GREEN BAY, Wis.– Following “overwhelming” arketplace response to its bulk intermodal service in the first six months of 2014, Schneider has announced an expansion to its Bulk Intermodal service. Trailer load volumes increased 75 percent over the last six months, the company said, prompting expanded coverage throughout all of North America, including new reaches into Canada and Mexico.
Schneider plans to double the number of its Bulk Intermodal trailers in the next year to meet demand.
“As the driver market continues to tighten, chemical companies of all sizes are struggling to get long-haul bulk capacity,” explains George Grossardt, senior vice president and general manager of Schneider’s Bulk division. “When customers move loads on the rail with Schneider Bulk, it frees up drivers for their other over-the-road loads.”
Grossardt also noted that some shippers’ initial concerns that conversion from truckload to intermodal would result in service delays are proving to be unfounded.
“Truckload plus one day is very doable for most chemical shippers today,” Grossardt states. “If they can build the extra day of transit into their supply chains, they can count on our Bulk Intermodal drivers to deliver. Many of the customers who have experienced our Bulk Intermodal service have become regular or heavy users because it gives them a largely unconstrained, long-haul liquid bulk capacity option. We have a 100 percent retention rate among customers who ship Intermodal loads,” he said.
Schneider’s Bulk Intermodal service hauls liquid bulk chemicals using a 40-foot tank trailer that can be used both on the rail and over the road. When loaded onto a chassis (which is then pulled by a light-weight day cab to the final destination), the unit stands 11 feet, 5 inches high and can haul close to 48,000 pounds. This allows customers to load 5 to 6 percent more product than in a traditional over-the-road truckload move.
Schneider has allied itself with five of the major rail companies serving the continent (including HAZMAT certification with four primary railways). The company’s 14 intermodal ramps are strategically placed to cover North America. Schneider plans to add more ramps over the course of the next year to accommodate shippers’ needs to serve even more markets.
“Schneider has always excelled at meeting shippers’ needs for their hard-to-do long-haul bulk chemical shipments,” says Grossardt. “Shippers have come to count on Schneider for maximum capacity and value as well as creative solutions. Complementing our Bulk Intermodal trailer service with over-the-road is a smart play of chemical shippers.”