Staying Comfortable on the Road

Temperatures are up across the country this summer, and that can make for some brutal driving stretches, even if you have great air conditioning in your cab. Other factors such as humidity, long sunlight hours, and unpredictable storm patterns can cause quite a bit of discomfort on long hauls across the country. Even after summer’s over, there are plenty of problems that can be caused by sitting in a cab for hours on end if you don’t set yourself up properly and consider your own well-being. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways for truck drivers to keep themselves comfortable and create an ergonomically sound environment for life on the road.

One of the most basic but most important things to do is to make sure that the driver’s cabin is set up correctly for your body. The seat should be set at the appropriate height to prevent your neck from craning or dipping. You should always be looking forward in a natural position, or you may experience nagging neck problems in the future. The steering wheel should be adjusted so that you can easily maintain a comfortable position that doesn’t have you reaching or slouching over it. The best way to ensure proper position of both your seat and steering wheel is to sit as naturally as possible and have them come to you until it is both comfortable and easy to drive. If you’ve adjusted correctly, you should be able to reach the gas, brake, and clutch with minimal movement.

Investing in inexpensive upgrades can also make a world of difference. Things like memory foam cushions or beaded seat covers are ergonomically designed to take some burden off of your most highly taxed muscles and joints. In addition, it can be useful to find light, loose-fitting clothing so that you can move freely and benefit from better circulation. Moving around as much as possible when you get the opportunity is also important, as sitting in the same position for too long can lead to a variety of health problems. If you take these precautions and do your part in setting up a comfortable cab, you will be far happier and healthier every time you set out for a drive.

At Zip Xpress, we understand the importance of keeping drivers safe and comfortable. We do our best to stay conscious of these vital members of the supply chain so that they can do their jobs. To see the other ways we support our professional staff and our customers, start today with Zip Xpress!

Best Practices in Driver Management

Driving a truck is not an easy job. There are strict deadlines to meet, stricter laws to follow, and a lot of unexpected events that take place throughout the course of any shipment. Unfortunately, many of the difficulties of driving a truck go unnoticed by the people who rely on them the most. Dispatchers, brokers, shippers, and end customers often fail to understand the challenges involved with moving a load from point A to point B, and they’ll often blame drivers for situations that are entirely out of their control. When it comes to managing drivers – whether you work for the carrier, broker, or customer – there are several things we can do to better understand their needs and plan for our own successes.

Everybody who is involved with the supply chain needs to first put themselves in the driver’s position. If you have a shipment moving from Holland to San Francisco, imagine yourself pulling up to the shipping dock and waiting to load. Take a look at how many miles need to be traveled, and consider external factors such as weather and traffic. When you have an idea of how much work needs to be put into every shipment, you’ll be able to communicate more naturally with the driver and set realistic expectations for the route. If a driver feels uncomfortable with the amount of time he or she has been given to make transit, it is vital to listen to their concerns, even if it means changing your plans for the load. These are people, not machines, and we need to put their safety first, as well as the safety of everyone else on the road.

At Zip Xpress, our concern is always first and foremost on the driver. It is important to realize that as members of the supply chain, we are on the same team with the driver that interacts with our shipments. Whether someone is sitting at a desk entering orders, managing inventory on the warehouse floor, or analyzing packaging trends, we all need to support each other, and must work respectfully with all of our drivers to encourage efficiency and safety. When you treat the people who haul your freight with respect, you will benefit from stronger relationships and higher rates of success. To see how we can help optimize your supply chain, start today with Zip Xpress!

Transparent Transportation

In an age where it seems like people are always connected to each other, and when you can get real-time updates from friends across the world, there is an unfortunate lack of connection throughout the transportation industry. Brokers or carriers will suddenly disappear when a shipment hasn’t shown up for its appointment, or GPS tracking sites will conveniently go down as an urgent delivery is approaching. The technology for simple, seamless communication and tracking is readily available, but many organizations are slow to adapt or simply don’t want to embrace it at all. This is a recipe for disaster, and the transportation providers that commit to honesty and transparency will be the ones who succeed in the long run.

Transparency, however, is a two-way street that requires constant communication and a certain level of teamwork in order to benefit both parties. Shippers must let their providers know if a production line is down or if there is going to be a delay in loading. On the flipside, carriers need to be proactive about communicating any delays on their end, whether it be a broken down truck, a weather issue, or a simple data entry error. When either side tries to jump through hoops to fabricate a story rather than being open and honest, it hurts not only the particular shipment, but also the relationship as a whole. One simple mistake is nothing to end a relationship over, but if any party – shipper, manufacturer, or carrier – develops a habit of constantly backtracking, it is likely that the other parties will walk away in search of new business.

At Zip Xpress, our goal is to be as transparent as possible throughout the life of every shipment. We seek to foster a culture of trust between all stakeholders, because we believe that working together is better for shared success. We understand that early communication allows our customers to plan for any contingency and ensure that our shipments arrive on time. When we work as a team with our vendors, providers, and clients, we create an understanding relationship that allows all parties to improve their supply chain operations. To see this transparency for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!

Why Warehouse Efficiency Matters

Many people underestimate the importance of a clean, efficient warehouse in boosting the overall effectiveness of an organization’s supply chain. This is a grave mistake, because an efficient warehouse leads to improvements in inventory planning, loading times, fulfillment abilities, and far more. In addition to streamlined operations, a clean warehouse also leads to a safer, more professional environment that will make for happier employees and satisfied clients, especially if it is open for customer visits. Companies who don’t put an emphasis on cleanliness and efficiency are likely losing out on profits and new customers, so it is important to keep some things in mind when it comes to maintaining a warehouse.

Many changes seem incredibly simple, but they can play a major role in helping employees and equipment become more productive. Something as basic as labeling aisles can work wonders for walking employees and forklift drivers, as well as dock workers who need to minimize the time it takes to load a truck. Planning ahead to keep popular inventory nearer to the docks can also ensure that it is loaded and turned over quickly. This keeps detention at a minimum which in turn makes for happier truck drivers, meaning that carriers will be more willing to return to the warehouse in the future. It also helps to reduce the likelihood that these same drivers will need to shut down before they can make on-time delivery. Quicker in and out times means fewer worries about making transit time.

At Zip Xpress, we understand that when a warehouse is firing on all cylinders, everybody benefits, from lift operators to members of the executive board. Even the smallest delays can cause extraordinary ripple effects, and working to minimize these provides a myriad of benefits to any organization. It is simply another piece of optimizing our supply chain. To see this optimization for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!