Schneider is not pulling out of Canada, despite selling Ontario property

January 18, 2022

Chuck Robinson

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Though Schneider National is closing its facility in Guelph, Ontario, it is not correct to say that the company is pulling out of Canada, according to an industry analyst.

Green Bay, Wis.-based Schneider recently announced plans to sell its property in Guelph and have no Canada-based operations by the end of March. The company has 150 associates and drivers based in Canada. Company trucks and equipment will be transferred to Schneider’s U.S. operations.

Donald Broughton, principal and managing partner in transportation analysis firm Broughton Capital LLC, Clayton, Mo., said there are several reasons to view the closing a nothing more than an adjustment.

One thing to keep in mind is that the number of employees affected, 150, is large for many companies, but it is a rounding error for a company as large as Schneider.

Schneider National reports on its website having 6,342 drivers and 40,000 carriers, and 2,800 owner-operator business relationships.

From his perspective, Broughton said is seemed like Schneider was making adjustments to better manage crossing the U.S.-Canada border. Crossing the U.S.-Canada border is much more involved than checking a few papers, looking in a trailer and going on your way.

OOIDA member Ken Daehn from Kitchener, Ontario, agrees on border crossing. He reports there are often lengthy delays at the border, especially at the Windsor, Detroit, crossing. Recently it took 90 minutes, and traffic was backed up both ways, he said. It was backed up on I-96 and also south of the bridge down I-75.

Drivers during peak times can lose upward of two hours or more if on duty time, he said. If the U.S. Customs and Border Protection requires an X-ray of the cargo, the hang up can be even longer.

With Schneider, analyst Broughton said instead of having their own operation in Canada, Schneider will work with other companies to transport cargos back and forth between the U.S. and Canada, he said.

“I know they are focused more on doing partnerships instead of doing it with their own operators,” Broughton said.

What’s more, Schneider has a facility in Buffalo, N.Y., which is 90 miles from the Ontario facility. The closing of the Canadian operation may mean more will be hired in Buffalo.

The sale of the Guelph facility is not a sign that Schneider is cutting back, he said.

“Schneider is not a company that is in the shrink mode. They are in the growth mode and have been for a long time,” Broughton said. L

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Chuck Robinson formerly was senior copy editor for a weekly trade publication serving the fresh produce industry. He has served trade publications, horticultural journals and community newspapers for 25 years.