Digital freight matching pioneer Convoy today launched a precision-timed, truckload freight service to support manufacturers and retailers as they return from pandemic stockpiling practices to streamlined, just in time (JIT) inventory.
Many businesses coped with covid supply chain disruptions by hoarding the goods they might need, known as “just in case” stocking, which helped guarantee they wouldn’t run out of critical items but ran up extra warehousing fees. As pandemic restrictions now relax, those same companies are converting back to a “just in time” strategy, which saves money by delivering each item only when it’s needed.
While a “just in time” approach cuts storage costs, it also demands more frequent, reliable trucking lanes so shippers can be sure their loads arrive on time. In response to that need, Seattle-based Convoy has rolled out Convoy Just-In-Time, a truckload freight service that guarantees on-time performance within 15 minutes of the scheduled delivery time.
One target market for the new service is the pool of automotive and industrial manufacturers, for whom precise on-time delivery is a critical requirement, since shipments that arrive early or late can result in production shutdowns.
Another target for Convoy’s new service is the sector of consumer product companies that often need to adhere to stringent on-time delivery policies at retailers’ facilities, or else incur expensive fines or risk out-of-stock or out-of-shelf inventories and lose out on realized sales.
In a demo of the new service, Convoy Senior Product Director Mitch Violett said that that Just-In-Time offering can support the reliability and flexibility needed to make operations more efficient, without forcing shippers into the more expensive market of expedited carriers.
The company delivers that precision by leveraging the real-time global positioning system (GPS) data generated by drivers using the Convoy app, he said. By continually monitoring that data, Convoy says it guarantees that shipments will arrive within 15 minutes of their scheduled delivery times, or else the company will share a portion of the extra cost. The company also shares those location updates through access to a Convoy dashboard or integrations with users’ transportation management system (TMS) software.
Convoy says it can also save time at freight nodes by encouraging drivers to scan in bill of lading (BoL) documents and trailer numbers, which the Convoy app then shares with shippers through visibility platforms like FourKites, Project44, or individual application programming interfaces (APIs) to users’ own systems.