Rising Costs Need to be Accompanied by Rising Service

It’s no secret that market rates for shipping have steadily increased. Due to increased production, harsh weather conditions and other effects on the market, carriers are having to adjust their pricing to accommodate these market forces. Yet while carriers are being inundated with shipment requests, shippers are finding that even though transportation costs keep rising, service levels are deteriorating. Shippers that don’t maintain any sort of relationship with their carriers are facing a falling level of service expectations, which only results in a lose-lose situation.

It is vital for carriers to provide a high level of service to their customers, providing guidance, ensuring shipments are delivered on time and communicating with their customers if anything goes wrong. What this trend shows is that when manufacturers only rely on the spot markets, they’re often found to be dealing with brokers that pair them with a company that sees the freight as “just another shipment.” Freight ends up damaged, claims need to be filed, and manufacturers have to produce replacements, all while dealing with a dissatisfied customer. It’s the all too familiar domino effect of cut-rate prices leading to cut-rate service and is not a viable long-term strategy,

As we’ve stated several times, the solution here is for manufacturers to build long-term, sustainable relationships with their carriers. These partnerships will allow both companies to provide an increased level of service to the stakeholders that get lost in these discussions on rates: the customer. Manufacturers who have partnered with their carriers have flourished through these challenging market conditions and have a much higher level of satisfaction both personally and with their customers. Once both sides go in with a partnership mindset, neither will be at the mercy of market forces.

At Zip Xpress, we understand the importance of service better than anyone. We work hard to ensure that every shipment will arrive on time and undamaged, and we provide our customers with the custom carrier solutions that will work for their business. Whenever a customer calls our offices, they’ll speak with a person who will help however they can, never with a machine. Our customers have a higher level of satisfaction than the average carrier, but that’s because we operate at a level where premium is the standard at Zip Xpress. To see for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!

Why Trusted Carriers Matter to Manufacturers

We’ve all experienced delays in shipping. Mechanical breakdowns, inclement weather, and traffic are unavoidable parts of life. Experienced manufacturing and logistics professionals understand that these are problems that they will face on a regular basis. What’s harder to understand is when these delays aren’t communicated to the customer. Sometimes, a simple phone call might be all it takes to avoid a catastrophic production line shutdown or retail storefront shortage. However, many transportation providers still seem to think that proactive communication is not an important service offering.

Large national carriers are undoubtedly successful, and they provide wide-ranging services that help many customers reach their delivery goals. Yet they experience the same inevitabilities as other carriers, and sometimes their customers suffer more because of it. When a breakdown happens, it’s likely that the customer won’t know until they call in to inquire about a delay. Larger, corporate customers will be given priority on the recovery because they provide more volume. Smaller customers simply get a new delivery date without much effort to correct the error or you’re told to check their website, only to see a product hasn’t moved in three days.

This is all part of big business, so we can’t blame these mega carriers for making decisions that help their bottom line. That said it’s important for manufacturers to remember that national carriers are not their only option. Logistics managers would be wise to build relationships with dedicated carriers who would value their business. Many of these providers know the importance of communication and will go the extra mile to ensure your satisfaction. Working with a specialized carrier will open new opportunities you may not have even realized existed, creating a more robust and effective supply chain. When something goes wrong, customers can expect to speak with a real representative who understands the issue rather than sitting through multiple phone prompts only to be told that there is no way to fix the delay.

At Zip Xpress, we understand what it takes to be a trusted carrier for our manufacturing partners. Every time a customer calls, they will speak with a person who will do whatever they can to assist with the shipment or direct the customer to someone who can help. Either way, customers who call Zip Xpress always get a person, never a machine. Our experience with our customer’s industries has familiarized us with the unique challenges associated with their freight, which is how we’re able to create a custom carrier solution for every company we partner with. To see for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!

How the Stimulus Can Help Transportation

Congress recently passed a $1.9 trillion relief bill, and it has been signed by the President. While the main focus is on the economic relief for millions of Americans and businesses, $56 billion of this is expected to go towards transportation. And while much of that will be used for airlines and public transit agencies, it is still a benefit for the domestic transportation and trucking industries. An additional $59 billion will be going to help small businesses, many of which are local and regional trucking firms.

The much-needed aid can help many smaller trucking firms who are still feeling the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. While trucking is an essential industry and drivers were able to stay on the road over the last year, many carriers still lost revenue due to losing the business of non-essential customers. While the package may not offset all of those losses, it is certainly a welcome relief for many companies and individuals.

The hope is that the stimulus will boost the economy as a whole, which should have a positive effect on the trucking industries. As more people become able to buy things, more orders will be placed, hopefully providing a boost to manufacturing across the nation. As we all know, more manufacturing means more shipments, and that is beneficial for anybody in logistics and transportation.

While the stimulus will do a lot to help logistics companies, the best way to help them is for manufacturers to partner with carriers in handling their shipments. A trusted carrier will be able to find the best solutions for any shipment, and provide your business with the best service possible. Partnering with a carrier will get your shipments where they need to go, ensuring that your customers are satisfied and you’ll be satisfied as a result.

At Zip Xpress, we understand the need for partnering with a carrier. Each of our customers is a trusted partner that we do business with, and we’re able to provide them with unmatched service through our custom carrier solutions. Every shipment with our partners is unique, but we provide our guarantee that every shipment will arrive undamaged and on time, every time. To see for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!

The Future of Sustainable Packaging

Packaging is an often-overlooked part of the supply chain. We often think of production, manufacturing, transportation, and distribution, but packaging is right up there in terms of importance. It’s assumed that every product must be placed in some sort of box, bag, bin, or container before it can be loaded onto a truck and moved around the country.

Innovations in packaging are also overlooked by many. While technological advances in robotics can create flashy headlines for trucking and manufacturing, changes in packaging are usually more subtle. However, the development of new materials and production methods requires years of research and hard work and are no less important.

Today, packaging is being made out of broken down plant fibers, which can lead to longer shelf life while being easier on the environment. Smart packaging has become more popular, helping with a wide range of packing issues from theft to supply chain replenishment. Smart packaging can also contribute to sustainability efforts as it allows manufacturers to track where packaging is being disposed of or recycled.

Yet for all of these innovations, the best packaging of all is: none. The most sustainable companies are able to utilize zero packaging when shipping their products, especially when they manufacture larger products that don’t fit neatly inside a box. It is imperative that we also seek new, innovative ways to ship without packaging for all of the companies that don’t absolutely need it.

At Zip Xpress, we encourage and assist companies in their goal towards shipping without packaging. We can advise on how companies can ship their products without packaging to ensure their contribution to a more sustainable environment. Every case will be different, which is why we advise companies through our custom carrier solutions which help companies understand how they can achieve a more sustainable supply chain. To see this for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!

How Remote Work Affects Logistics

Working from home isn’t exactly a possibility for truckers. It is, however, becoming the reality for many behind-the-scenes workers in transportation. While the logistics industry as a whole may have been late to join the work from home model, 2020 showed us that it is indeed possible. Many dispatchers, sales associates, and analysts have been able to perform their jobs from their home. They still need to go to the office on occasion, but it seems that the future of transportation may switch to a hybrid model.

When it comes to operations at Zip Xpress we prefer a “hands-on” approach since every shipment needs to be optimized on campus. We have procedures and protocols that we wish to follow to ensure the proper documentation and optimization of every shipment, however we follow all guidelines pertaining to social distancing and mask wearing. We also prefer creating custom carrier solutions in-house as well since the ability to collaborate is more effective when our team members are a room or two away.

At Zip one area that does work remotely is our sales team, since companies are preferring to conduct sales calls remotely. We’re delighted to work with companies that wish to conduct business remotely and are able to answer any and all questions through a phone or virtual call. We still believe that a phone call is the best method of doing business since you have a direct line of communication and we can get the best understanding of a problem you have, which allows us to create the best custom carrier solution for your business.

At Zip Xpress, we understand that regardless of whether companies are remote or not, they want dedicated service in ensuring every shipment arrives undamaged and on time. Our goal is to provide that service through whatever means possible and we’re happy to work with any company virtually or in person. The means of communication aren’t important, what matters is dedication in getting the shipments to their destination undamaged and on time. To see this for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!