Maintaining Long-Term Relationships

Relationships in the logistics realm are as important now as they ever have been. On-demand shipping, automation, and expedited freight are becoming more prevalent, and performance expectations are higher across the board. While transportation is full of unpredictable situations, supply chains are constantly striving to maintain as predictable of a process as they possibly can. In order to achieve this, strong relationships with vendors and suppliers are absolutely essential.

While shippers think they may save money here and there on ad-hoc shipments with unknown providers, the cost of doing business this way adds up in the long run. This factor is compounded with damaged shipments, costs for replacement and lost trust. Developing strong relationships with transportation partners allows customers to benefit from more predictability and reliability. Carriers, likewise, can expect more consistent freight when they form long-term partnerships with shippers. It’s hard for us to see shippers who are forced to deal with cut-rate service and hear their stories. We believe that a deeper relationship could have prevented most if not all of the damage.

Communication and transparency lie at the center of every successful logistics partnership. When a customer has a shipment, they need to make sure that all information is accurate and that they notify the carrier of any special requirements. Carriers must provide realistic expectations for transit time and maintain open lines of communication throughout the trip. It is important to alert the customer of any delays that might happen along the way. If both partners can consistently communicate in an honest and straightforward way, it is likely that the relationship will flourish.

At Zip Xpress, we understand the importance of a deep relationship with our customers. This understanding drives everything we do in our effort to create a wonderful shipping experience. It’s why we’re able to maintain a 99% retention rate with our customers, and allows us to provide the best custom carrier solutions for every shipper we work with. When you work with us, you’ll understand why we say that premium is the standard at Zip Xpress. To see for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!

Maximizing Fuel Efficiency

It’s no surprise that fuel prices spike in the summer, but with an index that has been rising all year, higher fuel prices will be a reality for this year. For fleet owners, fuel prices pose a significant challenge, either impacting a company’s bottom line or forcing shippers to pay higher rates. It is essential for fleet managers and owners to take some steps to maximize their fuel efficiency for every trip.

Prioritize More Efficient Routes

A lot of fuel can be wasted simply by choosing the wrong route – which in some cases may even be the shorter route. Paying attention to traffic patterns and road conditions can help minimize idling time while also reducing wear and tear on the trucks.

Perform Regular Truck Maintenance

The most efficient truck is one that is maintained meticulously. Keeping tires at the correct pressure, tuning up the engine, changing the oil, and monitoring air filters can all help to improve fuel efficiency. Regular maintenance goes a long way in keeping trucks fuel efficient, drivers satisfied and prevents major breakdowns.

Encourage Safe, Relaxed Driving

Aggressive driving will severely lower your miles per gallon on any trip. Accelerating too quickly, frequently breaking, and shifting too often not only reduce fuel efficiency, but they can wreak havoc on equipment. It might be difficult to change driver habits, but rewarding safe driving is beneficial for carriers and their employees.

At Zip Xpress, we understand the importance of maximizing fuel efficiency when it comes to developing a more sustainable fleet. Our routine maintenance schedules help keep our trucks in prime condition, while we also focus on working with our drivers to ensure their safety and that their needs are met. Each step we take in maintaining our fleet helps keep our drivers and customers satisfied since deliveries will be made on time and undamaged. Each step allows us and our customers to become more sustainable, which can be seen in our carbon reduction reports. To see these benefits for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!

Your Supply Chain: An Engine For Growth

If this year has proven anything, it’s how the supply chain contributes to a company’s growth. Manufacturers are seeing the benefits of partnering with logistics providers and the critical role of getting finished products to the customer. Yet in order to ensure that the supply chain is enabling growth, a few steps must be taken to optimize the benefits for all parties involved.

The first step is that the supply chain must become customer-oriented instead of product oriented. Dedicated service will keep customers coming back, which will result in increased sales for the long term. Working with and communicating with customers helps ensure that they get what they need when they need it. When customers know that their needs are being met, they will work with a provider and continue to place orders, especially in a business-to-business world. Companies want to work with other companies they can trust, and when both sides emphasize a dedication to service, the customer will appreciate it.

The second step in developing a supply chain growth strategy is to keep communication open with all parties. When silos exist, communication comes to a standstill, whereas collaboration allows for execution to occur quickly and provides better decision making when it comes to getting products shipped on time. When communication breaks down, backlogs form and customers become frustrated because they’re wondering where their order is. Keep problems small by getting in contact with all of the stakeholders and solve them right away.

The third step in developing a supply chain growth strategy is developing a multi-channel personalized experience. This is no longer a “nice to have” it is now a requirement for supply chain providers. That means drivers greeting customers with a smile and friendly attitude. It also means responding to customer inquiries quickly and with a personal touch – talking on the phone instead of letting their requests sit in an email inbox or voicemail. This will only become more important as companies shift into a virtual workforce, which will place a premium on human interaction.

At Zip Xpress, we understand that building a supply chain is also about building relationships. Our dedication to service is focused on keeping all stakeholders satisfied, whether that be ensuring our drivers greet a customer with a smile or answering every phone call in our office. We also work hard to optimize every shipment so that they will arrive undamaged and on time. Building a growth-centered supply chain is about providing our partners with the custom carrier solutions that will help their business succeed. To see how we can do this for your business, start today with Zip Xpress!

Supply Chain Strategy for Tightening Capacity

This year we have seen a continued increase in the spot rates market, which has left many manufacturers feeling stranded as they struggle to fulfill orders and manage their supply chain. This imbalance has many factors involved. Most notably they are: healthy consumer spending, inventory that needs replenishment and an industrial economy that is getting into full swing. All of these factors create a high-demand environment, which would put a strain on carriers even if they weren’t facing their own supply-side challenges. On the carrier side, many are facing a reduced workforce due to drivers leaving, a reduction in new drivers due to reduced capacity at CDL schools and a reduction in potential CDL recruits due to localized courier providers that are servicing e-commerce organizations.

The combination of factors leaves many manufacturers at the mercy of the spot market at a time when they’re facing a demand surge as well as an increase in material costs of production. All of this will cause frustration as manufacturers struggle to navigate tightening capacity throughout their supply chain which shows no signs of letting up in the foreseeable future. The best solution lies in partnering with a carrier that can accommodate your shipments at a rate that is fair to both sides. Manufacturers that are still relying on the spot markets at this point will face a losing game as they’re at the mercy of brokers providing cut-rate service and are putting their shipments at risk of breakage. Manufacturers that partner with a trusted carrier will find themselves much more at ease, providing stability at a time when they need it most.

At Zip Xpress, we understand the need for stability at a time when dealing with tightened capacity. We partner with each and every one of the businesses we work with, which allows us to provide the custom carrier solutions that work best for them. Our dedication to service has also kept our drivers satisfied, which means your customers will be delighted when one of our drivers delivers your final product. Whatever the case may be, we will find the right custom carrier solution for your business. To find out how, start today with Zip Xpress!

The Power of People

There’s no question that technology has come a long way, especially over the past year. Many industries were forced to adjust on a whim, which has caused remarkable shifts throughout the supply chain that we’re still adjusting to. While companies are still making adjustments, they’re paying attention to their people now more than ever as they navigate the inherent uncertainty across the entire supply chain.

A lot has been written about technology in transportation as of late. Lighter, more fuel efficient trucks have allowed carriers to transport products quicker and with less overhead. Back-office transportation management systems continue to improve, allowing dispatchers and logistics managers to optimize their time and increase profitability for their companies.

Yet in the face of these articles about technology, those authors tend to forget that businesses simply want great service. They want a smiling face to greet them when they receive their shipment, and a human being to answer the phone when they call an office. Every time a person is greeted by a machine, they’re far less happy or understanding. Technology can help with redundancies and inefficiencies, sure but they can’t provide the level of service that a dedicated person can.

Throughout the past year, it has been people who have helped keep our supply chains operating and ensuring that deliveries were made on time. Hard working drivers as well as the office individuals who were making and taking phone calls, providing guidance to companies who needed help during these challenging times. They were the ones who kept products moving, even when events turned for the worse. For that, they deserve our gratitude and respect.

At Zip Xpress, we understand the importance of great service. Here it starts with ensuring that every shipment will arrive undamaged and on time. We also work hard to keep our drivers happy so that they will greet each of our customers with a smile. We also make sure that every call is answered by a person, never a machine and that customers can receive a quote within minutes. Everything we do here at Zip Xpress is focused on bringing great service and we know that none of this can be accomplished without great people. To see for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!

Manufacturers – Is Your Supply Chain Ready?

It is no secret that the manufacturing sector has had to ride out many waves within the last year. Between creating new workplace procedures, adapting to rising material prices, backlogged orders and a potential surge in demand due to localized sourcing, manufacturers have a lot on their plate. While many of these issues appear to be a great problem to have, the risk comes when a manufacturer doesn’t have an adequate supply chain to handle all of these factors. Manufacturers that took a “wait-and-see” approach are going to struggle under the weight of these issues in keeping up with orders. As a result, revenues can decrease at a time when costs are rising, putting a serious impact on profitability.

The manufacturing sector is undergoing a massive shift and one of the key features is to build a supply chain that can handle this shift. As manufacturers redesign their supply chains to accommodate localized sources for suppliers, those that have partnered with trusted carriers have seen far more success in meeting the challenges of redesigning their supply chain. Carriers can provide unique solutions in ensuring deliveries are made and can give manufacturers the solutions they need to ensure their supply chains are able to handle any upcoming challenges. Whether you’re pushing to get orders out the door or preparing for more orders to come, a trusted carrier can advise on the best course of action.

At Zip Xpress, we understand the importance of having a supply chain that suits your needs. We specialize in providing companies with the solutions they need to build the supply chain that can handle any challenge. These solutions come in the form of our custom carrier solutions, where we partner with a company and find the best course of action to ensure their products arrive undamaged and on time. We see every problem a shipper faces as our own problem and as a result, premium is the standard at Zip Xpress. To see for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!

How Lean Supply Chains Help Drivers

For some companies, it may seem as though complex supply chains will help drive efficiency. For certain large corporations, agile, complicated supply chains are needed to carry out their massive operations. However, for most small and medium-sized businesses, complex supply chains can lead to more waste and longer delivery times.

The concept of a lean supply chain is not a new one, but it has become more popular in recent years due to an increased focus on waste reduction and sustainability. With the events of the past year exposing many of the flaws in bloated supply chains, businesses across the nation are re-evaluating their operations and finding where these operations can be pared down. This is good news for carriers and drivers, who benefit from having access to more shipments.

Lean supply chains focus on reducing waste and minimizing the time it takes to design, manufacture, and deliver a product. The increase in production allows for a greater number of items to be sold in a shorter period of time. It isn’t just about the number of shipments, though. When a supply chain is operating more efficiently, there are fewer delays throughout the life of any given shipment. This means that drivers are less likely to be affected by detention on either end of the shipment. Even a few extra hours with a shipper can add an entire day to delivery time due to hours-of-service regulations. When a warehouse can get a truck loaded quickly, they are helping both the customer and the driver.

At Zip Xpress, we understand the importance of a lean supply chain. The benefits at creating a lean supply chain are immense and when companies are working together on their sustainability efforts, it is incredible what they’re able to accomplish. We can help shippers accomplish their goals of a leaner supply chain through our custom carrier solutions as well as shipment optimization so companies can be confident in their sustainability efforts. To see for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!

Rising Costs Need to be Accompanied by Rising Service

It’s no secret that market rates for shipping have steadily increased. Due to increased production, harsh weather conditions and other effects on the market, carriers are having to adjust their pricing to accommodate these market forces. Yet while carriers are being inundated with shipment requests, shippers are finding that even though transportation costs keep rising, service levels are deteriorating. Shippers that don’t maintain any sort of relationship with their carriers are facing a falling level of service expectations, which only results in a lose-lose situation.

It is vital for carriers to provide a high level of service to their customers, providing guidance, ensuring shipments are delivered on time and communicating with their customers if anything goes wrong. What this trend shows is that when manufacturers only rely on the spot markets, they’re often found to be dealing with brokers that pair them with a company that sees the freight as “just another shipment.” Freight ends up damaged, claims need to be filed, and manufacturers have to produce replacements, all while dealing with a dissatisfied customer. It’s the all too familiar domino effect of cut-rate prices leading to cut-rate service and is not a viable long-term strategy,

As we’ve stated several times, the solution here is for manufacturers to build long-term, sustainable relationships with their carriers. These partnerships will allow both companies to provide an increased level of service to the stakeholders that get lost in these discussions on rates: the customer. Manufacturers who have partnered with their carriers have flourished through these challenging market conditions and have a much higher level of satisfaction both personally and with their customers. Once both sides go in with a partnership mindset, neither will be at the mercy of market forces.

At Zip Xpress, we understand the importance of service better than anyone. We work hard to ensure that every shipment will arrive on time and undamaged, and we provide our customers with the custom carrier solutions that will work for their business. Whenever a customer calls our offices, they’ll speak with a person who will help however they can, never with a machine. Our customers have a higher level of satisfaction than the average carrier, but that’s because we operate at a level where premium is the standard at Zip Xpress. To see for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!

Why Trusted Carriers Matter to Manufacturers

We’ve all experienced delays in shipping. Mechanical breakdowns, inclement weather, and traffic are unavoidable parts of life. Experienced manufacturing and logistics professionals understand that these are problems that they will face on a regular basis. What’s harder to understand is when these delays aren’t communicated to the customer. Sometimes, a simple phone call might be all it takes to avoid a catastrophic production line shutdown or retail storefront shortage. However, many transportation providers still seem to think that proactive communication is not an important service offering.

Large national carriers are undoubtedly successful, and they provide wide-ranging services that help many customers reach their delivery goals. Yet they experience the same inevitabilities as other carriers, and sometimes their customers suffer more because of it. When a breakdown happens, it’s likely that the customer won’t know until they call in to inquire about a delay. Larger, corporate customers will be given priority on the recovery because they provide more volume. Smaller customers simply get a new delivery date without much effort to correct the error or you’re told to check their website, only to see a product hasn’t moved in three days.

This is all part of big business, so we can’t blame these mega carriers for making decisions that help their bottom line. That said it’s important for manufacturers to remember that national carriers are not their only option. Logistics managers would be wise to build relationships with dedicated carriers who would value their business. Many of these providers know the importance of communication and will go the extra mile to ensure your satisfaction. Working with a specialized carrier will open new opportunities you may not have even realized existed, creating a more robust and effective supply chain. When something goes wrong, customers can expect to speak with a real representative who understands the issue rather than sitting through multiple phone prompts only to be told that there is no way to fix the delay.

At Zip Xpress, we understand what it takes to be a trusted carrier for our manufacturing partners. Every time a customer calls, they will speak with a person who will do whatever they can to assist with the shipment or direct the customer to someone who can help. Either way, customers who call Zip Xpress always get a person, never a machine. Our experience with our customer’s industries has familiarized us with the unique challenges associated with their freight, which is how we’re able to create a custom carrier solution for every company we partner with. To see for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!

How the Stimulus Can Help Transportation

Congress recently passed a $1.9 trillion relief bill, and it has been signed by the President. While the main focus is on the economic relief for millions of Americans and businesses, $56 billion of this is expected to go towards transportation. And while much of that will be used for airlines and public transit agencies, it is still a benefit for the domestic transportation and trucking industries. An additional $59 billion will be going to help small businesses, many of which are local and regional trucking firms.

The much-needed aid can help many smaller trucking firms who are still feeling the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. While trucking is an essential industry and drivers were able to stay on the road over the last year, many carriers still lost revenue due to losing the business of non-essential customers. While the package may not offset all of those losses, it is certainly a welcome relief for many companies and individuals.

The hope is that the stimulus will boost the economy as a whole, which should have a positive effect on the trucking industries. As more people become able to buy things, more orders will be placed, hopefully providing a boost to manufacturing across the nation. As we all know, more manufacturing means more shipments, and that is beneficial for anybody in logistics and transportation.

While the stimulus will do a lot to help logistics companies, the best way to help them is for manufacturers to partner with carriers in handling their shipments. A trusted carrier will be able to find the best solutions for any shipment, and provide your business with the best service possible. Partnering with a carrier will get your shipments where they need to go, ensuring that your customers are satisfied and you’ll be satisfied as a result.

At Zip Xpress, we understand the need for partnering with a carrier. Each of our customers is a trusted partner that we do business with, and we’re able to provide them with unmatched service through our custom carrier solutions. Every shipment with our partners is unique, but we provide our guarantee that every shipment will arrive undamaged and on time, every time. To see for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!