Schneider plans to double its bulk intermodal trailer service following load volume growth exceeding 75% in the first six months of 2014.

“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.”

The company said its rail network allows most shipments to arrive within 24 hours of the time it would take for the load to travel over the road.

“Truckload plus one day is very doable for most chemical shippers today,” Grossardt 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.”

Schneider’s bulk intermodal service moves liquid bulk chemicals using a 40-ft. 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 light-weight day cab to the final destination), the unit stands 11 ft., 5 in. high and can haul close to 48,000 lbs. This allows customers to load 5% to 6% more product than in a traditional over-the-road truckload move, the company said.

Schneider has alliances with five of the major rail companies serving the continent (including Hazmat certification with four primary railways) and has 14 intermodal ramps strategically placed to cover North America. Schneider plans to add more ramps over the course of the next year to accommodate shippers’ needs to serve even more markets.