Dan Lewis spent many years at Amazon before founding his own company. Lewis says it was during that time that he saw firsthand how “the supply chain was winning” and how consumers were making decisions based on delivery speed above other factors.
“It wasn’t the location of the store, the ambiance, the quality of the sales staff,” Lewis said. “It was the fact that people could get things fast. It seemed that everyone in the country was talking about it and every other company was wondering how they could differentiate with their supply chain and avoid being disrupted.”
So, he set out to be a part of it.
Today, his company Convoy, which ranked No. 12 on this year’s CNBC Disruptor 50 list, connects carriers with shippers, upending the freight industry’s broker-reliant tradition. Typically, carriers partner with brokers to gain a clear picture of freight availability and to match shipment loads to trucks. But regardless of how many brokers a carrier uses, that carrier still won’t see all of the freight space currently available. The more brokers a carrier tries to use, the more schedules and routes that carrier needs to juggle, resulting in route inefficiencies and wasted space.
Lewis recently spoke with CNBC about the fragmented fleet management space, navigating supply chain bottlenecks and the impact that self-driving technology will have on the trucking industry.
The following Q&A has been edited for length and clarity.
CNBC: How would you describe what Convoy does in the context of various supply chain bottlenecks we’re experiencing right now?
Lewis: The supply chain bottlenecks are pretty significant right now. Trucking is the largest part of how freight is transported in the world. And if you look at all freight transportation, including air, ocean, rail pipeline, and surface transportation on trucks, about 80% of the dollars go to trucks. But, one of the biggest challenges we’re seeing is that there aren’t enough trucks, there aren’t enough drivers, and there are no trailers. There’s shortages in manufacturing and other countries where they don’t have the supplies or they’re not able to get the pieces together in the right place.
Convoy is the first company to create a completely digital trucking network and we have tens of thousands of small trucking companies and owner-operators signed up and using our technology on their phone, which lets us tackle the trucking shortage and the driver shortage by making existing drivers and trucks more productive.
Trucking is really fragmented and there’s a ton of …….