Schneider National has begun rolling out a direct, cross-border intermodal service, linking three cities in Mexico to Chicago via a new interchange point in Jackson, Miss.
The company’s first regular service began two weeks ago, and Schneider will have the new program fully up and running by the end of next week, Jim Filter, the company’s senior vice president of intermodal commercial management, told American Shipper
The new, non-stop service will save customers one day of transit time by switching the interchange from Houston to Jackson, giving them a more direct route to the northern U.S., Filter added. In Mexico, Schneider National has ramps at Mexico City, San Luis Potosi and Monterrey.
The service, Filter said, also operates on a more frequent schedule, which eliminates variability, which is what customers had been demanding. Filter expects that cargo on the new service will include white goods, flatscreens and other such items going north, with drainage systems and other equipment routing south.
He said there is a large growth potential for cross-border intermodal. According to Filter, only about 10 percent of the business that could be using intermodal is currently taking advantage of the opportunity. Part of Filter’s job is to convince these customers of the cost savings they can experience with intermodal as opposed to over-the-road trucking.
“We’re expecting huge growth,” he said. “We understand the size of the market; we’ve been doing the truckload cross-border business longer than anyone else, so we’ve got good visibility on all the products that are shipping between these locations.”