Keeping Freight Moving Forward, No Matter What

In an uncertain economy, having a reliable and dedicated carrier is essential for shippers to ensure their shipments keep moving forward. At Zip Xpress, we are prepared to tackle any challenge that comes our way. With our focus on transporting unique freight, our commitment to sustainability, and a dedication to exceptional service, we stand out as the ideal carrier for shippers in many industries.

We understand the unique challenges faced by industries such as office furniture, medical machinery, conveyors, automation technology, and plant nurseries. These sectors require specialized handling and transportation solutions, and we have the expertise and experience to meet their specific needs. By dedicating ourselves to servicing these industries, we’re able to continually improve our operations and develop innovative strategies that provide better service for all manufacturers of unique freight.

Sustainability is a key priority for us at Zip Xpress. We go beyond simply transporting goods by offering optimization solutions that help companies reduce their carbon footprint. By minimizing the number of trucks on the road, we contribute to environmental preservation through reduced carbon dioxide emissions and reduce wear and tear on roads. Additionally, we provide monthly sustainability reports to showcase the positive impact companies are making by choosing our more sustainable transportation options.

Exceptional service lies at the heart of our values. We understand the importance of delivering freight on time and in pristine condition. Regardless of the circumstances, we guarantee that your shipments will arrive on time and undamaged. Our commitment to providing a guaranteed amount of capacity also ensures that your shipments will never be left stranded when you need us most. Our team is always available to answer your calls and provide guidance, ensuring you never have to deal with an impersonal answering machine. No problem is too big for us and we are dedicated to finding the right custom carrier solutions to help you address any logistical challenge. We’ll work alongside you to build the exceptional supply chain that will drive your businesses growth.

Here at Zip Xpress, we understand what it means to keep freight moving forward, no matter what. With our expertise, sustainability focus, and commitment to exceptional service, you can trust that your freight is in good hands. We are ready to help you navigate the complexities of transportation, ensuring your business stays on track and will succeed, no matter what the economic climate looks like. Any time you have a problem, we’ll have a custom carrier solution and you’ll see why we’ve been able to maintain a 99% satisfaction rating with all of our customers for more than 20 years. To see for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!

Zip Xpress: Stable Supply Chains and Exceptional Service

With the summer season just around the corner, businesses across the country are gearing up to meet the demands of their customers while also developing regionalized supply chains. Many shippers are beginning to implement the strategy of ‘make where they sell.’ Such efforts will inevitably prove more challenging, which means that working with a national carrier can be a significant advantage, since they can provide connections to potential suppliers and routes that will work best for optimizing your shipments. 

Contracts are also a key component of maintaining stability in the supply chain because contracts stipulate a specific level of guaranteed capacity with your carrier. In a highly competitive market, it’s crucial to secure a consistent and dependable amount of capacity rather than settling for cut-rate service that may compromise the quality and timeliness of deliveries. With a contract in place, businesses can have peace of mind, knowing that their shipping needs are accounted for, even during the peak summer months.

Effective communication is the final cornerstone of a stable supply chain for this summer. Maintaining open lines of communication between your supply chain partners allows you to adapt to your changing needs or the needs of your customers. Many shippers are actively negotiating with their carriers on a regular basis. Whether it’s adjusting delivery schedules, accommodating special requirements, or providing real-time updates, a carrier that is focused on service will be able to provide this information to you when you need it and be willing to go the extra mile to ensure your satisfaction. They will be able to advise on what is feasible and give you the best input on how your business should proceed.

Here at Zip Xpress, we understand the importance of providing stability to your supply chain. We don’t focus on providing exceptional service just during the summer months, but all year. We pride ourselves on being able to always get your shipments to their destination on time and undamaged, no matter what. We’ll abide by our service standards, which show exactly how many days it will take your shipment to arrive at its destination. We’re here to help you with whatever you need when it comes to shipping and we’re always a phone call away. We will answer any questions you may have and provide you with the custom carrier solutions that will allow you to build a stable supply chain you can count on. To see for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!

Protecting Your Freight: Essential Fraud Prevention Tips for Shippers

In today’s rapidly evolving trucking industry, freight fraud has emerged as a significant concern for shippers. Tech-savvy individuals posing as middlemen are orchestrating fraudulent schemes by diverting substantial sums of money meant for shipping goods. Online load matching platforms are their primary place of operations due to intense competition as well as little oversight. Shippers must take proactive measures to safeguard their shipments as well as their financial interests due to this escalating issue. This article aims to shed light on freight fraud and provide valuable tips for shippers to prevent falling victim to such scams.

Freight fraud, commonly known as double-brokering, has gained momentum over the past few years due to the digitalization of load matching processes. According to TriumphPay, an estimated $500 million to $700 million of shippers’ and brokers’ freight payments fall into the hands of these “double brokers” each year. This alarming trend poses a significant challenge to the trust between shippers, carriers, and brokers, jeopardizing the integrity of the entire supply chain. 

Freight fraud also disproportionately affects smaller carriers, brokers and shippers, who often operate on narrow profit margins and struggle to recover after losing a single fraudulent payment for a load. As freight demand fluctuates and costs rise, these businesses are left vulnerable to the detrimental consequences of fraud and won’t know who to turn to. However, there are solutions to help mitigate risks, which involve the active collaboration of trusted carriers or brokers that prioritize security and transparency for your business.

Some Effective Fraud Prevention Strategies include:

Development of Strong Relationships: Fostering closer ties with reputable carriers and brokers will help build trust while maintaining open lines of communication will help establish a robust partnership based on integrity and accountability.

Thorough Vetting Process: Prioritize due diligence when selecting carriers or brokers. Verify their licensing status with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and seek recommendations from trusted industry peers. Take the time to review their track record, financial stability, and reputation.

Secure Payment Procedures: Implement secure payment protocols to minimize the risk of funds falling into the wrong hands. Establish clear payment terms and verify banking details before initiating any financial transactions.

Regular Auditing: Conduct periodic audits of your shipments as well as shipping partners to identify any anomalies or suspicious activities.

Stay Informed: Learn the latest industry trends and evolving fraud tactics. Engage with your trade associations, attend conferences, and participate in knowledge-sharing activities to gain insights and learn from the experiences of others.

Report Suspected Fraud: If you encounter any fraudulent activities or suspect double-brokering, promptly report the incident to the appropriate authorities, such as the FMCSA and local law enforcement agencies. By doing so, you contribute to the collective effort in combating fraud and protecting the industry.

Here at Zip Xpress, we understand the importance of safeguarding your freight from fraud. We are proactive in developing closer relationships with all of our customers to help minimize the risk of fraud which include speaking with you on the phone as well as other procedures we utilize to ensure your company’s safety. We will guide you through the process of protecting your company’s information as well as your freight from both fraud and damage. To see for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!

Boost Your Bottom Line: Analyzing KPIs for Successful Plant Shipments to Garden Centers

For plant nursery owners, this is the time of year to analyze how your shipments to garden centers have turned out so far. Determining your KPIs will help you understand how successful your shipping strategy was for this year as well as provide indicators on how you need to adjust for next year. This is especially relevant if you’re shipping ‘dry’ because the weather throughout the Midwest can turn on a dime with temperatures fluctuating wildly and wreak havoc on the plants you worked so hard to get to your customers. The risks of extreme cold or warm temperatures are amplified within the trailer, which make it even more important to ‘get it right.’

One metric that nurseries must analyze is the survival rate of their plants arriving at the garden center. It’s a vital metric since it directly impacts your bottom line. If your plants are arriving in poor condition or not surviving due to your transportation provider, this will result in lost sales and damage to your reputation. If you’re able to boost the survival rate of your plants, there is a much greater likelihood that you’ll receive repeat business from satisfied customers. While every business will have their own definition of a ‘successful’ survival rate, we believe that if it’s below 97% then it may be time to reconsider your transportation strategy.

A way nurseries try to protect their plants is through the use of masterboxes which help insulate some of the more temperature sensitive plants. While these are helpful, the additional cost can cause sticker shock for many nurseries. On top of this, they are not a very sustainable solution, as those boxes will need to be disposed of after they’ve been delivered. Even if they’re made of corrugated cardboard, there is no guarantee that the customer will recycle these boxes. The efforts at providing a more sustainable solution are effectively null. To create a more sustainable shipment, we recommend the use of a temperature controlled trailer, which can be kept at a consistent 35-65 degrees (Fahrenheit) which will keep plants healthy and hydrated through the duration of the trip. 

Another critical KPI you plant nursery would be wise to consider is on-time delivery. Are you working with a dependable, reliable carrier to get your plants to their destination on time and undamaged? Every day counts for plants because they’re alive, and since they’re being shipped when the weather changes are most dramatic, every day they’re late puts them more at risk. Working with a reliable carrier that can provide you access to a temperature controlled trailer will help eliminate these risks and ensure that your plants will arrive safely and your customers will be satisfied. You will benefit from providing better plants to garden centers who will turn to you year after year.

Here at Zip Xpress, we understand the importance of getting your plants to the garden center healthy and hydrated. We utilize our temperature controlled trailers for all of our nursery customers and we’ll maintain the optimal temperature to your specifications from the time of pickup to the delivering terminal. We can even provide full temperature control the entire time of transport for your more sensitive plants. We also have a long history of getting our shipments to their destination on time and undamaged, no matter what. If you’ve reviewed your KPIs and want a better solution for your nursery business, then start today with Zip Xpress!

Exceptional Service is Key in Today’s Shipper’s Market

As of right now in the logistics industry, it is a shipper’s market. Shippers are in a commanding position where they can make the calls on who they want handling their shipments. Yet in survey after survey whether through a broker or carrier association, shippers continue to look for one thing above all else: exceptional service. They demand more than just the delivery of their goods; they seek a seamless, end-to-end customer experience. It is our responsibility to provide great service to all our customers and ensure that every delivery arrives undamaged and on time because with this type of market, shippers can easily go elsewhere.

With the market we’re in, shippers are looking for a more profound relationship with their supply chain partners. They’re not just interested in one-off transactions but rather wish to establish long-term relationships with these partners. They’re looking to build and expand their supply chains so that they can grow their business. Shippers want to work with human beings, be they brokers or carriers and seek a personal connection with their logistics providers. They want someone to trust and rely upon because every shipper knows what it has felt like to receive lackluster service – whether that be not receiving updates, their shipment arrives late or damaged along the way.

While there is little doubt that there are many freight brokers who provide excellent service for their customers, one of the harsh realities is that exceptional service often comes from one individual handling the shipper’s account. If that person were to leave, the shipper is at risk of dealing with a new account manager who may not have the same dedication as the previous person did. Calls may go unanswered, details may get missed and other errors can cause frustration for the shipper. Furthermore, the turnover rate at freight brokerage firms is high, making it challenging for shippers to establish long-term relationships with their account managers. It is our opinion that the most successful shippers partner with a reliable carrier that is dedicated to their success and provide a consistent, reliable service that is invaluable to growing their business.

Here at Zip Xpress, we understand the importance of providing excellent service, regardless of the type of market we’re in. We’re here to work with our customers and provide them with the custom carrier solutions that will get their shipments to their destination on time and undamaged, no matter what. We will work with you to build your supply chain as you see fit and provide you with the guidance you need to move forward with building your supply chain. With our focus on establishing and deepening our long-term relationships, you’ll see why we’ve been able to maintain a 99% satisfaction rating with all of our customers for more than 20 years. To see for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!

Safeguarding Your Office Investment: The Art of Transporting Office Furniture

Transporting office furniture can be a challenging task for any trucking company. The materials that make office furniture, which include leather, synthetic leather, metal, wood and wood composites are not only susceptible to damage, but show all markings. Leathers show scuffs and cuts. Metal can show dents, while wood will show scratches as well as damage from high humidity. It’s not as though high quality office furniture can simply be put inside of a box for shipping – in fact, this is when most damage occurs because warehouse professionals cannot see the product inside and don’t handle it as carefully as it would be best.

Why does damage occur in this way? One area that has been a challenge for carriers is the fact that many warehouses have temporary associates operating their warehouses as opposed to experienced professionals. With temporary warehouse associates, they often don’t make the time to personally inspect shipments before they leave the warehouse to ensure that no damage has occurred. This lack of quality assurance is one of the greatest issues facing office furniture during its time being shipped to the customer and finding a carrier that inspects their shipments on a regular basis is needed now more than ever.

When a shipment arrives damaged, it can be frustrating for both the shipper, the carrier and the customer. There is a significant amount of time spent communicating between the individual parties, as well as either finding alternatives to replace the damaged furniture or the cost of replacement. There’s also the time spent waiting for the replacement(s) to arrive, which adds to the frustration, especially when a company wants to get their office up and running. Getting the shipment to the customer on time and undamaged needs to become top priority, especially in this industry.

Here at Zip Xpress, we understand the importance of getting office furniture to the customer on time and undamaged. Office furniture is one of the products we deal with that needs the most protection, which is why we often use our blanket wrap solution to ensure that no damage occurs during transit. This sustainable packaging can be used over and over again, creating a true green packaging experience. Our experienced freight handlers will treat your furniture with the care it deserves because they see the products they’re handling and have the experience to know how to optimize unique freight. Our processes and solutions have made us the premiere carrier in West Michigan for handling office furniture. To see for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!

Optimizing Shipments for Infrastructure Preservation and Emission Reduction

Go out for a drive on the interstate and it’s clear that roads in the USA are in desperate need of repair. Our national infrastructure continues to deteriorate and while the Infrastructure and Jobs Act has pledged funds to repair our highways, only a fraction of the funds are earmarked specifically for roads. In addition, those funds are to be disbursed over a five year period, which puts the United States behind on the global stage in terms of infrastructure investment. Our infrastructure needs to be updated in order for companies to further their reshoring initiatives and create their regional supply chains. If these initiatives prove successful, trucking will be even more crucial in transporting goods to the customer and our roads will need to sustain this new reality.

Crumbling infrastructure doesn’t just affect urban areas but also rural regions where remote roads are nearly unusable, making it challenging to deliver shipments. Local roads, bridges and tunnels are in dire need of restoration in order to ensure that transportation companies can traverse these roads in order to make deliveries. While investing in infrastructure is a complex issue and beyond the scope of this article, it can be assured that it is a topic with widespread support and will help us become economically stronger in the long run.

There is one area where individual carriers can make a difference in their impact on roads. The solution here lies in the optimization of shipments, which consolidates truckloads in the hopes of reducing the number of trailers filled with air and in turn reducing the number of trucks on the road. Dedicating an entire truckload to a single shipment that doesn’t fill the entire trailer wastes fuel, contributes to increased emissions, and increases the wear and tear on highways. By optimizing every shipment, companies can reduce emissions and ‘recycle air’ which can preserve infrastructure until true reform comes.

At Zip Xpress, we understand the importance of infrastructure preservation and are committed to doing everything we can to optimize shipments. Our headload solution helps shippers by optimizing shipments, while they only pay for the space they use within the trailer. This is just one of the many solutions we use to help companies build more sustainable supply chains, reduce emissions and reduce the wear and tear on our infrastructure. We will also provide you with a monthly carbon emissions report which shows you the impact you’re having by developing a more sustainable supply chain. To see for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!

Mastering the Transportation RFP Process

When it comes to moving freight, you as a shipper need reliable transportation services that will get your shipments to their destination on time and undamaged. You have selected a few carriers that you believe will satisfy your needs, now you need to proceed through the Request for Proposal (RFP) process. You may be wondering what information you need to provide in order to host a successful transportation RFP in order to get the best service from your carrier.

Freight Details You’ll Need

The first step in hosting a transportation RFP is to have all the necessary freight details. This information will help carriers provide the most accurate pricing information and capacity options available for your business. The more you can tell your providers about your freight, the more reliable rates and capacity you will get. At the very least, you will need the following information:

Commodity Type(s): The type of commodity you are shipping is a crucial factor in determining the mode of transportation and the equipment required.

Weight per Load: The weight of each shipment determines the transportation mode, equipment, and cost associated with transport.

Cargo Value: The value of the cargo is important for insurance purposes and can also impact the type of transportation and security measures required by the carrier.

Estimated Shipping Volume for Each Lane: Knowing the estimated shipping volume will help transportation providers to plan their capacity and provide more accurate pricing.

Origin and Destination Zip Codes for Each Lane: Zip codes are critical in determining the distance between origin and destination, which helps to calculate the cost and time required for transportation.

Shipment Frequency for Each Lane: Knowing the frequency of shipments helps transportation providers to allocate their resources efficiently for pricing purposes.

Performance Requirements/Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): KPIs help to ensure that transportation providers meet the required performance standards. This could include on-time delivery, damage-free delivery, and other metrics that your business values.

Special Load Requirements (Accessorials): Accessorials are additional services required to move the freight, such as lift-gate service, inside delivery, and others.

Fuel Surcharge: Fuel surcharges are additional fees that cover the cost of fuel which will vary, being dependent on current fuel prices.

The more freight details you can provide to a carrier will result in a successful transportation RFP, providing you with a glimpse of the working relationship between your company and your carrier. You’ll learn more about what the carrier can do for you, how they can help you and the level of service you can expect from the carrier going forward. Remember that this process is designed to help you find win-win solutions with your carrier, with a focus on finding the best results for both companies.

Here at Zip Xpress, we understand the importance of the RFP process. We get this process started with all potential customers by providing a quick turnaround on any request for quotes. We’ll be able to provide you with an accurate quote quickly that you can use to determine the best course for your shipments. We’ll work with you to find the custom carrier solutions that work best for your business with the focus being on getting your shipments to their destination on time and undamaged. It’s because of our dedication to win-win solutions that we’ve been able to maintain a 99% satisfaction rating for over 20 years. To see for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!

Contract Shipping: A More Stable Supply Chain

When most companies consider their shipping needs, their first thought is likely to contact a freight broker who will in turn search for a carrier on a freight board that is capable of handling their shipment. A price will be reached by all parties and the shipment will be coordinated most likely by the carrier. Yet while this arrangement has its place, there are times when shippers begin to realize the pitfalls of this arrangement.

For one, there is little oversight when a shipper utilizes the spot market for their transportation needs. The broker is bonded, which does add a layer of protection, however there is no accountability in the event the customer receives poor service in the form of a late delivery or worse, broken freight. Spot market rates are also highly variable, which can wreak havoc on company budgets, along with uncertainty surrounding capacity, which is what many companies faced a few years ago. Most importantly, the spot market arrangement doesn’t provide a high level of service. It is a transaction and offers little chance of building a relationship with your carrier and developing a more strategic supply chain.

A useful alternative is contract shipping. A contract with a carrier states the terms such as pricing and capacity for a set duration, most often a year. This helps the shipper determine a stable transportation budget that can be accounted for. A contract also requires that both companies work together in order to find a win-win solution while also making the carrier accountable to the shipper directly, rather than an intermediary. This allows you to create measurable KPIs for the sake of building a stronger supply chain.

The final benefit of contract shipping is the dedication to service you’ll receive. A carrier has a stronger incentive to work with you and provide you with better service that you can count on. The carrier will also learn your shipment patterns and can develop new methods of creating a better shipping experience for you in the long run. Contract shipping is about taking the long-term view of supply chain strategy instead of settling for cut-rate service on an individual shipment.

Here at Zip Xpress, we understand the importance of creating a stable supply chain. That’s why when you work with us, we’ll provide you with the best service in the industry and do whatever it takes to get your shipment to its destination on time and undamaged. There are no surprises when it comes to working with us, just custom carrier solutions that will help you grow your business and a company that cares about your success. It’s why we’ve been able to maintain a 99% satisfaction rating with our customers for more than 20 years. To see for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!

Focusing on What We Can Control to Deliver Exceptional Service

With so many concerns over the economy, it’s essential for companies to focus on what they can control in order to stay ahead. This is particularly true for carriers such as Zip Xpress, which are at the mercy of fuel prices, weather conditions, labor and other external factors that can affect their bottom line. While we understand that we cannot control some of these factors, we are committed to continuous improvement in every area of our business. Whether that’s in investing in our fleet, finding great people and maintaining a great culture, or providing better service to our loyal customers.

Investing in our fleet and maintenance is one way that we’ve focused on what we can control. We maintain strict maintenance schedules which allows us to keep our trucks in top condition, which helps reduce fuel emissions and minimizes downtime for repairs. We’ll also continue developing our fleet maintenance solution which allows us to utilize a network of repair trucks and facilities located across the country in the event we experience a breakdown. If one of our tractors cannot be repaired right away, we will request an immediate sub-truck to be put on the road, which ensures that delays will be minimal and that your shipment will get to its destination on time.

Another area we’re focusing on is both finding and developing the great people that work for Zip Xpress. Everyone here is focused on your success and we’re all ready to lend a helping hand with your shipment. We also deeply believe in problem solving, because we know that anyone here could provide the ideal solution in getting a shipment to its destination on time and undamaged. We’re always on the lookout for the best and brightest and logistics is always a great field to be a part of.

The last area we can control are the solutions that we offer in caring for our customer’s shipments. Our blanket wrap solution will help prevent scuffs, scratches, and dents during transit. We plan on investing in load bars for our headload optimization solution which will allow shippers to only pay for the space they need inside the trailer. No matter what shipping challenge you find yourself up against, we’re here to provide you with a custom carrier solution that will benefit your business and grow your supply chain.

Here at Zip Xpress, we understand the importance of focusing on what you can control. That’s why we’ll continue to invest in the machinery and the people within this great organization that help keep it great. We’ll also work hard to continue providing you with great service, getting your shipments to their destination on time and undamaged every time. We’ll handle your shipments with the care and dedication that few other carriers can match because we know that these shipments are essential to your business. It’s this dedication that has allowed us to maintain a 99% satisfaction rating with our customers for more than 20 years. To see for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!