“PSP,”* one of the world’s leading premium spirits producers, operates a complex global supply chain spanning dozens of countries. In North America, PSP distills a large volume of products in Canada and then transports them by truckload to the U.S. Transporting liquor and other alcoholic beverages requires navigating a myriad of national and state-level rules and regulations, specialized equipment, and access to a pool of drivers that carry the permits necessary to legally transport the product.
Challenges & Needs
PSP was primarily relying on asset-based carriers but was challenged with a lack of available capacity to support sales growth and the seasonal swings in their shipment volumes. PSP desired that their carriers provide a drop trailer solution, however, asset-based carriers were reluctant to commit trailers to a trailer pool that may lie dormant for weeks or even months at a time. However, finding alternative solutions proved challenging as well, as PSP required drivers that were permitted to transport liquor. In addition, due to the often harsh winter weather conditions in Canada, PSP’s shipments require special handling, including protect from freeze handling, special equipment such as tire chains, and extensive winter weather driving experience to safely navigate icy and snowy winter roads.
Sheer Logistics tapped into its extensive network of carriers in the region to create trailer pools at the PSP distillery and warehouse, located on both sides of the U.S./Canada border. The solution includes intra-Canada transportation management, dropping empty trailers at the shipper, live unloading the trailers at the consignee, management and coordination of all cross-border logistics, including permits and international customs clearance.
Selecting the appropriate carriers required more than a willingness to commit trailers to the drop trailer program. Sheer Logistics carefully selected carriers who possessed the specialized protect from freeze and winter weather driving capabilities required to safely and efficiently transport PSP’s products.
Most importantly, Sheer’s drop trailer pool provides exceptional flexibility to meet PSP’s dynamic transportation needs. Not only do shipment volumes vary, routes vary as well. For example, when PSP has an order to fulfill, some of the order may come out of the distillery with the rest coming out of the warehouse. The product mix and locations may not be known until shortly before the scheduled pick up, so the Sheer team must be agile in coordinating multi-stop pickups on an as needed basis to ensure order accuracy.
“Sheer is 100% mission critical to us.”
Sheer Logistics has been servicing PSP’s cross-border drop trailer needs for over six years. In this time, Sheer has significantly expanded its drop trailer solution and currently manages approximately 100 loads per month, becoming “mission critical” for PSP.
*The company name has been anonymized for the purposes of this case study.
“The communication that Sheer does is something I wish my other brokers did… The level of customer service has spoken volumes.”
AT A GLANCE
Liquor, Wine & Spirits
FTL Drop Trailers
- FTL Brokerage
- Drop Trailer Pooling
- Cross-Border Management
- Permits & Customs Clearance
- Intra-Canada Management