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Dray carriers in the Southeast set to tap new chassis pool thanks to NACPC

The Ocean Network Express Stork makes call on the Port of Savannah. ( Photo: GPA )

Trucker cooperative cites chassis shortages for new pool. 

The North American Chassis Pool Cooperative (NACPC) is gearing up new regional pool aimed at serving the US Southeastern dray market.

In a press release, the NACPC says it will form the Southern States Chassis Pool (SSCP) this month, becoming its seventh shared chassis pool across the U.S. 

Dave Manning, chairman of the NACPC and president of Nashville-based intermodal carrier TCW, says the new pool stems from work his group did with the ports of Savannah and Charleston to address both inadequate supply and outdated equipment in the fast growing US Southeast market.
“This was the brainchild of the Georgia and South Carolina ports authorities for a single pool to serve them,” Manning said. “Their frustration was that there wasn’t adequate chassis supply and it was outdated.”
In July, the Federal Maritime Commission gave its okay to the Georgia Ports Authority and the South Carolina Ports Authority to cooperate on the new pool.  

Manning says the SSCP aims to be different from the South Atlantic Chassis Pool (SACP), which had served the ports previously. The new SSCP would rent chassis at an at-cost basis to pool members, resulting in lower costs for intermodal carriers and their customers.

“For carriers and beneficial cargo owners, chassis rental will be less than what they are accustomed to paying in the SACP,” Manning said. 

Consolidated Chassis Management, which runs the SACP, was not immediately available for comment. While NACPC will own the pool, CCM will still manage the pool and provide its owned chassis, Manning says. 

Manning says the need for a bigger and better pool stems from the growth in U.S. Southeast container port activity. 

The Georgia Ports Authority recorded its second busiest month ever as it moved 378,767 twenty foot equivalent (teu) in containers for July, a nearly 13% increase over last year and the second busiest month on record.


 Savannah's container volumes have been growing since last November (Source: GPA)
Savannah’s container volumes have been growing since last November (Source: GPA)

LIkewise, the South Carolina Ports Authority moved 200,594 teu in July, 10% higher than last year and also the second highest on record. 

The growth in container volume has resulted in spot shortages of chassis, Manning says. He says the SSCP plans to increase chassis supply to between 58,000 and 62,000, up from the roughly 52,000 in the SACP. 

The second piece of the new pool will be improving chassis quality, with incoming chassis equipped with radial tires rather than the bias ply now commonly used. LIkewise, new chassis will come equipped with air brakes an LED brake lights 

Manning says the additional, upgraded chassis will be introduced to the pool over the next 18 months. The larger and newer chassis pool will be a benefit to the region’s dray carriers, he adds.   

“The current model was not going to change and a new model was needed,” Manning said. “I think everyone will benefit from this.”

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Michael Angell, Bulk and Intermodal Editor

Michael Angell covers maritime, intermodal and related topics for FreightWaves. His interest in transportation stretches back several generations. One great-grandfather was a dray horseman along the New York waterfront and another was a railway engineer in Texas. More recently, Michael has written about the shipping industry for TradeWinds, energy markets for Oil Price Information Service, and general business topics for FactSet Mergerstat and Investor's Business Daily. When he is not stuck in the office, he enjoys tours of ports, terminals, and railyards.