Digital freight matching company Convoy today launched three enhancements to its drop-and-hook trailer pool service, saying it can offer shippers improved visibility and flexibility by supporting smart trailers and predictive routing.
Seattle-based Convoy is not the only vendor to support a trailer pool designed to help drivers quickly swap their loads instead of wasting time in extended detention periods at DCs. Large players like J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. offers J.B. Hunt 360box and Uber Freight has Powerloop.
However, Convoy says it uses powerful technology like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and the internet of things (IoT) to automate the process, greatly accelerating the tasks of matching, tracking, and routing decoupled tractors and trailers. The new features are enhancements to Convoy’s existing “Convoy Go” drop-and-hook service, launched in 2017 and expanded to nationwide coverage in 2019.
“Supply chain teams prefer drop for its speed and simplicity, but traditional drop programs are rigid and don't respond well to market volatility,” Ziad Ismail, Convoy’s chief product officer, said in a release. “With recent enhancements to Convoy Go, we're addressing the biggest challenges of drop-and-hook freight, providing flexibility to scale up during demand surges and a level of trailer visibility never before possible.”
The new capabilities include: “predictive trailer routing,” which routes empty trailers to customers’ facilities, while simultaneously rebalancing Convoy Go’s trailer pool; “automated reloads with batched routes,” which combines three or more runs into a single multi-stop job, providing greater efficiency for carriers and service quality for shippers; and “smarter trailers,” which equips every Convoy Go trailer with IoT telematics to boost load visibility.
The news is Convoy's first major launch since bringing on new president and chief operating officer (COO) Mark Okerstrom in August from his previous job leading the travel site Expedia. Also in 2020, the company said it was using ML to identify the safest drivers and whittle down the number of accidents, and added a feature to its transportation management system (TMS) that allows shippers to access real-time data on carrier performance.
We’re excited to announce enhancements to our nationwide drop-and-hook service that address the complex challenges of matching, tracking, and routing decoupled tractors and trailers.— Convoy Team (@convoyteam) November 19, 2020
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