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New Convoy offering focuses on increased depth and insights into shippers’ freight

Seattle-based digital freight network Convoy introduced a new offering today that provides shippers with what it called “an unparalleled level of depth and insights into their freight.

Entitled Hi-Fi visibility, the company explained that this offering gives shippers detailed, real-time updates across trailer pools and shipments hauled by Convoy-connected carriers, as well as robust analytics geared towards improving supply chain health. Shippers are able to access Hi-Fi Visibility through TMS integrations, APIs, and Convoy’s shipper platform, said Convoy.

Convoy Director of Product Management Prarthana Mistry provided LM with a detailed overview of Hi-Fi Visibility below.

LM: What drove the need for Convoy to roll out Hi-Fi Visibility? How long had it been planned/in the works?

Mistry: Hi-Fi has been in the works for the past few years. We want transportation teams to spend less of their time chasing down trucks so that they can focus on what matters. This includes resolving issues faster because we’re able to eradicate information asymmetry and get everyone on the same page immediately, and leverage Convoy's unique insights to tackle more complex problems.

Since our inception in 2015, we’ve been investing in technology and processes that would enable Convoy to create a best-in–class visibility experience for our shippers. Carrier app use has been the foundation for this effort—as we’re able to collect a robust, granular data set from every load and enhance that data to provide incredible depth in our shipment tracking offering as well as actionable insights.

We’d been providing shippers with GPS data and location visualizations for years, however what we’ve learned is that without more robust data (i.e Reason codes, mitigations, resolution time, etc.) customers were still reaching out via phone or email when they needed more information. In order to build a flexible transportation network that can react to unexpected issues, shippers need to understand not just where the truck is but also what it’s doing and what actions we are taking on their behalf. 

Our ultimate goal is to increase efficiency and reduce waste in the freight industry through technology—so we set out to enhance our visibility offering with this new approach that delivers an incredible amount of depth and insights into freight operations. By instantly getting carriers, shippers and Convoy on the same page, we've removed the need to pick up the phone or send an email to understand what's happening—allowing everyone to work together to quickly resolve issues.

LM: What are the main benefits of Hi-Fi Visibility for Convoy's shipper customers? What does it provide, or offer up, that was needed, or missing?

Mistry: Hi-Fi Visibility enables shippers to not only manage individual shipments but leverage Convoy to build a more flexible supply chain. To do this, we go deeper than just shipment location or real-time GPS. We provide shippers with access to reason codes, and updated ETAs while also customizing the experience letting them define their own thresholds for late shipments, proactively address issues and more. 

The main benefits of Hi-Fi Visibility are: 

  • High-fidelity shipment tracking on 97% of their Convoy loads - with GPS location data being collected every minute and surfaced up alongside detailed operational status updates to shippers every 5 minutes. Shippers can extend this visibility to their customers and partners through shareable tracking links - saving precious time;
  • Advanced insights and benchmarking tools that help shippers identify opportunities to save costs and improve operations. We even offer custom consulting engagements and proactively surface trends we spot in the data through business reviews; and
  • Automated asset management for drop shippers through a new facility dashboard, as Convoy’s drop-and-hook 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.

LM: What are the main competitive advantages, or benefits, of this from a Convoy perspective? 

Mistry: There are a few things, including:

  • The incredibly high % of shipments that we are able to offer real-time visibility on (and in turn collect data from). This is enabled by our industry-leading carrier app-use. Our shippers have indicated they receive around 20%-30% GPS tracking from other providers, which would put our offering in a whole new class. In addition to being able to log-in and see this information in our shipper platform—we also are making high-fidelity shipment tracking available through APIs, TMS integrations, email summaries, and unauthenticated tracking links that can be shared with customers and partners;
  • The proactive mitigation benefits and network effects enabled by our load execution platform. We use machine-learning models and process automation to enhance the data collected through our GPS-enabled app and layer in additional real-time data from other shipments in our network including driver, facility, carrier matching, and trailer loading delays. In addition to providing visibility benefits, the platform also predicts supply chain disruptions and allows the team to respond in real time with behind-the-scenes benefits including proactive driver falloff recovery—eliminating costly events for customers by identifying the optimal recovery path; and
  • The quality of actionable insights we are able to deliver. We’re excited about the outcomes our customers are realizing from being able to combine performance data with prescriptive written feedback from our engaged carrier base. We go one step further to not only highlight what’s happening, but what transportation teams can do about it to improve. Sometimes this can be as simple as adding a bathroom, fixing a robot in a specific loading dock, or adjusting shifts or schedules to increase satisfaction and reduce costs.

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About the Author

Jeff Berman's avatar
Jeff Berman
Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review and is a contributor to Robotics 24/7. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis.
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