Recycling the Supply Chain

Manufacturing and commerce are vital parts of worldwide progress, but now companies are paying more attention to the environments they do business in. Excessive waste and pollution which caused many environmental catastrophes forced companies to reevaluate how they were treating the environment. Now people are holding companies to higher standards and manufacturers led the way in many sustainability efforts, from reducing energy usage to recycling and reusing material during production. While this wasn’t necessarily convenient at first, it has become extremely important and has led to an entirely new approach in the supply chain.

Any company that makes products uses energy in a variety of forms. These companies also create waste. Today, there is a much larger focus on recycling and renewing materials rather than simply disposing of the excess. Manufacturers need to perform sound analysis to ensure that they are maximizing their output and reusing materials that aren’t part of their final products. They are also taking further steps to use sustainable packaging or – in some cases – eliminate packaging altogether. Going green has become a philosophy that affects the supply chain from the time a new product is mentioned to the time it ends up in the end consumer’s hands.

There is no “right way” to become sustainable, as new technologies and ideas are constantly being floated throughout a wide range of industries. But emphasizing clean, efficient energy usage and committing to recycling are two major steps for manufacturers when it comes to being environmentally friendly. These types of initiatives affect the entire supply chain, and it is encouraging that so many companies – both large and small – are dedicated to reducing their waste and altering their processes in such drastic ways. As the world becomes more and more interconnected, we are seeing corporations become more responsible and aware of their effects not only on the economy, but on the natural world in which they operate.

At Zip Xpress, we recognize the great contributions manufacturers are making towards sustainability. In fact, manufacturers are quite possibly the most sustainable sector in the American economy, and this will only improve as time goes forward. Yet at the same time we have a long ways to go. We start by helping companies with our Carbon Footprint Report and then devise a custom carrier solution that works for their business. To see how we can help you build a more sustainable (and profitable) supply chain, start today with Zip Xpress!

Are Electric Trucks the Future?

There is much speculation about autonomous trucks and their role in the future of supply chains, but perhaps those conversations are skipping ahead a bit too far. There is likely a long way to go before self-driving trucks become a widespread reality. However, there is a technological advance that may be just a few years away: rechargeable electric trucks. Electric vehicles seem to make perfect sense not only from an environmental standpoint but also from an economic view. But are they the future of the trucking industry?

Since sustainability continues to be a priority for many logistics companies, electric trucks could provide great value. By eliminating the need for diesel fuel and switching to battery electric, emissions would be reduced, if not eliminated, providing a great service to the environment. They also wouldn’t have to deal with the volatility of oil prices or the wear-and-tear that diesel combustion engines must endure. The main drawback right now is whether or not innovators will be able to expand the range of the current electric truck models. As it stands, most models can only get about 200-300 miles out of a single charge. Even with the low fuel economy of a diesel truck, electric trucks have a ways to go before they can match the range of a diesel engine.

While we are still waiting for advances to be made, it seems reasonable that trucking companies might slowly switch their fleets over to electric trucks as they expand their ranges. They may begin with local and regional trucks that won’t need to travel as far to make their deliveries and hold out on the rest until the technology works in their favor. There is no definitive timeline to expecting a purely electric fleet, but it is encouraging that there is a real possibility of a cleaner, more efficient option that could provide years of benefits for logistics companies.

At Zip Xpress, it’s no secret we believe in creating a more sustainable supply chain. We can show you your impact with a Carbon Footprint Report and help you find more sustainable solutions for your supply chain. To see how, start today with Zip Xpress!

The Absent-Packaging Revolution

Going green may just seem like a new trend that companies are embracing to appear hip and in-touch with younger potential employees and customers, but there’s far more to it than that. There are real environmental concerns all around the world, and sustainable practices are required to ensure the health of our surroundings. Yet even for the executives who are more concerned with profit over sustainability, going green can provide a myriad of benefits. This is especially true in logistics, where reusable packaging has been making waves for several years thanks to its ingenuity, utility, and cost-efficiency.

Yet for all of these wondrous innovations being made in packaging, we don’t believe they go far enough. We on the other hand actively discourage our customers from packing their product(s) beyond the bare necessities. Customers have at times taken it upon themselves to do so, but we’ll happily work with and advise our customers on what those bare necessities would be for their packaging. This saves companies the cost of purchasing the packaging as well as disposal and it allows our freight handlers to optimize every shipment appropriately.

At Zip Xpress, we encourage all of our customers to commit to sustainability by foregoing packaging altogether whenever possible. We’ve developed refined processes and can advise all of our customers on the best approach for their shipping needs. Our approach is to take the long view – to the environment, to our nation’s highways and to your bottom line in an effort to create the most sustainable outcome for all of our stakeholders. To see how we can devise your custom carrier solution, start today with Zip Xpress!

Staying Green in Winter

The winter months can be brutal not only on our bodies but also on our energy bills. When the frigid cold starts to hit, we pretty much need to use electricity to survive. Unfortunately, that means consuming energy and sometimes not being as environmentally friendly as we would like. In the world of logistics, this can be even more of an issue, as factories, warehouses, and trucks already have an uphill battle when it comes to sustainability. Still, there are some actions that those in transportation can take to stay green while staying warm.

On an individual level, layering up is one of the simplest things we can do. Truck drivers and freight handlers should be sure to have some heavy duty outer layers as well as snug inner layers to stay warm in tough conditions. This will prevent them from needing to blast the heat in their respective workspaces. Wool socks and heavy duty boots can go a long way in keeping body temperature up.

Planning is also very important during the winter. Shippers should allot for longer delivery times and communicate this with their vendors, customers, and carriers. A supply chain can recover from a delay if all parties are prepared from the beginning. This will eliminate the need to make more product, ship another batch, or put additional miles on the truck, all of which will help cut emissions.

At Zip Xpress, we provide another solution that will help during the long winter months. Consolidating freight to be moved on an optimized schedule and crafting the most efficient route can ensure that fewer trucks will need to be on the road. By utilizing our Headload Solution, we can help your business optimize the space you use when shipping your freight. Staying green during the winter months is a challenge, but it is doable as long as we’re looking for solutions when it comes to escaping the cold. To see how we can help with your sustainability efforts, start today with Zip Xpress!

Reducing Waste in Manufacturing

These days, it isn’t just fringe, forward-thinking manufacturers that are concerned about reducing their carbon footprint. Going green and focusing on eco-friendly initiatives is now virtually a requirement to keep your business running smoothly. It isn’t just about being concerned about the environment – many manufacturers have realized that they can save money and bolster their bottom line by reducing the amount of waste they produce and minimizing the amount of energy used to create their products. There’s no doubt that this has a positive impact on the environment and on international business, and there are several things that forward-looking manufacturers can do to continue to reduce their waste.

One of the biggest culprits in the world of waste is packaging. Plastic packaging is especially difficult to recycle and often gets thrown into landfills where it accumulates at high rates. Manufacturers should focus on limiting the amount of packaging they use – especially plastic packaging – with the goal of eliminating packaging altogether if their product lines allow it. In fact, Zip Xpress encourages all their customers to set a goal of shipping without any packaging whatsoever. This contributes not only by reducing the amount of waste they are putting into the environment, but also by maximizing their truck space resulting in fewer total miles driven for delivery. If packaging can’t be eliminated entirely, companies should focus on using sustainable, recyclable, and reusable packaging.

At Zip Xpress, we understand that packaging may be the major factor right now, but there are other processes that can be improved throughout the manufacturing and supply chain process. Adopting lean logistics systems with high turnover and low inventory levels can also help prevent spoilage or obsolescence, which both contribute to more waste as plants throw out product that can’t be used. By focusing on improving inefficient processes, warehouses can lower both tangible waste and reduce the amount of energy required to make their product. To see how we can help make your processes more sustainable, start today with Zip Xpress!

Staying Committed to Sustainability

Formulating and enacting green initiatives can be a challenge for any company, and it’s made even more difficult by the need to get all employees on board. While certain sustainable policies may not affect every employee in the same way, it is still important for organizations to ensure that their workers are understanding and committed to the idea of a greener company. This doesn’t mean forcing beliefs on the workers or changing their entire scope of responsibility. There are many ways that companies can educate their employees on sustainability and instill an interest, or even a passion, for working towards a greener world.

Sustainability benefits not only the environment, but also the companies that practice it. By focusing on sustainable practices, businesses can lower their energy and waste costs in the long run. Educating employees about this may help them realize that a more efficient company is a more profitable one. Once employees understand what’s at stake, they become more focused on the mission of creating a more sustainable company. This can work wonders on a team mentality, and may encourage employees to consider greener action in the future, as well as make them feel valued and significant (which they are in any productive company). Every employee feels appreciated when they see their suggestions come to light.

One of the ways Zip Xpress can assist with your company’s sustainability initiative is with our Carbon Footprint Reports. These reports tell you exactly how much less carbon dioxide is being put into the atmosphere and the effect your company is having on the environment. We can advise on any inefficiencies in your supply chain and provide solutions that can help make your company more sustainable. The feedback provided will be clear evidence on what the company is doing to become more sustainable. From there you can devise your own initiatives and together we can create a more sustainable world. To learn more about how we can help with your initiatives, start today with Zip Xpress!

Lowering Emissions for a Greener World

These days it isn’t just a few highly progressive outliers in business that are concerned with lowering emissions. Environmental friendliness is a philosophy that is now being embraced by some of the biggest manufacturers and profit-driven companies. At this point, we’ve seen plenty of the negative effects of pollution, and even realized that green technology can lead to lower costs and more profit in the long run. Most importantly, however, is that we are treating the world around us with respect and care, doing everything we can to lower emissions and allow the environment to thrive. For those in transportation, this can be a bit of a challenge, but there are several steps that all logistics companies can take to become more friendly to the environment.

Some basic, cheaper ideas include installing mud flaps and trailer tails to reduce drag and make the truck more aerodynamic, helping it to become more fuel efficient. Carriers can also help reduce the number of miles driven by focusing on route optimization, making sure that dispatchers and drivers alike are working together to formulate the most efficient path of travel for delivery. Drivers should be sure to monitor their particulate filter and to clean it regularly before it becomes too bogged down by ash and soot. For trucks with engines that allow biodiesel to be used, it is an excellent option for running more cleanly.

The most important method of lowering emissions in logistics is to optimize every shipment and ensure there’s no wasted space on any truck. The less “empty space” we have in our trailers, the fewer trucks we can have on the road at any given time. This reduction in emissions will provide cleaner air and reduce the wear and tear on our roads. It is a cycle of sustainability, one that we can all do our part.

These are simple changes that most carriers can make to reduce their carbon footprint, but the future of trucking may make it even simpler. Hybrid trucks are becoming more of a reality, and while they will still use the diesel engine at high speeds, they will drastically cut down on emissions in city and final-mile driving, where much of the pollution takes place simply from idling or sitting in traffic. Eventually, fully electric trucks may come into existence, eliminating the need for fossil fuels altogether. In the meantime, we are constantly seeing new, innovative technologies that serve to reduce our emissions as long as we are reliant on these fuels, and all those who are involved in the transportation field should be embracing these tools. To see how we can reduce your carbon footprint with our sustainability report, start today with Zip Xpress!

Minimal Skids

The Future of Packaging

In order for goods to be transported across the country, they must be held together in some sort of packaging. Whether these goods show up in plastic bags, cardboard boxes, or glass jars, it is likely that everything you purchase will come in a container. Packaging for food, electronics, clothing, and pretty much everything under the sun has made things extremely convenient for manufacturers and end consumers. However, as we become more aware of the problems that much of this packaging is causing for the environment, innovations are being made across the industry to mitigate these negative effects.

Manufacturers of biodegradable packaging have become major players in the game, and companies across the world are switching over to biodegradable or reusable packaging for many of their products. This, however, is just the beginning. Packaging companies have tapped into the scientific world, engineering new compounds that make for thinner and lighter yet stronger packaging that is still environmentally friendly. This has allowed shippers to load more freight onto every truck, helping to minimize transportation costs while maximizing profits. The investment in green packaging has been beneficial not only for our habitat, but also for business.

The ultimate goal for many is to eliminate the need for disposable packaging altogether. Clearly you can’t just ship a load of ball bearings with no sort of containers, but minimizing the usage of wasteful, non-recyclable materials is a major win for customers, manufacturers, and everyone involved throughout the supply chain. At Zip Xpress, we encourage our customers to eliminate unnecessary packaging, and even ship their freight with no packaging whenever it is possible. This ensures that we can maximize our efficiency to move the largest amount of freight while leaving behind a smaller carbon footprint. It may not seem much on a shipment by shipment basis, but it truly adds up, and if we can influence others to follow our initiative, we will be happy that we had a positive impact on cleaning up the world that has provided us with so much. To show you how we can save on packaging with your shipment, start today with Zip Xpress!

Harnessing Optimization to Increase Sustainability

The environment is a prominent factor in nearly every industry, whether growing food, shipping raw materials, or even investing in new business ventures. Without a healthy, productive environment, most industries would suffer as the number of viable goods would decrease, causing more scarcity than we already see today. Many businesses are realizing this by embracing green initiatives and sustainable growth. This can help to drive immediate profits while also keeping the environment capable of producing in the future. In the supply chain sector, packaging companies been at the forefront of many eco-friendly concepts, and their work with shipping companies has helped contribute to a healthier environment for everybody.

Green packaging is a major factor in reducing waste not only because it can be reusable, but it allows manufacturers to optimize the amount of product they can fit into a single packaging unit. This means that every truckload can haul more units than before, reducing the overall number of truckloads needed to fulfill customer and vendor requirements. Naturally, this leads to fewer carbon emissions across the board, and every company involved in the shipping of a single unit is doing their part to keep our roads safer and our atmosphere healthier. As packaging continues to take up less space and shippers find new, creative ways to maximize the usefulness of every trip, these trends should continue in a positive direction. In fact, some manufacturers are moving towards products that require no packaging at all, and new shipping methods are helping make this a possibility. Zip Xpress has encouraged customers to move their products in this fashion in order to further reduce waste and optimize truck space.

With the focus on optimization at Zip, we consider ourselves leaders in sustainability in the shipping industry. Our headload solutions ensure maximum output from each and every truck while allowing us to maintain the high level of service that we have been proud of from the beginning. By focusing on green, optimized solutions, we are able to find the most efficient methods of shipping, keeping both our customers and our neighbors happy. To see how we can sustainably ship your products, start today with Zip Xpress!

Green Saving Green: Sustainability as a Profit Driver

As the global civilization becomes more conscious of our effect on the environment, sustainability has become a major talking point in many aspects of our daily lives. Business is just one, but sustainability efforts and green initiatives from corporations may be the most important thing to focus on as we move forward. Not long ago, environmental friendliness was often shunned or feared by large businesses, but that is not the case these days. With the changing attitude of societies across the world, and the proof of cost savings behind sustainability, companies have learned that eco-friendly practices contribute not only to their overall image, but also to their bottom line. In logistics, we know the number of partial truckloads is breaking down the infrastructure on our Nation’s highways and leaving a large carbon footprint. It’s clear that companies need to learn to optimize loads.

From biodegradable packaging to clean manufacturing through reduction of waste materials and energy usage, there are many different ways in which an organization can improve its surrounding environment. Companies are quickly realizing that their eco-friendly actions are proving to be worth it in the long run. An increasing number of consumers are actively seeking sustainable options for their goods and services, and that is showing up on sales reports for many companies across a variety of categories. Whether someone is looking for sustainable packaging (or in our case, get to no packaging at all), green programs have proven to be beneficial for both the environment and the organizations participating in them.

At Zip Xpress, we are committed to taking a sustainable approach to supply chain management. Our optimization program and Carbon Footprint Report are direct examples of measurable sustainability, and we are continually evaluating and improving them in order to minimize our impact on the environment. We extend this advantage to our partners, as seen in our blanket wrap video, when suggesting that shippers use our Carbon Report as part of their sustainability plan. We strongly believe that sustainability is not just a key factor in running a strong business, but also in making the world a better place for everyone. To see how we can help with your sustainability efforts, start today with Zip Xpress!