Shipper Case Study

Dedicated intermodal drays deliver home furnishings retailer’s sales through tighter scheduling


Loose, inefficient delivery schedule is bad for business

A retailer specializing in imported home furnishings and décor was shipping product via intermodal from its distribution center in Washington state to St. Paul, Minnesota. The freight was then drayed from the railyard to stores in Minnesota and Wisconsin without a set schedule. The retailer realized that the loose delivery schedule was affecting its bottom line and decided to investigate how a Dedicated Intermodal dray solution could help it get products into stores earlier.

Ongoing inefficient delivery results in product delays to stores and inconsistent delivery times, which negatively impacted the retailer’s bottom line

When freight entered the railyard in St. Paul, local drivers would dray it to area stores when there was available capacity. The carriers were only making single-stop deliveries, which meant they had to return to the railyard multiple times to deliver product to all the stores in the market area. This inefficient delivery system resulted in delays moving product into stores as well as inconsistent delivery times, which negatively impacted the retailer’s bottom line.

In an attempt to gain control of the delivery issues, the retailer introduced new requirements that deliveries must be made with consistency and turned to Schneider to help turn that directive into reality.

Quicker deliveries result in consistent and timely product availability on the shelves, which positively impacts the retailer’s bottom line

Tasked with improving the retailer’s delivery process from the railyard to the stores, Schneider’s team worked with the retailer to assess its current operations as well as identify and execute process improvements.

The first improvement was to assign two Schneider Dedicated Intermodal dray trucks to execute multistop deliveries, which saved time and created a consistent delivery schedule.

The next improvement focused on revising the unloading process. Prior to Schneider’s solution, carriers were required to unload the containers at each store. Now, the driver tailgates the freight (moves the freight to the back of the truck) and team members from the stores complete the delivery unload.

With a larger team responsible for the unloading process, the driver could complete the deliveries quicker. Quicker deliveries resulted in consistent and timely product availability on the shelves, which positively impacts the retailer’s bottom line.

Schneider stayed in lock-step with the retailer during the implementation process through regular operations calls. During these calls, Schneider and the retailer reviewed how the orders would come through and planned deliveries according to a predetermined delivery schedule. As the retailer shifted to this new operation, Schneider had an account manager on-site for the first few deliveries. This gave the retailer additional support throughout the transition to ensure it happened seamlessly – and it did.

Dedicated intermodal dray program so successful in Midwest operations it is implemented to the Pacific Northwest

When the retailer approached Schneider looking for an efficient delivery system, it wanted an effective solution in 16 days. Schneider accepted the challenge and delivered the easy-to-implement, structured scheduling program that was needed. Additional results include:

  • 98% on-time delivery.
  • Predictable multistop deliveries.
  • Shortened delivery process.
  • Consistent and timely product availability.

Seeing its success in the Minnesota-Wisconsin region, the retailer asked Schneider to execute the Dedicated Intermodal dray program in the Pacific Northwest. 

Schneider was successful with the Pacific Northwest implementation, going live a full month earlier than anticipated, proving the original process improvements made were easily replicable and continue to increase the retailer’s bottom line.

Interested in a customized solution like this for your business? We specialize in fully understanding your needs and providing the most efficient solution for your business. Use this form to contact an expert and get the conversation around your unique solution started today.

Published March 2021

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