Steering Clear of Detention

Nobody likes delays, but they are an inevitable part of trucking and transportation. The best thing we can do is to be proactive in our supply chain operations in order to minimize the number of delays that we must face. Of the many slowdowns that happen during the life of a shipment, one of the most easily avoidable is that of detention. You can’t control the weather, traffic, or the mechanical abilities of any given truck, but you can control the ways in which your warehouses operate. Here are some tips to help you save money on detention bills.

Don’t Schedule a Pickup Until the Goods are Confirmed

Whether you are manufacturing the product or waiting on raw materials to arrive, make sure that your shipment is ready to go before scheduling a truck. If pallets aren’t assembled or wrapped by the time the appointment rolls around, the driver will likely have to sit for longer than 2 hours. In some instances, there may not be a need for packaging, so check with your carrier on their recommendation for packaging.

Employ a Reasonably Sized and Qualified Staff

It should be obvious that you can’t really get through your day without your forklift operator. Make sure that you have plenty of qualified professionals who can load a truck safely and efficiently. In some cases, it may be worth it to look into outside contractors during times of increased business.

Keep Your Expectations Realistic

If you are a smaller warehouse with 2 docks, it probably doesn’t make sense to schedule 100 trucks a day. Know your limitations and keep track of loading time data so that you can better stagger your appointments in order to load every truck as quickly as possible.

Don’t Be Afraid to Speak Up

In all aspects of shipping, communication is key. If you are experiencing a backup at the warehouse or if equipment is down, notify your carrier. Chances are they would be willing to accommodate a different appointment time slot. It may not always be possible, but keeping communication open will be appreciated and will set you up for more success down the line.

At Zip Xpress, we understand the frustration of detention for both sides of the logistics equation. In order to combat this frustration we communicate with our customers every step of the way, from scheduling pickups, deliveries and notifying about delays. Our communication processes help our customers and their customers ensure a successful delivery that is made on time and undamaged. To see for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!

Improving the Customer Experience

If there is one message that bears repeating, it’s the value of great service. The importance of improving the customer experience can’t be understated because customers simply deserve better. In logistics, superior service is called bringing out the white glove where shipments are handled with extra care and charge a premium to do so. Here at Zip Xpress, we treat every shipment with care, but we don’t tack this on as an additional expense – this is simply our standard for all of our customer’s shipments. There are other ways to improve the customer experience beyond handling their shipments.

Improving the customer experience also means being available whenever a customer has a question or wishes to submit a quote. The back and forth of leaving a voicemail (or an unanswered email!) can be such a waste of time and customers are left feeling that they’re not valuable. At Zip Xpress, every phone call is answered by a person willing to help the customer get the answers they need. Most of our staff is trained to provide customers with a quote, which ensures that a customer’s deliveries can be made on their schedule. This also ties into the belief that great service must span the entire organization. Consistency is key and every employee must be trained in treating customers with utmost respect.

Partnering with a customer’s business is critical in delivering great customer service. When you understand the industries you serve, you’re able to anticipate the needs of the customer and work to solve their problems as though they were your own. You can devise unique solutions for your customers and provide them with the advice that they find valuable. Here at Zip Xpress we call these our custom carrier solutions and they enable us to solve any problem a customer may have to ensure their shipments will arrive undamaged and on time.

At Zip Xpress, we have always recognized the importance of great service. We strived to set ourselves apart by optimizing every shipment for our customers. From there we focused on other details, from keeping our offices organized and clean to ensuring our drivers are happy and will delight our customers upon delivery of their shipments. We sought to create the personal touch that delights our customers with every shipment and all of our focus here at Zip has been on delighting the customer. To see for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!

Maintaining Long-Term Relationships

Relationships in the logistics realm are as important now as they ever have been. On-demand shipping, automation, and expedited freight are becoming more prevalent, and performance expectations are higher across the board. While transportation is full of unpredictable situations, supply chains are constantly striving to maintain as predictable of a process as they possibly can. In order to achieve this, strong relationships with vendors and suppliers are absolutely essential.

While shippers think they may save money here and there on ad-hoc shipments with unknown providers, the cost of doing business this way adds up in the long run. This factor is compounded with damaged shipments, costs for replacement and lost trust. Developing strong relationships with transportation partners allows customers to benefit from more predictability and reliability. Carriers, likewise, can expect more consistent freight when they form long-term partnerships with shippers. It’s hard for us to see shippers who are forced to deal with cut-rate service and hear their stories. We believe that a deeper relationship could have prevented most if not all of the damage.

Communication and transparency lie at the center of every successful logistics partnership. When a customer has a shipment, they need to make sure that all information is accurate and that they notify the carrier of any special requirements. Carriers must provide realistic expectations for transit time and maintain open lines of communication throughout the trip. It is important to alert the customer of any delays that might happen along the way. If both partners can consistently communicate in an honest and straightforward way, it is likely that the relationship will flourish.

At Zip Xpress, we understand the importance of a deep relationship with our customers. This understanding drives everything we do in our effort to create a wonderful shipping experience. It’s why we’re able to maintain a 99% retention rate with our customers, and allows us to provide the best custom carrier solutions for every shipper we work with. When you work with us, you’ll understand why we say that premium is the standard at Zip Xpress. To see for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!

Maximizing Fuel Efficiency

It’s no surprise that fuel prices spike in the summer, but with an index that has been rising all year, higher fuel prices will be a reality for this year. For fleet owners, fuel prices pose a significant challenge, either impacting a company’s bottom line or forcing shippers to pay higher rates. It is essential for fleet managers and owners to take some steps to maximize their fuel efficiency for every trip.

Prioritize More Efficient Routes

A lot of fuel can be wasted simply by choosing the wrong route – which in some cases may even be the shorter route. Paying attention to traffic patterns and road conditions can help minimize idling time while also reducing wear and tear on the trucks.

Perform Regular Truck Maintenance

The most efficient truck is one that is maintained meticulously. Keeping tires at the correct pressure, tuning up the engine, changing the oil, and monitoring air filters can all help to improve fuel efficiency. Regular maintenance goes a long way in keeping trucks fuel efficient, drivers satisfied and prevents major breakdowns.

Encourage Safe, Relaxed Driving

Aggressive driving will severely lower your miles per gallon on any trip. Accelerating too quickly, frequently breaking, and shifting too often not only reduce fuel efficiency, but they can wreak havoc on equipment. It might be difficult to change driver habits, but rewarding safe driving is beneficial for carriers and their employees.

At Zip Xpress, we understand the importance of maximizing fuel efficiency when it comes to developing a more sustainable fleet. Our routine maintenance schedules help keep our trucks in prime condition, while we also focus on working with our drivers to ensure their safety and that their needs are met. Each step we take in maintaining our fleet helps keep our drivers and customers satisfied since deliveries will be made on time and undamaged. Each step allows us and our customers to become more sustainable, which can be seen in our carbon reduction reports. To see these benefits for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!

Your Supply Chain: An Engine For Growth

If this year has proven anything, it’s how the supply chain contributes to a company’s growth. Manufacturers are seeing the benefits of partnering with logistics providers and the critical role of getting finished products to the customer. Yet in order to ensure that the supply chain is enabling growth, a few steps must be taken to optimize the benefits for all parties involved.

The first step is that the supply chain must become customer-oriented instead of product oriented. Dedicated service will keep customers coming back, which will result in increased sales for the long term. Working with and communicating with customers helps ensure that they get what they need when they need it. When customers know that their needs are being met, they will work with a provider and continue to place orders, especially in a business-to-business world. Companies want to work with other companies they can trust, and when both sides emphasize a dedication to service, the customer will appreciate it.

The second step in developing a supply chain growth strategy is to keep communication open with all parties. When silos exist, communication comes to a standstill, whereas collaboration allows for execution to occur quickly and provides better decision making when it comes to getting products shipped on time. When communication breaks down, backlogs form and customers become frustrated because they’re wondering where their order is. Keep problems small by getting in contact with all of the stakeholders and solve them right away.

The third step in developing a supply chain growth strategy is developing a multi-channel personalized experience. This is no longer a “nice to have” it is now a requirement for supply chain providers. That means drivers greeting customers with a smile and friendly attitude. It also means responding to customer inquiries quickly and with a personal touch – talking on the phone instead of letting their requests sit in an email inbox or voicemail. This will only become more important as companies shift into a virtual workforce, which will place a premium on human interaction.

At Zip Xpress, we understand that building a supply chain is also about building relationships. Our dedication to service is focused on keeping all stakeholders satisfied, whether that be ensuring our drivers greet a customer with a smile or answering every phone call in our office. We also work hard to optimize every shipment so that they will arrive undamaged and on time. Building a growth-centered supply chain is about providing our partners with the custom carrier solutions that will help their business succeed. To see how we can do this for your business, start today with Zip Xpress!