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Logistics Tech Summit: Applying technology correctly in trucking operations

Convoy’s chief product officer says trying to bolt technology onto existing operations is approaching the problem the wrong way

This fireside chat recap is from FreightWaves’ North American Logistics Tech Summit on Wednesday.

FIRESIDE CHAT TOPIC: Being a product-driven logistics provider

DETAILS: In this fireside chat with JP Hampstead of FreightWaves, the chief product officer of Convoy talks about what that job title entails at transportation companies and why dedication to technology adaptation is not enough on its own to change a company’s direction.  

SPEAKER: Ziad Ismail, chief product officer at Convoy

BIO: Ismail is responsible for data science, design, product management and program management. Before Convoy, Ismail was the chief product officer at Marchex and CEO of CitiKey and served in leadership roles at Microsoft. 


“The real technical problems in trucking are hidden under layers of process and phone calls and emails and faxes and white boards. You have to get past that to solve the technical problems. If you just solve the technical problems without solving those other problems, you’re just a technology company that is never going to get adopted.” 

“The way we think about it at Convoy is that we aren’t thinking of ourselves as a brokerage that is looking to apply technology to make it more efficient. We look at the industry and then say, ‘Given where the technology is today and where it’s going to be over the next couple of years, how should this industry be organized if the technology were available from the very start?’”

On Convoy Go, the company’s new drop-and-hook offering: “The way we saw it was for our mission around zero waste, there was so much time wasted in hooking up trailers, loading and unloading them, and the only way really to solve this problem is to get rid of the unloading and loading part and strip it down to drive in, hook up and leave.”

More articles by John Kingston

John Kingston

John has an almost 40-year career covering commodities, most of the time at S&P Global Platts. He created the Dated Brent benchmark, now the world’s most important crude oil marker. He was Director of Oil, Director of News, the editor in chief of Platts Oilgram News and the “talking head” for Platts on numerous media outlets, including CNBC, Fox Business and Canada’s BNN. He covered metals before joining Platts and then spent a year running Platts’ metals business as well. He was awarded the International Association of Energy Economics Award for Excellence in Written Journalism in 2015. In 2010, he won two Corporate Achievement Awards from McGraw-Hill, an extremely rare accomplishment, one for steering coverage of the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster and the other for the launch of a public affairs television show, Platts Energy Week.