Case Study: Brampton Brick
Brampton Brick is one of Canada’s largest manufacturers of clay brick and Ontario’s largest producer of concrete masonry products, serving markets in Ontario, Quebec and the United States. With manufacturing plants located in Ontario, Michigan and Indiana, Brampton Brick has an extensive selection of high quality masonry and landscape products, including brick, block and stone as well as landscape pavers and retaining walls. These products are used for residential construction and for industrial, commercial, and institutional building projects.
Transporting building and construction materials presents significant challenges in the industry, particularly in Canada where seasonality greatly impacts the market. For Brampton Brick, owning and operating an in-house fleet was becoming increasingly difficult to manage.
Every year, the company was confronted with the challenge of quickly ramping up for the Spring season, and fulfilling a late spike again in the Fall. Seasonality created a few problems: increased fleet and equipment needs during peak periods, idle equipment during the winter months, and the logistics of hiring certified and trained driver’s on-demand. Transportation
requirements for masonry and landscape products are not the same as a standard fleet. The load demands are great, both in mass and in weight, and finding drivers who are trained to operate specialized equipment such as cranes and truck-mounted forklifts can be difficult.
In search of a more efficient alternative, Brampton Brick turned to Canada Cartage – the country’s largest provider of dedicated outsourced fleets – and a more flexible transportation model that would address the unique challenges of the industry.
Canada Cartage offered Brampton Brick a solution to the high cost of fleet ownership by proposing a dedicated outsourced fleet solution, complimented by a unique hub and spoke terminal model to deploy additional equipment and drivers on short notice. Canada Cartage purchased existing tractors and trailers from Brampton Brick, relieving them of private fleet capital costs.
“The outsourcing model gave Brampton Brick immediate access to an extensive fleet that was designed for building and construction, as well as a network of highly specialized and experienced drivers,” says Steve Smith, Senior Director, Business Development, Canada Cartage. The outsourced model also means that Canada Cartage keeps Brampton Brick current with both equipment and the changing regulatory environment. “We have just recently upgraded their fleet by adding new equipment – twelve 50-foot trailers with Moffetts – compliant with increased government regulations as well as 4 specialized three-axle straight trucks with boom cranes.”
When transporting building and construction materials, a specialized fleet with high load and weight capacity is essential. For Brampton Brick, Canada Cartage’s dedicated fleet of 28 trucks during the spring-summer surge includes: heavy spec’d straight trucks to deliver in urban or complex job sites, heavy spec tractors pulling 5 axle trailer units, and Pony-Pup
configurations outfitted with mounted forklifts and boom cranes. The market for brick products tails off considerably in the winter, so to save costs during slow periods, Canada Cartage reduces the fleet to 12-15 trucks through the winter months.
Canada Cartage also provides final-mile service including delivery and handling. Drivers are trained in forklift and crane operation, flat deck loading and unloading, and proper load securement. With this level of expertise, drivers handle unloading at every job site, from residential new-builds to
construction sites and landscaping projects.
Choosing an outsourced solution from Canada Cartage also provided Brampton Brick with access to a fleet operations manager and a dedicated account manager that handles daily calls for support, driver scheduling, and orders for increased equipment during surges.
Brampton Brick is no longer tied to the high capital costs of purchasing new equipment, maintaining a specialized fleet and keeping up with fluctuating customer demands.
The Canada Cartage solution has impacted the business in the following ways:
- Re-allocation of Capital: Brampton Brick can focus on building their core business by investing capital into areas that support their primary business goals, instead of fleet ownership and operation.
- Fleet Flexibility: The outsourced model is scalable and ideal for an industry that is impacted by seasonal changes. Now, Brampton Brick is operating at an optimal number of trucks per season, and not carrying extra costs during slow periods.
- Continuous Improvement: Canada Cartage meets with Brampton Brick on a quarterly basis to review KPIs that help determine where there are opportunities to improve process, and where there is potential for greater cost-efficiency.
- On-time Performance: With Canada Cartage’s 98% on-time delivery record, Brampton Brick is able to better serve its customers by having product where it is needed, when it is needed.
- Safety & Compliance: Canada Cartage ensures the highest level of driver and public safety through driver training programs, regularly scheduled maintenance, and rigorous inspection routines. Canada Cartage’s drivers are specially trained in forklift and crane operation, flat deck loading and unloading, and proper load securement.