Atlantic Intermodal Services

  • No easy fix for chassis conundrum: speakers

    Issues involving chassis interoperability, shortages, and dislocation continue to hamper productivity at US ports and inland rail ramps, and there is no single solution on the horizon that will make those problems go away, speakers at the Intermodal Association of North America (IANA) conference in Long Beach said this week.

    In fact, with each stakeholder in the supply chain — ocean carrier, trucker, railroad, and intermodal equipment provider (IEP) — doing what best serves their own interests, the industry may eventually be forced into the unwanted condition where it has to choose between regulation and free markets before a solution is found, the speakers said.

    “What’s the answer, maybe a government or port telling us, ‘chassis for all?’” Bill Rooney, vice president of trade management/North America at Kuehne + Nagel, asked rhetorically. “I would rather have the private sector work this out.”

    The fact remains that chassis issues continue to be a flashpoint for disagreement among supply chain participants. Each region of the United States is unique as to how it deals with this simple but crucial piece of equipment in the supply chain. Comparing Southern California, with a total of 16 marine terminal/rail ramp locations, with Chicago, which has 18 rail ramps, with Mobile and it’s one marine terminal, is impossible to do, said Ron Joseph, executive vice president and COO at Direct ChassisLink.

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    Posted: September 23, 2019