Investing and Protecting in Your Industrial Robots

A recent report from the Association for Advancing Automation (A3), North American companies ordered 44,196 robots in 2022 which represented an increase of 11% over 2021 which set a new record in order volume. While orders in many industries slowed over the course of the past three years, more than 50% of these sales from 2021 came from the automotive industry. The investment in these automation machines comes at a time when many OEMs are pledging an increase in production of electric vehicles.

Yet while a majority of sales are being made to automotive manufacturers, there were still steady increases in sales from a number of industries, including: electronics & semiconductors, agriculture, construction and even retail. Multiple issues exist for manufacturers in regards to production, which include the procurement of materials as well as labor challenges. Automation technologies hold the promise to help alleviate these issues, keeping plants efficient by maintaining a standard level of production. However, there is still one challenge faced by all companies looking to add industrial robotics to their factory floor that is rarely addressed.

The key challenge that is rarely addressed when companies are making their decision on whether or not to purchase an industrial robot is: how will they get delivered? Getting industrial robots to your dock requires the expertise of a specialized carrier who has the capabilities of shipping such fragile freight. There is nothing worse to the manufacturer of one of these machines being shipped to the customer, only to find it arrived damaged due to the negligence of the carrier. This in turn causes a domino effect.

For starters, there is returning the machine and submitting a claim to the carrier for damages. Then the manufacturer has to take the machine back and make repairs or produce a new unit before it can be sold. This will prove challenging in the best of times, however electronics are suffering from high demand and low supply, which magnifies these challenges. Finally, the result of this process (which could easily take weeks, if not months) will result in the greatest damage of all: loss of trust between industrial robot manufacturers and their customers. Don’t allow your business to fall victim to a neglectful carrier, work with an experienced carrier that is capable of handling your unique freight and will get it to its destination on time and undamaged.

Here at Zip Xpress, we understand the importance of getting your industrial robots to their destination on time and undamaged. We’re here to help you in coordinating your delivery, whether that be for pickup or dropoff and we’ll work with you and your customers on a schedule that works best for your businesses. Our experienced freight handlers will handle your shipments with care and experience, ensuring that every shipment will arrive undamaged while our friendly drivers will get it there on time with a smile on their face. To see for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!

Shipping is About People

It’s easy to get lost in the sea of data when it comes to shipping. Between spot rates, contract rates, percentages, fees and a variety of other numbers, it’s easy for manufacturers to believe they’re just a number to a carrier. The flip side is also true, it can be difficult for manufacturers to see their carriers as being little more than a line on their financial statements called “transportation expenses.”

Yet in order for all of us to create a dynamic supply chain, one that can grow all of the businesses involved, we would do well to remember that shipping is all about people. There are people who build/grow the physical products. There are people who package and prepare these products for distribution. There are people who handle these shipments and move them aboard for transit. There are people who drive these shipments, overcoming long distances and numerous hurdles to get them to their destination. Then there are people who unload these shipments from the dock, unbox/unpack them and ready them for the final person: the end customer who will use these products for their intended purpose.

In every step of the way, there are people working on, with or handling every shipment as it makes its way through the supply chain. The supply chain creates jobs, feeds families and gets goods into the hands of the people that need them. While it is vital to remember that shipping is made of people, we’d also do well to remember the businesses that provide exceptional service. The individuals who show care and concern for your shipments are the people who want to help your business succeed. Exceptional service means fewer damaged products and fewer dissatisfied customers which means a more reliable supply chain they can order from in the future. The end result of this? A business that grows thanks to the power of their supply chain. But not only does your company grow, all of your stakeholders will grow as well, creating a cycle of success and a legacy that will endure.

Here at Zip Xpress, we understand that shipping is all about people. We work hard to provide exceptional customer service to all of the organizations we have the privilege of working with. Our experienced freight handlers will treat your shipments with care, providing precision as we optimize every shipment that is in our care. Our staff is also willing to help you with any shipping needs you may have and we guarantee that we have a custom carrier solution that is right for your business. It’s because of this willingness to serve that we’ve been able to maintain a 99% satisfaction rating with all of our customers for more than 20 years. To see for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!

A Strong Supply Chain Will Make Your Plant Nursery Bloom

Michigan’s plant nursery industry is one of the largest in the nation, with a bright future ahead of it. Our favorable climate, ample rainfall and fertile soil make Michigan an ideal location  for growing a variety of plants, trees, and shrubs. The industry has also been boosted by the increasing popularity of gardening and landscaping, which provides a fresh look to the outdoors, relieves stress and increases happiness by helping to improve air quality.

Yet one of the greatest challenges for plant nurseries is getting their plants to their customers without harming the plant itself. Plants require a certain temperature in order to thrive and nurseries even have a percentage of plants they expect to not arrive at the destination. There’s also ‘timing’ the shipment, which means that nurseries have to know the weather conditions and determine the ‘right’ time to send out their product. All of these factors make shipping more a game of chance, especially when shipping dry. There are solutions that help such as masterboxes, which provide insulation, but they’re still a far from ideal solution when it comes to plant care.

One of the ideal solutions for plant nurseries is to ship in a temperature controlled trailer which ranges from 35 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit, creating an optimal temperature for most plant species. This will also eliminate the need for masterboxes as well as the games of chance with your shipment. Your plants will arrive healthy and hydrated, helping you profit more from your plants and reduce or even eliminate the number of those that don’t make it. Don’t leave your plant shipments up to chance, especially this time of year when the temperatures can swing on a dime. Utilize a temperature controlled trailer to protect your plants and watch your business bloom like the flowers in your customer’s gardens.

Here at Zip Xpress, we understand the importance of keeping your plants safe. Plant nurseries should not have to play games of chance when it comes to getting their plants to their customers. They should be able to ship with confidence that their plants will arrive healthy and hydrated at the customer’s dock. We have provided our temperature controlled trailer solution to a number of reputable plant nurseries for several years and this has helped all of them grow their business and provide them with the peace of mind that their plant shipments will arrive on time and undamaged. To see how we can help your plant nursery bloom, start today with Zip Xpress!

Recalibrating Our Fee Structure

Every year we here at Zip Xpress have to perform an adjustment to our fee structure. While this is common practice across the industry, many manufacturers are likely to experience an increase in their transportation fees, primarily due to the increase in costs associated with shipping products. While our hope is to increase these fees as little as possible, we cannot deny that we have experienced an increase in our cost structures just like every other business as well as the average consumer.

The cost of the materials we use to provide you with great service have gone up dramatically over the past two years. Just one of our load bars would cost $29 at the end of 2021. Now we’re fortunate if we can find them for $45 a bar which is a drastic 55% increase. Diesel prices have risen at a much faster rate than gasoline and while they have remained stable for this winter, there are no signs that they’re likely to decrease in the near future. Other costs have risen as well across the industry – tractors & trailer leases (27.8%), as well as insurance. Maintenance supplies, forklift leases, and labor costs are all 53.5% higher too. This doesn’t even mention the occasional shortage experienced when it comes to these vital supplies.

Yet while we need to adjust our fee structure, we do this to continue providing our customers with the best service possible. Our focus is on investing in the essential equipment as well as people that we need in order to ensure that every shipment we tender will arrive on time and undamaged. Our commitment to providing you with the best service possible still stands, and we share these adjustments in the hope of keeping your trust by providing you with the transparency you deserve. At a time when there is so much uncertainty, you can be assured that Zip Xpress will continue to provide you with the best service a carrier can provide.

Here at Zip Xpress, we understand the importance of transparency and great customer service. All of our efforts go into providing great service for our customers, ensuring that their shipments will arrive undamaged and on time every time. We’re here to help you with all of your transportation needs, creating the custom carrier solutions that will help your supply chain grow, as well as a safe delivery of your products. This dedication to our customers shows in our results – where we’ve been able to maintain a 99% customer satisfaction rating for more than 20 years. To see for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!