Three years after launch, Convoy has gone national. And with it a new detention feature that will automatically pay drivers who are held up for more than 2 hours at a facility.
The company said it now has over 100,000 trucks and drivers in its network and over 400-plus shippers, including more than 20 Fortune 500 companies – up from just 5 one year ago.
“Our mission is to transport the world with zero waste,” Kristen Forecki, vice president of carrier engagement and expansion, explained to FreightWaves. “We think about factors that help drivers get matched up with the loads they want.”
That will lead to more tools down the road, but for now, in addition to the national expansion, it means three new features that the company is excited about. All the features have been developed based on driver feedback and testing over the past six months, Forecki said.
Of the new features, it is likely the detention one that drivers will find most important.
“If you are waiting at a facility, you can automatically get approved for detention with one click on the app,” Forecki pointed out. If approved, Convoy will pay the driver $40 per hour for detention following 2 hours of free time. That detention pay will continue until the trucker leaves the facility loaded (or unloaded).
Convoy is using GPS and geofencing to automatically verify the truck is at the facility waiting and when it leaves to calculate the detention time and amount.
According to research conducted by DAT, nearly 63% of drivers spend more than 3 hours at the shipper's dock each time they're getting loaded and unloaded and about 80% of carriers cite detention as one of the top issues facing their business. Only 3% of carriers report that they’re able to collect detention fees on all of their claims.
Convoy research has found that carriers spend more than 4 billion hours waiting at facilities each year and more than 1 in 8 shipments incurs detention costing shippers nearly $8 billion per year in detention fees. Convoy’s data goes a step further, suggesting that facilities with a 6 hour wait time will pay 30% more to book a truck than a facility with a 2 hour wait time.
“Drivers’ time is really precious and nobody should wait for more than 2 hours,” Forecki said, adding that Convoy is working with shippers through the sharing data to try and find ways to reduce wait times which can both reduce rates for shippers and improve efficiency for drivers. It’s something that many shippers are starting to realize so they can achieve shipper of choice status with carriers.
“We’ve been very lucky to have great partnerships with shippers like Anheuser-Busch and we’ve been sharing this data because they want to be a shipper of choice,” she noted.
“We want to help drivers minimize the amount of time they are wasting,” she said.
Convoy has also introduced “suggested reloads” as a feature. When a driver goes to book a load through the app, an option for suggested reloads appears, providing visibility into backhaul opportunities in that region or loads going to another region of the driver’s choosing. Previously, a driver had to manually search for a load. “We’re just making that so much easier,” Forecki said, “by putting it together.”
The new Request a Load feature allows drivers to input when they are empty, or when they will be empty, and where that will be. The app searches for available loads in those locations.
“If we have a shipment on that lane, it will go ahead and offer it [to the driver],” Forecki said. “If we don’t have a load available, when we do, it will send an [alert].”
The goal, she added, is to get drivers home faster without wasting their time.
Convoy also announced a partnership with Goodyear that will provide up to 40% off Goodyear products and provide access to Goodyear roadside assistance anytime a driver is under a Convoy load.
When trouble strikes while hauling a Convoy load, drivers can receive help from Goodyear’s Fleet HQ Roadside Service, 24 hours a day/365 days a year. Call 1-855-5-CONVOY to be routed to a trained tire service technician from Goodyear.
The discount on Goodyear tires is available to any registered Convoy member by simply showing the Convoy app to a Goodyear salesperson at any of 2,300 plus Goodyear locations. The discounts, which range from 20% to 45%, are good on all Goodyear, Goodyear Marathon, and Dunlop tires and retreads.