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July 16, 2020 2:30 PM, EDT

Convoy Unveils Service Targeting Owner-Operators, Small Fleets

ConvoyA truck with a Convoy-branded trailer. (Convoy)

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Convoy introduced a dedicated freight service that aims to provide more work for owner-operators and small fleets.

The service, announced July 15, offers every carrier equal access to finding predictable loads and thus stable revenue. It allows carriers nationwide to search and bid on dedicated freight contracts through the Convoy mobile app.

“Since starting Convoy, we have consistently heard from carriers about the challenges they have to keep their trucks busy and earning,” Chief Product Officer Ziad Ismail told Transport Topics. “With the extreme fluctuations in the market, that is even more true this year.”

Convoy

Convoy 

The Seattle-based company connects shippers to carriers, and also works to use its technology and data to solve problems of waste and inefficiency within the trucking industry.

“Dedicated freight is a solution that gives carriers predictable and repeatable loads that they know will be there each week,” Ismail said. “Traditionally, 90% of carriers in the U.S. who are owner-operators or small fleets have not had access to this kind of work.”

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Convoy said in the announcement the dedicated freight contracts can include up to 40 live and drop loads per week. They can also last up to six months. An automated system will send loads directly through the app once a carrier wins a dedicated freight contract.

“Introducing dedicated freight for carriers has been one of the consistent asks we have received from carriers,” Ismail said. “The full dedication experience is built in our app to make it easy for carriers to find and bid on work to help keep them earning and driving.”

Convoy began testing the service with a select number of clients late last year. Some found that their smaller size alone often meant they were passed over on contracts. The new service helped them to overcome that obstacle.

Convoy

Convoy's app. (Convoy)

“We began testing this program in late 2019 and expanded the availability within our network in early 2020,” Ismail said. “The feedback has been consistently positive, with carriers eager to access this predictable and reliable work. We’re excited to open up this opportunity to our carriers nationwide.”

Convoy said in the announcement that there is a misperception that small carriers are less reliable, meaning dedicated freight traditionally has been reserved for large or medium-size carriers.

“This is the first time we’ve had access to dedicated freight,” Kenia Vazquez, from KRV Transport in San Antonio, said in a statement. “As a small operation, we’ve never been able to access anything like this from the traditional brokers we’ve worked with.”

Convoy has been focused on advancing its technology offerings, with this service being a continuation of earlier efforts. Convoy Go was introduced last year to provide drop-and-hook freight to owner-operators and small fleets. Automated Reloads also was launched last year to help carriers get combinations of multiple jobs that are optimized to reduce empty miles.

“This is a continuation of our efforts to maximize earnings for carriers by keeping their trucks full on the lanes they like to run, with less hassle,” Ismail said.

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