Tuesday, September 30, 2014

POLB Exec: Chassis Shortage Solution Coming

By Mark Edward Nero

One of the serious ongoing issues for years at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach has been a shortage of chassis for drayage trucks as ocean carriers have stopped providing chassis, forcing the intermodal industry to utilize chassis pools and chassis leasing options.

But according to the head of one port, various stakeholders have begun working on a solution, or at least a better way of doing business.

More than 90 percent of the chassis are owned by three companies, all of whom are now talking together, Port of Long Beach head John Slangerup revealed Sept. 22 during the annual Intermodal Association of North America Expo.

“At our port it’s a very unusual situation where one terminal operator will have a surplus of chassis and another will be begging for them. It’s just not managed right,” Slangerup said. “The good news is that the three main players are working together to come up with a solution and we have been working with them on trying to align resources and align the process so we can actually come up with a workable solution.”

Slangerup declined to go into detail, but said that the talks themselves are a sign of progress.
“I’ve met with these folks and they are absolutely serious about integrating their management programs as a collaborative effort,” he said. “I think it’s going to happen very soon and I think it’s going to do a lot to alleviate congestion.”

“It’s not a perfect chassis fleet solution, but it’s the first great step. I think eventually we would all like to see an interchangeable chassis fleet (as a) solution, but what’s coming here soon is going to be a big step forward.”

Slangerup’s counterpart on the other side of the seaport complex, Port of Los Angeles CEO Gene Seroka, agreed that it’s going to take a collaborative effort to solve the problem.

“We have to have all stakeholders at the table,” he said.