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DCLI expands chassis fleet in US Gulf region

Direct ChassisLink adds 1,000 new container chassis to Gulf region since March. (Photo: DCLI)

Direct ChassisLink (DCLI) said it has recently added 1,000 new chassis to its proprietary pool in the U.S. Gulf region.

DCLI has been adding these chassis to its pool in Houston since March. However, the company said it expects the equipment to support container draymen and shippers throughout the Gulf.

The company added the chassis to the Gulf region after its departure earlier this year from the Ocean Carrier Equipment Management Association’s (OCEMA) Gulf Consolidated Chassis Pool (GCCP), which covers cargo hubs across Texas and Louisiana.

“Our decision to exit the GCCP gray pool earlier this year provided us with an opportunity to upgrade our equipment and better serve truckers across the region,” said Ryan Houfek, DCLI’s chief commercial officer, in a statement.

“Because we manage the pool directly, we have better control over the equipment and lower operating costs, making this type of investment beneficial for both DCLI and our customers,” he added.

The company purchases new chassis from both U.S. and overseas manufacturers. DCLI did not disclose the cost of these latest chassis additions.

Each 40-foot chassis includes the “gooseneck” truck coupling, which allows truckers to avoid exceeding the U.S. maximum trailer height of 13 feet, six inches when transporting intermodal containers.

DCLI currently maintains about 24,500 chassis in the Gulf region.

In addition to adding new equipment, DCLI is upgrading its entire chassis fleet, including investing more than $100 million in radial tires and LED lights. Currently, 85% of DCLI chassis have LED lights, and the company is committed to 100% conversion to radial tires by 2023. However, DCLI expects its chassis in Memphis and the Gulf ports to be outfitted with new radial tires by mid-2021.

DCLI, formerly Maersk Equipment Service Co., was rebranded by the Danish carrier in 2009 and then spun off to new ownership in 2012. The company, based in Charlotte, North Carolina, started out renting chassis to truckers and has since expanded its offerings.

The company is one of the largest chassis pool operators, with more than 450 locations on or near major port facilities and intermodal hubs, and manages a fleet of more than 212,000 marine and domestic chassis.

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Click for FreightWaves/American Shipper articles by Chris Gillis.

Chris Gillis

Located in the Washington, D.C. area, Chris Gillis primarily reports on regulatory and legislative topics that impact cross-border trade. He joined American Shipper in 1994, shortly after graduating from Mount St. Mary’s College in Emmitsburg, Md., with a degree in international business and economics.