How to Manage Expedited Shipments

The world of transportation is anything but predictable. Although the majority of shipments are planned ahead of time, it is inevitable that you will need to send something out at the very last minute – probably more often than you would prefer. Fortunately, we live in an age where communication is as easy as it’s ever been and where technology can help mitigate the stress of last-minute decisions. If you find yourself scrambling to get a shipment out, here are some ways you can help yourself out.

Get on the Phone – Quick!

A phone call is still the best way to see if a carrier can handle your shipment. If you can get a hold of a representative right away, you may just find a truck that can transport your shipment. Emails in this instance are ineffective since waiting for a response could mean that vehicle is already gone. The good news is that if you have partnered with a reliable carrier, then you’ll have no trouble getting in touch with someone who can help you.

Work Through Rates

If you have a time-critical shipment that absolutely cannot fail, you may not have time to focus on price. Carriers have a lot of customers they need to ensure delivery to and if you shop around for cut-rate expedited delivery, you’ll receive cut-rate service. That said, when you work with valued, long-term partners, they will accommodate you and provide great service.


Transportation is always a team effort, but for critical shipments, it is important to strategize and communicate with everyone – both internally and externally. Be ready to answer any questions your carrier has and make sure to provide accurate, reliable information about your freight. The more you take care of up front, the more likely you are to succeed in the end. This means keeping open lines of communication for both your customer and carrier and providing updates whenever new information is made available.

At Zip Xpress, we understand that there are instances when shipments need to be expedited. We help our customers by ensuring that anytime they call our office, they will speak with an individual right away, and won’t be forced to leave a voicemail. We can provide quotes over the phone, we don’t charge full tariff for this service and can still offer a potential discount to our customers. Our planners will work with you to find an expedited solution that works for you. To see for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!

What Mode Is Right For You?

Ground shipping seems pretty straightforward, but there are many decisions every manufacturer needs to make with every shipment. This is especially true with manufacturers whose products have an irregular shape, are larger or are in need of extra care. These shipments should not be “thrown in with the rest” in the hopes the product arrives undamaged and on time. Fortunately, we at Zip Xpress have a variety of options in these situations.


Standard LTL service is used by thousands of manufacturers across the country. This is best for customers seeking a cost-effective option that does not have a critical delivery time or are prone to damage. For your smaller shipments that are running on schedule, Zip Xpress can provide superior service thanks to our methods that reduce handling by 75% over common carriers. This means less chance of damaged product arriving at your customer’s location, and that benefits everyone.

Expedited LTL

You may not usually associate LTL with time-critical shipments, but thanks to our Expedited LTL solution, we can deliver your product safely and on time without the need to dedicate an entire trailer. Whether you have experienced production line downtime or need to fulfill a last minute order for a premier customer, our expedited LTL service allows us to answer the call. We will get your shipment where it needs to go. Period.


For those “in-between” loads that could ship as LTL or truckload, our headload solution is a time-tested, reliable option that provides advantages over both modes. Headload (or partial truckload) shipping is similar to partial shipping, but you will only be paying for the space that your freight is taking up. For longer distance shipments, we employ team drivers, ensuring that every load will meet their deadlines.

At Zip Xpress, we understand the importance of options when it comes to getting your shipments to their destination undamaged and on time. Not every shipment requires a full truckload, which is why we created our custom carrier solutions to ensure that every shipment will get to your customers. To see which custom carrier solution is right for your business, start today with Zip Xpress!

Truckers to the Rescue (Again)

Although there was plenty of bad news throughout 2020, a glimmer of hope emerged at the end of the year that may allow us the possibility of normalcy. What we’re talking about of course is the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine brings about logistical challenges, since it won’t be available for every individual – it must be distributed through a tiered system. However, we’d like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the Truck drivers stepping forward and manning the logistics of getting those vaccinations where they need to go. 2020 was a year where truck drivers proved to be as crucial on the front lines as many other professional heroes.

In addition to the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 saw a lot of hardship across the United States, as panic buying and natural disasters left store shelves ravaged and distribution centers struggling to keep up with demand. Nobody could have predicted that this would happen, but what we did know was that we would be relying on truck drivers to continue to deliver the goods that we need to survive. Our nation’s carriers certainly lived up to and even exceeded expectations. With so little time to get shipments delivered when panic hit, drivers were still able to answer the call for last-minute emergency service and keep our country moving forward in the face of adversity.

The same can be said with the rollout of the COVID vaccine, as pharmaceutical companies, medical workers, and citizens will be relying on large shipments to help get the public immunized. It won’t be an immediate fix, and there will likely be thousands of truckloads of critical vaccines in transit over the next year. Fortunately, we have a skilled, hard-working population of drivers who are willing to work the frontline, albeit behind the wheel, as the country continues the healing process.

At Zip Xpress, we understand the challenging times we live in. We also understand that there are many individuals who will rise up to those challenges – one group being the drivers that represent all of the great carriers of our nation. We believe that drivers deserve the recognition for their hard work and ensuring our logistical needs are met. If 2020 showed anything, it showed that logistics was crucial in providing stability during a time when many needed it most. We’re here to help with whatever challenges you have and to see for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!

Happy Holidays from Zip Xpress!

2020 has been a challenging year for all of us. Yet in spite of those challenges, we found a lot to be grateful for. We’re grateful that our team rose to the challenge by providing great service to every customer and providing solutions in the midst of a pandemic. We’re grateful for our customers who collaborated and communicated with us to ensure their supply chains faced as little interruption as possible. During this holiday season we hope that you find what you’re most grateful for and are able to treasure that time together.

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year from Zip Xpress!

Sustaining Sustainability

Trucking and other supply chain operations were not always leaders when it came to sustainability, however many sectors of the American economy are seeing the benefits of sustainability initiatives. This is a trend that will only continue since the benefits include: cutting costs, reducing waste, and a net positive impact on the environment. By staying focused on sustainability initiatives, logistics companies can help maintain our nation’s infrastructure, reduce carbon emissions and be viewed as a shining example for the rest of the economy.

Sustainability isn’t a branding campaign that supply chains must commit to in order to improve their image. Instead, it is a cohesive strategy to lower costs, waste and increase efficiencies for the long run. While certain green efforts may require an upfront investment in resources, they will inevitably lead to reduced costs over time. In order for such efforts to be effective they require the buy-in from executives and must be put front and center for a company’s goals.

Some sustainability recommendations for logistics companies would include: creating routine maintenance schedules for all vehicles to maximize fuel efficiency. Suggest and advise ways manufacturers can reduce or better yet, eliminate packaging from all shipments. Eliminate all empty space within trailers by optimizing shipments and reducing the number of ‘empty’ trucks on the road. These are only a handful of steps companies can take in creating sustainability initiatives. By creating your own, the logistics sector can make an incredible impact towards sustainability and set an example for the American economy to follow.

At Zip Xpress, we understand the necessity of sustainability initiatives and strive to do our best in this area. All of our services are directed towards eliminating packaging, reducing space within our trailers and providing customers with Carbon Summary Reports which show the amount of carbon emissions a customer has eliminated. These are only a few examples of the ways we sustain sustainability, and to see the rest for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!

Logistics Jobs You’ve Never Heard Of

When it comes to logistics jobs we all know about truck drivers and dispatchers, which are integral parts of the supply chain, although they are not the only parts. There are hundreds of logistics jobs that take place behind the scenes; many of which you may have never even heard of. These crucial employees play an important role in keeping our freight moving and our drivers busy, and provide a lucrative opportunity for those seeking to get into logistics.

Route Analyst – This operations role is responsible for compiling data about routes that are currently being serviced and for identifying opportunities to make them more efficient. Route analysts often work with dispatchers and driver managers to come up with ways to maximize driver loaded miles and increase overall profitability for carriers.

Logistics Analyst – Logistics analysts are responsible for maximizing efficiency across the entire supply chain – not just within the routing. This means they evaluate data that pertains to materials purchasing, production, and manufacturing as well as modes of transport. By keeping up with industry trends, logistics analysts can make recommendations on how a company should be operating throughout every step of a product’s lifetime.

Pricing Manager – Pricing managers work with shippers to quote freight shipments, analyze pricing, and prepare RFPs. The pricing manager builds rapport with shippers and helps them identify the best way to meet their customer’s needs in the most economical manner.

Customer Service Representative – Customer Service Reps help shippers and consignees in a variety of ways including tracking shipments, setting up delivery appointments and producing custom reporting for shippers. They also work behind the scenes to ensure shipments are running on schedule and deliver on time.

Procurement Manager – A procurement manager is in charge of choosing suppliers to facilitate supply chain operations. These suppliers can be raw materials providers, warehouse facilities, or freight carriers. In this role, the manager evaluates the services provided and negotiates rates with sales reps.

Load Planner – Load Planners work hand in hand with shippers and consignees to build efficient routes which also meet all of the customer’s expectations. This role requires great flexibility and the ability to make changes in a fast paced work environment to accommodate customer needs and last minute shipments.

Logistics Engineer – This is a highly technical job requiring strong math and science skills. A logistics engineer uses data from the logistics analyst to come up with ways to streamline all processes throughout the supply chain. This can be through implementation of new software, development of more complex distribution funnels, or by creating algorithms to choose the best suppliers for a particular product line.

At Zip Xpress, we understand that people are what make a company successful. It is because of our dedicated employees we’re able to provide great customer service and ensure that every delivery reaches its destination undamaged and on time. Our hope is to show others the opportunities available in logistics and to enhance the supply chain with great people. It’s because of great people that companies can offer great service. To see our services for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!

The Future Supply Chain

When we think about the future of an industry, several things come to mind. We can almost always say that there will be technological advances, more automation, and a more global approach. Those things are all likely to be true for the future of Supply Chain, but they aren’t the only certainties that we can look to. In a year that has inevitably changed the world, there is no doubt that supply chains will focus on technological advances and cutting-edge ideas, but we will also see changes in attitudes and strategic planning in the upcoming years.

Supply chains across the world were shocked by the COVID pandemic in the early part of 2020, but in time they adapted and are running smoothly again. As we look forward, any organization with a sophisticated supply chain knows that it can’t run in the same fashion as it did in previous years. Pandemic planning will become an integral part of training and implementation in order to prevent bullwhip effects as well as drastic losses due to unforeseen circumstances. We may not have seen it coming the first time, but we now know that we must be prepared for anything in future forecasts.

A more positive takeaway from the COVID crisis is that there has been an increased focus on collaboration and relationship building. Shippers who had strong supply chain partners were better equipped to handle the pandemic than those who didn’t, and smart shippers will continue to pursue these partnerships. The ad-hoc model of simply matching freight to a random truck when it is needed is already losing favor among many customers, and we can expect that trend to continue. If we’ve learned one thing from 2020, it’s that we are all in this together and that we need to build strong relationships in order to succeed in the future.

At Zip Xpress, we understand what the future supply chain looks like. Our focus on communication and collaboration allows us to provide the best service possible to our supply chain partners and provide the custom carrier solutions they need to ensure their products arrive undamaged and on time. Shippers who collaborate with their carriers will find themselves far ahead of the competition and able to adapt to new circumstances quicker. To see how a custom carrier solution can be applied to your business, start today with Zip Xpress!

Grateful for it All

2020 has been a challenging year for everyone. Yet in these challenging times we have much to be grateful for. Our employees rose to the challenge of finding innovative methods to creating custom carrier solutions for customers and providing greater service than ever before. Our customers collaborated with us and we were able to find solutions that worked for everyone. We saw companies come together and work side by side to solve the problems in front of them. We believe that we can handle the challenges ahead of us, and we’re grateful for the opportunity. Most of all, we’re grateful for all of the people who saw it through and helped make 2020 another great year. Happy Thanksgiving from Zip Xpress – we hope you have a safe & wonderful holiday with your loved ones!

Optimism for 2021

2020 has been a difficult year, and there is still much uncertainty ahead. But that doesn’t mean we can’t be optimistic, especially in the logistics business. While we can’t predict exactly what will happen to trucking and supply chain in 2021, we’re seeing trends heading in the right direction.

In September of 2020, new trailer orders exceeded 50,000 total units – the third highest monthly number on record. This suggests that many carriers are anticipating an increase in shipments, that is, if they haven’t already experienced it. The orders might be happening because carriers are struggling to keep up with demand, which is a good problem to have. It takes some effort to get things running smoothly, but the effort is worth it in the long run.

Although we seem to be in the midst of another COVID-19 surge, the marketplace has been adjusting to the “new norm,” and we shouldn’t run into as many bullwhip scenarios as we saw in the spring. This means that logistics firms can hope for more stability and reliability as they draw out forecasts for 2021. There will still be volatility, but the industry is better equipped to handle it.

At Zip Xpress, we understand the need for stability, especially for manufacturers. Companies are focused on what they can do to keep making deliveries on time and undamaged. The companies that are making it through this year have collaborated with their suppliers and supply chain providers. We’re very fortunate to have a solid base of stakeholders we can collaborate and communicate with, which gives us every reason to be optimistic about the future. If you want to see reliable shipments that arrive undamaged and on time, start today with Zip Xpress!

Keeping the Warehouse Clean

Last week we focused on the benefits of keeping a clean truck. This week we turn our attention to the warehouse space, how we keep ours clean and most importantly why it needs to be kept clean. Maintaining a clean warehouse speaks to the attention given to a customer’s shipment, reduces the chances of damaging that shipment and most importantly, prevents accidents from happening to freight handlers.

End of Shift Refuse Pickup

At the end of every shift, our staff performs a routine cleanup. We empty all of the trash cans, pick up refuse and run a dust mop across the floor at the end of every shift. We clean off the podiums and ensure there’s no outstanding clutter near any of the shipments. We also check the facilities for any poor lighting and create a list of maintenance issues which will be addressed.

End of Shift Warehouse Floor Scrubbing

Once our warehouse floor has been dry mopped we run our floor scrubber daily, to protect against dust and dirt. Once a quarter we perform a deep clean of the warehouse to ensure all contaminants are removed. Our staff also gives a touch up of paint everywhere it’s needed once a quarter, which keeps the warehouse looking fresh and up to date. We prefer to use white paint to create better visibility for our staff and prevent eye strain when reading documents.

Detailed Organization System

We believe in the phrase: “A place for everything and everything in its place.” Our warehouse is arranged by the outgoing state to prevent confusion or the possibility of mix-ups. We also have an internal phrase called “Being Current” which means that the most current, up to date documents are stacked, ready and available for the next shift. We also tag every shipment with the correct destination as well as run through a list of our current shipments to ensure that every shipment that’s supposed to be there still is and that every shipment that was supposed to leave has done so.

At Zip Xpress, we understand that a clean warehouse is an efficient and safe warehouse. Our process was designed to keep our office neat and tidy to prevent lost paperwork and mixed up shipments. Taking a little bit of time every day to tidy up ensures we have more than enough time to focus on what matters most: providing custom carrier solutions for our customers. Any customer that sees their shipments in our warehouse knows it won’t be covered in dirt or grime and they see the pride we take in ensuring great service. To see this for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!