Forever Young in Freight

Millennials and Generation Z would be well advised to pursue a career in logistics. Considered one of the most resilient sectors of the economy, logistics can provide career stability that few other areas can promise. There is also constant problem solving which means that ‘boring’ will rarely be part of your vocabulary. You’ll also interact with a variety of industries, which means you’ll always be learning about new fields. Whether you aspire to be an analyst or a driver, there are plenty of opportunities available in the logistics field.

So, how does someone get started? A degree certainly helps, and some of the best schools in the country happen to be right here in Michigan. The key factor will be your skills – you’ll need to be able to balance being analytical and proper planning with communication. You will rely on many other people in logistics, so collaboration will be a key skill as well. You’ll also have experienced colleagues who can mentor and provide the hands-on experience many entering the workforce desire. While logistics isn’t a field that’s discussed as often as finance or marketing, rest assured that it’s one of the main backbones to the economy and provides tremendous opportunity for those starting their career.

Here at Zip Xpress, our primary focus is on the problem solving process. We care so deeply for our customer that we visualize their problems as our own. We work through the process together in our office, discussing how we can make every shipment arrive on time and undamaged. We know that communication is a crucial factor for success, as well as being a team player. We focus on culture in the workplace and that our promises are always kept. To learn more about what our logisticians can do for your company, start today with Zip Xpress!

Premium is the Standard at Zip Xpress

Logistics has another trend catching on that Zip Xpress has been performing for years. What other companies call ‘Premium Service’, Zip Xpress has been doing since the beginning, and while the other companies tack this on as a premium service, this is the standard offering from Zip Xpress. We believe in providing the best service possible from the start, not when the customer selects ‘Premium Service.’

This trend isn’t surprising since manufacturers aren’t interested in seeing their hard work arrive at its final destination damaged. They’re not interested in the costs of remaking the product, processing freight claims and attempts to salvage their damaged product as well as reputation. With all of the costs tied up in manufacturing their products, plus the value of their customer relationships, manufacturers deserve the best custom carrier solutions available. We partner with our customers so we can learn about their business, learn what challenges they face in shipping their product and providing solutions. It’s what we do day after day, year after year.

Just like with sustainability, Zip Xpress has been focused on doing things right since the very beginning. Our focus is on learning and understanding our customers at every step through the supply chain. We created unique optimization protocols which allow our partners to ship their products with confidence and provide them with the security in knowing that it will arrive on time and undamaged. We can ensure that your product will arrive per our service standards no matter what. The best part of it all? We didn’t need to label this as our ‘Premium Service.’ To us, it’s just the way we do business every day. To see how we can provide exceptional service to your supply chain, 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!

One Piece at a Time: Daily Objectives Drive Long Term Success

In logistics, success is reliant on an organization’s performance across a wide range of shipments over a long period of time. On-time percentages, claims ratios, customer satisfaction, and safety are just some of the metrics that are used to determine how well a company has been performing. In the grand scheme of things, a business must strive to keep these marks high over hundreds, thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of shipments every year. But to achieve success at such a high level, shippers, manufacturers, and carriers alike must first start small.

Every week should be taken one day at a time, and every day one load a time. By establishing goals and objectives at a single shipment level, a company can help foster a work atmosphere that stresses attention to detail and preventative action. If the goal is simply to get as many loads out as possible, there are bound to be small, seemingly harmless errors that may lead to catastrophe down the road. These problems may be brushed aside at first, but a consistent pattern of carelessness will inevitably lead to strained relationships and higher costs on the back-end when trying to reverse the damage that’s already been done. Having measurable objectives and daily SOP’s to ensure proper packaging, labeling, handling, and filing of every single shipment can help every supply chain partner to meet their goals.

In order to maintain a high standard of service and exceptional level of client satisfaction, we at Zip Xpress take every part of our jobs seriously on a daily basis. No matter how many shipments we have on our table, we make sure double and triple check our work on each individual shipment before sending it on the road, and we continue to set standards for it while in transit. We know that spending a little extra time in the beginning can save a time and money in the end for our valued clients. To see how we can provide such consistency to your shipments, start today with Zip Xpress!

Share that Shipment: The Benefits of Partial Truckloads

Many manufacturers still believe that shipping a full truckload is the safest most economical way to ship their freight. This can be true if their order happens to fill the truck completely with no overflow and only go to one location, but more often than not this isn’t the case. With today’s emphasis on lean manufacturing most shipments are less than a full truckload, and many shippers are realizing the benefits of optimizing freight, as it provides for a more sustainable shipment as well as a cut in costs. Zip Xpress has proven time and again that your freight will arrive in adherence to our service standards.

While most providers may require longer transit times for partial shipments, we make it a point to work around you particular delivery requirements, providing you with the assurance you need that your product will arrive on time and damage free. We also offer several expedite options including our pre-planned expedite program, which allows our customers to offer incredibly fast transit without the high costs of traditional expedite options. Our fine-tuned logistics processes ensure that your product won’t have a delay in service with Zip Xpress.

At Zip Xpress, we cater our headload, blanket wrap, pre-planned expedites and LTL solutions specifically to our customers’ needs. Our top priority is creating more sustainable logistics practices while also providing you with unmatched service for your freight. You can rest assured that your freight is in great hands – your company has worked so hard to bring your products to market, the last thing you want is for it to be delayed, lost, or damaged in transit. Why trust inferior shipping when you can go with the experts at Zip Xpress. To see this level of commitment and care for yourself, start today and experience the difference!

The Shifting Market and the Road Ahead

2018 was a great year for transportation providers. The manufacturing boom led to record demand in the shipping sector, which forced everyone in the supply chain to hone in on their logistics partnerships. Shippers realized how important carriers are to their growth and created flourishing partnerships. Reliability and optimized loads were proven out during 2018, with manufacturers reaping the benefits from these sustainable logistics practices.

2019 presents a lot of opportunity for shippers to partner with a trusted and reliable carrier like Zip Xpress due to a changing rate market. The markets may shift, but one thing’s for sure, there’s always a need for optimized shipments to arrive on time and undamaged. With manufacturers experiencing the current economic boon, they don’t want to see losses from their products damaged, they want those products to arrive on-time and undamaged. They want a carrier they can trust in the midst of a softening market. They don’t want instability, they want reliability. We’re here to provide guidance, increased capacity and excellent customer service to manufacturers who’re ready to partner with a reliable carrier.

At Zip Xpress, we are aware of the changing market conditions, but we believe that our service levels and commitment to customer satisfaction will always place us as one of the strongest carriers in our sector. While rates may change, our success is due to our relationships with our customers and vendors. With the market softening, we believe that now is the time to prove our status as the most reliable option. No matter what the price, we will always keep our clients’ needs as our number one priority. To see how Zip Xpress can provide on-time and undamaged service for your company, start today!

Trucking Safety

Safety on the Road

Logistics can be a demanding profession, and everybody involved in the supply chain is aware of the importance of staying on schedule and meeting performance goals. However, the issue of safety is often overlooked unfortunately. This is a major mistake, whether it’s a driver, a warehouse worker, or a supply chain manager neglecting to perform their due diligence. With a polar vortex bringing freezing temperatures and dangerous driving conditions to the Midwest and parts of the Northeast, we should look at what we can do to ensure that drivers are staying safe on the road.

Drivers themselves should make it a point to practice the basic rules of safety while driving. Minimize any distractions during transit and make sure to only take calls or read text messages when not driving. They should also get their truck tuned up regularly and address any issues that need to be fixed. Minor maintenance problems may seem like they can be pushed off, but whether or not a disaster is avoided can often be a matter of mere seconds, so it is vital to make sure that everything is working as best as it can.

Regular maintenance will better prepare a truck to handle sub-zero temperatures, but drivers should prepare themselves as well. This means packing a bag with extra winter clothes for any trip that will travel through winter weather. Drivers should also familiarize themselves with all emergency outposts and points of contact in the regions in which they are driving. Paying attention to dangerous conditions ahead of time may allow the driver to re-route their trip and avoid hazardous situations.

Drivers aren’t the only ones that should be paying attention to safety. Shippers and manufacturers should also be aware of the weather across the country so that they can adjust their expectations when a storm may hit. Nobody wants their shipment to be late, but it is far more important to ensure that it arrives in one piece rather than pushing for an on-time delivery in impossible conditions. Everyone involved in the supply chain needs to understand the human aspect of the work involved – this will help all parties maintain a fair level of understanding and will ultimately lead to a more successful business relationship. To learn about how we pay attention to the human side of the supply chain, start today with Zip Xpress!

Manufacturing in West Michigan 2019

Manufacturing in West Michigan for 2019

When you think about the economy of Michigan, Detroit is probably the first thing that comes to mind. While Detroit has been experiencing a renaissance of its own, there is far more to Michigan’s success than just Motown. West Michigan has quietly become a vital artery for the state’s economy, and this comes as no surprise to the people who live here or those who have visited over the years. In fact, the Grand Rapids metro area has an impressive unemployment rate of just 2.6% – almost a point and a half below the national average. This means that people are finding gainful employment and contributing greatly to a booming economy across the region.

One of the area’s largest industries is the office furniture manufacturing industry, with fresh startups and established giants alike continuing to push for innovation in both the design and production aspects of the industry. This forward-thinking mentality is prominent among workers in West Michigan, leading to an influx of new, creative ideas and helping to boost images and profits for many organizations. This positive trend, however, brings with it a new challenge for many companies – it is becoming harder to find skilled workers who need jobs in the region, so these businesses must put forth more competitive offers and work to create more effective supply chains.

While all of this is a net positive for the region, uncertainty still looms large. The midterms saw a major shift in political power in the state, steel and aluminum tariffs put in place by the Trump administration are controversial to say the least. Still, Zip Xpress believes the overall outlook for West Michigan is positive, and will continue to provide certainty for our manufacturing partners. Our optimism and can-do attitude have helped build West Michigan and we’re excited to see what lies in store for 2019. To see how we can provide certainty to your supply chain, start today with Zip Xpress!

Filling the Gap – How to Cope with Talent Disparity in Manufacturing

Manufacturing in the US is continuing to boom, bringing with it a reinvigorated job market and plenty of opportunities for gainful employment. Fears that improved technologies and increased automation would eliminate jobs have been alleviated by the fact that these new technologies, more often than not, require people to keep them functioning. Automation has improved efficiency, but the need for tech-savvy employees has also improved the job market. It’s a win-win situation, right? Well, it might not be quite as simple as we may think.

While job openings are up, the supply of qualified workers to fill these positions isn’t keeping up with demand. This means that many manufacturers are facing major challenges in finding the right people in a highly competitive job sector. This talent gap can put a significant strain on the operations of a manufacturing company who is trying to embrace new technologies while remaining efficient and profitable. Investment in quality training and recruiting programs is a must, but there are other ways to soften the blow caused by this new talent gap. One of those methods is to work with strong, capable supply chain partners who can contribute to a more streamlined manufacturing process.

Transportation and logistics companies have long been well-prepared for major shifts in the market. If a manufacturer is still in the process of filling important roles, they can lean on their supply chain partners a bit and let them take the reins on certain initiatives. This can alleviate some of the growing pains caused by the manufacturing boom, and should be beneficial down the line as the positions become filled. A strong partnership with a supply chain service provider can go a long way in moving the transition along.

At Zip Xpress, we are committed to providing top-notch service so that all of our customers can benefit from the current manufacturing boom. The less our customers have to worry about delayed shipments or damaged freight, the more they’ll be able to focus on improving their own internal processes. To see how we can help you as our partner, 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!