Shipper | Case study

Shifting a supply chain to meet customer needs

Schneider provides a solution for 3PL struggling to handle wholesalers peak season needs.


A global 3PL and freight forwarder had a large contract with a multinational wholesaler and needed to shift its supply chain route from the West Coast to the East Coast while continuing to provide just-in-time distribution.

Few providers have the capabilities to solve this type of challenge.

Global 3PL and freight forwarder needed to shift ports

Its contract with a multi-national wholesaler needed to shift from West Coast to the East Coast

The 3PL had just signed a large contract with the wholesaler to move its product across the ocean. Unforecasted customer demand and short lead times led to the need for a flexible, multimodal solution once the product landed in the U.S. The challenge left the 3PL feeling overwhelmed and underprepared. Transit times from the port in its current set-up on the congested West Coast were often in excess of 10 days, sometimes as long as 21 days during peak seasons. This time variability and lack of visibility made downstream planning impossible.

Nothing short of a tall order, the 3PL was looking for someone who had: 

  • A presence at and relationship with East Coast ports.
  • Facility space to transload products.
  • Integrated dray, transloading, and final mile delivery.
  • Long haul dray capable of meeting time-sensitive delivery appointments to three inland DCs throughout the U.S.
  • Outbound intermodal and truckload capacity based on transit needs. 
united states map with containers image

The customer needed the ability to create a fluid supply chain solution that could flex at a moment’s notice to meet both controllable (peak seasons) and uncontrollable (port disruptions, etc.) situations. 

With its client relationship at risk, the 3PL needed to take action to gain control of the wholesaler’s supply chain and avoid costly penalties, ASAP.

A quick dedicated logistics solution saved the retailer money and prevented supply chain disruptions

A strong relationship with and presence at East Coast ports, nearby warehouse and transload locations and dependable truckload and intermodal capacity enabled Schneider to provide a one-stop solution that went above and beyond the capabilities of all other providers. Additionally, the 3PL saw Schneider as a provider who could support it and flex nationwide when needed.

The move from the West Coast to the East Coast provided consistent and reliable service with visibility and dependable transit times, allowing for reduced inventory. 

Ultimately three unique transportation solutions were delivered: 

  1. Dray-to-door, transload by-pass, dray direct. 
  2. Dray, Transload, Intermodal. 
  3. Dray, Transload, Truckload.
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Solution reduced transit time and much-needed options

Schneider’s solution proved powerful and reduced transit time from the port by 66%, from 21 days to 7 days. It also provided options, which are key in this customer’s business. 

During the course of the relationship Schneider has: 

  • Created three unique transportation solutions. 
  • Provided the ability to layer in additional modes as customer needs evolve. 
  • Delivered priority at all points in the supply chain. 
  • Provided one touchpoint for managing stakeholder issues – one call to Schneider and we manage it from there.

The 3PL and the wholesaler have been very pleased with the modes of transportation, the transload process, and the account management they receive from Schneider. 

In fact, the solution worked so well that only three months into the contract the 3PL made the decision to extend it for another 12 months.

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Learn more about our port logistics services by contacting an expert or visiting our port logistics services page. 

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