Inbound vs. Outbound Freight

Most warehouses don’t just ship products out to their customers – they also receive finished goods and materials on a daily basis. While shipping and receiving operations may be similar in nature, there are many differences that set them apart. The preparation, processes, and personnel can be very different for inbound and outbound freight at any given warehouse. Once you’re aware of these differences, partnering with your carrier will become a much smoother process.

Although we often think about trucks picking up from a warehouse and shipping out, that usually can’t be done until the inbound logistics process has been completed. Even plants that put the product together cannot move forward with production until they receive raw materials or other parts that are required for the final product. In many cases, inbound shipments must stick to a stricter schedule because a missed delivery can shut an entire production line down.

Outbound freight, on the other hand, does not usually require as much just-in-time scheduling. Once the product is finished, the customer and manufacturer can agree on a delivery date ahead of time, giving both parties some wiggle room when it comes to scheduling transit. Freight handlers who are responsible for outbound shipments don’t necessarily need to stage the product right away. Inbound workers, however, must be ready to bring materials off of a truck immediately to the production line.

None of these are hard and fast rules, and there are certainly exceptions when outbound shipments must be expedited and when inbound loads have flexibility. However most freight handlers can expect a wide variance between the ways they handle outbound and inbound materials. Fortunately, we can utilize communication and collaboration to ensure that all shipments arrive on time and get out the door in an efficient manner.

At Zip Xpress, we understand that you want every shipment to be as effortless as possible. Every shipment should arrive undamaged and on time so that you can delight your customers. Communication and collaboration with your carriers can help make this possible and understanding the nuances in logistics can ensure a successful partnership. Here at Zip, we educate our customers and work to solve their problems for them, creating custom carrier solutions tailored to their needs. To see what we can do for you, start today with Zip Xpress!

How to Manage Expedited Shipments

The world of transportation is anything but predictable. Although the majority of shipments are planned ahead of time, it is inevitable that you will need to send something out at the very last minute – probably more often than you would prefer. Fortunately, we live in an age where communication is as easy as it’s ever been and where technology can help mitigate the stress of last-minute decisions. If you find yourself scrambling to get a shipment out, here are some ways you can help yourself out.

Get on the Phone – Quick!

A phone call is still the best way to see if a carrier can handle your shipment. If you can get a hold of a representative right away, you may just find a truck that can transport your shipment. Emails in this instance are ineffective since waiting for a response could mean that vehicle is already gone. The good news is that if you have partnered with a reliable carrier, then you’ll have no trouble getting in touch with someone who can help you.

Work Through Rates

If you have a time-critical shipment that absolutely cannot fail, you may not have time to focus on price. Carriers have a lot of customers they need to ensure delivery to and if you shop around for cut-rate expedited delivery, you’ll receive cut-rate service. That said, when you work with valued, long-term partners, they will accommodate you and provide great service.


Transportation is always a team effort, but for critical shipments, it is important to strategize and communicate with everyone – both internally and externally. Be ready to answer any questions your carrier has and make sure to provide accurate, reliable information about your freight. The more you take care of up front, the more likely you are to succeed in the end. This means keeping open lines of communication for both your customer and carrier and providing updates whenever new information is made available.

At Zip Xpress, we understand that there are instances when shipments need to be expedited. We help our customers by ensuring that anytime they call our office, they will speak with an individual right away, and won’t be forced to leave a voicemail. We can provide quotes over the phone, we don’t charge full tariff for this service and can still offer a potential discount to our customers. Our planners will work with you to find an expedited solution that works for you. To see for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!

What Mode Is Right For You?

Ground shipping seems pretty straightforward, but there are many decisions every manufacturer needs to make with every shipment. This is especially true with manufacturers whose products have an irregular shape, are larger or are in need of extra care. These shipments should not be “thrown in with the rest” in the hopes the product arrives undamaged and on time. Fortunately, we at Zip Xpress have a variety of options in these situations.


Standard LTL service is used by thousands of manufacturers across the country. This is best for customers seeking a cost-effective option that does not have a critical delivery time or are prone to damage. For your smaller shipments that are running on schedule, Zip Xpress can provide superior service thanks to our methods that reduce handling by 75% over common carriers. This means less chance of damaged product arriving at your customer’s location, and that benefits everyone.

Expedited LTL

You may not usually associate LTL with time-critical shipments, but thanks to our Expedited LTL solution, we can deliver your product safely and on time without the need to dedicate an entire trailer. Whether you have experienced production line downtime or need to fulfill a last minute order for a premier customer, our expedited LTL service allows us to answer the call. We will get your shipment where it needs to go. Period.


For those “in-between” loads that could ship as LTL or truckload, our headload solution is a time-tested, reliable option that provides advantages over both modes. Headload (or partial truckload) shipping is similar to partial shipping, but you will only be paying for the space that your freight is taking up. For longer distance shipments, we employ team drivers, ensuring that every load will meet their deadlines.

At Zip Xpress, we understand the importance of options when it comes to getting your shipments to their destination undamaged and on time. Not every shipment requires a full truckload, which is why we created our custom carrier solutions to ensure that every shipment will get to your customers. To see which custom carrier solution is right for your business, start today with Zip Xpress!

Truckers to the Rescue (Again)

Although there was plenty of bad news throughout 2020, a glimmer of hope emerged at the end of the year that may allow us the possibility of normalcy. What we’re talking about of course is the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine brings about logistical challenges, since it won’t be available for every individual – it must be distributed through a tiered system. However, we’d like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the Truck drivers stepping forward and manning the logistics of getting those vaccinations where they need to go. 2020 was a year where truck drivers proved to be as crucial on the front lines as many other professional heroes.

In addition to the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 saw a lot of hardship across the United States, as panic buying and natural disasters left store shelves ravaged and distribution centers struggling to keep up with demand. Nobody could have predicted that this would happen, but what we did know was that we would be relying on truck drivers to continue to deliver the goods that we need to survive. Our nation’s carriers certainly lived up to and even exceeded expectations. With so little time to get shipments delivered when panic hit, drivers were still able to answer the call for last-minute emergency service and keep our country moving forward in the face of adversity.

The same can be said with the rollout of the COVID vaccine, as pharmaceutical companies, medical workers, and citizens will be relying on large shipments to help get the public immunized. It won’t be an immediate fix, and there will likely be thousands of truckloads of critical vaccines in transit over the next year. Fortunately, we have a skilled, hard-working population of drivers who are willing to work the frontline, albeit behind the wheel, as the country continues the healing process.

At Zip Xpress, we understand the challenging times we live in. We also understand that there are many individuals who will rise up to those challenges – one group being the drivers that represent all of the great carriers of our nation. We believe that drivers deserve the recognition for their hard work and ensuring our logistical needs are met. If 2020 showed anything, it showed that logistics was crucial in providing stability during a time when many needed it most. We’re here to help with whatever challenges you have and to see for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!