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!

Headload Service

Tackling the Trucker Shortage Using Freight Optimization

It’s no secret in the shipping industry that there are currently not enough truck drivers to keep up with manufacturing demand. Shippers are struggling to get their products delivered on time because it is becoming increasingly difficult to secure a driver. As capacity gets tighter and tighter, rates increase across the board, putting even more stress on shippers and manufacturers. Although recruitment efforts for drivers can help alleviate these problems, we must face the reality that there will likely be a shortage of drivers as long as production keeps up with its current pace. In this challenging environment, shippers must focus on freight optimization to reduce costs and maximize efficiency.

In the past, it was sometimes cheaper to ship a large partial shipment at a full truckload rate. Carriers were struggling to find freight, so they would take cross-country shipments for sometimes comically low rates just so that they could get to their next pickup. Shippers could often ship just a few pallets for a cheaper rate on a dedicated truck. Today that is not the case, and drivers can demand much higher rates for the same lanes. Because of this, it has become more economical to consolidate multiple shipments in order to get a break on price.

Partial and LTL shipments will help save money for the shippers in the long run. Many shippers have been wary of sharing their truck with other freight, citing damage, shifts, or even theft as potential downfalls. However, thanks to how we secure each shipment the reward of shipping partial or LTL far outweighs the risk. We provide savings and ensure that every delivery will arrive undamaged. This also creates more sustainability through reduced fuel consumption and ‘wasted air.’ To see how our partial shipments can benefit you, start today with Zip Xpress!

Don't Ignore Administrative in Logistics

Reducing Administrative Waste in Your Office

Working in logistics can be fast-paced and exciting, but many people forget about the administrative tasks that take place throughout the life of every shipment. However, these back-office jobs are highly important and should be treated as such. It is vital to take a look at administrative tasks, and that includes keeping a clean office in order to streamline operations and keep everyone on the same page.

Cleanliness is often underappreciated, but we at Zip Xpress make it point to run a well-organized office. We saw that organization was not a priority for many other logistics companies, and they noticed that this led to mixed up orders, late shipments, and even lost freight. Our focus emphasized a strong work ethic in our employees, and that included focusing on organization and cleanliness. This starts with even the smallest things – finding consistent homes for supplies such as staplers, documents, and pens – and it begins to translate to organizational skills at higher levels.

As people learn to reduce administrative waste, they become more efficient and can focus on improving supply chain operations on a daily basis. Our internal phrase ‘Being Current’ is a major benefit to eliminating waste, as it allows other workers to come in and take over seamlessly without needing to backtrack or find old documents to catch up. When everyone is operating at maximum efficiency, the company will perform better as a whole.

With technology always improving and cloud services becoming the norm, organizations should use services like Google Docs to reduce paper waste. Some industries, such as logistics, require at least one physical copy of documents, but you shouldn’t have to go any further than that. Sticking to one original and keeping backups in the cloud help to reduce unnecessary printing of paper and contribute to a more productive atmosphere. To learn more about what we do to remain sustainable, get started with Zip Xpress today!

The Benefits of Headload and Partial Shipments

Transporting goods continues to become more expensive thanks to new laws and a dire shortage of truck drivers. Capacity is on a constant decline. There are more candidates entering the truckload workforce, but the influx of workers hasn’t offset the demand for trucks. These issues have been costly for shippers, but there are multiple strategies to alleviate the stress that decreased capacity has put on transportation customers. One such strategy is utilizing headload and partial truckloads rather than moving all shipments as full truckloads.

Many customers make the common mistake that the most cost-effective method is to ship the freight as a full truckload – even if it only takes up half of a trailer. This couldn’t be any further from the truth. In many cases – especially on cross-country runs – finding partial or headload solutions will be cheaper than LTL rates with common carriers. Here at Zip Xpress we offer competitive rates and provide superior service with our headload hauls by consolidating our shipments and minimizing terminal transfers.

When shippers employ a truck driver to haul a partial load as a full shipment, they are driving rates up across the country by contributing to the tight capacity shortage. They are also adding to the wear and tear of our highways since an excessive number of trucks are being put to work. If customers take a strong look at their truck usage, they may find that they are not working at maximum efficiency levels. Utilizing partial and headload shipping options can be a substantial cost-saver as well as help shippers to better coordinate their production and transportation schedules. To see how we can utilize our headload shipping service with your business, get started with Zip Xpress today!

e-commerce and logistics

E-Commerce and Sustainability in Logistics

The latter part of 2017 was characterized by robust growth in the e-commerce sector, with many stores offering holiday discounts from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday. Statistics obtained during this period indicate that consumers in the US alone spent more than 19.62 billion dollars within the five-day shopping period.  This marked a 15 percent increase (equivalent to 2.6 billion dollars) compared to the same period in 2016.

A survey conducted during this period showed that more than 64 million Americans participated in the shopping frenzy. Out of this number, 58 million shoppers chose to shop online as opposed to physical stores. With such a high number of people shopping online, what does this mean for effective sustainability efforts, given all the shipping that had to be done during this period alone?

Traditionally, sustainability has always been applied by ascertaining that operations don’t have a negative environmental impact. Nevertheless, in a bid to achieve sustainability, many actions have revolved around reducing instead of eliminating factors associated with environmental concerns. As an alternative, a viable solution in the transport sector ought to focus on enhancing the individual movements of goods in a bid to make transportation more efficient. Given that shippers may not be in a position to control the manner in which products are shipped from one location to another, there is a need to take a look at how sustainability can lower the carbon footprint left behind by firms.

Reduction of Emissions

Reducing emissions should take priority as transportation involves the shipment of goods from location to location. Today, many vehicles are running on fossil fuels, but the implementation of a green solution in the fleet can assist in making a difference in the carbon footprints left behind by the shippers. Transportation experts need to take measures to reduce the total number of miles that are traveled in a bid to reduce the emissions to the environment.

Enhancing Customer Awareness

The modern consumer is very conscious of the products they buy, as well as the packaging it arrives in. Consumers don’t want excess packaging, and they want the product packed with recyclable materials. Social media advancement has made it easier to share information on company operations, making it important to maintain a proper image by ensuring that you are honest and you play an active role in helping achieve a future that is more sustainable. Failure to be transparent has led to numerous businesses facing a backlash from their clients. The clientele wants to know whether the people they are buying from actually care about the environment and is they are taking measures to enhance environmental sustainability.

Are you looking to play a part in environmental sustainability? Zip Xpress can help recycle air in underutilized shipment trailers for vendors based in Michigan. Contact us today!

Tesla Semi

The Tesla Semi – A Fully-Electric Semi Truck

The electric-power titan Tesla unveiled a brand new, all-electric semi truck, the Tesla Semi. From 0 to 60 in 5 seconds, the Tesla Semi is a truck that will stand out on the roads and change future freighting traffic.

The electric-power titan Tesla unveiled a brand new, all-electric semi truck, the Tesla Semi. From 0 to 60 in 5 seconds, the Tesla Semi is a truck that will stand out on the roads and change future freighting traffic.

The Semi beats out traditional diesel-powered trucks in many respects. Towing its full capacity of 80,000 pounds, the Semi goes from 0 to 60 in only 20 seconds. On a 5% grade, the Tesla Semi can go up to 65 miles per hour, while diesel-powered trucks top out at 45 miles per hour.

Tesla claims that this speed is complemented by better handling and responsiveness than its diesel competitors, meaning trips will be accomplished more quickly coupled with increased protection. Added safety and assistance features include surround view cameras, two touchscreens to assist with blind spot removal and potential hazard detection and provide trip-log applications, and even Enhanced Autopilot technology. The Semi’s Autopilot features automatic braking, lane keeping, and lane departure alerts.

 

 

Charged by solar power, Tesla’s Megachargers provide the Semi with up to 400 miles of range in a single 30 minute charge. On a full charge, the Semi boasts a range of up to 900 miles, and Tesla hopes to place Megachargers worldwide, so Semi drivers can recharge whenever and wherever they need. The use of solar and electric energy reduces the carbon footprint of the Tesla Semi, providing a sustainable and ecologically-friendly option for those who use semi trucks.

With the Semi, Tesla seeks to create a smoother, faster, safer driving experience. Borrowing from their supercars, Tesla built the Semi to be extremely aerodynamic and able to travel quickly without wasting time or energy. Individual Model 3 wheel motors for each wheel helps prevent jackknifing by detecting changes in the truck’s stability and torquing the necessary wheels and braking as needed.

Due to their lack of a traditional internal combustion engine, Tesla says that the Semi will require a lot less maintenance than their diesel-powered predecessors. Tesla backs their Semis with a one million mile warranty against any breakdowns, hoping to use the Semi to revolutionize the future of shipping and freighting.

At Zip Xpress, we’re excited about Tesla’s innovation and introduction of electric vehicles to the semi-truck market. Sustainability is a topic most semi truck manufacturers have missed, but with the Tesla Semi, sustainable driving is now on the horizon.

To stay up-to-date on the latest innovations in trucking, follow Zip Xpress today!

less than truckload

5 Reasons Why You Need a Custom Carrier Solution Today!

What would the best possible Custom Carrier solution look like? Why do you need a Custom Carrier solution today? Here are 5 good reasons.

1. Load optimization.

They optimize loads so that they are maximally efficient. This is not only good for the customer in terms of cost and efficiency, it is good for the environment.

2. White Glove Shipping.

They do “white glove” shipping. White glove shipping is for items which are delicate or fragile and need extra care during loading and transit. Some items are sensitive to heat or cold and need special handling. They care about the big things but focus on the details.

3. Special Needs Accommodation.

They accommodate customer special needs. They understand that, while every business or concern, large or small, is equal, they are each different and unique. They go that extra mile to get that package where it needs to go, when it needs to get there. And that means door-to-door if necessary.

4. A custom carrier would deliver on time and damage free 

Custom Carriers get it there quicker and with less chance of damage.

5. Expedited Shipping

When you really need it there quickly, they can expedite it and get it done. Usually, the customer plans expedited shipping ahead of time. But circumstances sometimes change suddenly, and if the customer faces unanticipated shipping needs, this Custom Carrier can do that too.

What shipping company comes to mind when you think Custom Carrier? Likely only oneZip Xpress! They care about sustainability in operations. That goes for the roadways and the planet, as well. They haul long or short distances, but when it comes to the environment and the planet, they know it’s all about the long haul.

Zip Xpress embodies that commitment to sustainability.  Zip Xpress should be the one company that comes to mind when you think Custom Carrier. From customer satisfaction to environmental sustainability, Zip Xpress delivers. 

sustainable trucking

A good carrier is a green carrier. Here’s how we live up to that.

The trucking industry is currently dominated by antiquated methods and wasteful practices.

We collected data from two of our clients to illustrate just how much is being wasted with outdated standard shipping.

Without innovative shipping methods from Zip Xpress, the amount of waste both companies would generate is comparable to following every full truck between the two companies with a completely empty truck. This needs to change.

This needs to change.

Zip Xpress coordinates load size, destination, and delivery schedule between companies to combine shipments and reduce waste. By utilizing Zip Xpress for their shipping, these companies eliminate that empty truck, and can potentially cut their impact in half, while keeping each load completely secure and on time. While business gets bigger and more complex, we need to be working toward smarter and more sustainable practices. With Zip Xpress, you can start today shipping better, smarter, together.

By utilizing Zip Xpress for their shipping, these companies eliminate that empty truck, and can potentially cut their impact in half, while keeping each load completely secure and on time. While business gets bigger and more complex, we need to be working toward smarter and more sustainable practices. With Zip Xpress, you can start today shipping better, smarter, together.

While business gets bigger and more complex, we need to be working toward smarter and more sustainable practices.

With Zip Xpress, you can start today shipping better, smarter, together.

See the full infographic here >