Stranded and Diverted: How Extreme Weather Disrupted Deliveries Across the West Coast

While this has been one of the oddest winters in recent memory for Michigan, our snowfall troubles pale in comparison to the mountain snow and high winds that were experienced in the Western part of the United States. This has been especially true in Wyoming, one of many states on the I-80 highway that we use to deliver shipments to the West Coast. While closures occur during the winter months, this year there has been a large uptick in the number of closures, including a period where the interstate was closed indefinitely which left drivers stranded for days with no safe route out of the area. 

Extreme wind has been the primary culprit, since it doesn’t take much snow to create drifts that make a highway impassable, even on the interstate. On top of that, wind gusts of over 50 mph cause an extreme risk of semis toppling over, especially if they don’t have enough weight loaded in their trailers. While I-80 is one of the main veins to the West, many trucks have had to be diverted to I-90, I-70 or I-40. However in the month of February there was a period when all four of these major highways were closed due to high winds. We here at Zip Xpress were able to make deliveries, but only by sending trucks all the way to Interstate 10 which had our trucks going through Texas, New Mexico and Arizona in order to make deliveries in California.

Heavy snowfall in the mountains has also made travel extremely hazardous where at one point meteorologists were begging people to stay off of mountain roads. During the winter there is a section of the road called Donner’s Pass and it’s the only place trucks can drive through in order to get into Northern California. Yet Donner’s pass has been experiencing record snowfall, even to the tune of 44 inches in one day back on March 1st. (For those who may be curious, a link to their snowfall tracker can be found here) This pass can close at a moment’s notice due to high winds or heavy snowfall, creating a maze through the mountains that carriers must navigate through in order to keep their drivers, equipment and freight safe from the weather.

While Zip Xpress is able to divert our fleet to other interstate highways in order to get shipments to their destination on time and undamaged, we must also keep in mind the safety and well being of other drivers as they try to navigate this winter environment. Just because the weather doesn’t look bad outside our window doesn’t mean that another part of the country isn’t experiencing rough weather conditions that drivers must navigate in order to make their deliveries. The safety of a driver is far more important than the contents of a shipment, especially when storms are hitting harder than ever.

Here at Zip Xpress, we understand the importance of getting your shipments to their destination on time and undamaged, even in the midst of turbulent weather conditions. It’s why we devised our storm diversion solution which utilizes alternative routes that avoid road closures and harsh weather conditions. It allows us to reliably deliver all of our shipments on time, no matter what. To utilize this solution or see what other solutions we can offer you, start today with Zip Xpress!

Happy Holidays from Zip Xpress!

To all of the drivers who have made sure that all deliveries were made on time. To all of the carriers who kept our supply chain running this year. To all of the shippers who kept making the products we both wanted and need. To all of the people working diligently in the background, keeping shipments on track as they make their way to their destination. Finally, to all of the customers who make all of this possible. We wish all of you a wonderful holiday season full of laughter with your loved ones and a Happy New Year!

Happy Thanksgiving from Zip Xpress!

This year has been a year filled with blessings all made possible by all of the people connected with Zip Xpress. It is the people involved with this company – from our associates to our customers who have helped us become a premier provider of custom carrier solutions. We are so grateful to all of you and look forward to continue serving you for many years to come. Happy Thanksgiving from Zip Xpress!

Women in Transportation

When you hear the profession “Truck Driver” you would most likely think of a man in this role. In fact, as of 2019 women drivers in the transportation industry make up only 10 percent of the over-the-road (OTR) driver workforce. This is the highest number of women in this role and shows that inroads are being made from an industry-wide push to recruit more women into the transportation industry. Recruiting women into the logistics industry will go a long way in helping alleviate the driver shortage as well as providing more economic growth for the sector in the long-term.

The trend of recruiting women into the logistics sector is not contained just to the driver’s seat. Women make up 43.5 percent of the non-executive workforce in trucking companies across the board, which includes positions such as: recruiters, driver managers, dispatchers, salespeople and administrative workers. This trend shows that women can also succeed in the logistics field and it will become a sector that will flourish thanks to its diversity.

While there has been a lot of success recruiting women into the logistics industry, providers have a professional responsibility to ensure that everyone in their organization is as safe as possible. At a recent White House roundtable on the driver shortage, the CEO of Women in Transportation (WIT), Ellen Voie raised awareness for women’s safety in the logistics field and the need to create a safer environment for everyone in the supply chain.

Here at Zip Xpress, we understand the importance of inclusion and seeking out the best people for our organization. We care most about a person’s ability to provide great service for all of our customers as well as their ability to solve problems. We have an incredible team that puts service above all else, even service to each other. Everyone is treated with respect here at Zip Xpress and that is reflected in our ability to provide great service to our customers. To see for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!

Happy Holidays 2021 from Zip Xpress!

It has been a hectic year for the logistics sector. It was one full of challenges, but it has also been a year we will forever be grateful for. We wanted to thank all of the customers who worked with us as we found the custom carrier solutions that worked for them. Thank you to the wonderful team here at Zip Xpress who make it such a wonderful place to work. Your contributions make everything possible, and we look forward to another successful year ahead of us. Happy Holidays to everyone from all of us at Zip Xpress!

Happy Thanksgiving 2021 from Zip Xpress!

This year as we gather together we’re reminded of all that we have to be thankful for. While there have been many challenges, there have been even more blessings as we’ve navigated through. For that we’re thankful. Thankful to our new supporters who believe in our mission, thankful for our dedicated employees and drivers and most of all, thankful to the customers that have made all of this possible. Thank you everyone for making Zip Xpress all that it is and we hope you have a wonderful thanksgiving with your loved ones!

Outlining the NSFP

The US Department of Transportation recently unveiled the National Freight Strategic Plan to help make the movement of freight safer and more efficient for manufacturers, shippers, carriers, and all other stakeholders. The plan provides a blueprint for improvements in infrastructure and growth of the overall workforce. The main goal is to improve the country’s competitiveness in the international market, but that can’t be done without first addressing domestic issues.

The plan to improve infrastructure is exciting news for anyone involved in the freight industry. Modernized roads, stronger bridges, and more efficient railroads will go a long way in providing more reliable service across the logistics industry. This goes hand in hand with their goal of improving the national freight network, which should allow for faster, more streamlined routes between major transportation hubs.

It isn’t all about infrastructure, though. The NFSP intends to invest in research, technology, and analytics at both the federal and state levels. These analytics are designed to provide municipalities with the understanding where their inefficiencies lie and give them ideas for a stronger future freight network. While such investments may not show immediate results, the long-term implications are positive in building an optimized logistics network.

The NFSP will also work to eliminate restrictive regulations that put strain on the supply chain with no real benefits. There is still a deep concern for safety, so it’s unlikely there will be a change to Hours of Service rules, but it could open up opportunities for interstate and international commerce. Essentially, it wants to get rid of or re-evaluate transportation regulations that inhibit innovation or decrease efficiency.

At Zip Xpress, we understand the need for an optimized supply chain on all levels. The National Freight Strategic Plan is a great start at addressing these issues on the national level, however many other steps need to be taken in order to create a fully sustainable and optimized supply chain. We help shippers navigate these challenges by providing the custom carrier solutions they need to ensure that every shipment is optimized and that they’re aware of their contribution towards a sustainable supply chain. To see for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!

Happy Holidays from Zip Xpress!

2020 has been a challenging year for all of us. Yet in spite of those challenges, we found a lot to be grateful for. We’re grateful that our team rose to the challenge by providing great service to every customer and providing solutions in the midst of a pandemic. We’re grateful for our customers who collaborated and communicated with us to ensure their supply chains faced as little interruption as possible. During this holiday season we hope that you find what you’re most grateful for and are able to treasure that time together.

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year from Zip Xpress!

Grateful for it All

2020 has been a challenging year for everyone. Yet in these challenging times we have much to be grateful for. Our employees rose to the challenge of finding innovative methods to creating custom carrier solutions for customers and providing greater service than ever before. Our customers collaborated with us and we were able to find solutions that worked for everyone. We saw companies come together and work side by side to solve the problems in front of them. We believe that we can handle the challenges ahead of us, and we’re grateful for the opportunity. Most of all, we’re grateful for all of the people who saw it through and helped make 2020 another great year. Happy Thanksgiving from Zip Xpress – we hope you have a safe & wonderful holiday with your loved ones!

Watching the Weather

Whether it’s Spring, Summer, Fall or Winter, hazardous weather conditions can appear at any time. Severe weather can cause accidents for unprepared drivers, delay shipments or cause damage to freight. Prepared drivers can avoid most accidents, but even the most prepared can be delayed due to unforeseen issues and cause a delay in the shipment’s arrival. Companies expecting shipments should keep an eye on the weather and develop a communication plan with their carrier in the event bad weather forces a change in plan.

When creating a communication plan with your carrier, be sure to consider weather conditions across the country. Just because it’s sunny at your office doesn’t mean a pop up thunderstorm won’t cause delays on the interstate a thousand miles away. Understanding that weather may cause delays in shipment will go a long way in ensuring driver safety since the driver could be in danger due to an unforeseen storm. It’s also important to remember that dispatch teams are doing everything they can to warn drivers of potentially hazardous conditions, because sudden storms can cause accidents that were impossible to predict, let alone prepare for.

Your communication plan should include contingencies in the event a shipment is delayed. Drivers are no doubt doing their best to get your shipment to you in a timely manner, but developing an internal plan for the unexpected gives breathing room for every organization. Working with the carrier to schedule the delivery will work wonders to put your mind at ease in the event that a storm causes a delay. Communication is key, even when the unexpected occurs. The top priority is the safety of a driver and we’re certain that every organization recognizes this fact.

At Zip Xpress, we understand this need for constant communication even during times of unforeseeable weather conditions. We work with our partners to ensure that their deliveries will arrive on time and undamaged, but we will always put the safety of our drivers above all else. Ensuring they can go home safely is top priority, but we have extensive communication plans in place with our customers so that if a storm will affect the timing of their shipment, they’ll be the first to know. To see how you can create a communication plan like this for your business, start today with Zip Xpress!