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Anti-dumping penalties help Stoughton Trailers invest $25M in chassis production

New facility in Waco, Texas, will create 125 jobs and increase run rate to 25,000 units

Stoughton Trailers is investing $25 million to grow its intermodal chassis production following heavy penalties against Chinese chassis makers for dumping product in the U.S. at below-market prices. (Photo: Stoughton Trailers)

Stoughton Trailers, one of five intermodal chassis makers benefiting from massive anti-dumping penalties against China, is investing $25 million in new intermodal chassis production, including a new facility in Waco, Texas, that will create 125 jobs.

The facility, and an expansion in December of chassis production capacity in Wisconsin, directly result from the U.S. Department of Commerce levying $221 million in duties on Chinese chassis manufacturers for selling into the U.S. market at prices below their costs, a marketing scheme known as dumping.

Construction of the Waco facility is underway. Stoughton expects to move equipment into the new facility by March and begin chassis manufacturing by early second quarter. 

“These investments would not have been possible without the remedial relief provided by the antidumping and countervailing duty orders on chassis from China.” 

Bob Wahlin, president and CEO, Stoughton trailers

Stoughton installed a new chassis production line at its Stoughton, Wisconsin, facility. Once at full capacity, the company expects to employ an additional 150 people in the Stoughton plant assembling chassis and manufacturing components for other chassis production lines.

Improving service in southern U.S.

When the Waco, Stoughton and Evansville, Indiana, facilities are operating at capacity, their collective output will increase the run rate to approximately 20,000 to 25,000 chassis per year. Stoughton expects to hit that rate by September. The moves improve the company’s ability to service ports, railyards and chassis customer locations in the southern U.S.

“The new Waco facility and Stoughton production line will help fulfill our customer production commitments for 2022 and beyond,” Bob Wahlin, Stoughton president and CEO, said in a press release.

“These investments would not have been possible without the remedial relief provided by the antidumping and countervailing duty orders on chassis from China.” 

The final Commerce Department ruling on the size of the duties was handed down in May following findings in April by the International Trade Commission that Chinese manufacturers had materially injured the U.S. industry by selling chassis at less than fair value.

Privately held Stoughton was one of five members of the Coalition of American Chassis Manufacturers that included Cheetah Chassis, Hercules Chassis, Dorsey Intermodal and Pratt Industries. The coalition brought the antidumping action against multiple Chinese manufacturers, though one Chinese company — CIMC — was by far the biggest exporter of chassis to the U.S. 

The U.S. chassis manufacturing industry has been “devastated” by Chinese imports in the past decade, with layoffs of “hundreds of thousands of workers,” said Robert E. DeFrancesco of the law firm Wiley Rein.

“This is a really big win for the U.S. industry,” DeFrancesco said at the time of the ruling in May. Stoughton’s intermodal chassis operation had been “completely shut down and now they are trying to hire a third shift to bring back the production.”

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Click for more FreightWaves articles by Alan Adler.

Alan Adler

Alan Adler is an award-winning journalist who worked for The Associated Press and the Detroit Free Press. He also spent two decades in domestic and international media relations and executive communications with General Motors.