Sneak Peek: eNews Column From CEO Dina McKnight-Dargis

Coming Soon: eNews Column From me!

Heads-up, friends, about a Women In Trucking column I wrote for the organization’s eNews publication. It’s appearing soon, but you’re getting it here first!

By the way,, based in Plover, Wisconsin, is a pretty big deal. There are many, many women these days who are deeply involved with and connected to the supply chain complex. Not just trucking, per se, and this growing organization is spearheading a lot of good efforts to expand opportunities for women in the field.

Hope you enjoy my column!

Let’s Clear the Air … in That Under-Loaded Trailer!

Under-Optimization is Hurting the Industry in So Many Ways

Partial truckloads being shipped as full loads.

There, I said it.

Our rampant loading inefficiency is one of the biggest problems we face in an industry chock-full of problematic things.

I feel that our industry suffers from some very inefficient methodology, especially when the product being shipped is considered fragile, time-sensitive, hard to handle, or protective service. Including the just-in-time concept, all of these shipping factors conspire to create way too many partial truck loads being shipped as “full.”

They’re not full, though. Not even close.

The prevalence of these transactions is enormous and extremely harmful to our industry. While Zip Xpress specializes in this area … this simple notion of our customers not “paying for air” … there are way too many trucking, broker, and 3PL entities that turn a blind eye to the practice.

After speaking with hundreds of these supply-chain company owners and their high-level executives, I can say this about almost all of them: The more loads the merrier; load efficiency be damned.

I couldn’t disagree more. Zip Xpress and its customers actually derive substantial benefits from true optimization … not just lip service to the whole idea. We are, after all, tremendously lacking in driver capacity as well as driver image and professionalism. Our industry does not have a positive image, and many view us a necessary evil. Quite frankly, I don’t blame them. We have failed repeatedly to clean up our act, as a business culture, and the public knows it.

In our rush to look fast at any cost, we are forcing our customers to use inefficient options (inappropriately partial truck loads) that miss out on what true optimization could offer:

  • Fewer trucks on the road
  • Lower fuel consumption and carbon emissions
  • Fewer drivers needed
  • Less traffic congestion
  • Breathing room to weed out “bad apple” drivers
  • Safer driving and insurance rates
  • Fewer accidents
  • The goodwill of massive savings to our shipping customers

Let me expand on the positives of a fully optimized loading and shipping behavior in our industry:

  • Carefully, professionally adding freight to the empty space the customer used to pay for results in a discounted rate. Lower shipping costs can mean their product becomes more competitive. They sell more product … that’s a good thing for all of us.
  • Optimizing creates jobs. If a partial truck load is dispatched to destination, he/she departs to destination, possibly without even buying a cup of coffee locally. If the load is optimized, the load comes back to our campus with a local P&D driver. Then freight handlers optimize, a local biller bills, a local sales person sells, and a local Road Pilot heads out to destination.
  • Everyone in a more optimized supply chain permanently realizes an improved carbon footprint and sustainability status.
  • Safer, less congested highways and local roads result, with a higher caliber of driver because the industry shortage is relieved enough to weed out underperforming drivers.

In a sense, Zip Xpress recycles the air not being shipped down the highway. Positive outcomes result, and massive levels of waste are avoided.

Last year alone, Zip successfully optimized more than 400 previously designated “truck loads” and returned the substantial money difference to the shipper’s pocket. Another important benefit was a reduction of more than 3 million pounds of carbon. Quite a footprint improvement!

Finally, as many of you know and are concerned and/or dreading … there are new laws coming in December of 2017 regarding electronic logging devices. These will be significant changes, and enhanced optimization is definitely great way to deal with some of the impacts “down the road.”