So, Who is Schupan?
Founded in 1986, Schupan Recycling has become a major
utility in the world of recycling. With processing facilities
in both West and East Michigan, Schupan has become the
largest independent processor of used beverage containers
in the nation, processing aluminum, PET Plastic, and glass
for Michigan’s largest grocers and wholesalers. With a 10
cent deposit charged on most bottled beverages in the state
of Michigan, a large market for beverage container recycling
emerged. The challenge of coordinating transportation
between pickups and deliveries proved to be daunting.
What was the Challenge?
Utilizing LTL Carriers
Schupan had developed an LTL model to handle loads between
its multiple facilities. As time passed, the service provided
became inefficient. Because there were frequently issues
with trailers being available, a bullwhip effect came into play.
When the foundry ran out of material to process, it was forced
to shut down. In turn, material then began to arrive in large
quantities, overwhelming the foundry and causing backups.
Citing inconsistent service, trailer backlogs, and equipment
breakdowns by the LTL carrier, Schupan decided it was time to
look for another solution.
Dedicated Service Offering
Columbian came to the table with a dedicated service offering to completely handle Schupan’s transportation operation. Drivers would start and end their days at Schupan’s facilities with a regular run schedule between facilities. With an equipment maintenance contract in place, the equipment provided would be dedicated to the Schupan runs, making trailers readily available at all times and eliminating the bullwhip effect. To manage the entire operation, key staff members were placed to handle dispatching, routing and carrier sourcing. After being selected as the replacement provider for Schupan, a “Meet & Greet” was scheduled for two weeks prior to the, “Go-Live Date”, to put faces to names and familiarize each team’s staffs with each other and go over the full operation. Although Columbian went into this meeting thinking it was just an informative meeting to present the final service plan, Schupan came in to throw a curveball: “Can you start this evening?”
Full Steam Ahead
When Columbian learned that the incumbent carrier for Schupan was simply unable to move a sufficient number of loads, Schupan asked if there was a possibility to start that same day. Without hesitation, Columbian stepped up and took on the challenge. At the conclusion of the Meet & Greet, an agreement was struck between Columbian and the outgoing carrier to transfer responsibility of the loaded trailers. Drivers who were already on the road were diverted to accommodate Schupan’s time sensitive, high priority needs. Because this start up came two weeks ahead of schedule, the hiring process and delivery of newly ordered equipment had to be accelerated to allow for a faster ramp-up in volume. Operations management was rolled into an existing infrastructure and management team for a seamless transition.
Now and Looking Forward
Today, the Schupan operation has settled in nicely, becoming a routine job for those who are involved. Columbian is providing services in transportation management such as network diagramming and pricing analysis, and offering the option of using Columbian’s brokerage team to handle loads in situations when it might provide cost savings. Along with transportation management, Schupan has also called upon Columbian to pick up additional short haul runs in West Michigan. The partnership between Columbian and Schupan has started off very strong and continues to gain strength. Columbian is happy to be in business with Schupan and is looking forward to many more years to come.