- THE MAGAZINE
Schneider National has made a significant investment in its intermodal service with the creation of a company-owned and -managed chassis fleet. The new equipment is another in a series of investments and improvements that Schneider is deploying to deliver “truck-like” service in the intermodal segment, the company said.
The company commented that the new chassis fleet will help solve a lingering issue in the intermodal segment: consistent access to lightweight, quality chassis when and where shippers need them.
“Establishing a company-owned chassis fleet gives Schneider complete control of assets used in an intermodal move and makes our service even more efficient for shippers,” said Bill Matheson, president of Intermodal Services at Schneider. “Only a handful of transportation companies have invested in their own chassis fleets. We know that our asset management and maintenance expertise will deliver great value in keeping customers’ freight moving.”
Schneider cited benefits of the chassis investment it expects for shippers:
• More freight capacity per load. At 500 pounds less per unit, the lightweight design of Schneider’s new chassis allows customers to fit more product into each load for a more cost-effective and environmentally friendly freight move.
• Increased availability. The demand for chassis in shared pools often outstrips supply. Schneider’s additional equipment increases supply and allows the company to precisely match the number of customer orders to equipment availability.
• Improved reliability. Schneider’s control over the maintenance of its chassis allows the company to maintain as well as identify issues and make repairs before they turn into critical breakdowns and costly delays.
“We’ve operated, maintained and managed tens of thousands of tractors, trailers and containers over the years,” Matheson added. “The addition of chassis to our equipment mix is a natural extension and once again demonstrates our commitment to intermodal.”
Schneider took delivery of 600 chassis in late October and the new equipment has already been integrated into the company’s intermodal operations. The company expects to convert its entire North American intermodal operation to an owned-chassis model over the next two years.
The chassis purchase marks the third time in recent years that Schneider has heavily invested in its intermodal offering. The company invested in a container conversion in 2006 and completed its container tracking installation in August 2013.