Shipper Case Study

Schneider meets capacity demands of specialty liquid shipper with Bulk Express Intermodal container solution

Schneider’s custom Bulk Intermodal solution and attention to detail helped increase cost savings and on-time delivery service for a large supplier of cruise ship gear oil.


Background: Oil company needs a consistent capacity solution

An oil company with multiple divisions in the U.S. experienced capacity issues with its incumbent over-the-road carrier that struggled with gear oil deliveries to cruise ships docked in Florida. The company needed to find a reliable shipping solution to meet tight cruise ship schedules and reduce transportation costs.

Situation: Unpredictable reliability and unacceptable wait time for capacity

The oil company needed to get its product moved quickly from Houston, Texas, to various cruise ports in Florida, but it continued to experience inconsistent reliable capacity from its carrier. In an effort to gain additional capacity and meet the on-time demands of the cruise ship, the oil company reached out to Schneider.

Solution: Schneider introduces company to the benefits of Bulk Express intermodal

Using its extensive Intermodal network, strong rail relationships and fleet of 40-foot Bulk Intermodal containers, Schneider developed a solution to haul a majority of the company’s shipments via rail and the remaining loads over-the-road. Within weeks, Schneider had a plan in place and started moving the loads.

Unique to Schneider’s 40-foot Bulk Intermodal containers are their ability to haul up to 45,600 pounds of liquid payloads and their standard fittings for easy offloading – like an over-the-road tanker. With intermodal using less fuel than over-the-road, the shipper received a competitive rate per mile, lower per-pound transportation cost and left a smaller carbon footprint.

Since not all rails lead in the direction of the cruise ships, the oil company also relied on Schneider for over-the-road service to complement its Bulk Intermodal offering. Fortunately, by shipping Schneider Bulk Intermodal, capacity is freed up for additional over-the-road drivers to help meet the demands of the cruise ships located away from the rails.

When the company lost oil from level unloading areas that made full removal of the product from the container difficult, Schneider worked on a free-of-charge arrangement with its cleaning vendor to package the remaining gear oil and reduce the financial loss for the company. The vendor drains the heel from the containers into clean drums, then the oil company – which also runs a box truck fleet in Florida – picks up the drums at no additional cost.

With a new transportation solution operationalized by Schneider, the oil company began seeing immediate, consistent results and additional unique cost savings.

Results: Bulk Express Intermodal reduces transportation costs by 35% and improves on-time delivery

The oil company has realized increased cost savings and on-time delivery service that comes with Schneider’s Bulk Express Intermodal offering as a complement to over-the-road. Key results include:

  • Increased bulk intermodal loads month over month.
  • Ongoing savings from recovered oil from emptied containers.
  • Projected 35% annual freight cost savings vs. previous over-the-road service.
  • 92% on-time delivery.

With more efficient systems in place, Schneider not only excels at delivering the oil company’s product on time and as promised, it opens the doors to the company’s other divisions to experience similar cost-savings results.

Take the first step to increased efficiencies and savings

Begin the conversation by emailing the Bulk Express Intermodal team today at

Published July 2018

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