Shipper Case Study

A shipper’s best friend: strategic intermodal onboarding process helps pet food supplier grow

Strategic intermodal transportation onboarding process helped a pet food manufacturer obtain consistent freight capacity and delivery


Whistling for consistent freight capacity, a challenge of prioritization

One of the world’s largest specialty retailers has stores across North America. Continuing to see successful sales results and increased product demand, the retailer decided to open an additional distribution center (DC) in the Great Plains area.

Schneider has a long-standing relationship with the retailer, which began with Van Truckload. The business has also grown to include Dedicated, Intermodal, Final Mile Delivery, Cross-Dock and Brokerage. Schneider provides consistent capacity solutions, especially during the retailer’s busiest time of year – spring – when capacity commitments increase by 50 percent or more.

Ready to shed the weight of bad transportation behaviors from intermodal carriers

For the pet food manufacturer, the time had come to let go of a series of incumbent intermodal carriers that were not giving its business the attention it deserved. Poor communication, lackluster network analysis and insufficient support toward becoming a shipper of choice led to delivery delays and a lack of freight capacity and took a bite out of the manufacturer’s bottom line.

Thankfully, Schneider was there to help the company keep its goods moving on time, as promised.

Ramping up freight capacity and on-time-delivery with Schneider intermodal transportation onboarding process

From its first contact with the pet food manufacturer, Schneider’s carrier onboarding process was in high gear. Its intermodal business implementation team set out to align the customer’s network with its goals and provide a single, proactive channel of communication as a way to completely understand the manufacturer’s transportation needs

To help ensure freight was fetched and delivered in a timely manner, Schneider incorporated regular mandatory check-ins with the manufacturer to discuss topics including upcoming delivery windows and drop-and-hook delivery options. The quick, consistent regroups helped keep freight moving smoothly and offered Schneider the opportunity to help the company incorporate shipper of choice attributes.

As a final measure to ensure the pet food manufacturer had optimized payload capacity and value with Schneider Intermodal, the carrier connected with the local manufacturing site to engineer a solution that enabled the pet food manufacturer to increase its payload on every shipment. The team also customized a solution to reduce the shipper’s overweight shipments that entered the California market. By providing a constant eye on the heavy-haul process and execution, Schneider’s intermodal business implementation team successfully optimized the business’s transportation strategy for the long haul.

Pick of the carriers: good intermodal transportation behaviors reward the shipper

As the pet food manufacturer learned, a well-oiled supply chain can maximize efficiency and be flexible enough to adjust to inevitable disruptions in operation. Usually, the key to such high-powered performance can be traced back to the very beginning of the collaboration between the shipper and transportation provider. Therefore, it’s mission critical to work with an intermodal carrier that understands how to implement a quality onboarding process.

Implementing freight characteristics with carrier led to priority freight

  • Dray line haul less than 50 miles
  • "Rate my location" of five stars
  • Open appointment
  • Drop hook instead of live load
  • Average dwell time less than one hour

Schneider knows that with a proper carrier onboarding process, networks get efficiently optimized, challenges are rightly addressed and unexpected events become manageable opportunities. That’s why it ensures that the same team that sets up an agreement is the same team that implements the agreement. As a result, shippers are working with those that truly understand their business and evolving intermodal transportation needs.

As a result of working with Schneider’s Intermodal division, the manufacturer of pet food manufacturer reported that it:

  • Received 92% on-time delivery
  • Enjoyed an acceptance rate of 98%
  • Increased payload capacity on every load
  • Built a foundation for ongoing intermodal transportation success

The manufacturer also awarded Schneider with 370 additional intermodal loads shortly after it began the carrier onboarding process. Now the pet food manufacturer has a carrier that it can rely on to keep its four-legged customers chomping right along.

Published September 2019

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