Convoy Power-Only Freight Service Debuts
August 19, 2021
has launched a new power-only service as part of its Convoy Go program,
providing private fleets with nationwide capacity to haul their preloaded and
empty dry van trailers. With a network of more than 300,000 tractors, Convoy now
offers the largest on-demand fleet of power units on the market. Through the use
of machine learning across Convoy’s vast shipper network, backhauls and
loadouts1 for trailer moves can be automatically identified, significantly
reducing shipping costs while eliminating carbon emissions from empty miles.
Convoy estimates that shippers spend billions of dollars each year on empty
trailer moves. Convoy’s power-only freight service can save up to 30% of the
cost for these trailer moves, while also helping carriers maximize asset
utilization and earn more money.
The Inefficiencies of Moving Empty and Loaded Trailers
Private fleets currently comprise more than half a million trailers in the
United States. There is a constant need to haul them from one location to
another—either loaded with freight that needs to be delivered, or empty in cases
where the trailer is being repositioned for its next load. In the last decade,
the need to haul these trailers has only increased, as online commerce and
supply chains require more short-haul, rapid-response fulfillment.
However, the process of moving trailers is highly inefficient and costly. With a
4:1 trailer-to-tractor ratio among private fleets, many shippers operate with a
shortfall of power units and drivers. When demand surges, these shippers often
have to rely on the spot market where they face higher rates, increased risk
from working with unfamiliar carriers, and the possibility of service failure as
the pool of for-hire carrier power units continues to decline in 2021. And with
empty miles among private fleets estimated at 40%, shippers waste fuel and money
while needlessly increasing CO2 emissions.
New, Unique Approach to Providing Power-Only Capacity
Convoy is uniquely positioned to address these longstanding issues with its new
power-only freight service. Over the last three years, the company has developed
its own drop-and-hook service called Convoy Go, providing shippers with
power-only tractors and a fleet of several thousand trailers. This service is
built on machine learning models that predict trailer demand weeks in advance
and intelligently reroute trailers to facilities where they’re needed. This
eliminates the costs of spillover to the live spot market when drop-and-hook
demand increases, and minimizes trailer underutilization when demand recedes.
Today’s announcement expands the capabilities of Convoy Go, providing power-only
capacity to haul private fleet trailers. Convoy supplements the private fleet’s
existing tractor capacity to more efficiently rebalance trailer pools and
deliver preloaded trailers.
Powering this new service are four innovations that save customers time and
money while improving service quality and shipment visibility:
tractor capacity - With a fleet of more than 300,000 power units and unique
machine learning models that automatically match trailers to carriers, Convoy
can quickly flex capacity, providing reliable coverage as demand fluctuates. In
many cases, Convoy can provide next-day or even same-day service for trailer
Automated loadouts and backhauls - With thousands of loads moving through
Convoy’s network every day, the company’s machine learning models can often find
backhauls or live loads to haul in empty trailers. Both result in cost savings
to the company moving the trailer, while also reducing carbon emissions from
Industry-leading GPS tracking - With more than 95% of the loads in Convoy's
network tracked end-to-end and in real-time with the company's mobile app,2
shippers can see the precise location of their trailers on a map.
Automated carrier safety and compliance - Convoy’s unique carrier safety
standards use machine learning models to ensure that every load is hauled by an
extensively vetted, high-quality carrier. The result is a crash rate 16% lower
than the industry and 99.95% of loads delivered without a cargo claim.
“Today’s announcement is the next natural step in reinventing the drop-and-hook
market,” said Ziad Ismail, Chief Product Officer at Convoy. “After building a
nationwide network of power-only carriers, we’re now opening up our network to
private fleets with a much-needed service and a level of efficiency and
flexibility that previously was not possible.”
Starting today, Convoy Go’s power-only freight service is available for private