Earlier today, Seattle-based digital freight network Convoy introduced a new service that it said provides shippers with dedicated truck and trailer capacity that can flex to accommodate surges in freight.
Entitled Convoy Dedicated On Demand, the company said this new service offers shippers things like cost stability and quality service expected from traditional asset carriers, coupled with the company’s flexibility, for sourcing a single truck or an entire fleet in a matter of days.
Convoy VP of Carrier and Marketplace Amir Pelleg told LM that there were multiple factors that led to the need for Convoy Dedicated on Demand.
“Our shippers were asking for flexible solutions that also provided cost stability and reliable service,” he said. “Traditional dedication is not known for being flexible, but we knew we were in a unique position to solve this challenge through our automated routing technology, network of 400,000-plus trucks and large fleet of Convoy trailers.”
When asked about the main benefits of this new offering for Convoy’s shipper customers, Pelleg explained that shippers typically choose dedicated solutions to service their high-density, consistent freight, and they expect cost stability and excellent service.
“Dedicated On Demand delivers on both,” he said. “Our shippers are seeing price stability that’s saving them between 7%-to-25%, all with excellent carrier service. In fact, they are seeing the same carriers each week 90% of the time. Plus, we can offer something that traditional asset carriers can’t—speed and flexibility. Traditional dedicated contracts are inflexible but we can quickly flex capacity to accommodate surges in demand. This means shippers don’t have to pay more on the spot market.
What’s more, Pelleg observed that Convoy’s shipper customers are using Dedicated On Demand in a variety of ways that might not be obvious.
While they are using it to service their long-term consistent freight, Pelleg said thay are also leveraging it to cover short-term project work like moving a lot of freight between two facilities. The most unique use case, he said, is that shippers are using Dedicated On Demand to support their private fleets where they need additional power-only units to move their pre-loaded trailers. And he added that Convoy has access to the largest on-demand power unit fleet in the U.S.
As for how shippers use Convoy Dedicated on Demand, Pelleg described it as an easy process.
“Shippers let us know how many trucks or trailers they need and for how long,” he said. “We secure the capacity from our network of 400,000+ trucks and thousands of drop trailers. Shippers share the shipment details with us (even as late as the morning of pickup), and we automatically bundle and assign the loads to their dedicated carriers. The carrier completes the loads and we invoice the shipper. Of course, shippers will get all of the Convoy tracking and insights they are used to.”
When looking at the competitive advantages, or benefits, this new offering offers, Pelleg said a few things stand out.
One is speed, in that Convoy can spin up a fleet from its network of more than 400,000-plus trucks and thousands of drop trailers in just a few days.
“Traditional asset-based carriers can take weeks or months as they need to secure additional trucks and hire more drivers,” he said. “Our most important differentiator is our flexibility. We know freight can be unpredictable and we wanted to develop a solution that accommodates that reality for our shippers. When volume surges, we quickly add trucks to the fleet of dedicated carriers and incorporate the additional freight via our algorithm-driven routing technology. For drop freight, we automatically relocate Convoy trailers to the pickup location within hours. This helps shippers avoid the hassle and cost unpredictability of the spot market.”