Online truck brokerage Convoy is using machine learning technology to process traffic records and identify the safest drivers, saying its system yields 16% fewer accidents than the industry average.
According to Seattle-based Convoy, its platform processes millions of records daily to better correlate crash data with carrier safety events, such as speeding violations or vehicle maintenance.
The company is using the approach to identify the safest carriers to allow into its network, and thus increase on-time deliveries and cost savings for shippers, with lower claim rates and fewer cargo incidents. Convoy says it experiences a cargo claim less than once per 2,000 loads, whereas the industry experiences a cargo claim about once per 100 loads.
The platform is the latest move by Convoy to expand its share of the digital freight matching (DFM) sector since the firm landed a whopping $400 million in venture capital funding in 2019, following its $62 million round in 2017. Convoy says its network moves thousands of truckloads per week by automatically pricing and matching shipments with carriers, an approach it says will lead to lower costs and improved quality for shippers, increased earnings for truck drivers, and the reduction of pollution from miles driven without cargo.
“Accidents are an unfortunate reality of the transportation industry,” Lorin Seeks, Convoy’s director of Carrier Quality and Compliance, said in a release. “This model predicts which carriers are likely to get into an accident, enabling us to make more informed hiring decisions, mitigate risk, and build a safer carrier group for our customers. We now believe we have the industry’s highest carrier safety standards, which has been echoed to us by insurance providers, auditors, and our customers.”
In a blog post, Convoy says its approach is an improvement on the the most widely used carrier safety information, which comes from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Carrier Safety and Accountability (CSA) program. That data is insufficient for modern safety analysis because it was never designed for private sector use in the carrier selection process, and is intended for reactive intervention by enforcement authorities, not prediction of future events. In addition, 95% of carriers nationally are unrated in CSA records, Convoy says.
“Shippers want access to a network of reliable, safe carriers, and yet obtaining the data, tools, and resources necessary to assess carrier safety has been a traditional problem for brokers, asset-based carriers who broker loads, and freight networks,” Seeks wrote in the post. “This problem is only becoming more urgent, as rising insurance premiums and compensatory payments from accidents increase shippers’ financial exposure.”