Trucking Recession Deepens As Bezos, Gates-Backed Convoy Cancels All Shipments, Load Board Is Empty

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by Tyler Durden
Thursday, Oct 19, 2023 - 12:10 PM

By John Kingston of FreightWaves

A change is brewing in the next day or two at Seattle-based digital brokerage Convoy, with reports Wednesday of all loads being canceled.

A communication from Convoy representatives to their customers, obtained by FreightWaves, said the company is “taking several necessary steps to prepare Convoy’s business for a transition that we will have more details on in the next 48 hours.” 

The message from Convoy said the company could not “answer any additional questions at this time.”

A Convoy spokeswoman issued a brief statement to FreightWaves, also citing potential developments in the next 24 to 48 hours, without elaborating further. 

And with that, according to the communication, “all shipments have been canceled from our marketplace.” Convoy said that shippers could “choose to work with the carriers that were booked on canceled shipments directly.” It did provide an email address — — for customers to use if they needed additional support.

FreightWaves has confirmed that the Convoy load board went blank on Wednesday.

Although the market was filled with rumors of bankruptcy at Convoy Wednesday morning — not surprising when all loads are summarily canceled — there has been no bankruptcy filing by Convoy, according to a check of public records by FreightWaves.

In April 2022, Convoy was valued at $3.8 billion after an investment of $260 million in a Series E capital raise. That money came from existing investors Baillie Gifford and T. Rowe Price and $100 million in venture-debt investment from Hercules Capital Inc. The company has also raised money from Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Capital G, Greylock, Y Combinator, and Fidelity.

Convoy CEO Dan Lewis speaks at a FreightWaves event in Arkansas in 2022

That a big change might be coming at Convoy is not surprising. Most if not all brokerage companies are struggling in the current freight market. But beyond that, Convoy in August hired an investment bank, reportedly Goldman Sachs, to help it explore possible options for its future ownership and capitalization. The list of potential suitors that might acquire or take a stake in Convoy — according to the rumor mill — has included C.H. Robinson, Walmart, Amazon and Maersk.

Besides that development, there has been significant upheaval at Convoy in the last several months. In June, Grant Goodalle, Convoy’s co-founder and chief experience officer, said he was leaving the firm. 

In February, Convoy said it would undertake a restructuring. Along with that, the company made an undisclosed number of layoffs, though that has been a persistent theme in brokerages this year.