Zip Xpress ELD

The ELD Mandate – Findings for First Quarter of 2018

The US Government enacted its long-awaited Electronic Logging Device mandate on December 18, 2017. Many changes were expected to come of this, including a significant number of drivers and trucks leaving the roads. However, there was actually a 1% increase in active carriers between the time the mandate was enacted and February 18th, 2018. Despite many truckers saying that they would leave the industry due to the new mandate, a decrease in drivers has not come to fruition in the first quarter of the new year. Still, there is much speculation as to what will happen on April 1st, when all trucks not utilizing ELDs will be put out of service.

One major finding from January of 2018 is that capacity has been drastically reduced. In fact, load-to-truck ratios were just under 10 to 1, which is a record high. This is a dramatic year over year change from 2017, when the ratio was approximately 3 to 1 (2016 was 2 to 1, for reference). It may be too early to tell if this is directly related to the ELD mandate, but the correlation is certainly there. With drivers being under stricter rules and on tighter deadlines, they are likely not able to service as many shipments in a short amount of time as they have in previous years.

In addition to record-low capacity, the industry also saw record highs in rates. Again, it can’t be said with certainty that this is linked to the ELD mandate, but the numbers are there to support it. This is especially true when considering that van rates were still 32% higher in February 2018 than in 2017. There was not a major increase in loads year over year, so the significant rate increases are intriguing. If they are linked to this mandate, it is likely due to decreased productivity, especially on borderline trips. 500 to 600-mile trips that used to take one day have now become two-day trips due to legal requirements. This could mean that carriers are charging higher rates to make up for lost time. Confused about how to navigate the ELD terrain? Start Today with Zip Xpress – we’ll help find the best shipping solution for your company’s needs.

Warehouse Manager

Improving Customer Service in the Logistics World

The logistics and transportation industry in the US is enormous. It’s so large that it totaled $1.48 trillion in 2015, accounting for 8 percent of the GDP for the United States. As the economy continues to grow, this number will only grow. What that means is that there will be more startups, an increased workforce, and ultimately more problems to solve. These inevitable problems, both from external and internal factors, are what make exceptional customer service so important.

Anybody who has worked in logistics knows that anything can go wrong at any time. They know that the only way to plan for the movement of goods is to be as well-prepared as possible for these mishaps. Still, even the best planners experience unwanted setbacks on a regular basis. This is why it’s so important for logistics companies to employ quick-thinking problem solvers who understand the needs of their customers. Many shippers get frustrated at the lack of communication between their brokers, carriers, and vendors. This is often due to a lack of proper training in the customer service realm, and it is something that more companies need to take seriously if they want to continue to grow.

The ability to build creative partnerships between levels involved in the supply chain is a key distinction that sets the elite companies apart from the average carriers. At Zip Xpress, we believe that these partnerships form the backbone of our organization and contribute to our ability to maintain excellent service ratings and high levels of customer satisfaction. When we work together with our partners to solve unique and significant problems every day, we are creating a cohesive environment where everybody continues to learn and experience mutual respect. This focus on teamwork and constant innovation is what makes Zip Xpress the best and most admired problem solver in the West Michigan LTL freight market.

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.

expedited freight

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!

domestic freight service

Autonomous Trucks and the Future of Logistics

In Early February, San Francisco based tech startup Embark successfully completed a cross-country trip using an automated truck. The test run, which hauled an empty trailer from Los Angeles, CA to Jacksonville, FL, is said to be the first coast-to-coast trip involving an autonomous big rig. It still took the standard 5 day transit time, as there was a driver in the unit ready to take over if the vehicle experienced problems at any time. The goal for Embark, however, is to build upon this technology so that human interaction will not be needed for any of the highway driving – only for the final miles of the delivery as well as local and city driving. Too see their truck at work, watch the video below.

Embark is still probably several years away from their goal of completely driverless trucks. Still, there is much to be learned from their current success. The aforementioned truck used was a modified Peterbilt that was outfitted with sensors and guided by self-driving software. This means that for owner-operators and trucking companies with vehicles already on the road, purchasing entire new fleets may not be necessary to get into the autonomous game. With at least several years to go before reliable driverless trucks will be introduced, this would be one way to stay ahead of the competition in a rapidly changing industry.

The development of autonomous trucks does not mean the end of driving jobs as we know them. In fact, it could mean the opposite. As mentioned earlier, self-driving units currently require someone behind the wheel to monitor the truck and watch for disengagements. This could mean we’ll see a boom in tech-forward thinkers who want to be part of this revolution and experience the open road. Even down the line, with autonomous trucks potentially making cross-country trips in 2 days rather than 5, we will need more final mile and local drivers than ever before. With e-commerce driving the demand for just-in-time delivery, we will see an influx of freight which will in turn drive the demand for these jobs.

Here at Zip Xpress we’re always focused on staying ahead in innovation and state of the art technology. With expedited LTL services and inventive Headload solutions to optimize space, Zip Xpress has rapidly become a preferred carrier for high-profile companies across the nation. The team at Zip Xpress are constantly trying to stay ahead of the curve and and continually finding fresh new ideas to achieve higher customer satisfaction ratings. To increase your shipping satisfaction, start today with Zip Xpress!