Keeping Driver Spirits Up

Truck drivers are some of the hardest working and toughest individuals in the American economy. Without them, many of our goods would not be on store shelves. Drivers understand what’s at stake, especially right now in the midst of a multitude of supply chain challenges. As drivers manage the constant push for deliveries, long routes can inevitably take a toll, causing loneliness, anxiety, and even depression. As tough as a driver may be, mental health is especially important to their overall well being. Below are a few tips to help drivers preserve their mental health and stay safe on the roads.

Stay Connected with Loved Ones

While drivers are expected to be away from their friends and families for days, even weeks at a time, driving alone in a hyper-vigilant state and being away from home can take its toll, causing loneliness. Making video calls to family members (not while driving of course), bringing photos or items that remind you of home or even bringing along one of your family members can go a long way in helping alleviate loneliness while driving. While you will need to check with your company’s co-pilot policy, staying connected with your loved ones will help keep you motivated and combat feelings of loneliness.

Get Quality Sleep

Sleep interruption can come in many forms, however sticking to a nightly routine, avoiding caffeine late in the day, and limiting the use of electronic devices before bed can all help you get enough quality sleep through the night. Being well rested goes a long way in preventing depression while on the road since a lack of sleep only adds stress when drivers need to be on constant alert. One area for drivers to check for is sleep apnea, which can cause frequent interruptions in sleep, resulting in irritability and slower reaction times and decision making. Be sure to consult with a medical professional about sleep apnea and how to manage it.

Ask For Help When You Need It

Drivers, as tough as they are, need to know when to ask for help. Drivers have people that care for them and no delivery is worth a driver’s health. Reach out for help, whether through your team at work, a family member or a mental health professional when the toll becomes too great. Don’t think you have to go through this alone, because you are more valuable than a shipment. Everyone around you believes this, and it’s always okay to ask for help.

Here at Zip Xpress, we care deeply about the health of all truck drivers. We do our best to provide a helping hand to support our team in whatever way we can. They are the face of our business and interact with every member of the supply chain. Their health is of vital importance and we will do anything to ensure the health of our drivers. Such support keeps them happy, healthy and friendly, which is why they remain so dedicated to getting shipments delivered on time and undamaged. To see for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!

Building Resiliency into the West Michigan Supply Chain

There have been a lot of articles written about supply chain resiliency or building resilience into supply chains, but not much explanation into what resiliency means. Resiliency is about making your company less reliant on one supplier for all of your materials and components in a product, essentially diversifying your supplier base. While this is not a new or novel idea, the past two years have forced companies to adapt due to an increase in demand for products, while also creating a lack of supply in material components. Such market forces have called for companies to restructure their manufacturing processes and as a result, their focus is on building resilience.

Resilience however will only be as strong as the companies endeavoring upon it. Without keeping constant communication and collaboration with suppliers, companies may find themselves managing a supply chain that has become too complex. At the same time if we treat resilience as an excuse to treat suppliers poorly, then service from all parties will inevitably decline. However, if we treat this adaptation as a chance to build stronger relationships with all of our supply chain partners utilizing a win-win mentality, stronger businesses will emerge in the process that can adapt their production and logistics in response to just about anything.

Here in West Michigan, many manufacturers are in the process of sourcing new suppliers and finding new lines of production on a daily basis. West Michigan manufacturers have a strong regional advantage since there are so many manufacturers located throughout the midwest. Yet as manufacturers redesign their supply chains, they will inevitably need assistance from a trusted carrier to ensure that the shipments from these suppliers will arrive undamaged and on time. As manufacturers begin to localize their supply chains, seeking out a trusted carrier who specializes in local and regional logistics will be paramount for success for manufacturers within West Michigan.

Here at Zip Xpress, we understand the importance of resiliency within the supply chain. We are always working internally to solve the logistical challenges of getting a shipment to its destination on time and undamaged. We work with both the shipper and the customer, coordinating pickups and deliveries in a way that most carriers simply don’t. We will guarantee satisfaction for every member of your supply chain while also building the resilience that will keep your company strong. No matter what logistical challenges your company is facing, we have a custom carrier solution that can help you overcome it. To see for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!

The State of Manufacturing for 2022

This year promises to be an interesting year for manufacturing as the sector plans to tackle multiple challenges surrounding production and the supply chain. In our State of Manufacturing for 2022, we believe that the biggest areas manufacturing will focus on are: further investment in automation technology, localized sourcing of suppliers and additional focus on getting shipments delivered on time and undamaged.

Continued Investment in Automation

One of the key challenges in manufacturing is the current labor shortage. Many of the sector’s most experienced workers are retiring and there are not enough candidates who will take their place. Manufacturers since have been investing in automation technology to keep up with demand from consumers and that trend is only going to continue since record numbers of orders are being placed. The investment in automation technology has helped create a boon in production, which will likely trigger additional demand for more automation investment.

Localized Sourcing

Another key trend that is likely to continue for manufacturers is the development of localized sourcing of suppliers. Localized supply chains come with a different set of challenges that many manufacturers may not be aware of, such as the types of delays that may occur on the local scene. Manufacturers will also be focused on finding multiple suppliers for critical parts, increasing inventory of these critical products, and sourcing raw materials from multiple suppliers, all in an effort to build resilience into their supply chains. With the redesign of the supply chain containing such a localized focus, manufacturers would best work with a carrier that maintains a localized/regional focus to advise and assist their shipping needs.

Getting Deliveries on Time

The final area manufacturers will be working hard at is getting all of their shipments delivered on time and undamaged. Keeping delivery schedules at a time where setbacks, delays and other changes in schedules is a challenge many manufacturers find themselves facing over and over again. With all of these delays posing risk to a shipment, the worst thing that can happen is when the shipment arrives damaged. Producing and sending out another shipment causes a further increase in risk and causes frustration with customers whose product is now delayed much later than originally expected. Manufacturers will work hard to ensure that their shipments arrive at their destination undamaged and on time.

Here at Zip Xpress, we understand the challenges manufacturers will be facing in 2022 and we’re ready to help the companies we have the privilege of working with face those challenges. With our unique focus on localized supply chains as well as our dedication to service, we can help you build resilience into your supply chain, ensuring that you have the right options when you need them the most. Our dedication to service ensures that every shipment we handle will arrive undamaged and on time, while we coordinate pickup and delivery with you and your customers, saving you time and energy while you focus on running your business. No matter what challenge you’re facing, Zip Xpress is here to help. To see for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!

Women in Transportation

When you hear the profession “Truck Driver” you would most likely think of a man in this role. In fact, as of 2019 women drivers in the transportation industry make up only 10 percent of the over-the-road (OTR) driver workforce. This is the highest number of women in this role and shows that inroads are being made from an industry-wide push to recruit more women into the transportation industry. Recruiting women into the logistics industry will go a long way in helping alleviate the driver shortage as well as providing more economic growth for the sector in the long-term.

The trend of recruiting women into the logistics sector is not contained just to the driver’s seat. Women make up 43.5 percent of the non-executive workforce in trucking companies across the board, which includes positions such as: recruiters, driver managers, dispatchers, salespeople and administrative workers. This trend shows that women can also succeed in the logistics field and it will become a sector that will flourish thanks to its diversity.

While there has been a lot of success recruiting women into the logistics industry, providers have a professional responsibility to ensure that everyone in their organization is as safe as possible. At a recent White House roundtable on the driver shortage, the CEO of Women in Transportation (WIT), Ellen Voie raised awareness for women’s safety in the logistics field and the need to create a safer environment for everyone in the supply chain.

Here at Zip Xpress, we understand the importance of inclusion and seeking out the best people for our organization. We care most about a person’s ability to provide great service for all of our customers as well as their ability to solve problems. We have an incredible team that puts service above all else, even service to each other. Everyone is treated with respect here at Zip Xpress and that is reflected in our ability to provide great service to our customers. To see for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!