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Three Benefits of Automated Tender Responses for Contract Freight

ShippersPublished on October 5, 2020

When freight markets are tight and your primary carrier rejects a tender, every minute counts. Our recent blog post on healthy routing guides shared that best-in-class carriers (those who were rewarded by repeated freight) had a 33-minute median tender response time, while the same metric for the lowest-performing carriers was 58 minutes. 

Today, we’re sharing an example of how a digital freight network can save shippers even more time: Convoy automates the tender response process for contract freight, using machine learning to instantly accept or reject loads. As a result, 83% of shipments tendered to Convoy get instantaneous responses. The remaining 17% of tenders are managed through our operations team and responded to in just six minutes on average. 

Every minute counts: Convoy responds to 83% of tenders instantly.

Shipper Benefits

With automated tender responses, manufacturers and retailers who use Convoy’s digital freight network receive immediate confirmation of whether their primary and backup loads were accepted for the vast majority of tenders. 

This provides several benefits to logistics teams:

  1. Save time getting coverage: Your team will spend less time finding trucks and confirming rates—the information exchange, price matching, and confirmation are all handled automatically. Ultimately, this helps you maintain high service levels.
  2. Avoid last-minute loads and service failures: Convoy provides industry-leading tender acceptance rates, including 100% guaranteed acceptance for backup and spot through our dynamic pricing, and a unique option for 100% tender acceptance on primary freight as well. In the rare instances where a tender is rejected, you’ll have more time to find coverage for your shipment. 
  3. Get peace of mind in all market conditions: As part of Convoy’s commitment to service quality, we respond to 99% of all tenders (vs. 90% for the industry’s best carriers and as low as 25% for the industry’s lowest-performing carriers). Combined with our industry-leading response time and tender acceptance rates, we provide transportation teams with greater certainty even during demand shocks and market shifts.

How It Works

Companies who ship truckload freight with Convoy tender loads electronically through a Transportation Management System (TMS) or through the Convoy shipper platform. Convoy instantly confirms acceptance status with shippers for 83% of all tenders. The remaining 17% are managed through our operations team because, for example, the shipment may have an exceedingly short lead time or the load may be overweight. 

Automating tender acceptance starts by exchanging information using technologies like Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) or direct API connections with the shipper’s TMS. This is in contrast to many carriers and brokers who use phones, email, and fax to contact, vet, and schedule drivers in order to respond to tenders. 

Once we have shipment information, our algorithms instantly assess whether the tender is serviceable by carriers in our network. The rules check for multiple factors including shipment weight, lead time, freight type, truck type, truck availability, pickup and dropoff locations, and special instructions. Our system also instantly determines if we’re able to meet shipper expectations and compliance on each load.

After assessing shipment serviceability, we use a proprietary machine learning model that instantly forecasts truck prices. This model’s outcome determines whether we’ll instantly accept or reject the load, or redirect it for manual processing.

Join Our Digital Freight Network

If you ship with Convoy, you’ve probably already noticed our faster tender response times. If you’re new to Convoy or are interested in seeing what a digital freight network can do for your business, drop us a line. We’d love to show you what we can do together to move your business forward.

Convoy Connect TMS is now part of Convoy’s integrated online platform for shippers. For more information, take a look at our freight booking software.


Convoy Team

Convoy is the nation's leading digital freight network. We move thousands of truckloads around the country each day through our optimized, connected network of carriers, saving money for shippers, increasing earnings for drivers, and eliminating carbon waste for our planet. We use technology and data to solve problems of waste and inefficiency in the $800B trucking industry, which generates over 87 million metric tons of wasted CO2 emissions from empty trucks. Fortune 500 shippers like Anheuser-Busch, P&G, Niagara, and Unilever trust Convoy to lower costs, increase logistics efficiency, and achieve environmental sustainability targets.
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