Lessons from Convoy: Insights for the Digital Freight Brokerage Industry General 23 Oct 2023 by Sam Levin Lessons from Convoy: Insights for the Digital Freight Brokerage Industry Atlanta, GA – October 2023 The recent bankruptcy filing by Convoy, a company valued at $3.8 billion just 18 months ago, raises questions about the root causes of its failure. Was it the concept that faltered, or was it a misstep in business execution? In this analysis, we delve into these issues and explore the digital freight brokerage landscape to shed light on Convoy’s challenges. The Digital Freight Brokerage Concept: At its core, the digital freight brokerage concept envisions a seamless, fully digitized process that connects shippers and truck drivers through an online marketplace or Software as a Service (SaaS) solution. By utilizing mobile apps and algorithms, digital brokers aim to efficiently match companies and truckers. This concept holds great promise, yet there is a lingering gap between vision and reality. Convoy, like other digital brokers, aspired to automate and streamline logistics. However, when a company labeled as a digital freight broker still employs a workforce of 1,500 employees, a glaring question arises: What are these employees doing when the software is designed to automate the very processes they engage in? Comparing Logistics to the Travel Industry: To understand the potential of the digital freight brokerage industry, we can draw parallels with the transformation of the travel industry. In the past, travelers had to visit physical travel agencies to book trips, relying on agents for options, budget-friendly choices, and meticulous planning. Today, booking a trip is as simple as browsing a website, selecting the right details, and making reservations, all without human intermediaries. The digital freight brokerage sector must aim for a similar transformation within logistics. It should offer shippers and carriers a seamless, automated platform that connects them directly, mirroring the convenience we now experience in the travel booking process. Standardizing Communication in Logistics: A significant obstacle faced by digital brokers is the need for standardized communication among shippers, suppliers, and carriers. Without an industry-wide standard, full automation and end-to-end digitization remain elusive. As long as manual intervention is required to bridge communication gaps, the vision of a fully automated digital broker remains a dream. True success for digital brokers will only be achieved when a standardized communication framework is in place, enabling a smoother, more efficient logistics process. Conclusion: Convoy’s bankruptcy is a stark reminder that success in the digital freight brokerage industry requires bridging the gap between concept and execution. The industry’s potential is akin to the travel sector’s digital transformation, where seamless, direct interaction between shippers and carriers becomes the norm. Standardizing communication is the key to reducing the need for manual intervention and realizing the vision of a fully automated, end-to-end logistics process. Convoy’s journey offers invaluable lessons for the digital brokerage industry as it continues to evolve and innovate. About KSAP Technologies, Inc. KSAP Technologies is a leading independent provider of services and solutions in the transportation management space with deep roots in Oracle Transportation Management (OTM). KSAP specializes in delivering innovative global logistics solutions that help its clients achieve operational excellence and fuel growth. With its expert staff and rich history of solving complex logistics and supply chain problems, KSAP is the best choice for customers’ Transportation Management, Global Trade Management, and Warehouse Management implementation needs. KSAP has a presence in North America, Latin America, Europe, and Asia with over 100 successful OTM implementations worldwide. For more information, please visit https://otmnow.com. Sam Levin | Key Contributor Sam has spent over 20 years in the Transportation Management Software space starting his journey at G-Log. Since that time Sam has been guiding companies across the globe with their supply chain initiatives.