Contract Shipping: A More Stable Supply Chain

When most companies consider their shipping needs, their first thought is likely to contact a freight broker who will in turn search for a carrier on a freight board that is capable of handling their shipment. A price will be reached by all parties and the shipment will be coordinated most likely by the carrier. Yet while this arrangement has its place, there are times when shippers begin to realize the pitfalls of this arrangement.

For one, there is little oversight when a shipper utilizes the spot market for their transportation needs. The broker is bonded, which does add a layer of protection, however there is no accountability in the event the customer receives poor service in the form of a late delivery or worse, broken freight. Spot market rates are also highly variable, which can wreak havoc on company budgets, along with uncertainty surrounding capacity, which is what many companies faced a few years ago. Most importantly, the spot market arrangement doesn’t provide a high level of service. It is a transaction and offers little chance of building a relationship with your carrier and developing a more strategic supply chain.

A useful alternative is contract shipping. A contract with a carrier states the terms such as pricing and capacity for a set duration, most often a year. This helps the shipper determine a stable transportation budget that can be accounted for. A contract also requires that both companies work together in order to find a win-win solution while also making the carrier accountable to the shipper directly, rather than an intermediary. This allows you to create measurable KPIs for the sake of building a stronger supply chain.

The final benefit of contract shipping is the dedication to service you’ll receive. A carrier has a stronger incentive to work with you and provide you with better service that you can count on. The carrier will also learn your shipment patterns and can develop new methods of creating a better shipping experience for you in the long run. Contract shipping is about taking the long-term view of supply chain strategy instead of settling for cut-rate service on an individual shipment.

Here at Zip Xpress, we understand the importance of creating a stable supply chain. That’s why when you work with us, we’ll provide you with the best service in the industry and do whatever it takes to get your shipment to its destination on time and undamaged. There are no surprises when it comes to working with us, just custom carrier solutions that will help you grow your business and a company that cares about your success. It’s why we’ve been able to maintain a 99% satisfaction rating with our customers for more than 20 years. To see for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!

Focusing on What We Can Control to Deliver Exceptional Service

With so many concerns over the economy, it’s essential for companies to focus on what they can control in order to stay ahead. This is particularly true for carriers such as Zip Xpress, which are at the mercy of fuel prices, weather conditions, labor and other external factors that can affect their bottom line. While we understand that we cannot control some of these factors, we are committed to continuous improvement in every area of our business. Whether that’s in investing in our fleet, finding great people and maintaining a great culture, or providing better service to our loyal customers.

Investing in our fleet and maintenance is one way that we’ve focused on what we can control. We maintain strict maintenance schedules which allows us to keep our trucks in top condition, which helps reduce fuel emissions and minimizes downtime for repairs. We’ll also continue developing our fleet maintenance solution which allows us to utilize a network of repair trucks and facilities located across the country in the event we experience a breakdown. If one of our tractors cannot be repaired right away, we will request an immediate sub-truck to be put on the road, which ensures that delays will be minimal and that your shipment will get to its destination on time.

Another area we’re focusing on is both finding and developing the great people that work for Zip Xpress. Everyone here is focused on your success and we’re all ready to lend a helping hand with your shipment. We also deeply believe in problem solving, because we know that anyone here could provide the ideal solution in getting a shipment to its destination on time and undamaged. We’re always on the lookout for the best and brightest and logistics is always a great field to be a part of.

The last area we can control are the solutions that we offer in caring for our customer’s shipments. Our blanket wrap solution will help prevent scuffs, scratches, and dents during transit. We plan on investing in load bars for our headload optimization solution which will allow shippers to only pay for the space they need inside the trailer. No matter what shipping challenge you find yourself up against, we’re here to provide you with a custom carrier solution that will benefit your business and grow your supply chain.

Here at Zip Xpress, we understand the importance of focusing on what you can control. That’s why we’ll continue to invest in the machinery and the people within this great organization that help keep it great. We’ll also work hard to continue providing you with great service, getting your shipments to their destination on time and undamaged every time. We’ll handle your shipments with the care and dedication that few other carriers can match because we know that these shipments are essential to your business. It’s this dedication that has allowed us to maintain a 99% satisfaction rating with our customers for more than 20 years. To see for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!

Storm Proof Shipping Solutions

Weather can have a significant impact on the logistics industry. Storms can cause considerable delays and even possible damage to cargo due to closed roads or slippery conditions. When shipping your products, it is vital to choose a carrier that has a plan in place to minimize the impact that weather can have on your delivery schedule. Unfortunately, many carriers do not have a program in place that diverts their trucks in transit in order to avoid weather delays. This is where choosing the right carrier can make all the difference in getting your shipment to its destination on time and undamaged, especially when the weather looks hazardous.

Here at Zip Xpress, we’re constantly monitoring traffic and weather conditions nationwide and coordinating with our drivers to adjust routes when absolutely necessary. If we see a closed road or hazardous weather conditions on the horizon, we will divert our trucks on a different route to avoid these conditions. Our ability to adjust routes provides your business with additional flexibility and better quality of service while also protecting our drivers from unnecessary risk. Even if it means going a 1000 miles out of route to avoid severe weather, we will do so to ensure all shipments in our care will arrive on time and undamaged.

Another reason why we’re able to adapt to adverse weather conditions better than most carriers is because we’re able to utilize a network of repair trucks and facilities located across the country. This way if one of our trucks experiences a mechanical breakdown we’re able to get it repaired right away. Expanding on this, if our tractor cannot be fixed in a timely manner, we will request an immediate sub-truck to be put on the road, ensuring that any delays are minimal and that your freight will arrive at its destination on time, period.

Here at Zip Xpress, we understand the importance of keeping your freight moving, even in hazardous weather conditions. That’s why we developed our storm diversion program as well as our fleet maintenance program. These two methods were developed to provide exceptional and reliable transportation service to our customers, because we know that they deserve only the best. These two programs are an example of the custom carrier solutions that we can provide to all of our shippers. To see for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!

Revolutionizing Supply Chain Design: An Article for Forward-Thinking Executives

While it depends on the company, supply chains can often be seen as an area that may not be worthy of an executive’s attention. Or worse the executives are only to be called when something has gone terribly wrong with the supply chain. Yet such ignorance doesn’t allow companies to build a dynamic supply chain. In order to create a dynamic supply chain, a deep-rooted relationship must be fostered by the executives within each organization, creating a mutually beneficial partnership that is focused on win-win solutions.

The first area in building this dynamic supply chain is understanding how much impact the supply chain has on the operations and the profitability for your company. While the goal is not to simply find faults or areas to improve, a concentrated effort needs to be made at finding real solutions when it comes to designing your supply chain. This is why working with an experienced carrier can help you optimize your supply chain, finding areas in both organizations and creating efficiencies that will help bring more satisfied customers to your doorstep.

The second area is to not be afraid to challenge assumptions and current methods involved in running the supply chain. While managing the supply chain is a highly technical process, there are often areas that can be improved. Asking questions and suggesting creative solutions will help foster real innovation that can be used going forward. Oftentimes many companies assume they can do it all without outside assistance when in reality they may truly benefit from the experience and expertise of a dedicated carrier. Test whether your supply chain is being run on facts or assumptions and then question any assumptions to find better solutions.

The final area is for executives to ask where they can deploy resources to ensure their supply chain is an asset rather than a ‘sinking cost.’ While many businesses will hesitate to take risks in developing their supply chain, those ‘risks’ will inevitably provide an immediate return on investment due to your ability to deliver goods faster and bring more satisfaction to your customers. A smoother supply chain experience will allow your business to grow due to customer satisfaction. When customers are delighted by how your supply chain fulfills their needs, they’ll inevitably tell others, which will help your business grow.

Here at Zip Xpress, we understand the need for executives to design their supply chain. While this may be a daunting task, we work very closely with our customers to build a supply chain that will help them grow their business, rather than just provide transportation services. We also work with our customers to devise custom carrier solutions for all of their shipping challenges, ensuring that all of their goods will be delivered on time and undamaged. Our dedication to service will leave you and your customers delighted, because we work with your customers to deliver all of their shipments in a timeframe that works for them. To see this 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!

Ongoing Supply Chain Resilience Strategy

As businesses assess their goals for the new year, many of them can begin to rest easy as supply chains are starting to loosen. Companies are able to secure parts in a much more reasonable timespan and manufacturers are able to maintain steady levels in production. Yet while many of the supply chain knots are starting to loosen, there is little doubt that there will be additional challenges up ahead.

To prepare for this, many businesses are addressing their supply chain resilience and are understanding that it’s more than focusing just on suppliers, it’s about developing resilience across the entire supply chain. How is this accomplished? By focusing on partnering with the suppliers and carriers that make sense for your business, providing you with the value that your business needs to not just thrive, but grow. Once you have the right partnerships in place, communication strategies are necessary to keep the flow of information available, allowing you to respond quickly when needed.

When it comes to selecting the right relationships for your supply chain it is important to work with companies that understand your industry and are able to provide you with the solutions you need to keep your business running. Working with companies that are reputable for great service will give you peace of mind knowing that your product(s) will be taken care of. Building and maintaining these relationships will allow you to learn about every part of your supply chain. This knowledge will help you know where (and when) things go wrong, but also allows you to determine the best solutions for your customer.

Another important relationship to develop is with a reliable carrier as your transportation partner. This relationship will provide you with the best solutions when it comes to getting your shipments to their destination on time and undamaged. Your carrier will also have other networks that you can tap into, along with helping you gain insights into your supply chain, and providing you with additional transparency when you need it most. Now, even with these relationships built, you need to develop a communication plan with your supply chain partners to ensure everything is moving smoothly.

Developing a communication plan and keeping lines open between suppliers, vendors and transportation partners allows you to assess any situation quickly and make the right decision for your customers. When these communication plans are in place, you’re able to move forward with confidence and to know that there is little you can’t accomplish with the new year.

Here at Zip Xpress, we understand the importance of preparing your supply chain. We have worked with many manufacturers who specialize in unique freight, providing them with the custom carrier solutions and strategies they need in order to grow their businesses. This experience in exceptional service combined with our desire to provide the right solutions are some of the many reasons why we maintain a 99% satisfaction rating with all of our customers for over 20 years. To see for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!

Great Service Should be a Phone Call Away

One of the great pushes in today’s world is a push for digital transformation, and there is little doubt that technology is making our world more efficient and productive. However this great push for technology often comes at a glaring cost: there are too many who believe that increased levels of efficiency justifies a reduction in great (or even good) service.

Yet time and again when businesses are asked what they look for when selecting a partner for their supply chain, respondents don’t list competitive pricing, speediness of payment or even claims handling as their biggest concerns. Their biggest concerns are whether or not the customer service department will be responsive to them. They want to deal with a company that will take their phone calls and answer their questions or concerns. They want a business they can partner with who will help them solve their problems, not add on to them. There isn’t anything more frustrating than when you have a question but can’t speak to a person in the effort to solve it, especially when it comes to something as vital as shipping.

There are still many questions that businesses have when it comes to shipping. They want to understand the landscape and the challenges we’re currently facing. They want to be able to create viable plans and strategies that will ensure the growth of their business and the continuation of their legacy. If a business is not able to trust in the service capabilities of their supply chain partners, then we’re doing a disservice by not helping them. We do not want to leave companies scrambling for solutions – we already have an inherent need for good service in the logistics sector. The more we can help a shipper find the right solutions for their business, the stronger the sector as a whole becomes.

Here at Zip Xpress, we understand that great service should only be a phone call away. We strive to help shippers with whatever their needs are, providing them with the custom carrier solutions that will help their business not just thrive but grow, no matter the environment. Whenever you call Zip Xpress, you will speak with a human being, never a machine. Almost everyone here can help provide you with a quote and we’re always asking how we can help. We deeply believe that there is no substitute to working with a person when it comes to getting your shipment to its destination on time and undamaged. To see for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!

Capital Equipment Shipping Strategy

As business owners consider their financial strategy for the year, one of the crucial areas for consideration is investment in capital equipment. Whether you’re looking into upgrading machinery or expanding your operations, investing in equipment can provide a multitude of benefits for your business. These benefits include: increasing productivity and improving employee morale. Let’s examine just how these benefits can impact your business.

The first benefit of investing in new equipment is increased productivity. New machines are far more efficient, which allows you to produce more parts at a faster rate. New machines may also allow you to provide additional services to customers, giving you a chance for additional offerings that they would welcome. These benefits in tandem will inevitably help your business keep growing.

The second benefit when investing in new equipment is an increase in employee morale. Seeing a machine that keeps breaking down can have a demoralizing effect on your business, especially for your associates. Add to this the loss in productivity with the machine being down, along with the resources allocated to continuously fixing the machine. Finally, there may be safety issues with older machines, which can leave associates with a feeling that their safety doesn’t matter. When they see that you’re investing in your business, it shows that you’re investing in them, which can have a profound effect on morale. Now that we understand the benefits of investing in capital equipment, the question becomes: how do we get it to your shop? 

There are a few ways to get capital equipment to your shop (or your customers). Whichever option you choose, be sure to work with a dependable carrier that specializes in moving unique freight. This is not an area where you should seek cut-rate service, especially if you’re concerned about damaging your new equipment. It takes expertise to move such valuable freight and you’ve no doubt spent time determining the right machine for your shop, why put it at risk with an untested carrier?

Here at Zip Xpress, we understand the importance of getting your new equipment to its destination on time and undamaged. We’re one of the most reliable carriers when it comes to helping businesses get their equipment delivered to the shop floor on time and undamaged. There is nothing worse than seeing a new piece of equipment that you have invested a lot of resources into arrive damaged before its even been turned on. Our freight handlers are specialized in handling unique freight, incorporating bars, straps, blankets and any other tools/methods necessary in protecting your shipment. We’ll also work with you in scheduling pickup or delivery, in the timeframe that suits your business. To see for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!

Trailer Maintenance and the Benefits to Your Supply Chain

While not covered in a lot of media, there is a drastic shortage at the moment for trailers in the logistics sector. There are a multitude of reasons for this shortage, some of which include:

  • Trailers being used as temporary warehousing
  • The cost of materials and 
  • Lack of production

As a result of these factors prices have skyrocketed for both new and used trailers. To combat the rising prices, many carriers will need to use what they have which will require many shippers to perform additional due diligence when it comes to selecting a carrier to handle their shipments.

What sort of due diligence? A shipper needs to be confident that carriers are investing in their equipment, especially their trailers right now. With trailers being sold at a premium, many carriers may be simply running these trailers longer than they should in the hopes of getting extra mileage. This could result in an increase in breakdowns when getting your shipments to the customer. Carriers that utilize proper maintenance schedules can extend the lifespan of a trailer by a significant amount. As long as these trailers are being properly inspected, maintained and repaired, there is less likelihood of preventable breakdowns from occurring.

How is a shipper to know if a carrier is performing routine maintenance of their trailers? Well the first step is to ask if they have a maintenance policy on their equipment and what that entails. If they mention their trailers, ensure they’re performing repairs of tires, airlines and brakes which all go a long way in preventing a trailer from falling into disrepair. Additional maintenance of trailers is absolutely crucial at a time such as this, especially for many carriers because the cost of these trailers is prohibitive. Performing your due diligence to ensure your carrier’s trailers are maintained will also ensure that your shipments will receive the care they deserve. After all, if a carrier isn’t paying attention to their trailers, how will you know if they’re paying attention to your shipments?

Here at Zip Xpress, we understand the importance of proper trailer maintenance. Our drivers notify our office about any concerns they may have with their truck or trailer. We also have dedicated maintenance schedules for our entire fleet where we inspect the machines and schedule for repairs with a dedication maintenance professional. We care deeply about the state of our equipment and believe that proper maintenance allows more satisfaction from our drivers who in turn are happier in getting shipments to their destination on time and undamaged. Plus our dedication to our equipment shows the level of service you can expect for your shipment while it’s in our care. To see for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!

Leading the Way in Specialized Freight

There are times when a company realizes that a section of the market is drastically underserved. One of the areas that we here at Zip noticed was that unique freight, that is, freight which wasn’t ‘neatly’ shaped or freight that needed to be handled with care was being drastically underserved in the marketplace. Many carriers were unwilling or unable to provide adequate service for these shippers, however we knew that there had to be a better way of getting these shipments to their destination not only on time, but undamaged as well. Thus we set out to create a new standard of carriers providing great service to their customers and make logistics a better experience for all shippers.

Another way we wanted to help these shippers was by expanding their options when it came to selecting the right shipping solution. Out of all of the shipping options for shippers with unique freight, less than truckload (LTL) can be prohibitively expensive. More often than not it is more affordable to pay for an entire trailer truckload of space than it is to secure a section of the trailer. Plus the risks from increased handling made LTL less than desirable for many of these companies that manufacture unique freight. However, not all of these shipments require a full truckload and it’s a far less than sustainable option for these shippers. We knew that there had to be better solutions available and the service provided by other carriers simply wasn’t cutting it.

Some of the solutions we created for shippers with unique freight include the headload optimization solution which allowed shippers to only pay for the space they were using inside the trailer. This ensured a more sustainable shipment because the shipper wasn’t ‘paying for air’ and allowed us to optimize more shipments in the process. We also created our blanket wrap solution, which helped protect a lot of our customer’s shipments while also being re-usable, again reducing the amount of waste from cardboard. These combined have helped ensure that our customer’s shipments will arrive undamaged, but we’re also able to ensure that every shipment in our care will arrive on time every time. We have many more solutions available, but we strive to provide the best service to all of our customers and continue leading the way with specialized freight.

Here at Zip Xpress, we understand the importance of caring for unique freight. Our focus has always been on providing exceptional service to our customers by providing solutions that work for their business and protect every shipment while it’s in our care. We work with every customer in solving their shipping problems, no matter what they are and we guarantee we’ll find a custom carrier solution that will help with your next shipment. We strive to get every shipment to its destination undamaged and on time, no matter what. It’s because of these reasons that we’ve been able to maintain a 99% satisfaction rate with our customers for over 20 years and counting. To see for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!