SEATTLE — Digital freight network Convoy now offers nationwide dedicated freight through its mobile app, allowing carriers to bid on dedicated freight contracts that can last up to six months. The new feature is designed to reduce the time carriers spend securing individual loads, enabling smaller carriers and owner-operators to focus on driving and generating revenue.
“Small fleets and owner-operators comprise the vast majority of carriers in the U.S. and we are proud to provide them with access to the same dedicated freight opportunities that larger fleets have enjoyed for years,” said Amir Pelleg, senior director of product for Convoy. “With freight demand experiencing extreme volatility as the economy adapts to a new normal, it is vital for all carriers to have easy access to predictable and consistent work.”
Approximately 90% of carriers in the U.S. have 10 or fewer trucks. These owner-operators and small fleets can spend up to 10 hours each week searching for individual loads to keep their trucks full. That equates to 520 working hours each year spend not driving and not earning. Dedicated loads offer carriers guaranteed revenue with consistent work hauling the same shipment along the same route. Historically, dedicated freight has been reserved for large or medium-size carriers because of the perception that small carriers are less reliable. Convoy uses machine learning and automation to identify reliable drivers and fleets.
“Many customers and brokers will ask you, ‘Do you have 20 trailers?’ in order to access their dedication contracts. And for us, with only six trucks, that would be impossible to secure those contracts,” said Inderjit Gill of JSG Logistics, a Freemont, California-based owner-operator who has been working with Convoy since 2019. “But the fact that Convoy closed that bridge and made it possible so we could be known as a dedicated carrier on a dedicated route has saved our business during turbulent times. Thanks to Convoy, we don’t need to have a huge business in place to be part of a dedicated workflow.”
Using Convoy’s mobile app, all carriers can search for and bid on dedicated freight contracts that include as many as 40 live and drop loads every week, for up to six months. Once a carrier wins a dedicated freight contract, Convoy’s automated system will send loads directly through the app.
“This is the first time we’ve had access to dedicated freight. As a small operation, we’ve never been able to access anything like this from the traditional brokers we’ve worked with,” said Kenia Vazquez of KRV Transport, a San Antonio, Texas-based carrier who has been working with Convoy since 2018. “Dedication gives me peace of mind that I don’t have to be constantly looking for new shipments. With dedicated freight I know I’m going to have the loads I want and that I need to keep my business running.”
Gaining dedicated freight contracts gives owner-operators and small fleet owners added stability, providing assured income during a time of uncertainty as the U.S. faces a global pandemic.
“Right now, about 20% of our shipments that we do with Convoy are dedicated, and I hope to grow this with more of my business increasingly being dedicated,” said Eliza Cruz of Beep Beep trucking, a Sacramento, California-based owner-operator who has been working with Convoy since 2016. “Drivers want to be able to book their shipments a week in advance. With dedicated freight, we don’t spend a lot of time looking for freight and we can focus solely on driving.”