The Memphis, Tenn.-based motor carrier IMC Cos. has purchased more than 1,500 container chassis from OOCL (USA) Inc. and said it is also speaking with other trucking companies about creating a pool to buy chassis from ocean carriers and contribute them back to the cooperative chassis pool created by shipping lines.
IMC also said, effective Oct. 1, it had contributed the OOCL chassis to one of Consolidated Chassis Management’s six pools, the Mid-South Consolidated Chassis pool, for OOCL’s dedicated use.
“This is an historic event for our company and industry in developing an industry solution to transition ownership of chassis from ocean carriers to other entities. I believe this is the most efficient and forward thinking strategy for our industry - facilitating ocean carriers that choose to disengage their ownership, while ensuring that our mutual cargo owner customers continue to have access to a reliable chassis fleet,” said Mark H. George, chairman of IMC.
Frankie Lau, a spokesman at OOCL’s office in San Ramon, Calif., noted the company has about 20,000 chassis around the nation.
OOCL, like many carriers, has announced plans to gradually withdraw from the chassis business in the United States. Lau said the changes OOCL and other carriers have made or plan to make in chassis provisioning policies are detailed in a frequently updated table maintained by the Ocean Carrier Equipment Management Association (OCEMA) that can be viewed here
OCEMA is an association of 19 shipping lines that was created so its members can discuss matters pertaining to the intermodal transportation of ocean freight within the United States and it says its CCM affiliate has more than 120,000 chassis under management in the six regional pools in 29 major metropolitan transportation hubs.
IMC also said, along with a coalition of members of the Intermodal Conference of the American Trucking Association, it's studying creation of a motor carrier cooperative, the North American Chassis Pool Cooperative (NACPC).
The pool would purchase ocean carrier chassis from ocean carriers, and then contribute those chassis back into CCM's gray pool.
“Simply said, the cooperative's desire would be to replace ocean carrier or other owning entities’ ownership with NACPC ownership and to have an active ‘say’ in managing the chassis through participation in a CCM pool,” George explained. - Chris Dupin