AJOT: What are your key priorities with respect to Schneider’s intermodal services?
JIM FILTER: It’s now obvious that the continuing driver shortage and implementation of ELD is not a phenomenon, but the new normal in the industry – we will be living with a tight labor market and high demand for the foreseeable future. With this in mind, we are focusing our efforts on creating a better and more efficient experience for the drivers, which results in greater efficiencies that Schneider can bring to its customers. There are 3 key areas of focus that all impact each other:
AJOT: Can you shed more perspective on Schneider’s recent decision to expand your chassis fleet by 15,000 units?
JIM FILTER: This is a natural progression; as we add container volume to our network, we make concurrent chassis investments to ensure operating efficiencies, which also ties back to our strategy of improving both the customer and driver experience. A sufficient number of better and new chassis mean less down driver down time and enhanced customer service. Starting in 2013 Schneider made its first chassis investments as a pilot project- our experience was successful and it is now part of our business model as our intermodal volumes have grown network-wide.
AJOT: How has Schneider’s cross-border business to Mexico and Canada been developing?
JIM FILTER: Very strong- I was based in Mexico for 2 years as CEO of Schneider Mexico, and oversaw the rapid development of Schneider’s truckload, intermodal and logistics businesses. Similarly, the Canadian cross-border market is developing well. Some Canadian truckers have pulled back a bit from cross border business due to the slower implementation of ELD in Canada, but this situation is expected to equalize as ELD is phased into the Canadian market over the next two years.