The trucking industry is highly cyclical, and each cycle has its own challenges. In the past few years, demand has been high due to challenges related to the many shutdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic and, more recently, the driver shortage.
However, while freight demand is still present, the industry is seeing a softening. But according to Spencer Hennigar, vice president of sales at Convoy, this particular softening demand cycle has proved to be a little different from those in the past.
“One of the biggest differences that [Convoy] is seeing in this cycle is the roles that technology and data is playing,” he said. “In the last three years, there has been such an influx of new technology for transportation and procurement and an influx of adoption.”
These days, many of Convoy’s customers are not only interested in technology solutions, but are taking the time to compare solutions in order to identify the best API integrations and real-time pricing, Hennigar added.
Since 2015, Convoy has been dedicated to building technology solutions that connect shippers with carriers while simultaneously solving some of the biggest issues that result in waste in the freight industry.
In the past few years, where the market has been fairly unpredictable, Convoy has further positioned itself as a leader in new tech-focused solutions that benefits shippers across market cycles. Convoy’s Guaranteed Primary launched in 2020 offering shippers a new approach to primary freight that helps navigate market volatility through dynamic pricing that automatically adjusts as the market shifts, delivering the best possible rate coupled with 100% tender acceptance.
“We have tried to abandon the ‘win-loss’ mentality. We think this is a new approach to primary freight,” said Hennigar. “Now as rates are starting to decrease, our customers’ spending has started to go down as well. This introduction of transparency and technology into that win-loss scenario that we are currently in has really benefited our customers, and we are seeing the results.”
When it comes to adopting Convoy’s Guaranteed Primary program, Convoy makes it a priority to meet its customers where they are with technology — TMS, directly into their operating system, etc. — to help them automate mundane processes.
In the year and a half since Convoy launched the Guaranteed Primary program, the company’s customers have saved an average of 11% on spending and have received 17% higher tender acceptance, added Hennigar. “And that’s on the prevailing market conditions, not just on what is in the contract.”
As for staying ahead in the market, Hennigar stresses three things to shippers: Diversify your freight procurement portfolio, raise the expectations for operational visibility and introduce resilience into your network.