Seattle-based digital freight broker Convoy announced today it has released a new offering that provides TMS (Transportation Management Systems) providers, Managed Transportation Providers (MTP) and other logistics stakeholders with access to its automated real-time pricing and capacity for live and drop-and-hook loads.
Entitled Convoy Now, company officials described this offering as a suite of application programming interfaces (API) and developer tools, which offer up access to Convoy’s carrier base. It also provides a set of developer documentation and intuitive tools supporting direct API integrations. And, in what Convoy said is an industry first, Convoy Go also extends its automated real-time pricing to Convoy Go, its national drop-and-hook marketplace, which was released in April.
Convoy added that shippers such as KraftHeinz are integrating Convoy Now APIs into their TMS, which provides it with access to automated pricing and also to be able to leverage current market prices and guaranteed coverage, too. And it added that Convoy Now offers immediate integrations with various TMS providers, including BluJay, MercuryGate, and One Network.
LM Group News Editor connected with Rene Miller, product manager for Convoy Now, to get a deeper dive into the new Convoy Now offering.
LM: What drove the need for Convoy to launch Convoy Now?
Miller: Over the last few months, we have seen an increase in the number of shippers and partners asking to integrate with our real-time pricing engine to access Convoy’s network of carriers. Partners want to use our automated real-time pricing to fundamentally change the way their shippers procure shipment coverage through programs like dynamic routing guides.
These types of real-time pricing integrations have existed for decades in similar service industries like the taxi, hotel, and airline businesses, where travelers can book airfare from third party travel website via API, but freight has been slow to adopt technology like APIs to enable these integrations. Until today, TMS and MTP partners could only engage on these requests in a one-off fashion. Convoy Now opens up access to the automated real-time pricing so any shipper can get direct access to the Convoy network of high-quality carriers.
LM: What are the biggest benefits of this for shippers, MTPs, and 3PLS, among other logistics stakeholders?
Miller: Shippers benefit from cost savings and time savings by leveraging the automatic real-time prices through Convoy Now. This is because shippers can leverage the real-time rates earlier in their tendering prices, which overall translates to lower direct transportation costs and less time spent managing tenders as they go through a routing guide and the spot market.
3PLs see similar benefits of cost and time savings for the same reasons as shippers. They can then pass along these benefits to shippers as they capture them. Additionally, 3PLs benefit from the ease of integration that Convoy Now provides. Our APIs and developers tools make the integration process fast and simple for them.
Carriers benefit from having more of the freight they want in the Convoy marketplace. As Convoy increases the shipments in our network, it is easier for carriers to find and book the shipments they want to run.
LM: What are the biggest competitive advantages of this offering from a Convoy perspective?
Miller: To our knowledge, Convoy Now is the first program that offers a comprehensive set of APIs, developer tools and resources, and pricing programs to make it easy for any logistics company or shipper to access additional freight capacity and real-time pricing. Convoy Now includes several out-of-the-box integrations with TMS and MTP partners that are already available and being used by shippers.
Additionally, Convoy Now is making automated real-time pricing available for drop-and-hook shipments from our nationwide program, Convoy Go. Drop-and-hook programs like Convoy Go provide shippers with the flexibility of having both live and drop shipment options available to them. Previously, it took shippers hours to manually find and book prices for drop-and-hook shipments because carriers and asset brokers do not have an automated process to manage large trailer pools with real-time pricing. For the first time, Convoy Now offers shippers automated real-time pricing for Convoy Go drop-and-hook shipments where Convoy has trailer pools, so shippers can tap into drop shipping when it meets their freight needs. This can result in lower costs, faster coverage, and more efficient facility operations.
For the first time, Convoy Now also offers shippers automated real-time pricing for Convoy Go drop-and-hook shipments where Convoy has trailer pools, so shippers can tap into drop shipping when it meets their freight needs. This can result in lower costs, faster coverage, and more efficient facility operations.