Exceptional Service is Key in Today’s Shipper’s Market

As of right now in the logistics industry, it is a shipper’s market. Shippers are in a commanding position where they can make the calls on who they want handling their shipments. Yet in survey after survey whether through a broker or carrier association, shippers continue to look for one thing above all else: exceptional service. They demand more than just the delivery of their goods; they seek a seamless, end-to-end customer experience. It is our responsibility to provide great service to all our customers and ensure that every delivery arrives undamaged and on time because with this type of market, shippers can easily go elsewhere.

With the market we’re in, shippers are looking for a more profound relationship with their supply chain partners. They’re not just interested in one-off transactions but rather wish to establish long-term relationships with these partners. They’re looking to build and expand their supply chains so that they can grow their business. Shippers want to work with human beings, be they brokers or carriers and seek a personal connection with their logistics providers. They want someone to trust and rely upon because every shipper knows what it has felt like to receive lackluster service – whether that be not receiving updates, their shipment arrives late or damaged along the way.

While there is little doubt that there are many freight brokers who provide excellent service for their customers, one of the harsh realities is that exceptional service often comes from one individual handling the shipper’s account. If that person were to leave, the shipper is at risk of dealing with a new account manager who may not have the same dedication as the previous person did. Calls may go unanswered, details may get missed and other errors can cause frustration for the shipper. Furthermore, the turnover rate at freight brokerage firms is high, making it challenging for shippers to establish long-term relationships with their account managers. It is our opinion that the most successful shippers partner with a reliable carrier that is dedicated to their success and provide a consistent, reliable service that is invaluable to growing their business.

Here at Zip Xpress, we understand the importance of providing excellent service, regardless of the type of market we’re in. We’re here to work with our customers and provide them with the custom carrier solutions that will get their shipments to their destination on time and undamaged, no matter what. We will work with you to build your supply chain as you see fit and provide you with the guidance you need to move forward with building your supply chain. With our focus on establishing and deepening our long-term relationships, you’ll see why 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!

Safeguarding Your Office Investment: The Art of Transporting Office Furniture

Transporting office furniture can be a challenging task for any trucking company. The materials that make office furniture, which include leather, synthetic leather, metal, wood and wood composites are not only susceptible to damage, but show all markings. Leathers show scuffs and cuts. Metal can show dents, while wood will show scratches as well as damage from high humidity. It’s not as though high quality office furniture can simply be put inside of a box for shipping – in fact, this is when most damage occurs because warehouse professionals cannot see the product inside and don’t handle it as carefully as it would be best.

Why does damage occur in this way? One area that has been a challenge for carriers is the fact that many warehouses have temporary associates operating their warehouses as opposed to experienced professionals. With temporary warehouse associates, they often don’t make the time to personally inspect shipments before they leave the warehouse to ensure that no damage has occurred. This lack of quality assurance is one of the greatest issues facing office furniture during its time being shipped to the customer and finding a carrier that inspects their shipments on a regular basis is needed now more than ever.

When a shipment arrives damaged, it can be frustrating for both the shipper, the carrier and the customer. There is a significant amount of time spent communicating between the individual parties, as well as either finding alternatives to replace the damaged furniture or the cost of replacement. There’s also the time spent waiting for the replacement(s) to arrive, which adds to the frustration, especially when a company wants to get their office up and running. Getting the shipment to the customer on time and undamaged needs to become top priority, especially in this industry.

Here at Zip Xpress, we understand the importance of getting office furniture to the customer on time and undamaged. Office furniture is one of the products we deal with that needs the most protection, which is why we often use our blanket wrap solution to ensure that no damage occurs during transit. This sustainable packaging can be used over and over again, creating a true green packaging experience. Our experienced freight handlers will treat your furniture with the care it deserves because they see the products they’re handling and have the experience to know how to optimize unique freight. Our processes and solutions have made us the premiere carrier in West Michigan for handling office furniture. To see for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!

Optimizing Shipments for Infrastructure Preservation and Emission Reduction

Go out for a drive on the interstate and it’s clear that roads in the USA are in desperate need of repair. Our national infrastructure continues to deteriorate and while the Infrastructure and Jobs Act has pledged funds to repair our highways, only a fraction of the funds are earmarked specifically for roads. In addition, those funds are to be disbursed over a five year period, which puts the United States behind on the global stage in terms of infrastructure investment. Our infrastructure needs to be updated in order for companies to further their reshoring initiatives and create their regional supply chains. If these initiatives prove successful, trucking will be even more crucial in transporting goods to the customer and our roads will need to sustain this new reality.

Crumbling infrastructure doesn’t just affect urban areas but also rural regions where remote roads are nearly unusable, making it challenging to deliver shipments. Local roads, bridges and tunnels are in dire need of restoration in order to ensure that transportation companies can traverse these roads in order to make deliveries. While investing in infrastructure is a complex issue and beyond the scope of this article, it can be assured that it is a topic with widespread support and will help us become economically stronger in the long run.

There is one area where individual carriers can make a difference in their impact on roads. The solution here lies in the optimization of shipments, which consolidates truckloads in the hopes of reducing the number of trailers filled with air and in turn reducing the number of trucks on the road. Dedicating an entire truckload to a single shipment that doesn’t fill the entire trailer wastes fuel, contributes to increased emissions, and increases the wear and tear on highways. By optimizing every shipment, companies can reduce emissions and ‘recycle air’ which can preserve infrastructure until true reform comes.

At Zip Xpress, we understand the importance of infrastructure preservation and are committed to doing everything we can to optimize shipments. Our headload solution helps shippers by optimizing shipments, while they only pay for the space they use within the trailer. This is just one of the many solutions we use to help companies build more sustainable supply chains, reduce emissions and reduce the wear and tear on our infrastructure. We will also provide you with a monthly carbon emissions report which shows you the impact you’re having by developing a more sustainable supply chain. To see for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!

Mastering the Transportation RFP Process

When it comes to moving freight, you as a shipper need reliable transportation services that will get your shipments to their destination on time and undamaged. You have selected a few carriers that you believe will satisfy your needs, now you need to proceed through the Request for Proposal (RFP) process. You may be wondering what information you need to provide in order to host a successful transportation RFP in order to get the best service from your carrier.

Freight Details You’ll Need

The first step in hosting a transportation RFP is to have all the necessary freight details. This information will help carriers provide the most accurate pricing information and capacity options available for your business. The more you can tell your providers about your freight, the more reliable rates and capacity you will get. At the very least, you will need the following information:

Commodity Type(s): The type of commodity you are shipping is a crucial factor in determining the mode of transportation and the equipment required.

Weight per Load: The weight of each shipment determines the transportation mode, equipment, and cost associated with transport.

Cargo Value: The value of the cargo is important for insurance purposes and can also impact the type of transportation and security measures required by the carrier.

Estimated Shipping Volume for Each Lane: Knowing the estimated shipping volume will help transportation providers to plan their capacity and provide more accurate pricing.

Origin and Destination Zip Codes for Each Lane: Zip codes are critical in determining the distance between origin and destination, which helps to calculate the cost and time required for transportation.

Shipment Frequency for Each Lane: Knowing the frequency of shipments helps transportation providers to allocate their resources efficiently for pricing purposes.

Performance Requirements/Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): KPIs help to ensure that transportation providers meet the required performance standards. This could include on-time delivery, damage-free delivery, and other metrics that your business values.

Special Load Requirements (Accessorials): Accessorials are additional services required to move the freight, such as lift-gate service, inside delivery, and others.

Fuel Surcharge: Fuel surcharges are additional fees that cover the cost of fuel which will vary, being dependent on current fuel prices.

The more freight details you can provide to a carrier will result in a successful transportation RFP, providing you with a glimpse of the working relationship between your company and your carrier. You’ll learn more about what the carrier can do for you, how they can help you and the level of service you can expect from the carrier going forward. Remember that this process is designed to help you find win-win solutions with your carrier, with a focus on finding the best results for both companies.

Here at Zip Xpress, we understand the importance of the RFP process. We get this process started with all potential customers by providing a quick turnaround on any request for quotes. We’ll be able to provide you with an accurate quote quickly that you can use to determine the best course for your shipments. We’ll work with you to find the custom carrier solutions that work best for your business with the focus being on getting your shipments to their destination on time and undamaged. It’s because of our dedication to win-win solutions that we’ve been able to maintain a 99% satisfaction rating for over 20 years. To see for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!