Today marks Convoy’s fifth birthday. We have many things to be proud of, yet it’s hard to feel celebratory given what’s happening in the world right now. More than ever, we appreciate the millions of hard working people who are moving the freight that is so vital to our country during normal times, and particularly right now. To recognize this day in our history, we’d like to take a moment to acknowledge the work our teams have put in these past five years and the carriers and shippers who’ve believed and grown with us.
Our path began in early 2015, when my co-founder Grant Goodale and I were researching the supply chain, an area we’d come to appreciate from our days at Amazon. Our real exploration began when I was visiting truck stops and warehouses in the Pacific Northwest. We heard firsthand about truckers’ frustrations and their fears. I was struck by how open and collaborative the freight industry was – it seemed everyone we met was willing to share their knowledge and insights. Truckers shared their challenges with the long-standing brokerage system, difficulties of life on the road, and the uphill battle they faced to make ends meet. Shippers shared how hard it was to locate and secure trucks, as well as a variety of challenges associated with tracking their goods.
The more we learned, the more we believed we could bring about positive change and deliver efficiencies that would change lives for the better. The industry’s problems were big and inspirational, and from our experiences in tech, data, and software, we could see that there were cutting-edge solutions that no one was thinking about trying.
After three months of research, we founded Convoy as a local-only, same-day “rolling LTL” trucking service doing work around the Puget Sound region of Washington state. This was our launching pad, and we quickly evolved and grew into the company behind an inspirational mission: To transport the world with endless capacity and zero waste.
Today, we’re focused on solving the toughest problems of waste and inefficiency in the trucking industry. Our vision and direction is shaped by the information and guidance we receive from truckers, shippers, and freight professionals. Every day we learn and we adapt.
We’ve made progress we’re proud of, optimizing how thousands of truckloads move around the country each day and solving the most pressing problems for truck drivers and shippers. For example, we were the first to fully automate the freight brokerage process, this includes matching loads to carriers and automating pricing. This was the crux of inefficiency in trucking and, by automating this process, we eliminate hours of manual effort.
We were also first to guarantee automatic detention using mobile technology, meaning that truckers no longer had to wait weeks and sift through piles of paperwork to collect the late fees they were due. Another first was with the launch of automated reloads which batches multiple loads into a single trip for truck drivers, eliminating 45% of empty back-haul miles. This allows drivers to earn more while reducing the impact on our environment from carbon emissions tied to empty miles. Our nationwide launch of Convoy Go in 2019 enables any carrier to have access to preloaded trailers, something previously only available to larger asset-based carriers. For our shippers, we’ve introduced programs that bring increased efficiencies to managing transportation systems including Dynamic Pricing and Convoy TMS.
When we look ahead, we see a world where trucking operates more smoothly – shippers have less worry and have moved with us to the next leg of the supply chain; drivers have full trucks, are paid quickly and we’ve removed most hassles from their day-to-day; we’ve moved beyond the opaque aspects of trucking (a “black box”) and into full transparency and efficiency of a Digital Freight Network.
We’ve come a long way, and yet we’re still in the early miles of our journey, with many, many more to go. Today, as the world is in turmoil around us, the supply chain is in the spotlight. We are humbled to be part of an industry that is the backbone of our society and that keeps this country running in good times and in bad. We are thankful to work with our shippers who produce and supply essential goods, and we are appreciative of every carrier who spends long days out there on the road.
Thank you to our shippers, to carriers, and to our community for being a part of this movement.