Deterring Detention

Detention is a policy that causes a lot of tension between shippers, carriers and drivers. For a definition, detention is the costs incurred by a customer for using the equipment beyond the given free time, typically outside of the terminal. This causes a lot of ire from shippers because they’re facing a shortage of employees in their warehouse, while it causes ire with drivers and carriers because they want the driver on the road tending to other shipments. The question then becomes: how can we navigate this situation and create a bridge between shipper and carrier that reduces or even eliminates detention?

For companies on the shipper side, many are facing labor shortages in their warehouses. As they try to find more staff, some companies are even willing to simply pay the detention fees as a ‘cost of doing business’ since their reduced staff can only work so fast in loading/unloading shipments. This is an unfortunate reality we face, however revising pickup and delivery times to accommodate the warehouse is a critical first step.

Another issue in this environment is when a broker tells a driver that a shipment is ready for pickup/delivery when it’s simply not. When a driver arrives and the warehouse hasn’t been notified, this causes tension because the driver is forced to wait and the warehouse staff simply isn’t ready because they weren’t properly notified. The fault here is on the broker for giving faulty information to the driver when they weren’t doing their due diligence on proper pickup/delivery times with the shipper.

On the other hand, there are instances where a driver arrives too early and the shipment isn’t ready. This is generally the case for smaller operations who are seeing their dock open/close times or “package ready at” times ignored. While everyone wants to keep shipments moving, it is vital that carriers respect the shipper’s availability as a sign of respect for their operations. These times are provided for a reason and many shippers know exactly when a package is ready to ship out.

As one suspects, all of these problems can be solved with proper communication for the shipment. Communicating and scheduling proper pickup/delivery times with both sides is the bridge to deterring detention. Providing updates in real time – whether a driver is arriving early or a warehouse worker called in sick will help smooth the dynamic between shippers and carriers. Why? Because both sides are working together to get shipments to the customer on time and undamaged. Keeping communication lines open will help both parties keep their operations running smoothly and will hopefully eliminate unnecessary detention delays.

Here at Zip Xpress, we understand the importance of communication between us and our customers. We’re constantly working to improve our communication with our customers, providing updates and adjustments in real time as events happen. We respect the availability of our customers and work in a timeframe that works for them. We’ve found that many shippers are more than willing to work with a carrier that is also willing to work with them. All of this goes to prove that communication is key to a dynamic supply chain. To see for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!

The Importance of Maintenance Schedules

One of the worst things that can happen to a carrier is a breakdown with their trailer or chassis. The cost and hours of repair as well as the time lost for being unable to deliver shipments can really add up. In the current economy, these costs are magnified for both carriers and shippers. 

There is a dire shortage of chassis and trailers both new and used. Manufacturers are trying to secure materials and parts, but many companies are forced to use what they have. This in turn has stretched mechanics thin as well, which means repairs are taking longer to get completed.

To exacerbate the situation, many carriers are running their trucks ragged due to tightened capacity. There’s always the next shipment which needs to go out and get delivered and it’s unknown how many carriers are performing routine maintenance checks to ensure their vehicles are running properly. In combination with the difficulties inherent in expanding a fleet, any truck that is taken out of commission will be felt by both the carrier and the shipper. As a result of this, both sides are learning the importance of proper maintenance schedules and routines in caring for their vehicles and how much of a competitive advantage it is for the carrier.

Shippers would do well to inquire about a carrier’s maintenance procedures and what their contingency plans are in the event of a breakdown. While accidents can and do happen, most issues with equipment are preventable with proper routine maintenance. Developing maintenance procedures will go a long way in helping carriers get through this hectic time, without putting their equipment at unnecessary risk. We’re unfortunately in a situation where we’re tempted to push our vehicles harder than ever, while at the same time stranded when something goes wrong. Take care of your equipment and it will take care of those shipments you’ve been entrusted with.

Here at Zip Xpress, we understand the importance of proper routine maintenance. Whenever one of our drivers notices something off about their vehicle, we take note for our mechanic to inspect. We maintain a strict routine maintenance schedule for our fleet, which helps reduce the amount of downtime each of our vehicles face. It is this routine maintenance schedule that helps ensure that all of our vehicles are in tip-top shape and we’re able to keep them on the road performing pick-up and deliveries for all of our dedicated customers. It is simply another way that details matter here, which help us get your shipment to its destination on time and undamaged. To see for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!

Automation Sector: Is Your Supply Chain Ready?

Many challenges have been prevalent across the American economy, and one of the most pressing has been labor shortages, primarily in manufacturing. As a means of combating these challenges, many manufacturers have turned to automation machinery, generally as a means of bolstering their workforce. The Association for Advanced Automation recently announced that member providers sold an astounding nearly 12,000 units in Q1 of this year alone, with the total valuation of the machines at $646 million. In short, it is a great opportunity for many of these automation manufacturers, but there is a question that remains for the automation sector: is your supply chain ready to handle the increase in orders?

Your technology has become a boon to many companies, and transporting these valuable machines is more important than ever before. Getting your products to your customers is vital because they likely need these machines online in order to keep production going and it is unwise to leave a shipment such as this to chance. Too many carriers are in a position where if your shipment is lost or damaged they will simply ‘move on’ to the next customer, while you and your customer will be left with the task of repairing and/or replacing your machine, causing more delays, more headaches and loss of trust with the carrier.

It would be far better to work with a carrier that is experienced in unique and valuable freight, one that is able to help you build your supply chain as you experience this remarkable growth. Here at Zip Xpress, we maintain a higher standard when it comes to shipping, providing over 20 years of experience in handling unique freight. One of the primary industries we serve is automation and robotics technologies and you can be assured that all of your vital equipment will reach your customer on time and undamaged.

Here at Zip Xpress, we understand the importance of automation in today’s world. The value this sector brings to our economy is only going to grow and those machines need to be delivered to their customers safely. As the sector continues to grow these companies will inevitably need to grow their supply chains and will need a partner that will help them through all of their shipping challenges. No matter what happens, we will be able to meet those challenges with our custom carrier solutions and help our customers reach their full potential. To see for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!

Headload Optimization: Lifting the Supply Chain

As we navigate the changing landscape that is the logistics world, the only certainty we can count on is a changing environment. Fuel prices and other costs keep rising in addition to a great labor shortage in nearly every industry. Logistics is not immune from these factors, but providers are adapting and working together to get shipments to customers. There are still issues to be addressed with the quality of service customers receive, but in the meantime carriers are working closer than ever together which is a good sign.

Due to rising costs, carriers are going to need to make every dollar count when it comes to getting a shipment to the customer. While many shipments are still coming in, there are too many trailers on the road that aren’t full, even though these shipments are marked as ‘full trailer.’ Shippers are paying a higher price to get their shipments moving but aren’t seeing the benefit due to lackluster service and long delays. At a time when fuel is reaching record high prices, we need to do more than simply pass the costs onto the customer. There is an ideal solution that works for the shipper as well as the carrier, one that optimizes trailer space, reduces delays and puts less strain on carriers.

Headload Optimization is a proven strategy when it comes to providing a sustainable solution for carriers and shippers alike. This one solution is key to helping avoid the disruption that has run rampant across the supply chain. By optimizing and consolidating shipments into one trailer, we are reducing the amount of ‘wasted space’ on each and every trailer. Carriers like this solution because they don’t want empty trailers or unnecessary trips and shippers need to know about this solution because it reduces congestion. The final benefit is that shippers only pay for the space they’re using, which means they won’t be forced into paying for air.

Here at Zip Xpress, we understand the need to utilize the headload optimization solution. We have optimized shipments for more than 20 years, providing customers with an ideal shipping solution that works for their needs, getting their shipments to the customer on time and undamaged, no matter what. While the headload optimization solution is ideal for companies looking to become more sustainable, it is not the only custom carrier solution we offer that will get your shipment to its destination on time and undamaged. We’re here to help shippers and carriers alike and we have a solution that can help everyone at any time. To see for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!

Busy Is No Excuse For Poor Service

The logistics world has been a hectic place for the past few years. Businesses are all searching for a carrier that will get their shipments to their customers, which has placed a lot of pressure on carriers. This pressure can cause carriers to cut corners and provide lackluster service all in the name of being ‘too busy’ to worry about the consequences. This is a short-sighted approach, one that will inevitably come back to haunt them. While it’s true that many carriers are overworked and understaffed, it’s important to remember that these businesses are your lifeblood, and they deserve a higher standard of service.

There are two main reasons so many businesses are shipping right now: one is because they’re recalibrating their supply chains, the other is they’re trying to keep up with demand for their products. Yet there are tales of carriers not even being concerned about damaging freight or even trying to find freight that’s been lost all because there’s another customer right around the corner, waiting to ship their products. Once again, this is a short-sighted approach and these customers don’t deserve to be taken advantage of. Businesses always remember how carriers treat them when something goes wrong and they also communicate with each other. Times may be hectic now, but this is not a situation to take for granted.

We as carriers need to set a higher standard for how we treat the shipments that are in our care. Our customers are counting on us to get their shipments to their customers on time and undamaged. While we’re all facing different challenges, it’s important to remember there will always be challenges in the logistics sector. Such challenges make businesses even more grateful to the carriers who provide them with the best service. At the end of the day, we must always remember that we’re working with people and there is someone out there waiting for that shipment we’re handling. We must get shipments to customers on time and undamaged, because our customers will always remember how they were treated.

Here at Zip Xpress, we understand the importance of great service for our customers. We aspire to set a higher standard when it comes to getting your freight to the customer on time and undamaged. We do this through constant communication with our customers throughout the process, keeping their needs at the forefront of everything we do. We also communicate over the phone, ensuring that you will hear updates from a person, never a machine. We also go above and beyond in solving your shipping problems through our custom carrier solutions, giving you options when you need them most. To see for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!