Is Your Freight Getting The White Glove Treatment?

A lot of companies pay lip service when it comes to White Glove Treatment in logistics. There is a clear understanding that shippers want their freight to arrive undamaged and on time, yet it should not be an add-on service shippers are forced to pay a fortune for. There are a few indicators to look out for that ensure a carrier provides white glove service. The first of which is that it’s a state of mind held by the carrier, where the customer’s needs are the most important, assisted by associates who are trained to handle every shipment with precision and care.

Another important indicator is attention to detail. It’s important to be able to check in with the carrier to ensure they know where your shipment is every step of the way, as well as making sure every I is dotted and every T is crossed. Attention to detail is a vital indicator of white glove treatment. Shippers would be wise to ask about procedures and guidelines the carrier follows, including how a carrier handles delicate items, oversized freight or any other indicator of unique freight. All of those details add up to a wonderful experience for the person who needs it most: the customer.

Speaking of which, white glove treatment will also involve getting in touch with the customer to accommodate any special delivery needs or scheduling tailored-time slots that work for the customer. Keeping communication lines open with the customer will keep them satisfied and let you know that you’re dealing with a carrier who gives white glove treatment. You can also see this in whether or not the carrier coordinates the pickup with you. The more involved the carrier is in this process, the more assured you can be that your shipment is getting white glove treatment.

If your shipments are not receiving the white glove treatment, then now may be a time to consider revising your supply chain. At a time of serious congestion, if a shipment gets damaged, this will likely make a bad situation worse. Getting ahead of the problem and ensuring your shipment will be treated with the utmost care will help you gain trust with your customers, a vital part of business at a time like this.

Here at Zip Xpress, we understand the importance of white glove treatment. Customers and shippers want their freight delivered on time and undamaged, period. We also believe that shippers don’t need an upcharge in order to receive quality service. We believe that in treating our stakeholders well, in training how to carefully handle every shipment that comes through, we’re able to provide a seamless experience that few shippers believe until they see it for themselves. To see for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!

Time To See If You’re Paying For Air

As we continue our efforts at relieving freight congestion, one of the areas where shippers and carriers can make the biggest impact is reducing the number of shipments marked as full truckloads when they are, in fact, partial truckload shipments. The marking of full truckload has caused a rising cycle of prices in the freight board marketplaces, as well as a reduction in the number of drivers who are available to deliver shipments. Yet we’ve continued to see many shippers mark “full truckload” even though this selection may not be in their best interest.

Why does this occur? In general, full truckload shipments get better service. The reason for this is shipments marked as partial loads need to be brought to a terminal and packed into another trailer, thus increasing risks to the freight. Shipments marked as full truckload are sent directly to the customer, with few to no stops in between. Another issue is cost. Most LTLs have set prices based on footage, which in some cases has resulted in 30 feet of trucking space to cost the same amount as a full truckload. Combine these perceptions and it is no wonder why shippers are more likely to opt for a full truckload selection for their freight. However, what many shippers don’t realize is how much they’re paying for all of that wasted space. In essence, they’re paying for air. On top of this, the congestion over the past year is making full truckloads less feasible as an option, that is unless you’re willing to pay top dollar for it.

Utilizing optimization is the best way to alleviate the congestion we’re seeing. Shippers would be wise to consider selecting ‘partial’ for their shipment. Many carriers out there are skilled at handling sensitive freight and can combine shipments while also ensuring they will arrive undamaged and on time. As always, we recommend that shippers perform their due diligence when considering these types of carriers which will take time, but it’s far better than the alternative of dissatisfied customers who have not received their shipments. As shippers explore their options in redesigning their supply chains, they may often find themselves preferring shipment optimization, even after all of this is over.

Here at Zip Xpress, we understand the importance of optimizing shipments. Optimizing shipments helps reduce wear and tear on our nation’s highways as well as prevents customers from paying for ‘air’ inside of trailers. All of this leads to a more sustainable supply chain, which customers can see through a monthly carbon emissions reduction sheet we provide them with. The latest benefit is that customers who ship with us will see their products arrive undamaged and on time every time. If you want to see all of these results for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!

Load Boards & Supply Chain Constriction

Every carrier relies on what are called ‘load boards’ (sometimes called freight boards) which is an online marketplace where carriers, certain shippers and brokers can post and search for loads in order to keep freight moving. However due to the economic forces we’re witnessing, these rate boards are accelerating a critical trend that could cause severe ramifications to shippers and carriers alike.

What the industry is seeing is the continual rise in rates due to a high demand for shipping goods constricted by a limited number of carriers able to fulfill the demand. If for whatever reason a carrier is unable to get to a shipment, then the shipper will need to pay more to entice a carrier to pick their shipment up. This in turn creates a vicious cycle of rates ‘never going down’ and in some cases, have caused rates to double from what they were a year ago.

On the one hand, it’s great to see how valuable carriers have become. However the rate boards are creating a ‘free for all’ mentality in an effort to get the best rate on any given shipment. It is understandable why carriers behave this way, but in the end everyone will get hurt. Carriers will be hurt because these rate boards are causing logistics providers to be perceived as a commodity service, with no intrinsic value. Shippers are forced to pay higher prices (sometimes double!) to guarantee a shipment, which erases their margins and makes it difficult for them to create more products in the long run. Finally, this situation hurts the customer, who is forced to wait for shipments to arrive, creating artificial delays and their dissatisfaction with everyone involved.

So how is this problem solved? The answer lies in shipment optimization. Many if not most of the shipments on these rate boards are marked as ‘full truckload’ when in truth they’re actually ‘partial truckload.’ This is an industry-created problem, one that carriers can work together to solve. Many carriers have proven ready and willing to optimize shipments since it can be done in every company’s best interest. As we become more effective in optimizing shipments, we’ll manage to create a win-win situation for every member of the supply chain. 

Here at Zip Xpress, we understand the importance of collaboration. Our goal is to create a win-win solution for every member of the supply chain while ensuring that every shipment arrives undamaged and on time. We’re here to create a more sustainable supply chain and we need the help of other carriers in order to do it. Together we can create a better supply chain and present solutions to our customers during a time when they need it most. If shippers would like to see these solutions for themselves, start today with Zip Xpress!

Optimized Shipments & Carrier Collaboration

The driver shortage is one of the critical factors carriers face today. Many licensed CDL drivers are nearing retirement and there are not enough replacement drivers as of yet. By the age of 21 when individuals can train for their CDL, many of them have already ‘started’ their career and likely wouldn’t consider truck driving as a replacement. This has been one of the great ongoing struggles these past few years and it’s difficult to tell just how short of drivers the sector is experiencing. Yet shipping prices continue to rise as truckloads are being filled at a record pace. Customers want their shipments to continue, but there are only so many drivers available to deliver them. Reform will have to come to alleviate the driver situation, but for the time being, there is a short-term solution available to carriers who are willing to collaborate with other carriers in search of a win-win proposition.

This solution lies in shipment optimization. One of the startling trends we’ve seen in our 20 years in operation is the number of shipments where a customer orders a ‘full truckload’ but the shipment takes up only a small portion of the trailer. Now the reason this occurs is understandable. Customers want to ensure their products don’t get damaged or they want to secure their place with a carrier and get the product to the customer. However, we are reaching a point where shipments are becoming very expensive and the race to secure space within a trailer is tightening faster than ever. A willingness to have shipments optimized will help ease the congestion everyone is facing before customers begin to see their orders delayed.

It has been our experience that optimization like this is very easy to implement among carriers. Every logistics company in the sector understands the driver shortage and many are willing to work together in a collaborative effort of optimizing shipments. It’s rare that a carrier will turn down satisfying a customer, even if that customer is another logistics company. Everyone is working hard to ensure deliveries are made on time, but the more we can bring awareness to optimizing shipments, the easier it will be to get through the capacity crunch we’re facing and bring a win-win for everyone involved in the supply chain.

Here at Zip Xpress, we understand the importance of optimizing shipments. Our entire business model has been built around this philosophy, on reducing the empty space of our trailers. Our customers are delighted that we have found such methods and time and time again we’ve worked with carriers who feel the same way we do. These methods are our custom carrier solutions and we’re doing everything we can to ensure our customers’ shipments arrive on time and undamaged. To see for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!