Freight transportation provider Schneider plans to double the size of its bulk intermodal trailer service to around 1,000 units throughout all of North American, including with new service into Canada and Mexico.

The company said the move is due to an increase in load volume by 75% in the first six months of the year.

“As the driver market continues to tighten, chemical companies of all sizes are struggling to get long-haul bulk capacity,” said George Grossardt, senior vice president and general manager of Schneider’s bulk division. “When customers move loads on the rail with Schneider Bulk, it frees up drivers for their other over-the-road loads.”

Grossardt noted that some shippers’ initial concerns that conversion from truckload to intermodal would result in service delays are proving to be unfounded.

“Truckload plus one day is very doable for most chemical shippers today,” he said. “If they can build the extra day of transit into their supply chains, they can count on our bulk intermodal drivers to deliver. Many of the customers who have experienced our bulk intermodal service have become regular or heavy users because it gives them a largely unconstrained, long-haul liquid bulk capacity option. We have a 100% retention rate among customers who ship intermodal loads.”

Schneider’s bulk intermodal service hauls liquid bulk chemicals using a 40-foot tank trailer that can be used both on the rail and over the road. When loaded onto a chassis, which is then pulled by a 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, according to Schneider.

Schneider has alliances with five of the major rail companies serving the continent, including hazardous materials certification with four primary railways. The company said its 14 intermodal ramps are strategically placed to cover North America and plans to add more ramps over the course of the next year to accommodate shippers’ needs to serve even more markets.

Schneider is one of the nation's largest carriers offering truckload, intermodal and logistics services that include regional, long-haul, expedited, dedicated, brokerage, cross-dock logistics, supply chain management and port logistics services.