Convoy’s Automated Reloads provides efficiency upgrades for carriers to keep moving freight – By Jeff Berman, Logistics Management – Group News Editor

Seattle-based digital freight broker Convoy, launched a new offering today that, it said, is geared towards booking multiple loads at a time.

Entitled Automated Reloads, Convoy said this offering leverages algorithmically evaluates and continuously optimizes how loads can be grouped in real-time, all without human intervention. Carriers can bid their rates or instantly accept these pre-planned combinations of loads as a single job through the Convoy app for Automated Reloads, which, Convoy said, makes sure drivers are staying on the road moving freight. Convoy’s also noted that its algorithms customize live and also drop-and-hook packages in real time for each carrier, by understanding their unique preferences, hours-of-service and driver locations, wait times at facilities, and other considerations.

“We developed Automated Reloads to help drivers earn more, minimize empty miles, and eliminate time waiting between work,” said Arpan Sinha, Convoy’s head of product for matching. “The American Transportation Research Institute estimates that more than 20% of driven miles are ‘non-revenue.’  Time wasted running empty or hunting for freight creates serious challenges for any trucking company.” 

Sinha explained that just as with all shipments managed by Convoy, shippers have the benefit of accessing Convoy’s large network of carriers, real-time GPS tracking, and reliable, centralized customer service.

“Also, many shippers have environmental and sustainability goals and our more efficient approach helps them in this regard,” Sinha said.

Prior to the launch of Automatic Reloads, Sinha said that finding reloads was a manual process in which carriers worked with different brokerages, which, in turn required hours of phone calls, faxes, haggling, and waiting as well as monitoring multiple load boards, which he labeled as a very time-consuming and inefficient process.

Convoy tested and refined Automatic Reloads for six months, a process, which Sinha said, involved hundreds of carriers and thousands of loads.

Convoy identified multiple ways in which automatic reloads can increase carrier earnings, including:

  • creating a one-time or recurring request for preferred lanes, or search for specific cities;
  • looking for offers with reloads packaged together;
  • optionally, adding more reloads to the suggested route; and
  • tapping to bid or accept

“Traditionally, brokers or dispatchers pair shipments that are obvious to spot. But they missed out on a large part of the opportunity,” said Ziad Ismail, Convoy Chief Product Officer, in a statement. “Given the complexity and speed of the freight market, a real-time algorithmic optimization is ideally set up to minimize empty miles and help carriers.”

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