The Real Cost of Chassis Management

Importers scratch their heads over the issues of chassis management.

For years, ocean carriers in the U.S. have explored different strategies for exiting the container chassis business, which involves using a chassis/container unit as a road trailer for transportation.
There are multiple reasons for the change in strategy.

–  The assets take up too much space on marine terminals

–  Ocean carriers would rather use the space for storing containers

–  The chassis requires constant maintenance and repair

–  Maintenance is very expensive

The U.S. is the only country where ocean carriers own the chassis.  In the rest of the world, truckers own the container chassis.

Recent Chassis Trends

Shipping lines began collaborating through chassis “pools,” which, for a fee, independent truckers draw from.  Some formed companies solely for managing the assets and chassis pools.

A straw poll of readers by Inbound Logistics, reported 80 percent of respondents experienced a drop in chassis availability at ports and 67 percent reported higher port drayage prices.

Ocean carriers will still provide chassis moves with door-to-door service when a shipper requests and pays for those services.  However, some lead logistics providers, like Odyssey Logistics & Technology, negotiate rates for managed services that include the door-to-door chassis service.

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