and sales information.
9. Keeps systems and equipment functioning properly by following operations instructions, troubleshooting breakdowns, maintaining supplies, performing preventive maintenance, and calling for repairs.
10. Project a positive image to peers and subordinates; to the customers we serve; to the industry in which we participate; and to the community in which we live by producing a cost-efficient, quality service in a safe environment.

Preferred Skills

  • Radio operator’s license preferred.
  • Must have organization, problem-solving and scheduling skills.
  • Superior customer service and communication skills
  • Excellent analytical skills and have the ability to formulate and communicate directions.
  • Must be proficient in Microsoft Excel, Word, and Outlook with the ability to learn new software programs quickly.
  • Must have the ability to operate radios on correct frequencies.
  • Must have a good, clear voice and be fluent and articulate in English. 
  • Working knowledge of the local waterways, channels, and associated terminals, piers, tides, and currents is preferred but not required


  • Must be able to work 12-hour shifts.


Preferred Experience

Have thorough working knowledge of the local waterways, channels, and associated terminals, piers, tides and currents.
Military Logistics planning in lieu of college degree acceptable with preference to veterans
Strong computer skills

Preferred Education

Maritime Academy preferred
(See above also)
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We are an Equal Employment/Affirmative Action employer. We do not discriminate in hiring on the basis of sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, color, religious creed, national origin, physical or mental disability, protected Veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law.

If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the employment process, please contact us by email at or by phone at 757-342-6844 and let us know the nature of your request and your contact information. Requests for accommodation will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Please note that only inquiries concerning a request for reasonable accommodation will be responded to from this e-mail address.

For more information, view the EEO is the Law Poster and Pay Transparency Statement.