Seattle-based digital freight broker Convoy announced a significant milestone today, as it said it has reached 100% automated brokering of loads to carriers—comprised of matching and pricing in lanes in top United States freight markets—which it called an industry first.
These markets include Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, and Los Angeles, among others. And it follows a February announcement, in which Convoy stated it achieved 100% automated load matching, with today’s announcement, Convoy said it now has achieved 100% automated load pricing, and has completed full automation of the brokering process.
In a blog posting written in February, Ziad Ismail, chief product officer for Convoy, explained that Convoy measures booking loads with carriers in two parts: finding a truck that is available and can arrive on time (matching), and agreeing on the rate at which that work will happen (pricing).
In an interview, Ismail explained that there are two separate approaches to solving matching and pricing.
“To solve matching, we focused on driving the usage of the Convoy app,” he said. “We focused on building an experience for carriers that streamlined all aspects of finding and doing work. Once we had high app use, we invested in a relevance model to better match the right job to the right truck. We learned from each job done on the Convoy pattern and each interaction with carriers.”
And on the pricing side, he said Convoy invested in its pricing model by expanding the range of signals that it used to quickly re-train its pricing model to see if the market was changing.
“However, there were still some circumstances in which the market moved rapidly that we had to deal with,” he said. “For example, during major weather events or holidays. So we also have been investing in better mechanisms to handle these like Direct from Shipper loads which we rolled out earlier this year. With this announcement, we have reached a milestone we have been working towards for multiple years. Convoy is first in the industry to have automated brokering. We think this is the future model for the industry.”
When asked to provide a number of lanes in which Convoy has 100% automated brokering of loads to carriers, Ismail said that the automation has been growing across all its markets, adding that Convoy is generally seeing the strongest adoption in major freight markets.
As for the carrier and shipper benefits of automated brokering, Ismail noted there are several.
“This focus on automation doesn’t just help Convoy, it completely changes the experience for carriers,” he said. “Carriers can now find, book and complete all their work with Convoy without any phone calls or emails. It turns out most carriers do not enjoy the experience of negotiating rates on the phone. This saves them time and ultimately helps them earn more. For shippers, it helps them get their shipments covered more quickly and improves the on time quality metrics that they are seeing. We are also able to pass some of the savings from this improved efficiency on to our shippers.”
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