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!

Crumbling American Highways

America’s Roads: Saving Them One Act at a Time

Talk with anybody who lives near a major city in the USA, and there’s a good chance you’ll find out they don’t think much of the roads around them. Whether they’re constantly clogged with traffic, littered with hubcap-shattering potholes, or simply don’t ride as smoothly as desired, roads across the country are not very popular among the citizens. This doesn’t just apply to cluttered urban main streets or rarely traveled dirt roads – the entire interstate highway system is suffering from many of the same problems. Why is this such a prominent problem, and what can be done to fix it?

Mismanagement of US highways goes back decades, with a severe lack of funding made even worse by bloated maintenance contracts and uncooperative state or local municipalities. This means that funds are allocated in an often-lopsided fashion. Consider also that it is very challenging to predict how much funding can be expected on a yearly basis, so not as much thought goes into planning for repairs and new construction. With 75% of the nation’s heavy truck traffic utilizing the Interstate system, carriers have great incentive to take action in helping prevent our national highways from crumbling.

There is no single, simple solution for America’s road problem, but we can all do our part in the meantime. At Zip Xpress we utilize our headload solution which allows us to place more shipments into one trailer. This solution has the double benefit of cutting down on emissions and trucks on the road, preserving our highways. Our customers know how important this issue is so we work with each and every one of them to optimize their shipments and ensure they’re making a more sustainable impact on the environment. Manufacturers have taken the lead on becoming environmental stewards, we’re doing our part as well. To see how we can optimize your shipment, start today with Zip Xpress!

manufacturing and sustainability

Manufacturers are Paving the Way as Environmental Stewards

For many, the image that comes to mind when they think of pollution is the factory sending billows of smoke into the atmosphere. However, today’s manufacturers have become some of the most environmentally-conscious patrons of the environment, and they continue to strive to reach new goals in sustainability. Thanks to widespread social awareness and changes in attitude, manufacturers are making it a point to reduce their carbon footprint and participate in programs that promote a cleaner, healthier environment for everyone.

An impressive 93.8% of manufacturers report that they track their energy consumption, meaning that the vast majority of organizations are at least paying attention to their impact on the planet. This is a positive trend across the board, because it means that organizations are showing a desire to make improvements rather than doing so only to comply with rules and regulations. It makes sense from a financial standpoint too, as investment in green energy can help organizations to break free from the expensive and inefficient shackles of fossil fuels. Investing a little extra now will provide major benefits in the long run as renewable energy becomes the healthier, more productive, and less expensive option. We at Zip provide our customers their own carbon footprint report as well as our own company-wide one. You’ll be able to see the direct impact your sustainability efforts have.

Manufacturers, however, aren’t the only companies that can contribute to a cleaner environment. We are placing a major emphasis on sustainability and in doing so are helping our partners reduce their footprint as well. By optimizing the space in our trailers, we’re putting fewer trucks on the road and releasing fewer emissions on a daily basis. These solutions, based on maximizing the efficiency of the trailer and the truck, are only the beginning. With a mentality of always looking for the most efficient answer and keeping it sustainable, we at Zip Xpress promise to be the sustainable transportation option for the foreseeable future. To experience our sustainable options for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!

sustainability in packaging

Sustainability in Packaging

Most people don’t often think about the effect that packaging has on their shipments or on the environment, but the truth is that packaging is very significant. It makes up 23% of our landfills and has a sizable effect on the environment. This is why many forward-thinking companies are re-evaluating their packaging programs and placing a focus on sustainability. The benefit here isn’t only in reducing carbon emissions and being environmentally friendly, but also saving money in the long run as the world shifts toward a more sustainable mindset.

Consider that a standard wooden pallet weighs about 50 pounds. A truckload carrying 26 double stacked pallets is hauling 2,600 pounds of pure packaging. Any extra weight on a truck contributes to higher emissions, and companies are becoming aware of the fact that they can save money down the line by spending a little more on efficient packaging. The corrugated pallet, for example, only weighs about 19 pounds, and while it isn’t always as strong as a wooden pallet, manufacturers are continually improving the quality of their corrugated pallets in an attempt to rival their wooden counterparts.

This is big news for environmentally-conscious companies as well as those looking to reduce costs. The slightly higher price of the corrugated pallet can be easily offset by savings on fuel, the ability to optimize space, and the lower disposal costs. That’s not to mention that corrugated pallets are less prone to rot and infestation. These innovations are a step in the right direction, but an even better means to this end is to eliminate the need for packaging entirely.

Zip Xpress is leading the way to make this a reality. Our entire model is designed around minimizing handling. Less handling means less need for packaging to prevent damage. Every shipment is properly secured by an expert freight handler and each trailer is fully optimized to ensure we are not trading a reduction in packaging waste for an increase in emissions waste.

Our process allows shippers to eliminate their packaging waste, minimize their carbon emissions footprint, and price their products more competitively. This triple win continues to help Michigan shippers attract the growing base of customers who are committed to going green. To see examples of successful zero-packaging shipments and learn about other efforts in our drive for sustainability, get started with Zip Xpress today!