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Case Study: How Savage Reimagined the Mining Supply Chain to Promote Sustainability, Frugality & Yield

The mining supply chain presented a number of challenges for one Savage Customer dedicated to powering our lives through the extraction and refinement of natural resources. By reclaiming a mine shuttered in 2019, the Customer wanted to more effectively use the land while creating renewable fuels. But sustainability would prove difficult until better equipment and better processes were utilized.

As supply chain experts, Savage found a better way to bring reclaimed resources to their destination. This helped the Customer reclaim the mine, preserve the security and purity of the product, and focus on sustainability.


Trucking resources from the mine to the refinery was bogged down by difficulties. To turn a profit, the Customer needed to identify actionable solutions for the challenges the supply chain resented.

TransportationNo rail lines run directly to the mine, and there is no practical way to construct more. This meant that extraction via truck was the only realistic option for getting the material to the refinery, located in another state. The carbon emissions from a fleet of trucks driving hundreds of miles would slow sustainability efforts.
YieldWith typical transload solutions, some material would be lost each time it was moved from one form of transportation to another. Over time, the amount of recovered materials arriving at the destination would measure significantly less than what was taken out of the ground.
CostA fleet of trucks requires a number of assets to keep the wheels turning, and sub-optimal transloading processes can be expensive. Additionally, cost is incurred each time the material changes ands or transportation methods. The cost of long-haul trucking can be significant in order to fulfill the needs of fuel, maintenance, and drivers.


Considering the difficulties trucking presented to the Customer’s goals, an improved intermodal framework was devised to help solve each of the core challenges.

ProcurementNew equipment was secured, allowing truckloads to be transferred to trains without having to remove the material from its initial container. Specialized railcars designed to hold these bulk containers means the product loaded at the mine is secure through transport.
TransloadingOne railcar can hold up to four truckloads of material, while rail accounts for only two percent of national GHG emissions. Savage operates rail terminals all over the country and transports the mined resources via short-haul trucking to a nearby rail terminal.
End-to-end SupportSavage works with the Customer at the destination terminal, which allows for quicker offloading and processing. Working with one supply chain company that prepares both the departure and arrival of the product saves the Customer money and creates a more cohesive experience overall.

“Sustainability is definitely entering the conversation more today than it ever has. And this project is a perfect example, where the best solution also happened to be one of the more environmentally friendly ways to move the material.”

–Phillip Hoskins, VP of Business Development


Thanks to the experience of Savage Team Members, they were able to identify a better way to handle the products coming from the mine. This increased the efficiency of the Customer’s operation and allows them to extract maximum profit from their materials as they continue to grow.

Customers looking to make their mining operations more cost effective and sustainable will find dynamic solutions as they use Savage’s knowledge and infrastructure.

Download the Mining Supply Chain Case Study