A new offering released today by Seattle-based digital freight broker Convoy offers motor carriers access to ten times the amount of spot freight from the biggest shippers in the United States.
Entitled direct-from-shipper loads, Convoy said this offering removes the need for shippers to work with multiple brokers and subsequently provide each carrier with a small fraction of their spot loads that is typically at 10% or less. In laying out a key difference between a standard process and direct-from-shipper loads, Convoy said that with the latter, Convoy is able to connect carriers to shippers who share all of their spot shipments through the Convoy network, which, in turn, gives carrier working with Convoy “the broadest access to spot freight…[and] ensures carriers can efficiently find loads to keep their trucks full and shippers’ spot loads are hauled to their destination.”
In an interview, Ziad Ismail, Convoy chief product officer, provided a deep dive behind the drivers for Convoy to introduce direct-from-shipper loads.
“We started with listening to carriers and what challenges they have,” he said. “One of the biggest problems that carriers face is having to call and work with lots of different brokers to find the best next load. It is very time consuming and often results in suboptimal matching with empty miles as a result. It doesn’t have to be this way. This happens because the role of the broker in trucking is traditionally to act as a filter between the shipper and the carriers. The carriers only see a small subset of everything that a broker sees. Broker will bid on some of the loads that they think they can make a profit on and then win a subset of that. That is what the carriers see. Because Convoy was built from the ground up as a digital network, we don’t need to operate the way brokers do. Our system sees potential loads digitally and we have carriers using our app, so we can just skip the traditional step that brokers have and show carriers all the loads.”
When asked how carriers are able to gain access to ten times the amount of spot freight from shippers, Ismail said it is not a case of shippers offering up more loads. Instead, he explained, what Convoy has done is figure out how to remove the filtering role that brokers have traditionally played in trucking.
“Traditionally, shippers work with multiple brokers and award each one a small fraction of their spot loads, typically 10% or less,” he said. “When a carrier works directly with a broker, they only have visibility to that small fraction of freight. With direct-from-shipper loads, Convoy connects carriers to shippers who share all of their spot shipments through Convoy’s digital freight network, giving carriers who work with Convoy the broadest access to spot freight. This ensures carriers can efficiently find loads to keep their trucks full and shippers’ spot loads are hauled to their destination.”
The primary shipper benefits of this offering, according to Ismail, are that Convoy is now servicing more of their loads as it has added this capability, coupled with the ability to improve the quality of shippers’ supply chains.
“With Direct-from-shipper we know the carrier that is going to do the load before we get it from the shipper, it drastically reduces the risk of not finding a carrier,” he said.
On the carrier side, he said that, for the first time, carriers can easily see and bid on all the spot opportunities from shippers within a single app, rather than having to navigate many brokerage relationships.
“We built direct-from-shipper to maintain the simplicity that carriers have come to expect in securing shipments with Convoy today, but with much more reach,” he said.
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