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!

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!

Cleanliness Shows Dedication to Service

We have always believed that a clean working environment is crucial to our business. We have worked hard to develop processes that show our dedication to customers and our employees by providing them with a safe, efficient and clean work environment that they can be proud of. These processes tie into how we treat our shipments. By keeping a clean and uncluttered environment, we’re able to ensure that all of our shipments arrive at their destination on time and undamaged. Here we highlight all the ways a cleanliness shows a dedication to service.

At the end of every shift, the entire team performs a routine cleaning of the office and warehouse. Any papers, refuse or anything else on the floor is picked up and all of the trash is thrown out. The warehouse floor gets a dust dry mop, followed by our floor scrubbers which remove any oil slicks, dirt or other contaminants. Our team also performs routine inspections of the building to make note of any dimming light bulbs, areas in need of paint or repair and we create a comprehensive maintenance checklist to address as soon as it’s appropriate. Our podiums are also cleaned after every shift, ensuring that there is no clutter near any of our customer’s shipments. This routine cleanup shows a regular, consistent dedication to our stakeholders, because clutter is simply unproductive.

Another way we’ve done our best to show dedication to our stakeholders is by developing a straightforward documentation system for all of our shipments. Shipments are organized based on their destination and we perform a daily check to make sure shipments that are supposed to stay are in the warehouse and those that were supposed to leave have done so. We use an internal phrase ‘Being Current’ to ensure that all of the latest documents are stacked and organized for the next shift. Even our walls were painted white for the purpose of reducing eye strain when reading documents. All of these tasks keep us accurate so that we can get shipments to their destination on time and undamaged.

Here at Zip Xpress, we understand that cleanliness shows our dedication to our stakeholders. We’re proud of maintaining one of the cleanest warehouses in all of West Michigan, as well as a precision that is unmatched in caring for and delivering every shipment that comes through our doors. It’s one of the many reasons why we’ve maintained a 99% satisfaction rating with all of our customers. To see for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!

Shifting Into Agility for West Michigan Businesses

For years the focus of many businesses has been on keeping costs down and staying as lean as possible with small work forces, minimal suppliers, low inventories and a responsive supply chain strategy. While this may have worked in the past and has had its merits, we’re quickly approaching a time where cut-rate service isn’t going to work anymore. American supply chains have proven that they need to become more resilient in the face of snarls on multiple fronts. It’s time to put our focus on developing a more agile supply chain that can handle the challenges ahead of us.

One of the areas businesses have focused on is ordering more inventory and storing it within their warehouses. This allows the business to have more control over their inventory levels and ship when needed, but unless they have a specific production plan in place, it’s hard for companies to find that ‘just right’ inventory level. Becoming lean is more of a focus on flexibility as well as agility. It is not about keeping costs low to the ground, but working with supply chain partners that can provide information and the solutions you need to get your products to the customer on time and undamaged.

Another area to work on in becoming more agile is constant communication across the supply chain. Agility is built on quick and efficient communication. The faster (and more often) companies communicate with each other, the more flexibility both bring to the table when it comes to getting shipments to their destination on time and undamaged. Communication through phone calls offers real time adjustments – whether those for changing pickup/delivery times or production schedules. Communication helps build trust because a customer knows that setbacks can and will happen with their shipments. However customers grow frustrated when they’re left in the dark and face a setback without knowing what’s really happening to their shipments. They paid for them, they want to know when they’ll receive them. Developing an agile supply chain will help businesses stay competitive across West Michigan, keeping us at the cutting edge of what’s to come.

Here at Zip Xpress, we understand the importance of bringing agility to the West Michigan supply chain. We help all of our customers in developing means and methods of improving their supply chains, growing their business through consistent and reliable shipment practices. We keep communication lines open all the time. Here at Zip Xpress, if you give us a call you will speak with a person, never an answering machine. We provide constant updates on where shipments are and when to expect them with your customers and our friendly drivers will also greet them with a smile. We help businesses by providing the right custom carrier solutions which help companies overcome whatever challenges they’re facing. All of these put together explain why we maintain a 99% satisfaction rating with all of our customers. To see for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!

Planning and Patience Are Key

There are no shortage of challenges when it comes to making and shipping your products to your customers. While capacity challenges are lifting, there are still many other challenges to overcome such as labor, prices of materials, fuel prices and other costs associated with doing business. Yet as we all know, there will always be challenges when it comes to shipping, but the keys to navigating those challenges will always be the same: planning and patience.

One of the best places to start in overcoming these shipping challenges is by developing a production plan for your products. While it is not an easy process, the ability to map out your production, your materials, suppliers, costs, etc. allows you to have a full understanding of what you need when you need it. Developing this production plan allows you to prepare and be proactive when placing orders for materials, and can help hedge against rising costs. This ability to plan is also relevant with your shipping strategy because when goods are consistent in their arrival, it becomes that much easier to develop this production plan.

By working closely with a trusted carrier in the development and execution of your production plan, you can create more predictability with sales and deliveries of your products, which will help create trust with your customers. As you work with your stakeholders to develop this production plan and learn what their challenges are, you’ll build trust with them as well where you can lean on them when you need them most. Taking this measured approach, remaining calm and creating a production plan that you can stick to will help you take control of your business and prepare you for any challenge, regardless of the circumstances. 

Here at Zip Xpress, we are committed to planning and patience when it comes to customer success. We develop a number of options for all of our customers that helps enhance their production plan and keeps their customers happy with deliveries on time and undamaged. It doesn’t matter what obstacles you’re facing, we’re here to help succeed and we have a custom carrier solution that will help you. It’s why we have a 99% retention rate with our delightful customers. Want to see for yourself? Then start today with Zip Xpress!

A Carrier that Cares

One of the values that we have worked our hardest to cultivate here at Zip Xpress is caring. Our aspiration is that every one of our stakeholders knows that we care for them and will do whatever it takes to make them successful. We know that there are few other companies doing the same thing. With everyone rushing to fulfill orders, it can take a toll. Customers and employees become treated as dispensable and that is unacceptable to us. Our goal is to create a higher standard, first for ourselves and then for the industry as a whole. 

When it comes to our customers, we show we care by providing a remarkable shipping experience. We want all of our customers to feel like their shipments were handled with proper care and attention. We go the extra mile with our blanket wrap and headload solutions, providing additional protection and minimizing the handling of every shipment. We also ensure that every customer can get a hold of us through the phone. Here at Zip Xpress, you will always speak with a person, never an answering machine and everyone is willing to pitch in with whatever you need. We schedule pickups and deliveries with both you and your customers, working on a schedule that works for you. This takes a lot of guesswork out of the process, and makes shipping simpler for you. Finally, no matter what problems you’re facing, we’ll find a custom carrier solution that works for you and your business. We will get your shipment to its destination on time and undamaged. Period.

For our staff, we strive to meet all of their needs by creating a supportive, welcoming environment where everyone is treated with the utmost respect. Everyone within Zip Xpress plays an important role and you will be greeted with warmth every time you come to work. All ideas are welcome when it comes to solving problems, because we know that everyone has a great idea to contribute. Our systems and processes were designed with our associates in mind, to make their lives easier, more efficient and help them become more effective supply chain specialists. We also maintain a very clean campus, one that associates can take pride in because they all pitch in to keep it clean. Nobody should be forced to work around clutter and we believe our associates deserve a work environment that is efficient, clean and precise. Finally our dedication to service will leave you feeling that everyone cares about you, as much as we care about the customers we serve.

Here at Zip Xpress, we understand the importance of caring. Whether it’s for our employees or our customers, we care deeply about all of our stakeholders. We don’t do this for accolades or recognition, we do this because it’s the right thing to do. When you strive for excellence, you must dedicate yourself to those who make it all possible. Whether you’re looking for a dynamic place to work in a field that holds limitless opportunities, or you’re looking to make sure your next shipment arrives on time and undamaged, Zip Xpress can help you. To see for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!

How a Trusted Carrier Help Can Grow Your Business

As manufacturers secure more inventory and prepare for the coming months of production, they are no doubt preparing for new seasons of growth for their business. The past few years have also proven that a trusted carrier is not simply a support function for the business, but a true partner that can help grow the company and has a vested interest in your success. 

One way carriers help grow a shipper’s business is by ensuring that shipments arrive on time and undamaged. This helps build trust with customers since they will receive their shipments when they’re expecting them, which helps build trust. Reliability and predictability is at a premium right now and customers who receive their orders on time are far more likely to order from the same company again.

Another way carriers can create growth is by helping their customers understand and assist with procurement & demand forecasting for production. All of these activities hit hard on the bottom line and a lack of preparation in these areas can cause costs to spin out of control very quickly. On top of that, there is a vast amount of ‘form management’ that it’s best to let supply chain specialists handle, especially in regional logistics. Working with a trusted carrier will reduce costs and the time spent from your team trying to ‘figure out’ those forms and forecasts. 

The final area a carrier can help with growth is to assist in developing your sourcing strategies  which can also have a primary benefit to your business by finding better quality materials for your products. Different suppliers may even develop an innovative design that makes your products function better. Both of these activities lead to real growth, something that you would never have found anywhere else. These relationships are crucial in helping your business grow, no matter what the circumstances may be.

Here at Zip Xpress, we understand the importance of helping our customers grow their business. We establish a dynamic relationship with our customers and their customers, scheduling pickup and delivery on a timetable that works for everyone involved. Our friendly drivers are also key in creating that crucial interaction that builds trust with our customers. We also dedicate ourselves to solving all of your complex problems and no matter the circumstances, we have a custom carrier solution that will help grow your business. Want to see for yourself? Then start today with Zip Xpress!

Supply Chain Professional Development

If there was ever a field that offers remarkable opportunities for a successful and rewarding career, that would be a career in the logistics field. As supply chain management becomes more and more specialized, professionals of all ages will find a plethora of opportunities available to them when it comes to developing their career. Here we offer a few key skills that are crucial for success in this field – no matter your position in the field.

Problem Solving

Whether a customer’s problems involve how to get a shipment to its destination on time and undamaged, how to pack a trailer effectively, or assisting with a localized sourcing plan, there is no shortage of problem solving opportunities available. The best problem solvers approach this with the customer in mind, providing them with the best possible solutions to their problems. Collaboration is also an invaluable skill involved in problem solving since multiple ideas can help find the best solution. 

Communication

Communication skills are vital to success in the logistics field. Being able to communicate with customers about successes, delays, and difficulties is crucial in building a relationship with every member of the supply chain. Logistics is a field that is built upon relationships and honesty is a central component to those relationships. If companies cannot trust one another, then the supply chain can fall apart. It is never worth covering up with a white lie. Trust is far too valuable when it comes to managing a customer’s shipments.

Innovation

While some say that innovation cannot be taught, we believe otherwise. Innovation is not always about technological improvements. Sometimes innovation involves developing ways of helping the customer, creating more efficient processes or ways to keep the campus clean. Technology helps, but it’s not the only means of improving a company. Focusing on helping customers, drivers and other members of the organization is just as, if not more valuable in the long run. Innovation is about making things better for an organization and creating a dynamic work environment for everyone.

Here at Zip Xpress, we understand the importance of professional development. While the outlined skills above may seem cliche, their importance cannot be overstated. These are all skills that can be learned and developed by every member of the organization, showing that everyone can contribute to our value as a company. These skills are an ongoing process of development here at Zip Xpress and it’s why we’re able to maintain a 99% satisfaction rate with all of our customers and focus on creating an exceptional company culture. If you know someone who wants to further their career in the logistics industry, please let us know. To see how our incredible employees can create a custom carrier solution that is right for your business, start today with Zip Xpress!

Headload Optimization: The Ideal Shipping Solution

As rejection rates begin shifting in favor of shippers, these businesses will find themselves having a surplus of options when it comes to selecting their carrier of choice for future shipments. Yet for all of these options, shippers will still have to navigate a field of fuel prices, individual carrier capacity and driver capacity. Businesses will need to continue evaluating their shipping solutions to determine the best fit for them.

While on the face, it would seem that hiring a carrier for a full truckload shipment is the best option for a lot of companies, there is the hidden cost of wasted fuel and at a time with record high fuel prices, this is a strategy with diminishing returns. Companies will be forced to raise prices just to keep buying fuel if they wish to stay in business. Procuring a full truckload when you don’t need a full truckload of freight also contributes to tightening capacity, which has made load board prices skyrocket over the past few years. It’s difficult to exactly how much availability exists for full truckloads for the foreseeable future.

Less than truckload (LTL) is an alternative strategy for shipping your goods, however this strategy can be very expensive since this can oftentimes cost as much (if not more) than a full truckload depending on the carrier. There are also numerous other nuances associated with LTL, such as tariffs that can make managing a shipment difficult for a shipper. For most other carriers, there is excessive handling involved, which increases the chance of damaging shipments. Fortunately, there is a solution we’ve created that has always proven to be one of the best options in getting shipments to their destination on time and undamaged.

We here at Zip Xpress utilize the Headload Optimization Solution. With this solution companies only pay for the space they use in the trailer. We’re also able to coordinate your shipments with your customer and develop a shipping schedule that works for your business. Our shipment delivery schedules can also tell you exactly when your shipment will be delivered so you will always know when to expect delivery. Finally, our model reduces the handling of all shipments by 75% or more, which dramatically reduces any chance of your shipments being damaged under our care. Taken together, this offers shippers the best of all worlds as they navigate capacity challenges to get their shipments to their destination.

Here at Zip Xpress, we understand the importance of creating solutions for all of the shippers we have the privilege of working with. Our headload solution is one of our primary solutions, however we can provide blanket wrap, expedited services or any number of other solutions as well. No matter what problems you’re facing, we have a custom carrier solution that will work for your business. Our experience in optimizing shipments spans over 20 years and has earned us a 99% satisfaction rating from all of our customers. Want to see for yourself? Then start today with Zip Xpress!