That might make a good slogan for partners Cory Home Delivery Service, Penske Truck Leasing, and Demountable Concepts Inc. The three companies have pooled their expertise to provide a new service that lets furniture retailers extend their delivery radius without adding warehouses or cross-dock stations.
What makes that feasible is specialized equipment manufactured by Demountable Concepts: 26-foot detachable truck boxes, known as "swap bodies." Swap bodies feature a base frame with legs that fold underneath for transportation and unfold for free-standing storage. They can be removed via a chassis-lift system once they reach their destination.
Cory, a 74-year-old family-owned company that delivers high-end furniture, developed the service for customer Bon-Ton Stores. Here's how it works: Bon-Ton loads the two truck bodies at its Naperville, Ill., distribution center and ships them by semitrailer to Penske's yard in Green Bay, Wis., 225 miles away. There, they are demounted and left on their free-standing support system in the yard. Meanwhile, the semitrailer returns to Naperville with the previous day's empty swap bodies. Early the next morning, local drivers mount the loaded units onto Penske's straight trucks and deliver the furniture to the Green Bay retail store or to consumers.
Swap bodies are not a new idea, but their efficiencies make them a timely choice. For one thing, there's no need for drivers to make deliveries in unfamiliar areas far from home. And delivering two loads at one time, instead of driving two straight trucks from the warehouse to distant locales, uses less fuel and only one longhaul driver, say the partners.
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