One of the questions we hear over the phone most often when speaking to new carriers is “how can I find and book the best loads with Convoy?”.
To encourage best practices within Convoy’s digital freight network, we asked six of our Haul Stars how they prefer to find and book loads with Convoy.
Step 1: Find the Right Load with “Search”
“Convoy is the ideal partner to book a first load with. On my first shipment with Convoy, I was signed up in a matter of minutes and booked a return load trip from Florida to Georgia when I had no other options. The best advice I can offer to a new driver with Convoy is to customize the search results to find the most relevant loads. In order to find roundtrips to the places I want to pick and deliver to near home, I’ll search for “current location” and add a search radius of 50 miles and expand to 100 miles depending on the number of loads available. Once I find and book a load I’m interested in, I’ll submit another search result picking or dropping near that location, and so on until my truck is booked out a week in advance.’” – Robert Key, Owner of Bizzyb Transport, LLC
Step 2: Gauge the Market Rates
“The best part about working with Convoy is knowing exactly how much your bid was lost by if another carrier wins a bid. I use Convoy to gauge the market and understand where other carriers are accepting lower rates than my fleet. For example, if I’m losing bids by higher amounts, let’s say $600, I know my fleet is shooting way too high for where the market is at that moment. But if I’m losing bids by $50-$100, then I know I’m close to where the market is and can use that insight to book a similar load. The best-case scenario is when I win a bid even though my bid was not the lowest bid in the market. Convoy makes sure to reward higher-performing carriers in this way, so it’s important to perform well and correct any mistakes that may implicate your carrier scorecard.” – Josh Rickards, Rickards Transportation LLC
Step 3: Do Your Research with Facility Insights
“The progress Convoy has made in providing transparency to carriers and removing the guessing games is unbeatable in the industry. In the past few years, carriers have only been able to see the general metros a load is picking up or delivering to. With Convoy, you can see the exact address and facility information. They provide insights into shipper cancelation rates, average facility dwell times, facility experiences, and a list of previous driver reviews to give carriers all the information they need to book back-to-back loads or go to an area they are less familiar with. Our fleet tends to stick to booking loads with less than two hours of waiting time and high driver reviews. All these little minor details play a huge role when deciding which load is best for our fleet’s hours of service.” – Inderjit Gill, GSG Logistics LLC
Step 4: Save Empty Miles with Automated and Suggested Reloads
“On Convoy’s loadboard I’m able to pair loads together to save time and reduce empty miles for my fleet. Convoy’s algorithms combine loads that have small cancelation rates and wait times so carriers can complete more loads within their hours of service. This basically provides the ability to plan my fleet’s routes out a few days in advance. As a dispatcher, this saves me a significant amount of time hunting for loads to fill my driver’s schedules. I can free up more time with less hassle by combining and booking multiple loads at once.” – Isaac Wilke, Starlight Transportation LLC
Step 5: Enable Notifications & Find Dedicated Lanes
“It’s extremely helpful when Convoy is able to tell me if we will or will not be getting freight on the local lanes our fleet is interested in. This is why Convoy’s “Request a Load” feature and Dedication program is the first thing we check every day. With Requests, carriers should enable notifications to make sure they are the first to accept or submit bids on the lanes they are interested in. This is the key to getting a competitive advantage in the marketplace, especially if carriers run locally or are on the road. More importantly, if you can book a dedicated load with Convoy, you should take it. Right now I would say about 20% of our shipments with Convoy are dedicated to us, but I’d like the opportunity to have more of our business dedicated. Drivers want to be able to book their shipments a week in advance, so these dedicated loads can play a huge part in maintaining consistency for a fleet. When Convoy has the volume, we don’t spend a lot of time looking for freight because of these features, and we can focus solely on driving.” – Eliza Cruz, Owner of Beep Beep Trucking