Unilever North America has agreed to a multi-year deal with the freight-matching “Uber for trucking” startup Convoy to help facilitate the company’s shipments through its online service.
Through its online system, Convoy will match trucks with available capacity in local markets with Unilever’s freight moving needs. The system is designed to connect carriers and shippers in a fast and efficient way to improve on-time rates, reduce empty miles, lower operating costs, and provide transparency through GPS tracking.
Unilever is a consumer goods company representing more than 400 brands, including Dove, Lipton, Hellmanns, and Breyers.
“Unilever is one of the largest companies in the world, yet they’re incredibly agile and forward-thinking— especially in their approach to supply chain innovation,” said Dan Lewis, Convoy co-founder and CEO. “Their vision to reduce manual processes and make trucking more efficient aligns directly with ours.”
Convoy works through a network of trusted carriers that are pre-screened and certified before joining. The system will automatically offer shipments to the best available carriers for location, timing, and price.
Fleets and owner-operators use the Convoy app to find new jobs and the payout amount and, after completion, Convoy will process the payment within 24 hours.
Convoy launched in 2015 after receiving funding through an investment group that included Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, and other high-profile investors. Since launch, the company has raised $18.5 million in venture capital funding.
“We are very impressed with Convoy’s approach to technology-enabled trucking services. Equally as important, we share a focus on driver health and well-being,” said Reginaldo Ecclissato, senior vice president, Unilever Supply Chain Americas. “Convoy has put the driver experience at the forefront of their proposition and delivered a progressive app to address many of the long-standing issues facing the driver community.”
In the growing world of “Uber for trucking” online freight matching services, the actual Uber has also recently joined the mix with Uber Freight. While the service has not yet launched and details are scant, the company has indicated that it will connect drivers with loads as a freight brokerage service.
A website for Uber Freight is currently live with an option for carriers and shippers to make contact with the service. The company is reportedly already working with a few carriers and shippers in a soft launch until it officially launches in 2017.