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Southeast ports, carriers sign on to plan to upgrade chassis pool

Goal is to improve container fluidity in the South Atlantic region

JAXPORT has signed a memorandum with other ports to upgrade the chassis pool. (Photo: JAXPORT)

Five stakeholders have signed a memorandum of understanding establishing the South Atlantic Chassis Pool 3.0, which will serve the region starting in October 2023.

SACP 3.0 will be based on a single provider pool model, and it will upgrade and expand the existing pool. It will have 60,000 chassis available to truckers, beneficial cargo owners, ocean carriers and port users, said a Monday announcement by the Ocean Carrier Equipment Management Association (OCEMA), Georgia Ports Authority, Jacksonville Port Authority (JAXPORT), North Carolina State Ports Authority and Consolidated Chassis Management (CCM). The memorandum solidifies plans previously mentioned last July.

The group hopes that the refurbishment and replacement of chassis via the pool will improve fluidity while meeting container capacity needs for the region. Over 75 locations in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina will have access to SACP 3.0.

Although the pool won’t go into effect for more than a year, it comes at a time when ensuring equipment availability is viewed as a way to relieve port congestion and improve the flow of containers in and out of the ports.

“Chassis are a vital link in the supply chain and we are committed to ensuring our customers continue to have access to a modern and dependable chassis supply,” said Eric Green, CEO of Florida’s JAXPORT. “The enhanced SACP 3.0 is responsive to swings in chassis demand, providing cargo customers throughout the Southeast with a reliable chassis supply to meet their evolving needs.”

The parties involved in SACP 3.0 have been part of a multicontributor pool but decided to transition to a single provider utility-type pool, which will provide access to both current gray pool and proprietary models. CCM will be responsible for procuring new chassis for the pool, and chassis rates will be made available to users through a publicly available tariff, the group said. 

A subsidiary of OCEMA will own the chassis pool, while CCM will manage it, although this arrangement is subject to forward-looking operating parameters agreed upon with the ports.

The new pool arrangement will be filed with the Federal Maritime Commission. 

“This joint effort by three major U.S. ports and ocean carrier partners is a great example of a public/private effort that will ensure port users, including U.S. exporters and importers, truckers, railroads, and ocean carriers, as well as the ports themselves, will receive access to the most resilient, efficient, and environmentally sound regional chassis fleet in the U.S.,” said OCEMA Executive Director Jeffrey Lawrence.

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Joanna Marsh

Joanna is a Washington, DC-based writer covering the freight railroad industry. She has worked for Argus Media as a contributing reporter for Argus Rail Business and as a market reporter for Argus Coal Daily.