June 27, 2019

Convoy adds "automated reloads" to online truck brokerage platform

Algorithms help drivers book combinations of multiple loads at once.

By DC Velocity Staff

Online truck brokerage Convoy has added an "automated reloads" function to its platform, allowing drivers to book multiple loads at a time, the company said today.

Seattle-based Convoy says the function algorithmically evaluates and continuously optimizes how loads can be grouped in real-time. That allows carriers to use the Convoy app to bid their rates or instantly accept these pre-planned combinations of loads as a single job, helping drivers earn more, minimize empty miles, and eliminate time waiting between work.

According to Convoy, this approach addresses the more than 20 percent of driven miles that are "non-revenue," according to an estimate by the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI). Those deadhead miles chew up revenue by wasting overhead costs like fuel and other expenses, forcing many carriers to reach out to multiple brokers.

Instead, Convoy's algorithms can now customize live as well as drop-and-hook packages in real time for each carrier, by understanding their unique preferences, hours-of-service and driver locations, wait times at facilities, and other considerations, the company said.

"Traditionally, brokers or dispatchers pair shipments that are obvious to spot.  But they missed out on a large part of the opportunity,'' Ziad Ismail, Convoy's chief product officer, said in a release. "Given the complexity and speed of the freight market, a real-time algorithmic optimization is ideally set up to minimize empty miles and help carriers."

Convoy has garnered tens of millions in financial backing for its strategy of using technology to disrupt the traditional brokerage model by automating many steps in the process of matching loads and carriers.

This launch is the latest update to Convoy's platform since the firm gave shippers direct access to the company's industry data and models through its "Shipper 2.0" product in December, and offered shippers a real-time index of carriers with available capacity through its "Dynamic Backup" product in July 2018.

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