For the third straight year, Convoy has landed in the top four on FreightWaves’ annual FreightTech 25 list of disruptive and innovative companies in the freight ecosystem.
After landing at No. 4 on the inaugural 2019 list, Convoy has landed at No. 3 two years in a row. Amazon has garnered the top spot all three years of the list.
The FreightTech awards nominations are narrowed down to the FreightTech 100, which is then voted on by a handpicked peer group of CEOs, industry leaders and investors actively investing in freight to select the FreightTech 25.
“We are very honored to be recognized in the FreightTech 25 list of most innovative companies,” Convoy said in a statement. “With technology-led innovation, we can reduce wasted time and costs for shippers and carriers and improve the quality of service in our industry. By partnering together, we can also improve our planet by reducing wasted miles and emissions. Despite the turbulence of 2020, we’re proud of the breakneck speed at which we’ve been able to innovate and deliver on behalf of our customers and carriers, and we look forward to continued collaboration, tackling their toughest problems.”
COVID did not dampen the prospects for innovation at Convoy. In fact, CEO Dan Lewis recently told FreightWaves that innovation is what allowed stakeholders in the supply chain, including Convoy, to thrive during the tumultuous times 2020 brought forth.
“This is why we need these programs — because they are designed to embrace the reality of freight … especially during unpredictable, challenging times like right now,” Lewis said. “We just have to have flexible solutions, be partners and work on programs that are flexible to changing market conditions.”
Here’s a brief look at some of the technological innovation Convoy unveiled in 2020 that helped it land at No. 3 on the FreightTech 25.
Guaranteed Primary offers shippers the option to move all their loads on a given lane through the Convoy network without the need to submit to the RFP process.
Shippers that work with the company can allocate volume on any lane to Convoy, which works with the shipper to establish a fixed margin for the loads along that lane. This could reduce margins up to 50% for shippers over industry averages, the company said.
Convoy provides 100% tender acceptance on the lanes and offers shippers full transparency of the costs associated with moving those loads through monthly insights reports. The margin never changes and the shipper can cancel at any time.
In August, Convoy rolled out a factoring program. Designed to save small carriers and owner-operators money on factoring programs, Convoy Factoring offers rates between 1% and 2.99% for carriers factoring a non-Convoy load.
Convoy Factoring comes with no contract lock-in and no invoice or transaction fees, the company said. Convoy said that a typical carrier that factors its freight bills could lose more than $9,000 in take-home pay due to factoring and associated fees. Convoy already offers Quick Pay – which enables carriers hauling Convoy loads to get paid in two days with no fees.
One complaint for small fleets and owner-operators is a lack of access to more profitable and consistent dedicated freight. Convoy solved that this summer with the addition of dedicated freight to its network.
Dedicated freight opportunities, with contracts that can last up to six months, are posted within the Convoy mobile app and comprised approximately 10% of all freight on Convoy’s network at the time of its national launch in July.
Convoy users can search for and bid on dedicated freight contracts that provide as many as 40 live and drop loads per week. Once a carrier wins the contract, all the loads for that shipper are sent directly through the app. If a carrier is unable to complete a load under a dedicated contract, that load is then offered to the wider Convoy network through the app.
For carriers, dedicated freight offers the chance to ensure consistent freight, while shippers benefit from guaranteed capacity.
Cross-border freight with Canada
In April, Convoy expanded its digital freight network to include cross-border freight with Canada. The offering includes shipments between the U.S. and every Canadian border province except Quebec.
All cross-border loads feature Convoy’s fully automated, quality assurance program, which measures carrier performance on every load, including on-time delivery and overall reliability, giving cross-border shippers additional assurance that they’re working with the highest-quality carriers.
Convoy’s driver-focused savings program TruckYeah, announced in September, brought together a number of cost-saving programs for truckers.
The TruckYeah savings program features a partnership with Ryder that offers registered Convoy members a discount of up to 30% on a Ryder (NYSE: R) pre-owned truck or trailer. In addition to the Ryder discount, Convoy fleets are eligible for $1,000 off the best truck offer and $500 off the best trailer offer through Penske and a zero-down program on a new trailer through Great Dane.
Preventive maintenance programs are also part of the TruckYeah discount program through Boss Truck Shops. Carriers can receive a 20% discount on services at any Boss Truck Shops location in the 23 states it services. In conjunction with that discount is a program with Encore and FYX for roadside assistance protection for when breakdowns occur on the nation’s highway. For $49.99 per month, Convoy members can access Encore services such as three-hour port-to-port truck and trailer towing, mobile mechanic service and fuel delivery and access FYX’s network of over 10,000 vendors for roadside assistance.
Automated lumper payments
Convoy kicked off 2020 with the introduction in January of automated lumper payments.
A lumper is someone who loads or unloads a trailer. Some shippers require the use of lumpers, but it is typically the responsibility of the truck driver or carrier to pay the lumper and then seek reimbursement from the shipper. In about 9% of the cases, that reimbursement never comes, according to Convoy.
The goal is to remove the burden carriers face in waiting for reimbursement. Once a lumper code is received, Convoy accepts responsibility for securing payment for the lumper’s services. In some cases, the lumper may require payment at the time of service or in cash. In these instances, the carrier can still get reimbursed quickly. Convoy said that approximately 35% of the loads in its network require lumper services, but the option for lumper payments is available for all loads.