Schneider National Bulk Carriers recently launched a bulk intermodal transportation service using a new 40-foot tank container that can be used on the rail and over the road to haul liquid bulk chemicals across the United States.
Future plans call for expansion into Canada and Mexico.
Schneider gained approval from the American Railway Association and railroads for this service offering. It worked with key providers, EXSIF Worldwide, International Transport Equipment and TransWorld Equipment to design the bulk intermodal service solution.
The result of Schneider’s investment is a 40-foot container capable of hauling 5,800 gallons. Schneider currently has a fleet of nearly 100 of these unique containers and expects that number to double by the end of 2013.
When loaded onto a chassis (which is then pulled by a lightweight day cab to the final destination), the unit stands 11 feet, 5 inches high and can haul close to 48,000 pounds. This allows customers to load 5% to 6% more product than in a traditional over-the-road truckload move.
Liquids and chemicals have been hauled across North America by both truck and train for years; however, each mode required its own special container to move the product. This resulted in supply chain inefficiencies as product needed to be pumped into another container for last-mile transport.
The new container used in Schneider’s bulk intermodal service enables these products to be transported across both modes using the same container.
Though Schneider is currently approved to haul only nonhazardous chemicals right now, the company expects to gain hazmat certification from the railroads in 2013.