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An exploration into new digital products and experiences and conversations with the people making them great.

 

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The next great thing podcast

LATEST EPISODE

SEASON 2, EPISODE 11

Dorothy Li, CTO, Convoy -
Building Elastic Capacity in Freight (And Saving the Planet, Too)

 

 

Look around you. Chances are, most of what you see has, at some point, been shipped on a truck and driven around by a truck driver. Trucking is a massive, $800 billion industry in the U.S. — 80% of every dollar spent moving freight is spent on trucking. Despite its size and scale, America’s traditional freight network of brokers, shippers, and carriers is fragmented, inefficient, and antiquated. It’s also harming the planet. Nearly 35% of all trucks on the road are empty, and all those empty miles create 87M metric tons of carbon emissions a year. But trucking’s digital transformation, and zero waste mission, has begun. Dorothy Li is the Chief Technology Officer at Convoy, the nation’s leading digital freight network that uses AI, machine learning, and data analytics to optimize and automate a marketplace for matching a trucker to a shipper. Before Convoy, she spent 23 years at Amazon innovating everything from the initial launch of Amazon Prime, to Kindle, to AWS Cloud. Dorothy joins the podcast to explain how her team is creating more efficiency across — and visibility into — the freight network and expanding elastic capacity for shippers, just like cloud did for compute capacity.

LISTEN TO THIS EPISODE TO LEARN:

  • How a digital freight network reduces costs for shippers, makes truckers’ lives easier, and eliminates “empty miles” 
  • The difference between a digital freight network versus the traditional model, and how the former solves many of the core challenges the trucking industry faces
  • The life of a trucker (hint: it’s a lot of waiting and looking for bathrooms) 
  • How AI and machine learning enable route optimization to solve “the traveling salesman problem” of moving freight from point A to point B to point C (and getting a trucker home in time for dinner!)
  • How Convoy collects smart sensor and location tracking data from the moment a shipment enters the system to the moment a trucker gets paid
  • Why it’s a matter of if, not when, autonomous trucks will hit the road, and why that could be a good thing for truck drivers 
  • Lessons in leadership, customer obsession, multicultural perspective, and advancing women in tech from Dorothy’s decades-long career as a technologist





 

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