Radical transparency into shipment status and supply chain health. Introducing Hi-Fi Visibility
Convoy News, Shippers • Published on September 19, 2022
The things we do when we don’t have visibility. Like driving a golf cart through the rain to see how many empty trailers are in the yard. Or losing 40 minutes on the phone chasing a carrier’s location. Or paying $18k in detention a month without knowing why. Or stumbling through a “he said, she said” with your 3PL because of poor facility performance.
Now, imagine a world where you have real-time visibility into your shipments and yards and detailed analytics on your facility performance. In this world, a dashboard surfaces how many trailers are in the yard. A map shows where the truck is in real time, with notifications that tell you what it’s doing. A carrier’s review reveals that the $18k in detention is because there’s a broken robot in bay 5. In this world, data helps steer conversations and drive outcomes. And it’s right at your fingertips.
This is Hi-Fi Visibility. A new class of visibility and transparency that our customers tell us they have never seen before — not from any other transportation provider in their routing guide.
Introducing Hi-Fi Visibility, an unparalleled level of depth and insights into your freight
Hi-Fi Visibility provides detailed, real-time updates across drop trailer pools and shipments hauled by tech-connected carriers in Convoy’s network. And it provides robust analytics that improve your supply chain health.
Hi-Fi Visibility is made possible by three core capabilities. It starts with real-time data collection, which we’ve achieved through industry-leading carrier app use — an unrivaled 97% — across our network.
Next, machine-learning models enhance the data, layering in real-time data from like shipments to predict delays and disruptions related to the driver, facility, trailer loading, and trailer matching. This way you don’t just know where a shipment is but also what it’s doing throughout the shipment lifecycle. Is the truck dwelling at a facility for so long that it’s putting a later shipment at risk? And the data refreshes every five minutes, improving the accuracy and visibility of ETAs, shipment statuses, and shipment delays as they occur. The result? Transportation teams get an accurate, granular source of truth.
And finally, we’re building tools like our online shipper platform that give customers on-demand access to their shipment statuses and insights in real time. Customers can also access this information within the tools they use every day, through APIs and TMS integrations.
Convoy’s Hi-Fi Visibility capabilities include:
- High-fidelity shipment tracking: Track your freight in real time, with the truck’s GPS location updating every minute. See predictive ETAs and status updates that cover more than 30 detailed reason codes. We’ll let you know if a driver has run into issues at the facility or with the equipment, the shipment, paperwork, and more. Shareable tracking links keep your customers, partners, and leadership up to date when it matters most.
- Advanced insights and benchmarking tools: Save costs and improve operations with an interactive and on-demand insights dashboard that visualizes trends for more than 40 metrics per shipment, including spend, on-time performance, dwell time, carrier retention, and facility performance. Get ratings and written reviews directly from carriers on the ground. Benchmarking data shows how your facility performance stacks up to nearby facilities.
- A facility dashboard: Track the precise GPS location and status of your Convoy Go drop trailers in real time. See each trailer’s current status — whether it’s empty, loaded, or out of service — along with the trailer’s condition, speed, ETA, actual arrival, time in yard, and theft alerts, as well as future availability so you can plan ahead.
- Out-of-the-box TMS integrations and APIs: Get Hi-Fi Visibility in your everyday tools through integrations like live tracking on the Flexport platform, with more on the way.
Convoy customers can access high-fidelity shipment tracking and advanced insights today via connect.convoy.com. Benchmarking and the new facility dashboard will be available later this fall. Learn more by visiting convoy.com/supply-chain-visibility.
How Hi-Fi Visibility drives results
Reducing email volume, mitigating shipment delays, and improving efficiency
The problem: The tracking and accounts receivable teams at a consumer goods company were sending dozens of emails a day about critical shipments delivering into one of their major retailer-customers. Where’s the truck? What is it doing? Can you send me the bill of lading?
The process: Instead of chasing information from inboxes and call-downs, the team ran a test. Would Convoy’s high-fidelity shipment tracking and digital bill of lading (BOL) features help reduce its email volume?
The outcome: In two weeks, the tracking team reduced its pre-pickup emails by 34% because Convoy’s high-fidelity shipment tracking starts tracking two hours prior to pickup. Tracking team members also received predictive to-the-minute ETAs and status updates with detailed reason codes, so they knew if a driver ran into issues at the facility or with their equipment, the shipment, paperwork, and more and worked to mitigate shipment delays.
The two teams reduced their overall email volume by 14%. The accounts receivable team printed BOLs directly from the shipper platform. Convoy provides a BOL on every load — the carrier’s payment depends on it. These results compelled the consumer goods company to expand Convoy’s tracking and digital BOL features to the rest of its teams.
Lowering dwell times, reducing detention costs, and improving access to capacity
The problem: At one of its biggest facilities, a manufacturer was experiencing high detention costs because of longer-than-usual dwell times. Also, carriers weren’t placing as many bids on loads for this particular facility in the Convoy app.
The process: Convoy compared drivers’ actual transit times to the facility’s appointment times, which were set by the manufacturer’s 3PL, and made a stunning realization. Drivers were so early for their appointment times that they waited hours.
In one scenario, a driver picked up a load at 9 a.m. and arrived at the facility for a 12:30 p.m. delivery — but the appointment time wasn’t until 6 p.m. He held onto this trailer for close to six hours longer than planned. He didn’t get the most out of his full 11 hours of service that day, which reduced his earnings.
The outcome: Convoy provided lane-by-lane transit recommendations that are now executed by the manufacturer’s 3PL. The manufacturer also lengthened the facility’s hours. These changes reduced excess transit by 53%, pickup dwell time by 60%, truck costs by 18%, and detention costs by 70% — monthly accessorial spend went from $16.3k per month to $4.9k per month, for $11.4k in savings month over month.
▶️ Like this case study? Then catch the on-demand webinar, with more details and insights.
Watch Unblocking facility bottlenecks using on-demand insights
TIP: Shippers that respect carriers’ time earn higher facility reviews, according to our Annual Freight Insights Report. And our research has found that 84% of carriers often or always read facility reviews before deciding whether to bid on a load (read: positive reviews improve access to capacity). Later this fall, Convoy’s on-demand facility insights dashboard will reveal how facilities stack up to other competing facilities nearby, with benchmarks extending to on-time performance, facility rating, and others, so shippers can continue to work toward the shipper-of-choice title.
Saving time, reducing email volume, and delivering confidence in capacity
The problem: In cases of unexpected demand surges, the transportation team for a large retailer sent emails and made calls to track down available capacity, costing the team its most precious resource: time. Time that its asset-based carriers used to physically check their yards for available trailers. By the time the team heard back, it had to run the loads as live, using unfamiliar spot carriers at a higher cost.
The process: Another demand surge brewed a familiar scenario — the need for 10 drop trailers. But this time, the team was leveraging Convoy Go for nationwide drop capacity across primary, backup, and spot. Convoy’s drop trailers have GPS and cargo sensors that provide automated updates on trailer location, loaded status, condition, speed, ETA, actual arrival, time in yard, and theft alerts. This eliminates the need for people to manage trailers on the ground.
The team looked at its facility dashboard to see four trailers already on site and six inbound trailers on the way within the next 24 hours. With confidence in capacity, the team uploaded a spreadsheet with shipment details for the 10 drop loads, then booked and assigned trailers in minutes — for spot drop coverage without the inflated spot costs. The team tracked 100% of these drop loads in real time on a map, with the truck’s location updating every five minutes.
The outcome: The ability to see current trailer status and upcoming trailer availability will be available to all Convoy shippers through the facility dashboard this fall. This means for upcoming drop shipments, customers can see future trailer availability and make a booking decision in minutes, through the Convoy shipper platform or through their TMS.
Get Hi-Fi Visibility across your network
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