Convoy adds instant bid function into freight-finding app

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Updated May 1, 2018

Convoy freight finding app screen viewConvoy is adding a bid function to its app-based load-matching service the company announced Monday, allowing hauler partners to submit bids on loads directly through the app with one tap – and confirm an agreed-upon rate – without having to haggle over the phone.

Through the platform’s Instant Bidding process, Chief Product Officer Ziad Ismail says Convoy’s algorithms automatically evaluate and accept bids based on both the carrier’s quality score and their submitted price.

“The auction is not designed as a timed auction. [Acceptance] can be as fast as a couple minutes, but will depend on the bid and the quality of the carrier,” he says. “Because it is automated, it can also accept bids in the middle of the night. Average is less than an hour. We confirm that the bid is still active with carrier before [assigning the load].”

Ismail says the systems doesn’t reject the bids that come in over budget, it simply doesn’t award the load. That function allows drivers drivers to amend their bids on the fly.

“If a carrier finds that they want that load at a lower rate because their circumstances have changed, they can always update their bid, which would increase their chances,” he says. “If the bid is close, our team may reach out to the carrier but as the algorithms are getting better we expect to do less and less of this.

Submitted bids are not revealed to other carriers, Ismail says, in an effort to keep haulers from driving down rates.

“We want to avoid the race to the bottom, where each carrier is trying to underbid the prior bidder,” he says. “Bidding rewards higher-quality carriers. We consider both the bid and the quality of the carrier – falloff, on-time, etc… – to award loads.”

Carriers can find the new feature under “Offers” inside the Convoy app. Tap on a desired load to review the price. Then, tap “Bid” and name the price and hit “Submit Bid.”

“Carriers have an opportunity to accept or bid on any load that’s posted in the Convoy app. There is nothing preventing a carrier from bidding on many loads,”Ismail adds. “We price our ‘Accept Now’ loads fairly and also treat carriers well with programs like auto-detention and quick-pay. So, the risk is that by bidding above what you actually would do the job at, you would lose attractive jobs. We have seen examples of spikes in prices with very short notice, like weather events. This is where bidding really helps carriers and shippers to still be able to find each other in the marketplace.”

Jason Cannon has written about trucking and transportation for more than a decade and serves as Chief Editor of Commercial Carrier Journal. A Class A CDL holder, Jason is a graduate of the Porsche Sport Driving School, an honorary Duckmaster at The Peabody in Memphis, Tennessee, and a purple belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu. Reach him at [email protected]