- Transport on demand trucking startup Convoy will soon be handling Anheuser-Busch beverages, GeekWire reported. The company is already connected with 10,000 trucking carriers, and earns a profit by retaining a portion of every transaction it books between a driver and companies who need goods transported.
- The pairing of Convoy and Anheuser-Busch is expected to yield significant business insights, permitting the brewer to make data-driven decisions. Convoy hopes to improve its supply chain processes and offer more high-quality work for its driving staff.
- Convoy's investors include Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Marc Benioff of Salesforce, Code.org founders Hadi and Ali Partovi, past president of Starbucks Howard Behar, and Expedia Chairman Barry Diller, among others. To date, the company has raised $80 million.
With trucking in flux, transport on demand presents a pathway to smoother supply chains to go along with greater value placed on available truck drivers.
The issues and challenges currently affecting the trucking industry are legion. From a dearth of qualified drivers and a 90% turnover rate, to implementation of the upcoming Electronic Logging Device (ELD) mandate, many are unhappy with the state of trucking. Add to that the growing number of misclassification lawsuits, and you have a scenario in need of a solution, one which start-ups like Convoy are attempting to address.
The driver for hire model could be the cure-all, especially for independent owner-operators, the group most strongly opposed to the ELD requirements. Because they already own trucks — and aren't bound by a contract with a particular transport company — such drivers can make the transition to hauling loads arranged by a company like Convoy.
Further, thanks to their ability to acquire and assimilate data, both the transport company and the shipper can gain information on route efficiency and other details that can improve supply chain speed and accuracy. And while Convoy isn't the only driver for hire company (Uber for Freight is another), right now it seems to be leading in tech investors. Peak season awaits.