- Convoy, a digital freight broker, says it has reached a 100% automated match rate in its "top markets" — where it has several users on its platform — and a 95% automated match rate nationwide.
- "What we’re able to do is find that truck that ends up doing the job without any human intervention at all: no calls, no email, no nothing," Convoy Chief Product Officer Ziad Ismail told Supply Chain Dive.
- Increased app usage, better user data and improved models helped the company to reached this goal, Ismail said.
The first step for Convoy in getting to a 100% automated match rate in "top markets" was getting user numbers up. The company is now working with about 100,000 truckers, around 35,000 carriers and more than 500 shippers.
Getting to these numbers required the introduction of new features within the app that created value, including the ability to easily collect detention claims; Flex Loads, which allowed carriers to select the pick-up and delivery dates that worked on their schedule; and Instant Bidding, which let carriers set their price in the Convoy app.
Once users were in the app and using it on a more regular basis, the data scientists at Convoy had more numbers to work with and more variables to help train their models.
These improvements helped Convoy get to about an 80% automated match rate, Ismail said. They next introduced Request a Load, which allows carriers to tell Convoy when they're free and what lanes they prefer to run. The insight from this feature helped Convoy better learn trucker behavior and reach the 100% match rate in top markets toward the end of last year.
"We wanted to make sure it was sustained and at this point we feel very comfortable with the fact that we’re fully automated," Ismail said.
The top markets include West Coast markets such as Seattle, Portland, Oregon and Los Angeles; Midwest routes from Chicago, Cincinnati and Milwaukee; routes from Texas markets such as Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio; Northeast routes from New York and Philadelphia and Southeast routes from Atlanta, the company explained.
Nationwide, the match rate is still at 95%. This slightly lower rate is a result of not having as much data on truckers for some of the less populous areas, but it is also steadily growing, Ismail said.
While matching is fully automated in top markets, pricing may still require truckers to contact Convoy. Ismail said pricing is still automated "in the majority of cases," though the exact rate of pricing automation wasn't provided.
"We plan on sharing more information about our progress around pricing later on," he said.
One of Convoy's major competitors in the digital freight broker space is Uber Freight, which did not make its automated match rate available. But a spokesperson said load volume have been doubling every quarter, 25% of loads were booked in under 30 minutes and its user base has grown to 30,000 people.