Improving the lives of America’s 3 million truck drivers | Convoy
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Improving the lives of America’s 3 million truck drivers

Trucking is the backbone of commercial transportation in America. It’s not hard to see why: the vast majority of the things we interact with every day – the food we eat, the clothes we wear, and the raw materials of the buildings in which we live and work we’re all likely on multiple trucks by the time they arrived to us. Our lives are enabled by the hard work of America’s 3 million truck drivers.

And make no mistake, it’s very hard work. Truck drivers frequently have to contend with long hours away from home and family and an industry that seems designed to make trucking as challenging as possible. Long wait times at facilities to get loaded or unloaded, slow payment for services, and the challenge of finding enough work to keep a truck loaded and moving week after week are among the many difficulties that face the average trucking company. 

Here at Convoy, we think it’s time for the industry to recognize that making the lives of truckers and trucking companies easier has a positive impact across the supply chains of America. We love solving problems that help make life on the road hassle-free for drivers, maximizing their earnings by keeping their trucks full on the lanes they like to run and making it easier for them to run their businesses. And because Convoy is a technology company first and foremost, we love solving those problems using cutting-edge technology.

Convoy’s technology reduces time spent finding work and running a trucking business

Many truckers — particularly owner-operators — are expected to spend a significant portion of their working hours on unpaid tasks like paperwork and scheduling appointments. According to data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 25% of businesses that employ heavy truck drivers expect drivers to do paperwork. Those responsibilities may be seen as part of the overall job of being a truck driver, but the overhead quickly adds up. 

Convoy’s app allows drivers and dispatchers to instantly book a load at the touch of a button. They can use features like Convoy’s Request a Load to find the kind of freight that they like to run and receive alerts when that freight is available, making it easy for them to quickly schedule work for their trucks. Convoy’s app also allows drivers to instantly submit bills of lading following their jobs, greatly reducing the amount of follow up paperwork. Once Convoy receives that paperwork, drivers receive payment in days rather than weeks, eliminating the need to pay fees to a factoring company (think payday loans but for trucking companies) and increasing truckers’ take-home pay.  

Convoy also reduces wasted time and money from driving empty

Truck drivers drive an average of 35% of their miles empty. Not only are they not getting paid for that time on the road, they’re actually losing money due to the costs associated with operating their vehicle, such as fuel and maintenance. The American Trucking Research Institute estimates that setting aside wages, marginal costs per mile to operate a truck are about $0.963. For a carrier who runs 100,000 miles per year, that 35% of empty miles ends up costing the carrier nearly $34,000 in out of pocket expenses. 

Convoy’s technology enables carriers to find “batches” of jobs that minimize the amount of empty miles driven from one job to the other and maximize the number of paid miles over the course of a day or week. This, combined with the increased efficiency  that comes from running their business through Convoy’s app, means more money in their pocket at the end of the week. Over time, that can lead to more than just extra time at home with the family – it can mean a growing, thriving trucking company that runs more trucks and employs more drivers.

Here are a few more of the ways Convoy is working to make carriers more successful:

We’re in it for the long haul 

We are still in the early days of transforming this massive industry. The forces that have shaped the American economy and the labor market for truck drivers over the past four decades will require substantial time, energy, and dedication to overcome. But by focusing our efforts on where technology can reduce the hassle, inconvenience, and waste associated with trucking today, we’re empowering truck drivers to make the most of their time on the road. They deserve it.

— Grant

Grant Goodale is the Chief Technology Office at Convoy. Prior to Convoy, Grant worked at Amazon, founded and served as CEO of gaming studio Massively Fun, and held senior positions at multiple startups including Reactivity (acquired by Cisco) and Context Optional (acquired by Adobe). Grant earned computer science degrees from the University of Southern California and Cornell University.