More Glossary Terms

Zone Skipping

Zone skipping consolidates individual packages or orders to fill truckload (TL) or less-than-truckload (LTL) capacity. Aggregated shipments are transported across multiple carrier zones to hub destinations for local final mile delivery. As a result, zone skipping in logistics improves efficiencies in moving freight across multiple regions.

What is Zone Skipping?

Zone shipping in logistics consolidates parcel or freight loads to move larger cargo quantities across longer distances. Skipping carrier zones allows shippers to reduce transit time and decrease transportation costs.

Shipping zone skipping is a benefit for shippers moving large quantities of freight from one geographic region to another region’s hub. There, cargo is deconsolidated and distributed for final mile delivery.

A shipper moving freight from an East Coast facility to many West Coast customers benefits from zone skipping shipping. By skipping zones between origin and destination, the shipper reduces last mile delivery costs by serving customers from the West Coast hub facility.

At the same time, LTL zone skipping transportation providers avoid multiple stops at hubs along a route. By avoiding stops, carriers gain efficiency by maximizing driver time. Consolidating freight shipments optimizes the use of available trucking capacity.
What is a Shipping Zone?
Shipping zones are geographic regions where transportation service providers deliver. Carriers use shipping zones to measure the distance a freight shipment travels. Freight shipping zones are grouped in U.S. Postal Service zip codes based on the distance from a shipment’s point of origin to its final destination.

The United States freight zone map is standardized and ranges from zone 1, the closest, to zone 9. USPS, UPS, and FedEx use the same freight zone logistics map in USA shipments. From the logistics zone map, zone 1 is considered anywhere within a 50-mile radius.

U.S. Shipping Zones
  • Zone 1: 50-mile radius.
  • Zone 2: 51-150-mile radius.
  • Zone 3: 151-300-mile radius.
  • Zone 4: 301-600-mile radius.
  • Zone 5: 601-1000-mile radius.
  • Zone 6: 1001-1400-mile radius.
  • Zone 7: 1401-1800-mile radius.
  • Zone 8: 1801+ mile radius.
  • Zone 9: Freely associated states.
Each shipping zone represents a different cost for transportation and varies by carrier.
Benefits of Zone Skipping Shipping

Zone skipping shippers can save money, shorten transit time, improve tracking and reduce the risk of loss or damaged shipments.

Zone Skipping Saves Money
Consolidating multiple packages or orders into one larger LTL or Truckload shipment transported over a long distance is less expensive than using multiple providers and multiple stops. Following a zone skip shipment, freight is closer to the end customer, so last mile delivery costs are reduced.
Zone Skipping Shortens Transit Time
For consolidated freight shipments, zone skipping avoids stops at carriers’ regional hubs and reduces associated delays. Final mile transit distance and time are also reduced because destination hubs are closer to end customers.
Zone Skipping Improves Tracking
Zone skip shipments are visible in real-time as loads and trucks are tracked at zone stops. Fewer stops mean fewer opportunities for a shipment to lose visibility. Expected arrival time (ETA) updates can be accurately communicated before final delivery from the destination hub.
Zone Skipping Reduces Risk of Loss or Damage
Limiting stops and additional touches reduces the chances of damage or theft.
How MercuryGate Supports Zone Skipping in Logistics

MercuryGate TMS supports zone skipping in logistics by providing load planning, pooling, and advanced routing solutions. MercuryGate’s Last Mile solutions complete the zone skip shipping cycle with reliable and efficient last mile delivery.

Load Planning

Load planning configurations within the TMS can be defined to align with specific needs and the best options for moving freight. Load planning completed within the TMS is shared digitally with vendors and customers to streamline communications and reduce manual activities.

Load build optimization maximizes container and trailer space and uses stacking configurations to minimize damage in transit. By analyzing shipping patterns and current capacity and price trends, MercuryGate TMS ensures load planning activities yield the best service and cost.

Pooling and Advanced Routing
MercuryGate TMS supports pool distribution to consolidate LTL shipments for advanced transportation scenarios, including zone skipping. Solutions offer options to fan shipments into a consolidation center or move consolidated loads to regional hubs for final mile deliveries to end customers.

MercuryGate TMS finds the most efficient route for freight shipments. Pooling and advanced routing allow users to limit trucks and trailers, identify the most fuel-efficient routes, and decrease carbon footprints.

Learn how to improve cost control and profitability with freight optimization.

Last Mile

MercuryGate logistics solutions for the last mile serve couriers, LTL carriers, truckload carriers, private fleets, and white glove delivery services:

  • Predictive delivery down to the hour.
  • Real-time execution and autonomous optimization.
  • Street-level routing and exception resolutions.
  • White glove service capabilities, including returns and claims.
  • Enhanced forecasting and planning for freight movements across the supply chain.
MercuryGate’s Final Mile solution supports better management of drivers and capacity and reduces manual handling time and expenses.
MercuryGate solutions supporting zone skip shipping strategies exist alongside transportation execution and final mile management technology. Freight management activities consolidated in one platform create efficiencies for users while centralizing all transportation data into an easily accessible digital resource.

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