Integrated supply chain management tool saves millions, improves sustainability

Pro-Tech Group, LLC, has successfully demonstrated an industry-first mobile container system that utilizes empty autoracks on return trips to carry freight in a cost-saving and more sustainable manner than other modes of transportation in supply chain management, the company announced today.

Pro-Tech Group’s proprietary system recently completed pilot test runs transporting pallets of new wheel rims from California to an automobile assembly plant in Michigan. The company’s logistics system is designed around efficiently loading Pro-Tech containers into empty deadheading autoracks for delivery to key hubs across the country. The steel-framed, hard-side containers provide a pilfer-resistant and controlled shipping environment for two standard 48 x 40 pallets loaded with variety of parts, assemblies and other goods. A bi-level autorack can be loaded with up to 18 Pro-Tech containers holding 36 pallets. The containers are collapsible, which enables them to be easily stored or transported as stackable flats back to cargo pick-up points.

“The Pro-Tech Container provides companies a sensible and cost-effective alternative to shipping over highways without disrupting their existing logistics and operations,” said Earle B. Higgins, Sr., Chairman and CEO of Pro-Tech Group. “By utilizing space in autoracks that otherwise would return empty to auto plants or other pick-up destinations, there is a twice-fold environmental benefit with these unique cargo containers.”

Autoracks are loaded to transport new automobiles and trucks from either domestic assembly plants or from ports of entry to key distribution locations for eventual delivery to showrooms. Under the demonstration project, Pro-Tech offered a major automobile company an option to ship by rail new wheel rims from Southern California to an assembly plant in Michigan. Normally, the auto company would rely on trucks to ship parts – a method that can consume up to four times as much fuel when compared to rail transportation. Current estimates show auto companies could save at least $4 million annually by using Pro-Tech containers.

“The Pro-Tech container system provides a whole new option for supply chain logistics, utilizing empty autoracks to help meet sustainability goals and help reduce shipping costs,” Higgins said.