Shippers, transportation management solution (TMS) providers, and managed transportation providers (MTP) have now been given access to Convoy’s automated real-time pricing and capacity for both live and drop-and-hook loads through a suite of application programming interfaces (API) and developer tools called Convoy Now.
“There’s been huge demand for this functionality from both our shippers and from partners like BluJay, DHL and numerous others,” explained Rene Miller, Convoy Now product manager. “As Convoy has grown and become a core provider for many of our shippers, they have asked what unique capabilities we can bring to their business to improve their logistics efficiency. Third-party logistics providers (3PLs) and TMS vendors are also receiving these requests from their customers. Numerous shippers are asking for this functionality, and they’re asking for it in a variety of ways, so we developed Convoy Now.”
Convoy offers immediate integrations with BluJay, MercuryGate and One Network. More TMS providers will be added in the future. Convoy Now offers integration through any solution with its developer tools. Miller told FreightWaves the company is providing the necessary tools, APIs, resources and examples and support to help shippers create their integration if they don’t use a TMS provider with which Convoy has an existing relationship.
Shippers also turn to MTPs to help reduce costs and move freight more efficiently. Integrating Convoy’s real-time rate API adds a dynamic layer of supply within the routing guide to provide the MTP and their customers greater control over costs and an up-to-the-minute view of market conditions, the company explained. The new program also gives shippers access to the same information Convoy has when it comes to real-time pricing available in Convoy Go, which is the nationwide drop-and-hook program.
“We’re only making this available through the Convoy Now integrations at this point,” Miller said. “Real-time pricing for drop-and-hook has historically been a very challenging problem for the industry, so we’re very excited to make this available to our customers – as it will save time and money, while facilities operate more efficiently.”
Convoy Go, first launched in 2017 and expanded nationwide earlier this year, offers drop-and-hook freight through Convoy’s Universal Trailer Pool of leased trailer assets. Tito Hubert, product lead for Convoy Go, told FreightWaves in April that the average wait time for truckers using Convoy Go is less than an hour, helping drivers get in and out of facilities quicker, which leads to more time on the road. The addition of automated, real-time pricing to this program under the Convoy Now platform will only enhance these benefits, the company believes.
Johann Van Der Westhuizen, vice president of strategic business development at One Network, said the ability for its customers to get real-time pricing from Convoy directly in their TMS has streamlined the process for customers to find and book loads at affordable prices.
“Shippers using One Network to manage their freight are looking to simplify their complex supply chains, so we see great value in the efficiencies that Convoy offers our customers,” he said.
Ultimately, the addition of Convoy Now is about easing pain points for shippers, Miller said.
“Convoy currently supports integrations for shippers to use our automatic real-time pricing to secure coverage for shipments in the tools they use today (e.g., TMS systems),” he said. “These are the use cases where shippers gain the most value from by using our integration. As shippers and partners come up with new ideas on how to use the APIs or integrations, we’re open to collaborating to create new innovative programs to solve the problems they’re tackling.”