Background: An appetite for an agile carrier
One of the nation’s largest grocery retailers and distributors transports dry goods throughout Pennsylvania and Ohio. For most of the year, the retailer successfully relies on both its private fleet and a network of small, short-haul, regional carriers to get products onto store shelves. When the retailer realized it needed additional capacity to handle special promotions and seasonal spikes, it sought an agile transportation provider that could help flex its capacity and keep up with demand. Enter Schneider.
Situation: Capacity needs at the customer’s fingertips
Because of home-time agreements, regional-based drivers are often unavailable during weekends and holidays to haul freight, creating the need for additional capacity during high-grocery-demand periods when freight needs to move seven days a week. To ensure consistent coverage and give the retailer’s private fleet time off during the holiday season, Schneider customized a Dedicated plan to fit the customer’s transportation budget while meeting the challenges of seasonal fleet capacity needs.
Schneider’s solution: Tiered approach packs a powerful punch
Leveraging its established network and expertise, Schneider implemented a series of new transportation and scheduling practices across the retailer’s fleet, distribution centers and stores. The four-tier solution allowed the retailer to ramp capacity up and down when needed, while swiftly navigating the supply chain. Schneider’s solution included:
Enabling a fixed and replenished model through backhaul. Achieving on-time delivery, while avoiding stock shortages and unmanaged inventories, is a critical component of a grocery retailer's ability to operate in a fixed and replenished inventory model.
With many of its products sourced from consumer product goods companies (CPGs), the retailer needed a flexible carrier that could pick up the essential freight at the CPG vendors daily and deliver to the grocery retailer’s main warehouses.
Already-established relationships with many of the retailer’s CPG vendors allowed Schneider to easily identify and fill vendor backhauls for the grocery retailer. Drop-and-hook freight on both ends expedited delivery of inbound freight for the retailer while decreasing empty miles – providing a seven-day solution to the retailer’s planning of replenishments for fixed bins within its warehouses.
Truckload services. Schneider created a customized transportation solution, providing the grocery retailer with the flexibility to control and manage its goods and improve its bottom line. Services included Schneider's regional and long-haul fleets working hand-in-hand with the retailer’s existing fleet to cover the substantial amount of freight in the retailer’s regional distribution network as well as its mid-haul and long-haul routes.
Pop-up fleets. After evaluating the retailer’s network needs, Schneider recommended the use of pop-up fleets to keep the retailer’s business moving at peak efficiency. Schneider assigned a dedicated team of pop-up drivers and market-specific customer service representatives to meet the freight demand. This allows the retailer to operate its fleets with a lean approach, relying on Schneider to provide extra capacity on demand.
Online tendering system. Schneider worked with the grocery retailer to implement an electronic data interchange, providing the company with all the information needed to create and assign loads directly to drivers. This system includes requested pickup and delivery dates and times, origin and destination address and contact information, weight, miles and more. Purchase orders and invoices are received electronically, significantly streamlining transaction processing.
Results: Going above and beyond
Schneider delivered a solution that seamlessly ebbs and flows with the grocery retailer’s business needs. Delivered results include:
- Predictability in transportation spend
- Improved on-time delivery for Schneider-supported loads
- Ability to compete regionally as well as nationally, delivering additional value with long-haul, regional and pop-up capabilities
- Greater ability to manage fixed and replenishment capacity
- Reducing empty miles with a seven-day, backhaul solution
- Fewer stock-outs
With Schneider’s help, the grocery retailer hit a home run, exceeding all of its original goals. More importantly, the customer continues to achieve unprecedented results. It is able to better manage its transportation spend with on-demand capacity and the assurance of on-time delivery during weekends and seasonal business spikes.
Drive your business forward
Sign up to receive our industry leading newsletter with case studies and insights you can put to use for your business.