Nationwide trucking network and platform Convoy is launching a drop-and-hook marketplace that allows any carrier or owner-operator to start hauling preloaded trailers.
The digital freight brokerage unveiled its Convoy Go up Thursday. It says it will address a gap in the marketplace, giving independent truckers and small carriers a way to participate in the drop-and-hook market.
“Drop-and-hook” refers to the process of dropping an empty trailer at a shipping facility and picking up a preloaded trailer. A motor carrier will leave trailers at a facility to be filled and picked up by drivers dropping off other trailers.
SMALL CARRIERS LEFT OUT
Smaller carriers have typically missed out on the benefits of drop-and-hook because of their fleet sizes, but the arrangement works well for larger carriers with an inventory of extra trailers ready to be left behind at a facility.
Convoy Go aims to solve this problem for smaller carriers and streamline the process for larger carriers by creating a marketplace for any carrier or owner-operator to pick up a preloaded trailer. The system utilizes Convoy’s network of company-managed trailers that can be used by any driver in the marketplace without rental fees.
“Convoy’s data shows that up to a third of the cost of truck freight in the U.S. is attributable to time spent either waiting for appointments, or waiting at the dock to load and unload,” said Tito Hubert, product lead for Convoy Go. “This massive amount of waste has a direct impact on increased transportation costs, decreased drivers’ earnings and reduced overall trucking capacity for shippers.”
The company says Convoy Go will reduce driver wait time from an average of three hours to less than an hour and can provide five- to 10-hour appointment windows that further streamline the drop-and-hook process. Carriers can use the Convoy app to find, book and complete a load, and the company’s trailer network is shared across all shippers and trucking companies.
“Convoy Go is now the only trailer drop-and-hook solution nationwide,” said Silpa Paul, commercial vehicle analyst for Frost & Sullivan.
But to be successful, it will have to develop high density clusters that have a concentrated of pool of shippers with loaded trailers on offer for carriers, Paul said.
Though the program opened to all shippers and carriers Thursday, Convoy first piloted the offering in 2017. The company said that its pilot participants found an increase in the number of loads per week per truck.