The Driver Shortage: Delaying Delivery

It is no secret that there is a national driver shortage for carriers. The reasons are numerous, but this week we’re going to focus on a situation that occurs far too often in the logistics industry with all carriers. What occurs damages driver morale and has caused many to abandon cross-country routes since they’re not treated humanely, let alone with the respect they deserve.

What is this phenomenon? What occurs is drivers often travel 2,000 – 3,000 miles in order to ensure a successful delivery. The driver has even made it to the final destination at the specified time directed by the customer, but upon arrival that same customer informs the driver that it will require an additional wait of 2-3 hours (sometimes overnight!) before the trailer can be unloaded into the warehouse. There have even been instances where drivers have been told that THEY need to hire a crew to unload the trailer. Whatever the reasons may be for these delays, whether employee shortages or miscommunication within the company, what these companies fail to understand is that these drivers have nowhere to go. It’s not as if they can take their truck and drive off to get a meal or use a restroom. They have a responsibility to ensure the delivery is made and are being treated poorly just for doing their job. They’re forced to remain with the shipment and can’t return to their families. No other professional would be treated this way, why is this seen as acceptable to treat drivers this way?

Such delays not only hurt morale for the drivers, but can be disastrous with sensitive shipments, particularly food. If the warehouse manager orders a driver to open the trailer but waits 2-3 hours before unloading the shipment, that food won’t be kept at the optimal temperature. As a result the shipment will be refused by the warehouse manager, creating an unnecessary dispute between the shipper, the customer and the carrier on who is responsible for the shipment and any fees incurred. 

It is vital that companies communicate their warehouse situations to all the members of the supply chain in order to prevent such hostile working conditions. When we remember that these drivers are people too and have families they wish to go home to, prioritizing unloading shipments becomes a lot easier. Also remembering that they’ve worked hard, traveling vast distances to ensure a successful shipment can go a long way in creating cooperation.

Here at Zip Xpress, we understand the importance of drivers and their contributions to the logistics industry as well as the supply chain. We work hard to ensure that every member of our supply chain is communicated with and find the solutions that work with everyone. We care deeply for our drivers, which is why we do everything we can to help them in ensuring a successful delivery and thus, satisfy our customers. If you want to see for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!

Finding The Right Carrier For Your Supply Chain

One of the most important partnerships a manufacturer can make is which carrier they are to trust with their valuable freight. We’ve expressed the importance of establishing these relationships, but one of the critical questions that will inevitably arise is: how do we find the right carrier? This is a very important question and one that shouldn’t be left to chance especially since manufacturers cannot rely on brokerages to find the right shipping partner for them.

Culture Match

Finding the right supply chain partner involves speaking with carriers and ensuring there is a culture match between the two organizations. If your company is focused on efficiency and cost savings, then you’ll likely select with a carrier that exhibits these traits. Whereas if you have specialized freight that needs more service dedication, you’ll likely select a carrier that focuses on relationships and customer satisfaction. Obviously you want a carrier that exhibits all of these qualities, but the best option is to schedule consultations, speak with and learn about the carriers who will be handling your freight. When you find a carrier that understands your company’s needs and you relate well with them, then you have likely found a relationship that will help your business flourish.

Constant Focus on Improvement

Obviously culture isn’t a foolproof determinant of a great business relationship, however when a carrier and manufacturer are both focused on improvement, as well as finding the right people, processes and methods of getting your shipment to its destination on time and undamaged, then you have a carrier that will help your business grow in many ways. The constant focus on improvement means that your supply chain partner will help solve your problems and take your needs into consideration. They can help you expand and provide you with options during times of uncertainty. When you provide trust to your carrier, you will find that combined both companies will have a dynamic and incredible relationship that will strengthen with time.

Here at Zip Xpress, we understand the importance of finding the right carrier for your business. We strive to provide great service for all of our customers because we know they value great service, sustainability and are in need of specialized freight handling. Customers who know our values are delighted to work with us and it’s why we’re able to maintain a 99% retention rate with manufacturers we’ve worked with. If you want to see all of this for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!

There Will Always Be Supply Chain Challenges

Many articles discuss labor shortages, tightening capacity, increasing prices, inclement weather and a host of other challenges companies need to overcome in order to get their shipments to the end customer. It is certain that some of these challenges are unique to our time, and it’s also apparent that companies want more consistency in how they conduct business. Challenges in shipping however are the norm, not the exception. The truth is that there have always been supply chain challenges and that we have always navigated these challenges through a mix of collaboration and innovation.

One of the methods in overcoming supply chain challenges lies in collaboration throughout the entire supply chain. When companies work together, they’re able to create solutions that work for all parties and keep the customer satisfied. Every member of the supply chain understands what is at stake and provides different skill sets, strengths and strategic insights which create remarkably innovative solutions. This innovation creates unique opportunities for businesses that may not have existed before and as a result will provide a competitive advantage in a field where everyone else only sees challenges.

One of the benefits of all the articles highlighting these challenges is that these challenges cannot be ignored any longer. As a result, many innovative individuals are coming forward to address these challenges and provide solutions in an environment where none were available before. This outpouring of ideas will allow business owners to test and implement the right tactics for their company and in time they will find the right strategy for their business. For every challenge out there, there is a solution. The question is how long will it take to find yours.

Here at Zip Xpress, we understand that there will always be supply chain challenges. This is nothing new in an industry that is always changing. It’s this dynamism that creates the opportunity for unique problem solving in how we get every shipment to the customer on time and undamaged. This problem solving attitude is applied to our customers through our custom carrier solutions which addresses every shipping challenge our customers may have. If you’re curious about how we can handle your shipping challenges, start today with Zip Xpress!

Retaining Talent in Logistics

It is clear when listening to the news that many businesses are searching for talent. Companies have stepped up recruiting efforts, offering incredible incentives to bring on new talent and the logistics field is no exception. The industry has struggled for years with finding drivers, now the talent struggle has reached many other levels of the organization. Yet what’s not being discussed are methods for retaining the incredible talent you already have, especially in the logistics field. Turnover will always occur, but when you make talent retention a priority, you won’t need to focus on expensive incentives to entice workers to join your company. Here we share some of the methods we’ve had great success with when it comes to keeping talented employees.

Treat Everyone With Respect

This perhaps goes without saying, but there’s another saying: employees leave managers, not companies. Going out of your way to treat the people who remain with you (especially now) with respect and showing you care about their needs will go a long way in making them feel valued. Giving space for employees to tell you what they need will also yield valuable information that will help improve an organization. One area we placed our focus on was keeping our drivers in well maintained trucks, which resulted in us investing in maintenance schedules and routine repairs. Our drivers are happier as a result and treat our customers exceptionally well.

Host a Regular Check In With Employees

Due to increased shipments across the American Economy, there is a greater risk that all of a company’s current employees are working harder than ever and feeling the burden of carrying the company. This is true for manufacturers as well as carriers. Hosting a check in with current employees to see where they’re feeling stressed and what management can do to help will do wonders for morale. These employees will provide invaluable insights into how the company can prevent burnout with the current employee base. The last thing anyone wants is to see more employees leaving. The more we can help employees in-house, the better it is for everyone. Current employees may also bring referrals for new hires, which is a win-win for everyone.

Here at Zip Xpress, we understand the importance of retaining talent, especially in uncertain times. We strive to do our best in keeping our employees satisfied with their work and developing our talent from within. It’s a process we continue to refine, but the results speak for themselves. When employees are satisfied, they’re apt to treat our customers with the utmost respect, which creates satisfied customers. Everyone at Zip Xpress is willing to help, and we do our best to help everyone inside and out. To see for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!

Assessing Supply Chain Risk

Every manufacturer needs to assess their supply chain risk at some time or another. You need to understand where vulnerabilities lie, especially at a time when market forces are creating volatility. Performing risk assessment allows you to be prepared and take active measures to ensure your company will be less vulnerable in the long run against unforeseen circumstances. Supply chain risk assessment is vital in preventing complacency since many companies understandably place innate trust in their suppliers. However this can cause manufacturers to be ‘blindsided’ in the event something goes wrong.

Analyze Every Angle of the Supply Chain

Viewing risk from the perspective of only your suppliers creates a myopic view, which doesn’t allow you to understand how much the supplier factors into your total risk exposure. On the other hand, only viewing the supply chain from a holistic perspective makes it difficult to understand where the ‘real’ vulnerabilities lie.

Perform Risk Audits on Every Supplier

Chances are you have a few suppliers that are key to your business. If this year has shown us anything, it’s that even the largest supply chains are still vulnerable. Performing risk audits on your suppliers forces you to prepare and prevent complacency. Also keeping your files up to date keeps your company up to date on all of the factors in your supply chain, which lets you see potential risks and allows you to adjust ahead of time.

Perform an Assessment of Each Particular Risk

Performing assessments tied to particular risks allows you to ‘see’ the potential impacts to your operations. Modeling these crisis events can show what you have direct control over and how you can prepare in the event of a crisis. You can begin to take preventative measures which will allow you to adapt as circumstances change. Staying on top of these situations will help you in the long run. It’s also important to remember that this is an ongoing process, one that needs to be performed over and over since circumstances are always changing.

At Zip Xpress, we understand the importance of assessing supply chain risk. We work with all of our customers to asses their risk and help them with any vulnerabilities to keep their shipments moving. We help each customer through our custom carrier solutions, a process where we partner with each customer and treat their problems as our own. If you want to see these solutions for yourself with your business, start today with Zip Xpress!