Introducing a new online platform for shippers | Convoy

Introducing a new online platform for shippers

Today we launched a new online platform for transportation teams that brings together our on-demand truckload capacity offering, Shipper Platform, with our modern transportation management system (TMS), Convoy Connect

While on-demand truckload capacity and TMS tools have traditionally been offered as separate solutions, we’ve integrated the experiences based on customer feedback to provide shippers with comprehensive freight management capabilities while ensuring the privacy of sensitive data with a sandboxed routing guide. Shippers using the new platform have been able to cut their tendering time in half and reduce freight spend by automating and standardizing their bid processes.

A New Way to Take Control of your Freight

For many transportation teams, getting shipments covered remains an inefficient, manual process of back-and-forth phone calls and emails. In addition, many shippers have yet to adopt a TMS, and instead rely on a mix of spreadsheets, email, and paper to manage their freight. Without centralized software, these teams award freight without benchmarking their carriers, resulting in higher costs and lower quality of service. 

Over the last five years, digital freight networks like Convoy and online booking platforms like Shipper Platform have dramatically simplified the process of getting high-quality coverage for contract, backup, and spot freight.

Today’s launch is the next natural step in the evolution of our digital freight network—providing shippers with access to more than 300,000 dry vans and reefers from Convoy’s network of vetted carriers, while also enabling shippers to work with their existing carriers and brokers more easily. When booking freight with Convoy, transportation teams get visibility into the truck’s location and estimated time of arrival through online GPS tracking and automated notifications. And with our built-in TMS capabilities, shippers get a centralized routing guide and streamlined workflows for sourcing quotes, tendering shipments, and evaluating performance of their brokers and carriers.

Key product capabilities

The new online platform gives shippers of all sizes direct access to our digital freight network and provides guaranteed coverage across primary, backup, and spot loads with the ability to easily transition between our self-service website and managed freight services. Key features include:

  • The ability to view and book contracted freight for primary and backup loads, including support for Convoy’s unique Guaranteed Primary program
  • Instant, guaranteed quotes for spot loads that can be booked in minutes
  • Unique spot rate benchmarks that provide insights into how Convoy’s rates compare to the market and offer tips for reducing shipping costs.
  • Automated compliance checks that ensure every load is hauled by a high-quality carrier vetted by Convoy’s unique machine learning models
  • GPS tracking with shareable links that enable logistics teams to share real-time load status with their suppliers and customers
  • Automated facility notifications that share real-time shipment status milestones with key facility contacts
  • Automated bills of lading (BOLs) that streamline communication between warehouses and drivers and reduce unnecessary pickup and delivery delays 
  • White-glove appointment scheduling services from Convoy’s operations team 
  • Green Appointment Windows, which can reduce carbon emissions from empty miles on each load by up to 36%
  • A dashboard of all Convoy shipments including loads built through the Convoy website, as well as shipments tendered through EDI integrations, Convoy’s Dynamic Backup API, or our managed freight services

In addition, our integrated TMS capabilities enable shippers to transition away from email and spreadsheets to an integrated dashboard for managing, benchmarking, and communicating with all of their brokers and asset-based carriers. Key TMS features include:

  • A spot auction manager that automates quote requests and helps shippers quickly select winning bids from any carrier or broker in their network
  • Streamlined coverage requests that automate the bidding process across a shipper’s entire carrier network including instant notifications for bid responses and an intelligent carrier selection screen that surfaces carrier performance data to speed award decisions
  • Centralized shipment activity feed for tracking the status of loads and bids
  • Carrier scorecard and insights for objectively comparing carrier performance
  • Automated order consolidation for efficiently converting customer orders into full truckload shipments
  • Secure sandboxing of the routing guide, ensuring that only the shipper can access their carrier list, lane network, and shipment bids 
  • Automated BOLs that save shippers time and reduce communication errors

To see a demo of product capabilities, or to sign up and start using our new online platform today, go to convoy.com/ship

How Customers Are Already Reducing Their Freight Spend with Our Online Platform

Today’s launch comes amid surging customer demand for digital freight networks, driven by the need to get more reliable coverage while reducing transportation costs. 

With distribution facilities across the US, Almo Corporation needed a better way to ensure they were paying competitive rates, and data that would help them understand relative carrier and broker performance on their spot loads. Using Convoy, they began putting spot shipments out for bid. Over the course of several months, the transportation team compared the competitive bid rates to the prices they’d been paying prior to using Convoy. In some instances, they found that they’d been paying a premium without the benefits of more competitive bidding.

“In the past, we had very manual processes around our truckload spot-quote business. We looked at some TMS products and found them to be overly complex or cost-prohibitive, especially in an environment where our IT resources were busy with simultaneous ERP and WMS implementations. It just wasn’t the right time,” said Keith Granstrom, Director of Transportation Support at Almo Corporation. “With Convoy, we found the perfect solution—a free, cloud-based TMS that was instantly accessible to all of our distribution facilities and easy to use. It’s given us faster access to more capacity while ensuring that our truckload transportation costs were market-competitive.”

General Insulation Company began using Convoy as a way to centralize its tendering process and source competitive bids from its preferred carriers. Over the course of four months, the company estimates that they avoided more than $150,000 in costs by benchmarking carrier rates on spot shipments. 

“In a business where lead time is money, Convoy has been a game-changer,” said Ian Allison, Transportation and Supply Chain Manager at General Insulation Company. “Before Convoy, we didn’t have sufficient visibility into our branch offices or efficient processes for benchmarking carrier performance and spend. Now we’ve got a centralized dashboard that gives us better control over our tendering process, faster bid response time, and insights into the performance of all the carriers we work with.”

Almo Corporation and General Insulation Company are among the leading manufacturers and retailers who look to digital freight networks as a new category of freight provider, distinct from traditional brokers and asset-based carriers. In a recent survey of logistics and procurement professionals, 19% of respondents indicated that they already use digital freight networks for contract or spot freight—a number expected to more than double to 42% of shippers in the coming years. This growth in digital freight is in contrast to 3PLs, asset-based carriers, traditional brokers, and private fleets, whose usage is expected to remain flat in the coming years.

Tito Hubert
Tito is the head of product for Convoy's shipper experience team including the Convoy Go drop-&-hook service program as well as our freight software platform for shippers. Before Convoy, Tito worked at Amazon.com and The Boston Consulting Group. Tito earned an MBA from Stanford Business School and an Industrial Engineering degree from Instituto Tecnologico de Buenos Aires, Argentina. Outside work, Tito enjoys spending time with his family, playing squash, growing vegetables in his back yard and he enjoys grilling large animals in open fires.