Happy Holidays from Zip Xpress!

2020 has been a challenging year for all of us. Yet in spite of those challenges, we found a lot to be grateful for. We’re grateful that our team rose to the challenge by providing great service to every customer and providing solutions in the midst of a pandemic. We’re grateful for our customers who collaborated and communicated with us to ensure their supply chains faced as little interruption as possible. During this holiday season we hope that you find what you’re most grateful for and are able to treasure that time together.

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year from Zip Xpress!

Sustaining Sustainability

Trucking and other supply chain operations were not always leaders when it came to sustainability, however many sectors of the American economy are seeing the benefits of sustainability initiatives. This is a trend that will only continue since the benefits include: cutting costs, reducing waste, and a net positive impact on the environment. By staying focused on sustainability initiatives, logistics companies can help maintain our nation’s infrastructure, reduce carbon emissions and be viewed as a shining example for the rest of the economy.

Sustainability isn’t a branding campaign that supply chains must commit to in order to improve their image. Instead, it is a cohesive strategy to lower costs, waste and increase efficiencies for the long run. While certain green efforts may require an upfront investment in resources, they will inevitably lead to reduced costs over time. In order for such efforts to be effective they require the buy-in from executives and must be put front and center for a company’s goals.

Some sustainability recommendations for logistics companies would include: creating routine maintenance schedules for all vehicles to maximize fuel efficiency. Suggest and advise ways manufacturers can reduce or better yet, eliminate packaging from all shipments. Eliminate all empty space within trailers by optimizing shipments and reducing the number of ‘empty’ trucks on the road. These are only a handful of steps companies can take in creating sustainability initiatives. By creating your own, the logistics sector can make an incredible impact towards sustainability and set an example for the American economy to follow.

At Zip Xpress, we understand the necessity of sustainability initiatives and strive to do our best in this area. All of our services are directed towards eliminating packaging, reducing space within our trailers and providing customers with Carbon Summary Reports which show the amount of carbon emissions a customer has eliminated. These are only a few examples of the ways we sustain sustainability, and to see the rest for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!

Logistics Jobs You’ve Never Heard Of

When it comes to logistics jobs we all know about truck drivers and dispatchers, which are integral parts of the supply chain, although they are not the only parts. There are hundreds of logistics jobs that take place behind the scenes; many of which you may have never even heard of. These crucial employees play an important role in keeping our freight moving and our drivers busy, and provide a lucrative opportunity for those seeking to get into logistics.

Route Analyst – This operations role is responsible for compiling data about routes that are currently being serviced and for identifying opportunities to make them more efficient. Route analysts often work with dispatchers and driver managers to come up with ways to maximize driver loaded miles and increase overall profitability for carriers.

Logistics Analyst – Logistics analysts are responsible for maximizing efficiency across the entire supply chain – not just within the routing. This means they evaluate data that pertains to materials purchasing, production, and manufacturing as well as modes of transport. By keeping up with industry trends, logistics analysts can make recommendations on how a company should be operating throughout every step of a product’s lifetime.

Pricing Manager – Pricing managers work with shippers to quote freight shipments, analyze pricing, and prepare RFPs. The pricing manager builds rapport with shippers and helps them identify the best way to meet their customer’s needs in the most economical manner.

Customer Service Representative – Customer Service Reps help shippers and consignees in a variety of ways including tracking shipments, setting up delivery appointments and producing custom reporting for shippers. They also work behind the scenes to ensure shipments are running on schedule and deliver on time.

Procurement Manager – A procurement manager is in charge of choosing suppliers to facilitate supply chain operations. These suppliers can be raw materials providers, warehouse facilities, or freight carriers. In this role, the manager evaluates the services provided and negotiates rates with sales reps.

Load Planner – Load Planners work hand in hand with shippers and consignees to build efficient routes which also meet all of the customer’s expectations. This role requires great flexibility and the ability to make changes in a fast paced work environment to accommodate customer needs and last minute shipments.

Logistics Engineer – This is a highly technical job requiring strong math and science skills. A logistics engineer uses data from the logistics analyst to come up with ways to streamline all processes throughout the supply chain. This can be through implementation of new software, development of more complex distribution funnels, or by creating algorithms to choose the best suppliers for a particular product line.

At Zip Xpress, we understand that people are what make a company successful. It is because of our dedicated employees we’re able to provide great customer service and ensure that every delivery reaches its destination undamaged and on time. Our hope is to show others the opportunities available in logistics and to enhance the supply chain with great people. It’s because of great people that companies can offer great service. To see our services for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!

The Future Supply Chain

When we think about the future of an industry, several things come to mind. We can almost always say that there will be technological advances, more automation, and a more global approach. Those things are all likely to be true for the future of Supply Chain, but they aren’t the only certainties that we can look to. In a year that has inevitably changed the world, there is no doubt that supply chains will focus on technological advances and cutting-edge ideas, but we will also see changes in attitudes and strategic planning in the upcoming years.

Supply chains across the world were shocked by the COVID pandemic in the early part of 2020, but in time they adapted and are running smoothly again. As we look forward, any organization with a sophisticated supply chain knows that it can’t run in the same fashion as it did in previous years. Pandemic planning will become an integral part of training and implementation in order to prevent bullwhip effects as well as drastic losses due to unforeseen circumstances. We may not have seen it coming the first time, but we now know that we must be prepared for anything in future forecasts.

A more positive takeaway from the COVID crisis is that there has been an increased focus on collaboration and relationship building. Shippers who had strong supply chain partners were better equipped to handle the pandemic than those who didn’t, and smart shippers will continue to pursue these partnerships. The ad-hoc model of simply matching freight to a random truck when it is needed is already losing favor among many customers, and we can expect that trend to continue. If we’ve learned one thing from 2020, it’s that we are all in this together and that we need to build strong relationships in order to succeed in the future.

At Zip Xpress, we understand what the future supply chain looks like. Our focus on communication and collaboration allows us to provide the best service possible to our supply chain partners and provide the custom carrier solutions they need to ensure their products arrive undamaged and on time. Shippers who collaborate with their carriers will find themselves far ahead of the competition and able to adapt to new circumstances quicker. To see how a custom carrier solution can be applied to your business, start today with Zip Xpress!

Grateful for it All

2020 has been a challenging year for everyone. Yet in these challenging times we have much to be grateful for. Our employees rose to the challenge of finding innovative methods to creating custom carrier solutions for customers and providing greater service than ever before. Our customers collaborated with us and we were able to find solutions that worked for everyone. We saw companies come together and work side by side to solve the problems in front of them. We believe that we can handle the challenges ahead of us, and we’re grateful for the opportunity. Most of all, we’re grateful for all of the people who saw it through and helped make 2020 another great year. Happy Thanksgiving from Zip Xpress – we hope you have a safe & wonderful holiday with your loved ones!

Optimism for 2021

2020 has been a difficult year, and there is still much uncertainty ahead. But that doesn’t mean we can’t be optimistic, especially in the logistics business. While we can’t predict exactly what will happen to trucking and supply chain in 2021, we’re seeing trends heading in the right direction.

In September of 2020, new trailer orders exceeded 50,000 total units – the third highest monthly number on record. This suggests that many carriers are anticipating an increase in shipments, that is, if they haven’t already experienced it. The orders might be happening because carriers are struggling to keep up with demand, which is a good problem to have. It takes some effort to get things running smoothly, but the effort is worth it in the long run.

Although we seem to be in the midst of another COVID-19 surge, the marketplace has been adjusting to the “new norm,” and we shouldn’t run into as many bullwhip scenarios as we saw in the spring. This means that logistics firms can hope for more stability and reliability as they draw out forecasts for 2021. There will still be volatility, but the industry is better equipped to handle it.

At Zip Xpress, we understand the need for stability, especially for manufacturers. Companies are focused on what they can do to keep making deliveries on time and undamaged. The companies that are making it through this year have collaborated with their suppliers and supply chain providers. We’re very fortunate to have a solid base of stakeholders we can collaborate and communicate with, which gives us every reason to be optimistic about the future. If you want to see reliable shipments that arrive undamaged and on time, start today with Zip Xpress!

Keeping the Warehouse Clean

Last week we focused on the benefits of keeping a clean truck. This week we turn our attention to the warehouse space, how we keep ours clean and most importantly why it needs to be kept clean. Maintaining a clean warehouse speaks to the attention given to a customer’s shipment, reduces the chances of damaging that shipment and most importantly, prevents accidents from happening to freight handlers.

End of Shift Refuse Pickup

At the end of every shift, our staff performs a routine cleanup. We empty all of the trash cans, pick up refuse and run a dust mop across the floor at the end of every shift. We clean off the podiums and ensure there’s no outstanding clutter near any of the shipments. We also check the facilities for any poor lighting and create a list of maintenance issues which will be addressed.

End of Shift Warehouse Floor Scrubbing

Once our warehouse floor has been dry mopped we run our floor scrubber daily, to protect against dust and dirt. Once a quarter we perform a deep clean of the warehouse to ensure all contaminants are removed. Our staff also gives a touch up of paint everywhere it’s needed once a quarter, which keeps the warehouse looking fresh and up to date. We prefer to use white paint to create better visibility for our staff and prevent eye strain when reading documents.

Detailed Organization System

We believe in the phrase: “A place for everything and everything in its place.” Our warehouse is arranged by the outgoing state to prevent confusion or the possibility of mix-ups. We also have an internal phrase called “Being Current” which means that the most current, up to date documents are stacked, ready and available for the next shift. We also tag every shipment with the correct destination as well as run through a list of our current shipments to ensure that every shipment that’s supposed to be there still is and that every shipment that was supposed to leave has done so.

At Zip Xpress, we understand that a clean warehouse is an efficient and safe warehouse. Our process was designed to keep our office neat and tidy to prevent lost paperwork and mixed up shipments. Taking a little bit of time every day to tidy up ensures we have more than enough time to focus on what matters most: providing custom carrier solutions for our customers. Any customer that sees their shipments in our warehouse knows it won’t be covered in dirt or grime and they see the pride we take in ensuring great service. To see this for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!

Keeping the Trucks Clean

A truck is a proud display of a logistics company’s brand. Taking regular steps in keeping the trucks clean shows a deep respect to customers and a commitment to quality. This also allows regular maintenance schedules to catch small repairs before they become large ones. Here we outline some of these processes we use to ensure our trucks are always clean and maintained.

Routine Cab Cleanout

Our drivers perform a routine cleanout of the cab to prevent any type of refuse buildup. Drivers are keen to respect their vehicles because they understand that a clean truck is a maintained truck. Keeping the trucks clean also incentivizes our drivers since none of them want to be the one to leave behind refuse for the next driver. We also encourage drivers to wipe down the dashboard and console on a regular basis since they can be breeding grounds for germs. This helps keep drivers healthy, which is especially important now.

Routine Wash/Maintenance

We have professionals who comes on a regular basis to wash the trucks and trailers to prevent any buildup of dirt, grime and dust. They also go through a list of inspections to ensure everything is in working order. This allows us to replace air filters, change the oil, repair surface damage and any other minor maintenance issues to ensure they never become major ones. We pride ourselves on keeping a well maintained fleet, which keeps our staff satisfied because they’re able to focus on keeping our customers happy.

At Zip Xpress, we understand that cleanliness is a key component to great service. By staying true to our rigorous standards of cleanliness we’re able to keep problems small before they become big ones. This attention to detail goes into everything we do, especially in the service we provide all of our customers in ensuring every shipment arrives on time and undamaged in equipment that represents your business well. To see how your business can benefit from this level of service, start today with Zip Xpress!

Expanding Your Supply Chain

Supply chains are complex and often fickle parts of doing business, but they are integral to the success of any manufacturer. The quality and efficiency of an internal supply chain can make or break a company, so it is important to run a well-oiled machine. However, there are many challenges when it comes to expanding your supply chain. Moving too quickly could lead to unnecessary costs, but waiting too long could put a lot of stress on your operations.

Expanding your supply chain could come with a variety of actions. Perhaps you need to build new warehouses to accommodate increased inventories or new product lines. It could also mean adding more back office workers to set up and operate newer, sophisticated IT systems. In any case, you want to do so only when the time is right. Inventory forecasting and analytics can help you determine whether or not you need to expand well ahead of time. And while you can’t expect 100% accuracy, you can get a good idea of where your company is headed by taking a proactive approach.

In addition to knowing when to expand your supply chain, you also need to know how to expand it. A trusted carrier can assist with this since they can help you expand into markets you wouldn’t normally have access to. Expanding your supply chain may focus more on an improved internal and external trucking network as well as extended hours to accommodate more dock shifts. You may even have a need for additional warehouse space if you’re increasing production, but as you can see many of these circumstances are a case by case basis.

At Zip Xpress, we understand that great service is the key to expanding a supply chain. A trusted carrier can help you expand and compete in distant markets as well as provide for you the options that will work with your business in expanding your supply chain. At Zip Xpress, we refer to these options as custom carrier solutions and we’ve helped many companies go from regional to national supply chains, providing access to the West Coast and beyond. To see what custom carrier solutions we can create for your business, start today with Zip Xpress!

A World Without Truck Drivers

Truck drivers affect our everyday lives, whether or not we are consciously aware of it. From our food to online retail orders to industrial machines that manufacture the world around us, the vast majority of American products are delivered by truck. Even though some material may have come by boat or plane, there’s a good chance that a truck driver provided the final route for delivery. A world without truck drivers would indeed look very different – and probably not in a good way.

If drivers were to disappear, the first consequence would be a major decrease in available medical supplies. Since medical facilities receive multiple deliveries on a daily basis without this consistent schedule of replenishment, hospitals and trauma centers would run out of necessary goods to assist patients. Anyone receiving medical attention wouldn’t be able to get the care they’d desperately need.

Shortly after this, food supplies in almost every area would run low. Grocery distribution centers receive large deliveries every day, and they allocate these to local stores based on demand. But without truck drivers, these deliveries would not be fulfilled. You might look at a large grocery retailer and think there’s no way it could be picked over within 2 or 3 days, but a lot of people work behind the scenes to keep those shelves fully stocked – and truck drivers are an essential part of that.

Third we would start to see manufacturers begin shutting down because they can’t source the materials and machinery needed to make their products. Jobs would be lost because these companies have to shut down and countless other products would become unavailable to consumers and other businesses. As you can see, the American supply chain is a tight-knit, interconnected network and it is all built upon drivers ensuring those goods get delivered. It is important to remember the hard work and dedication these drivers have in getting their deliveries in on time.

At Zip Xpress, we understand the dedication drivers have in ensuring every delivery is made on time and undamaged. They are the face of every carrier and we pride our drivers on their friendliness and professionalism. We like to believe that every company who works with our drivers understands the peril we’d all be in if we didn’t have such dedicated individuals making these deliveries. If you’d like to experience working with us and our professional drivers for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!