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Why every shipper should expect real-time shipment visibility

Convoy News, Industry Insights, ShippersPublished on May 5, 2020

When you order a pizza, you can track its every move, from getting placed in the oven to the minute-by-minute route the delivery car takes. And it’s not just pizza giving us real-time tracking, we know the exact location of the ride-share coming to pick us up and the status of the package we ordered online. So why is it that with all of this visibility in other parts of our lives, shippers still send 40,000 pounds of product onto the open road with no real-time tracking guarantee? 

It’s due time for shippers to reset expectations on shipment visibility. Every carrier you work with should be able to provide real-time shipment tracking, and here’s why.

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Save Hours tracking down shipment status

Trying to track down the location of a single shipment can take hours. It means emails and phone calls looking for status updates, sometimes checking in again and again to confirm the information you received is accurate. If the driver is hard to contact, you might wait half a day for an update, follow up, and wait some more. All of this time tracking down shipments could be spent on more important tasks if you had access to real-time shipment visibility. 

At Convoy we leverage GPS tracking via the Convoy app to understand exactly where our drivers are. Unlike other apps which are used only to track drivers in real-time, the Convoy app is the way that drivers view, bid on, and find business with Convoy. Because of this, we are able to track our entire network, from large carriers to owner-operators, via real-time GPS. When shippers use Convoy’s shipper platform or Convoy Connect TMS, they are able to see the real-time location of their truck on a map. We also send real-time tracking information directly to shippers through a variety of integrations with their Transportation Management Systems. 

Identify opportunities to reduce costs

When trucks are tracked in real-time, you can identify areas where your operations could be more efficient—for example, facilities with long wait times which lead to higher detention payouts and increased shipment costs.

At Convoy, we use our location data and our customized shipper insights to help surface and identify facilities that are causing issues to help shippers make changes and reduce operational costs. 

Deliver a premium customer experience 

On-time delivery impacts everything from production schedules to the bottom line. Without real-time shipment visibility, you’re likely having awkward conversations with your customers because you don’t know where their shipment is. With real-time shipment visibility, you can give your customers immediate and accurate information about the status of their order, building trust for continued business. 

Convoy technology automatically updates a shipment’s status as soon as the driver arrives or departs both pickup and delivery. Shippers are able to set up automatic email alerts and get real-time updates on their shipment status delivered directly to their inbox. 

Get peace of mind 

In trucking, some problems are unavoidable. But the stress of not knowing where and when a delay occurred should not be part of the job. Many shippers set up manual processes to try and get ahead of these unforeseen delays, including morning check-ins with all of their partners or proactive emails to confirm shipments are on track. This stress and extra work to gain peace of mind can be eliminated with real-time shipment visibility. 

Convoy uses real-time tracking to quickly alert our customers when there’s a delay. When a shipment isn’t moving as quickly as we’d expect, our teams are alerted to check in and resolve the issue. Similarly, we’re able to estimate the time of arrival (ETA) for shipments based on their GPS location and automatically alert shippers when the ETA slips from on-time to late.

Interested in seeing what real-time shipment visibility can do for you? Get an instant-quote and book a truck today with the Convoy’s shipper platform or Convoy Connect TMS.

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


Esther Sedgwick

Esther Sedgwick is a Director of Marketing at Convoy focused on technology solutions for shippers. Prior to Convoy, Esther was a Director of Marketing at Microsoft where she launched 17 products across the Windows, Xbox, and Surface businesses over her 10 year tenure. Esther’s experience growing up on a commercial apple farm in Eastern Washington fuels her passion for using technology to improve efficiency and reduce waste in the freight industry.
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