The State of Automation for 2023

The State of Automation for 2023 continues to be a promising area in the coming future for manufacturers. The promise of increasing productivity while assisting manufacturers in overcoming their greatest challenges still holds true and many organizations are looking to expand the implementation of these machines onto the shop floor. While automation did experience a (slight) setback for 2022, we’ll see that this was an anomaly, not a reversal. 2023 holds tremendous potential for the implementation of automation technologies.

Automation Installations are Still on the Rise

An IFR World Robotics Report stated that industrial robot installations reached an all time high in 2021. Installations from 2015 through 2021 have more than doubled. While there was a slowdown that occurred throughout 2022, the reason for this was due to global uncertainties and part shortages, not a lack of demand. With supply chains becoming more consistent, 2023 looks to be a promising year for automation installations due to the challenges many manufacturers face when it comes to production. Organizations are making investments into automation their top priority in an effort to fulfill demand as well as increase productivity while also controlling costs. Automation is becoming a need more than a want, and the only thing holding manufacturers back are budgets.

Robotics as a Service

While automation technology holds incredible potential to help manufacturers in addressing their production challenges, one of the biggest hurdles for implementation is the cost of these machines. Purchasing an entire production line of robots requires a substantial financial investment, one that many companies may not be able to afford at the moment. This has given rise to Robots as a Service where manufacturers can ‘lease’ these robots for production and use them for smaller production runs. This presents a more affordable solution to a wider range of companies, but this also presents additional shipping challenges in getting these robots from their manufacturing base to the customers. This will truly highlight the importance of partnering with a reliable carrier that is experienced in transporting these valuable machines with care.

Preservation of Units

Speaking of transporting robotic units with care, while there is ‘less’ of a shortage of the individual parts that construct these automation machines, this means that many manufacturers are looking to reduce the risk of damage occurring while transporting these machines. With the challenges of securing parts fresh in their memory, many of these companies don’t want to spend any additional time on repairs than is absolutely necessary. This is why many automation companies are looking to carriers who can provide them with the exceptional service necessary to ensure that these valuable machines arrive on the production floor on time and undamaged. Many automation companies are looking to protect their products from damage, especially when the needs of their customers are at stake.

Here at Zip Xpress, we understand the importance of protecting these valuable automation machines from the hazards of transport. We work diligently with you and your customers to find the right solutions necessary when it comes to getting these machines to the customer’s dock on time and undamaged. We have devised a number of custom carrier solutions that will protect your products at all times while they’re in our care. While you build the factory of the future, we’ll be there to help you protect it. To see for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!

The State of Plant Nurseries for 2023

One of the industries that we have had the privilege of expanding into providing solutions for would be the Garden & Plant Nursery Industry. Plant nurseries have a real need for additional care in getting their shipments to their destination undamaged since these plants are alive and are sensitive to temperature. This week, we’re highlighting some of the trends of plant nurseries for 2023 and how these trends will affect your business.

Gardening is Good for the Mind

There is no shortage of studies which state that gardening is good for mental health. Other studies have shown that being around and caring for plants helps reduce stress, which has been vital for many people over the past few years. This trend has shown no signs of slowing down, as people and offices want more plants in these spaces. The demand is so great that many plants which aren’t even traditional houseplants are being brought inside. Expect a diverse range of orders this year and develop a transport plan that will protect these plants until they get to their destination.

New Victorian Style

While the result is likely from popular television series set in Victorian Britain, there has been a remarkable resurgence in demand for roses, hydrangeas and lilacs. Many gardeners are in search of the ‘cottage look’ for their gardens and they’re returning to plants they likely saw in their mothers or grandmothers gardens. Expect an increase in demand for all of these inherently delicate flowers, with a plan to ensure their safe transport so that they’re ready for planting this spring.

Temperature Controlled Transport

The latest trend for plant nurseries from our perspective is that many nurseries are looking to reduce the loss they experience from shipping their plants ‘dry,’ that is on a truck without any form of protection. Nurseries aren’t just looking to minimize their losses, many are looking to eliminate them altogether. Nurseries have been turning to temperature controlled trailers which provide the optimal temperature for all of the plants inside the trailer, rather than gambling against the elements or hoping for protection within a masterbox. A temperature controlled trailer helps eliminate unnecessary damage to the plants and is a far more sustainable solution in the long run for nurseries.

Here at Zip Xpress, we understand the importance of helping your customers develop a beautiful garden. That’s why we provide nurseries with a variety of solutions that will help their plants get to their destination on time and undamaged. We can provide a temperature controlled service from the time of pickup until the plant’s arrival at its destination or we can even provide temperature control for the entire duration your plants are within our care. These solutions will help ensure your plants will arrive hydrated and healthy, right on time for spring planting. To see all of the custom carrier solutions that we can provide your nursery, start today with Zip Xpress!

Office Furniture & Working From Home

Last week, we created our state of the industry to provide our partners in the office furniture sector a glimpse into the trends that we believe will be affecting their business in 2023. There was one area that while we knew it was part of a larger trend, it was an area that we wanted to address as its own article due to the unique nature of shipping.

The trend is: working from home and its impact on office furniture shipments

As many associates and organizations develop work from home policies that work for their businesses, a trend we’ve noticed is there has been a rise in smaller furniture orders requiring shipment to residential addresses. This is no doubt due to a desire to provide a better work from home experience by having office furniture shipped directly to a valued associate’s home office. While this trend has admirable intentions, it has proven to be a tricky challenge to navigate for many carriers. The reason why it’s so tricky? Many may not realize that we as carriers can only deliver using semi trucks, and it can be quite a surprise for everyone when one of our semi trucks arrives at a residential address for a delivery.

These shipments to residential addresses put a lot of strain on carriers compared to deliveries to a commercial building with a dock. Shipments to residential addresses will likely incur additional fees based on the carrier, and oftentimes carriers can’t get to a residential address due to local laws inhibiting a semi truck ability to deliver the shipment. Yet as the situation continues to evolve, there is little doubt that solutions will present themselves, whether that be coordinating a pickup location at a terminal for the customer or some other means. It is important to remember the value of coordinating and communicating with your carrier when it comes to work from home office furniture shipments.

Here at Zip Xpress, we understand the importance of protecting office furniture. We will work with your organization to provide the guidance you need in order to navigate this trend and provide you with the custom carrier solutions that will get your shipments to their destination on time and undamaged. We are one of the best carriers in West Michigan when it comes to shipping office furniture and have maintained a 99% satisfaction rating with all of our customers. To see for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!

The State of Office Furniture for 2023

One of the industries that has overcome many challenges over the last few years has no doubt been the office furniture industry. While many organizations are seeking the right fit for how they work, office furniture manufacturers are working hard to accommodate every office environment. The goal of every office furniture manufacturer is to provide the products that companies need to help associates do their best while they’re in the office. In turn, our goal is to provide the solutions these office furniture manufacturers need to get their shipments to their destinations on time and undamaged. This week we outline the trending products that will make a big impact in 2023 as well as the strategies we use to protect these shipments while they’re in our care.

Standing Desks

With associates focusing more on movement and being conscious about the amount of time sitting at a desk, standing desks have seen an increase in popularity due to providing associates with the option for different positions throughout the course of their day. Many associates want to be able to shift how they work throughout the day and standing desks help provide flexible options in the workplace environment. Since standing desks are made from a variety of materials, including wood, steel and or laminate, they are all in need of extra care during shipping. Some of the solutions we utilize is our blanket wrap solution as well as additional straps to help prevent movement during transport. However, standing desks are not the only office feature seeing an increase in orders, since companies are placing a higher emphasis on collaboration.

Collaboration Tools

Many offices are seeking to increase collaboration between associates, which means there will be a likely increase in tables, whether they be for the conference room or the break room. Since many associates come to the office for collaborative work, the need for tables, chairs, whiteboard and other collaborative tools will see an increase in demand. Due to these tables being constructed from a wide variety of materials as well as their irregular shape, they would also benefit from our blanket wrap solution as well as a few other methods used by our freight handlers to secure them during transport. While collaboration is vital for success, there is still the question about what these new offices will look like. To design these new office layouts, companies will need partitions.


It can be argued that partitions are more important than ever when it comes to office development, especially since associates intend on using the office space for different purposes. Some wish to collaborate, some want a focused cubicle to work in. Others prefer a one on one meeting space. Whatever the reasons may be, partitions will be in high demand to design the best office layout for your customers. To protect these we can also provide our blanket wrap solution as well as additional layouts inside the trailer that will ensure your shipment will get to its destination on time and undamaged.

Here at Zip Xpress, we understand the importance of helping you develop the most effective office space for your customers. Whichever part of the office environment you create, we’re here to help you get it to your customer on time and undamaged, period. We know what it means to provide associates with a productive and professional work environment where they can accomplish all of their goals while in the office. Whatever the challenge you face in getting your office furniture to your customer’s doors, we have a custom carrier solution that will help you get it to them on time and undamaged no matter what. To see for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!