West MI CDL School

The Rising Importance of CDL Training

Many colleges offer programs in logistics and supply chain management. As the industry continues to grow, we will continue to see more universities creating and improving their supply chain programs. However, one thing lacking from these programs is training for Commercial Driver’s Licenses or CDL. With more jobs in the business end of the supply chain, we cannot afford to lose the influx of truck drivers in the economy. There is already a shortage in the industry, and the efficiency of a supply chain system or logistics operation will not succeed without plenty of drivers. These workers serve as the backbone of the industry, providing the service of physically delivering the freight after it has been routed and agreed upon.

In order to drive a semi-truck, one must first obtain their CDL. Many companies offer the training, and third parties can be utilized as well. However, with so many universities offering degrees in Supply Chain Management, it may be beneficial for them to also offer training for the CDL. In this regard, it may be smart for other states to take after Georgia’s High Demand Career Initiative, which allows residents of the state to take CDL courses at local colleges free of charge. This may be the extra push that many people need in order to pursue their career as a truck driver.

A CDL is not the right path for everyone but encouraging an increase in the amount of truck drivers will benefit the economy as a whole. Demand for products continues to rise and with that demand the country needs more hard workers to transport our goods. Not only will an influx of truck drivers alleviate capacity issues, it may also improve pricing and reliability across the industry as a whole. As supply chain solutions and logistics technology becomes more efficient, we need truck drivers to deliver on the final step of our transportation processes. To learn more about smarter shipping, get started with Zip Xpress today!

Michigan – A Central Hub for Logistics Education

A recent article boasted about Georgia’s innovative logistics environment, so we did some research on what Michigan had to offer the field. We learned a lot about logistics and supply chain management college programs and that Michigan State University scored as the top school in the nation by U.S. News and World Report. This makes sense when one considers that Michigan is a transportation hub in general, with many leading logistics companies providing their services throughout the state. Midwestern states provide a central location for shipping companies, and as a result, provide innovative schooling on the subject.

In addition to Michigan State University, the University of Michigan also boasts a top 10 supply chain program, coming in at number 10 on Michigan Business’s list of top nationwide schools for the subject. With so many jobs available in supply chain efficiency and logistics operations, these schools can have a major impact on not only Michigan’s economy but also the health of the entire nation. Michigan serves as a major center for cross-border shipments with Canada, which means there’s a lot at stake for international trade as well.

With a strategic focus on the development of its own logistics and supply chain program, Michigan is providing top-tier education for many young people looking to get into the field. These students represent the future of the industry, so it is encouraging that they are learning from the top programs that the nation has to offer. Because Michigan’s economic development relies so heavily on an efficient transportation network, these future logistics gurus could be key in creating new jobs and helping the state maintain its status as a transportation stronghold. The continual improvement of supply chain education in Michigan is helping to establish our state as a true leader in the industry.

logistics customer service

A Clean Warehouse is a Productive Warehouse

If you’ve ever stepped into a warehouse, you know that it can be a hectic, fast-paced environment with very little downtime. Trucks come and go all day and pallets and boxes are moved about the warehouse constantly. Considering those things, it’s impressive that anybody can keep track of all of the day’s accomplishments. One often overlooked and underappreciated task required in running a warehouse is keeping it clean. The benefits of a clean warehouse reach far beyond simple hygiene – a clean warehouse promotes organization, efficiency, and productivity.

There are some relatively simple yet necessary tips for keeping a clean warehouse. Ensure the warehouse is well lit and the floors are free from clutter. An uncluttered floor means more open pathways for employees and forklifts, as well as casualty reduction. When employees don’t have to worry about hazards like slips, falls, and injuries, they feel safer and there will be less employee turnover.

The floor should be maintained throughout the day and washed every night so that it is ready to go the next morning. This includes running floor scrubbers regularly. Dust mopping every night is vital as well. Your customers don’t want their products accumulating dust, and it’s your job to keep all of the inventory as good as new. Trash cans should be emptied, and podiums should be cleaned at the end of every shift. This creates a professional, healthy and trustworthy environment, which customers or vendors will appreciate if they ever visit your warehouse.

When all of the cleaning tasks have been finished, freight should be checked to make sure that all required products are actually in the warehouse and that those that were supposed to ship out that day were indeed sent away. If existing freight has a destination, it should be tagged to prevent any future mix-ups. By providing a clean and organized warehouse, these daily tasks will be made simpler and allow your workers to focus on more labor-intensive tasks and problem-solving.

It may seem elementary but doing all the easy things to keep your warehouse clean on a daily basis will contribute to a more productive and healthy work environment. When your workers are accustomed to doing all the small things right, that work ethic will transfer to the big things, allowing your organization to increase successes in on-time shipping and delivery, and minimizing your claims by reducing damage. If you want to work with a clean, high-quality, and determined warehouse, get started today with Zip Xpress.

Join Us at the 2018 Supply Chain Management Conference!

We’re looking forward to seeing our friends and industry partners at the

15th Annual Supply Chain Management Conference on March 21st.

It’s from 8:00 am – 4:00 pm in GVSU’s Eberhard Center.

301 Fulton St. Grand RapidsMI 49504.


Not registered to go?

Just click on the button below. We look forward to seeing you there!

Building a Community Through Giving Back

We do a lot here at Zip Xpress.

We’re really proud to provide best-in-class LTL carrier solutions and help our customers simplify their delivery experience. However, ensuring that we make the time to give back is just as important to us. No matter how busy we are or what business goals we are driving towards, we operate while actively think about how we can have a positive impact on our communities.

So, why does Zip Xpress equally weigh both customers and community?

I’ve always seen the value of building the community work. Myself, along with my husband, an ex-Marine, have been involved with Folds of Honor, an organization that provides scholarships for children and spouses of fallen or disabled soldiers. Further, I found that volunteering and making charitable contributions was actually a passion of mine and I wanted to share those fun and energetic experiences with the rest of the team. That’s why I’ve always encouraged the Zip Xpress team to get involved with nonprofits and charitable activities.

Over the years, Zip Xpress has been involved with the Make A Wish annual walk, both as donors and participants. We rally together and get deeply involved in both raising funds as individuals, as well as participating in company-run fundraisers. Together, we’ve been the number one Corp fundraiser for nine years – and we’ve had fun while doing it.

I am so proud to work with such amazing people and to be part of a company that is powered by the top minds and kindest hearts. We also take this one step further by ensuring that at the core of our business, Zip Xpress operates at the intersection of innovation and sustainability.

Zip Xpress was built around eliminating wasteful partial trailers and we do everything we can to minimize the amount of partial trailers on highways which is our way of helping to conserve resources. We are also committed to creating more jobs and, so far, I think we’ve really succeeded in both of these aspects.

We’re looking forward to continuing to bring communities together and to give back. Whether it’s through how we operate our business or our extra curricular activities, the Zip Xpress team always tries to embody what it means to make the world a better place. Does this sound like something you can get on board with? Get started with Zip Xpress today!

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving is upon us once again and we have so much to be grateful for!

We’re grateful to be the trusted provider of logistical solutions for our clients and to have their continued support. We’re grateful to our Zip drivers who come in and make their pickups at our customers with their dedicated service to the company.
We’re grateful for our entire staff of great employees who have made great customer service their mission for Zip Xpress. In an industry where the customer’s needs often comes second, we’re grateful for our employees for keeping our focus on you the customer.

We’re grateful for our innovative team who created our unique Expedited LTL Service, Blanket Wrap Service and our Headload Service which allows us to rise and become one of the most sustainable service providers in the nation.

Finally, we’re grateful for you the customer. If it wasn’t for you, we wouldn’t be Michigan’s premier courier. If it wasn’t for you, we wouldn’t be able to build towards our mission of being one of the most sustainable logistics companies in the market. We thank you every day for your business, but we wanted to do so in public.

Tesla Semi

The Tesla Semi – A Fully-Electric Semi Truck

The electric-power titan Tesla unveiled a brand new, all-electric semi truck, the Tesla Semi. From 0 to 60 in 5 seconds, the Tesla Semi is a truck that will stand out on the roads and change future freighting traffic.

The electric-power titan Tesla unveiled a brand new, all-electric semi truck, the Tesla Semi. From 0 to 60 in 5 seconds, the Tesla Semi is a truck that will stand out on the roads and change future freighting traffic.

The Semi beats out traditional diesel-powered trucks in many respects. Towing its full capacity of 80,000 pounds, the Semi goes from 0 to 60 in only 20 seconds. On a 5% grade, the Tesla Semi can go up to 65 miles per hour, while diesel-powered trucks top out at 45 miles per hour.

Tesla claims that this speed is complemented by better handling and responsiveness than its diesel competitors, meaning trips will be accomplished more quickly coupled with increased protection. Added safety and assistance features include surround view cameras, two touchscreens to assist with blind spot removal and potential hazard detection and provide trip-log applications, and even Enhanced Autopilot technology. The Semi’s Autopilot features automatic braking, lane keeping, and lane departure alerts.



Charged by solar power, Tesla’s Megachargers provide the Semi with up to 400 miles of range in a single 30 minute charge. On a full charge, the Semi boasts a range of up to 900 miles, and Tesla hopes to place Megachargers worldwide, so Semi drivers can recharge whenever and wherever they need. The use of solar and electric energy reduces the carbon footprint of the Tesla Semi, providing a sustainable and ecologically-friendly option for those who use semi trucks.

With the Semi, Tesla seeks to create a smoother, faster, safer driving experience. Borrowing from their supercars, Tesla built the Semi to be extremely aerodynamic and able to travel quickly without wasting time or energy. Individual Model 3 wheel motors for each wheel helps prevent jackknifing by detecting changes in the truck’s stability and torquing the necessary wheels and braking as needed.

Due to their lack of a traditional internal combustion engine, Tesla says that the Semi will require a lot less maintenance than their diesel-powered predecessors. Tesla backs their Semis with a one million mile warranty against any breakdowns, hoping to use the Semi to revolutionize the future of shipping and freighting.

At Zip Xpress, we’re excited about Tesla’s innovation and introduction of electric vehicles to the semi-truck market. Sustainability is a topic most semi truck manufacturers have missed, but with the Tesla Semi, sustainable driving is now on the horizon.

To stay up-to-date on the latest innovations in trucking, follow Zip Xpress today!

Driver Shortage Overtakes ELDs as Top Trucking Concern in 2017

The trucking industry has focused this year on the upcoming major switch to Electronic Logging Devices. That change will be the largest in record keeping for the industry since the 1930s.

Meanwhile, as outlined by James Jaillet in his article Driver Shortage overtakes ELD Mandate, Hours as  Carriers’ Top Concern, the chronic problem of truck driver shortage has quietly resumed its position as the #1 largest problem that the trucking industry faces, followed by the ELD mandate, and hours. This is according to the American Transportation Research Institute, which tracks the top 10 problems facing the industry annually.

Zip Xpress is one company that is working to change the antiquated and wasteful practices of the trucking industry. They coordinate logistics and loads to avoid the wasted space common in standard shipping. They have illustrated vivid comparisons in everyday shipping practices, and charted the differences best practices can make. You can view these comparisons on their site here.

What can we do? That is the question they ask.

Eliminating wasted space not only makes sense for the reasons noted. It could impact driver shortages in a positive way. It also makes sense to put less carbon emissions into our overtaxed atmosphere every day. It makes sense to alleviate traffic congestion and road wear.

The top three concerns, listed above, are the driver shortage, the ELD mandate, and the hours regulations. They really aren’t three completely separate concerns, but a connected group. Imagine an empty truck between each two full trucks on the road today.

That’s how much wasted space Zip Xpress estimates to occur in normal daily shipping.

We need to remove that empty truck from the road, Zip Xpress says. If the entire trucking industry adopted the optimal shipping practices that they recommend, the driver shortage would certainly be smaller and less of a problem also. The same attitude of optimization and sustainability could improve driver training and experience. Creative thinking, efficiency, and an emphasis on sustainability for both people and the planet are key to improved conditions in any area.


5 Things to Know About the ELD

5 Things You Need to Know About the ELD

The long-distance trucking industry is about to get a technology update on December 18th, as the log books that have traditionally been used to track drivers hours will be going electronic. After a long wait, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published the final electronic logging device rule — or ELD mandate. What is it exactly? And, what does it mean for commercial motor carriers and truck drivers? The log books will only be used for emergency backup purposes. This is causing many logistical headaches for a lot of trucking companies as they ensure that their fleets of vehicles are properly upgraded and equipped with the new mandated time log machines. It also creates extra anxiety for many drivers as they learn to use this new technology and ensure that their hours are properly logged.

However, this technology is guaranteed to be coming in the near future so everyone will need to learn how to adapt to this new technology if they continue to track driver’s time accurately.

The following are 5 things that it is essential to know about the upcoming ELD requirements that will go into effect on December 18th:

  • The December 17th Deadline is Likely Permanent: It is highly unlikely that the date that the ELD will be required to be in use by will be pushed back any further than December 18th. This is true despite many companies voicing their concern over being ready to fully implement this system with their fleets. Seeing that the rule has survived many legal challenges it is unlikely that anything else is going to stop the ELD from being released. Some people are trying to get Congress to try to overturn the ELD, however, that is unlikely to happen as no action has been taken thus far.
  • Drivers Will Have More Control Over Editing: Drivers will be able to edit their logs according to regulations set forward in the ELD. Drivers will have all edits they make to their long “pending” in status until that edit is approved, however, if the edit is “rejected” the ELD will have a reconciliatory procedure in place for drivers to go through so that they are appropriately compensated for their hours worked.
  • Many ELD Systems Will Offer Much More Than Just Electronic Logs: Low-cost systems that just track driver’s hours will be available but many will be able to do much more. Some will be able to provide reports on the amount of fuel used and others will offer to dispatch, messaging, and workflow applications. Whatever the fleet needs these electronic trackers to track they can track. You can choose for it to be much or little as you want it to be. Consequently, you can also determine how little or much your company wants to spend equipping their vehicles with this technology.
  • Choosing the Right Provider For Your Fleet: It will also be key that you choose the right provider to provide the ELD technology services to your fleet. Ensure that your devices are all compliant with the ELD regulations and requirements. Be sure that the service provider you choose has a solid financial background and will be there to provide service for years into the future.
  • Develop Procedures & Policies For Your Fleet: Provide policies and procedures to your managers on how these systems should be used. Train your drivers to use the systems only in accordance with the company policies developed to avoid misuse of these systems and to ensure that the new systems are used only for what they are meant to be used for.

The ELD system is coming December 18th, so use these great tips to ensure that your fleet and your drivers are prepared!


Team Zip Xpress Turning Steps Into Wishes For Make a Wish Michigan

In just a few short weeks, on Saturday, October 14, a team of Zip Xpress employees, family and friends will head to the John Ball Zoo with hundreds of other participants to turn our steps into wishes by raising money and awareness for Make A Wish Michigan. Neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow will keep us from taking that walk for our community’s young people.

The Make A Wish Foundation provides life-changing wishes for children in West Michigan who are facing serious illnesses. These wishes are as diverse as the children that receive them. Wishes can include anything from family vacations, a new puppy, meeting a celebrity or even being transformed into a fireman for a day. There is, in fact, medical data that shows wishes can promote healing by providing a positive mental state with a distraction from the procedure and the courage to pursue a dream.

Today, it is OUR wish that you will join us with your support and consider making a contribution to our team. Over the past 10 years, Zip Xpress – together with our business partners, customers, employees, and friends – have raised over $100,000 to make wishes come true. We hope you will provide your support this year by helping us to continue grant wishes.

There are so many ways you can make a donation. You can simply mail a check payable to Make A Wish Michigan to our office (include Attention: Make A Wish). You can go online to our team page and make an online donation.

By the way – Zip Xpress will MATCH every donation and pledge received from our team, so whatever you can give, double that will go to the kids. Thank you for your support. Giving back to our community is a core belief of Zip Xpress, and we are blessed to share that spirit with you.

With many thanks,