Thanks for riding shotgun, Zip Partners and Friends
While 2016 Was a Mixed Bag of Business, We’re Really Glad You Were Riding Shotgun
The transportation industry sure isn’t a place for the timid, is it?
Conducting business can take a steely resolve, 24/7, and 2016 sure proved that point once again.
We saw and read about and directly experienced all sorts of mixed signals about our industry in particular, and the economy in general.
In transport, we heard about aging drivers and fleets, impending ELD and reefer rules, capacity concerns in the near future and beyond.
In the larger economy, we heard about sustained, month-over-month job growth generally yet a surprisingly soft final quarter in 2016.
Yes, there were lots of mixed signals for us to ponder and to strategize over.
For all of us here at Zip Xpress, though, there was a certain very positive aspect to 2016 that helped wrap it up with the same luster we’ve been enjoying for years now: Your presence, at our side, in our trucks, and rolling down the road together.
Uncertainty in business while trying to go it alone? It’s difficult and disturbing.
But weathering the uncertainties with all of you as our partners? That works a whole lot better!
Positive Points About 2016
Strictly from the Zip Xpress point of view, we can say that business in the year past was our best ever.
That piece of good news comes despite the many challenges in the marketplace … or maybe because of them, and our innovative approach to facing all challenges with high-quality transportation services.
Moderate-level fuel prices could be considered another “positive point.” Although it doesn’t necessarily impact the bottom line as much as some industry experts claim, a full year in 2016 of fairly steady fuel prices was good news for fleet owners.
A slow roll-out of some high-impact regulations was welcome, too. It was helping for planning and purchasing purposes that carriers large and small were given good lead time on the coming ELD and refrigerated unit mandates.
Challenges We Faced, Obstacles Encountered
- The North American driver population continues to age while recruitment efforts continue to lag. Hard to put a positive spin on this.
- Nationwide truck and trailer sales were down dramatically on the year. In a year-end report by Trucks.com, heavy-duty units saw a dramatic 29 percent drop in North American truck manufacturing in quick response to a year of sales that slumped almost start to finish. There was a slight uptick in sales at year-end, but even that was 19 percent below the same month of sales in 2015.
- Weak freight demand throughout 2016 is expected to continue until about midyear 2017, then rise only by fractions, stated a year-end report on freight volume at Trucks.com.
- Again last year, hardly a peep of recognition by the biggest carriers when it comes to adopting real load optimization for pass-along savings to shippers. Talk about cutting off the nose to spite the face … the big asset-based carriers continue to ignore the business goodwill generated by saving customer money with aggressively efficient freight handling. Nothing new here; the dinosaurs just keep getting closer to extinction.
Thanks Again for the Ride!
Well, there you have it: a quick look back at an interesting year in the business. Not entirely great news in 2016, but some interesting progress in transportation issues and a good closing to the year for Zip Xpress and all of our valued partners.
Here’s hoping you’ll keep riding shotgun with us; I’m sure there will be some bumps in the road ahead, and some good times to share as well!