Shipper | Case study

Custom drop trailer solution improves cross-border shipping of PPE


A Schneider truck moving across the border with a flag of Mexico cover image

With a pandemic sweeping across the nation, disruption of all kinds dominated 2020. For one global medical supply company, the disruption to their operations was accompanied by the unprecedented ability to stand out as a warrior in the fight against a dangerous virus. COVID-19 placed a premium on personal protective equipment (PPE) for workers within the healthcare industry, so the Department of Homeland Security recruited top-tier medical manufacturers to make N95 masks to help protect essential workers amid the pandemic. The medical supply manufacturer was one of three elite companies commissioned with increasing PPE orders to meet the skyrocketing demand.

As part of its manufacturing process, the manufacturer stores materials and trailers at its facility in Texas. Those supplies are moved across the border into Mexico, where product is manufactured before making its way back across the border and transported to distribution centers (DCs) throughout the United States. The heightened national need for PPE and expedited timeline led to a stressed supply chain without clear direction on how to efficiently move forward.

Evaluating current operations and preparing for increased rigor around shipments

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During this surge in production, the manufacturer’s primary carrier was no longer able to service the freight. Additionally, poor visibility into production time, trailer turn time, total product volume and the shipping timeline to DCs made it difficult to accurately plan driver capacity. Capacity is important all the time, but the manufacturer experienced an extra layer of pressure because once the FDA approved the finished product, it had seven days to be shipped and arrive at its destination.

The manufacturer gets a 24-hour notification of tender, and at that time the clock starts and necessary capacity must be secured. The manufacturer needed a transportation provider that had a breadth of services and expertise to help deliver these lifesaving medical devices.

Facilitating a drop trailer solution for optimized cross-border moves

Because the manufacturer had called on Schneider to move loads over the past year, it knew the transportation provider had one of the largest portfolios in the industry and robust solutions that could meet its unique needs. The manufacturer knew contacting Schneider for this aspect of its business was the right call. Armed with the necessary knowledge, Schneider immediately began working through all the details with the customer operations team and its associates and greater team based in Mexico. Within hours, Schneider was able to drop 10 trailers and build up a pool of 25 to accommodate the increased requirements. The Schneider Van Truckload and Brokerage teams also provided the manufacturer with:

A custom, out-of-the-box drop trailer solution

A custom, out-of-the-box drop trailer solution

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A blended cross-border solution that fit the manufacturer’s network

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Comprehensive inbound and outbound shipping options to increase capacity and improve service

Establishing ongoing supply chain enhancement

Armed with a comprehensive solution that streamlined processes and guaranteed capacity, the medical manufacturer was able to produce and move the in-demand PPE without delay. This resulted in moving up to 40 loads per week. The manufacturer was impressed with the speed and thoroughness Schneider provided during a pivotal time and is now discussing more strategic supply chain enhancements across other areas of the manufacturer’s supply chain. When it comes to managing cross-border logistics and the ever-present need for capacity, the manufacturer can now rest easy. It knows that it has a transportation and logistics provider in its corner prepared to make a big impact to help protect profit and, most importantly, people.

How can Schneider assess your supply chain and provide a custom solution? Contact an expert today to begin. 

Contact an expert

Having a secure, reliable and timely supply chain is important for any industry, but it’s vital in healthcare. Schneider has the technology, customer service and equipment required to maintain the quality standards of pharmaceuticals and medical equipment across the supply chain. 

Pharmaceuticals and medical services
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