Convoy adds ‘automated bidding’ to in-app freight network

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The Convoy freight platform launched automated bidding within its Request a Load feature, which U.S. carriers can use to input desired rates, favorite lanes and availability dates to allow the system to then automatically bid on loads. If the carrier wins a bid, they are notified instantly.

The Request a Load screen on Convoy’s carrier app, where owner-ops can enter rate and lane preference information and, the company notes, set themselves up to make future automated bids at requested rates by checking the “I always want this lane” box shown.The Request a Load screen on Convoy’s carrier app, where owner-ops can enter rate and lane preference information and, the company notes, set themselves up to make future automated bids at requested rates by checking the “I always want this lane” box shown.

All they do then is tap to confirm. As Convoy puts its, the system could serve to eliminate a good deal of extra work put in by an owner-operator, including fielding broker calls, back-and-forth negotiation, and constant checking of the app.

The move also serves a data-quality function for the Convoy digital brokerage itself, which in part relies on carrier preference data to improve its relevance and machine-learning models to suggest and better pair freight to and with carriers.

“Automated bidding extends Convoy’s efforts to help carriers spend more time driving  and earning money — and less time searching for loads,” said Nikhil Jaipuria, director of product at Convoy.

The new automated bidding feature follows feedback from carrier users about some of the hassles of finding loads at rates that work — the time spent and stress involved, chiefly.

“I spend up to 75 percent of my non-driving time looking for work,” said Roberto Casillas, owner-operator at Reyn Transportation. “The way the market has been lately, I can’t afford to look away, as I could miss a load.”

Francisco Trucking Corp. small fleet dispatcher Diana Guilamo is an early user of automated bidding with Request a Load, and notes it’s saved time that she can use on other high priority tasks. With some drivers on regular lanes, she enters a mix of recurring requests so she can see offers on lanes she’s always interested in, as well as daily requests based on where her trucks are. The feature’s become a “new normal in finding loads to keep my six trucks rolling. This has made my job easier, and right now, it’s the primary way I get loads,” she said. “Before, it used to be hard to get a load, as by the time I would see one and respond, someone else would have taken it. Now I have a chance.”

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