Insights - March/April 2017 - 10
how to ensure there is an adequate supply to meet their needs,
particularly where there are no pools."
chassis model," Lawrence said. "We are seeing a wider variety
of chassis solutions. Some areas are farther along in sorting
this out. Motor carriers have been increasingly leasing or renting
their own chassis." He said ocean and motor carriers alike are "in
different places on a continuum toward ultimate resolution. Not
everyone will arrive at the goal line at the same time. They will get
to a solution that works best for them."
"We are still lurching along," said Curtis Whalen, executive
director of American Trucking Associations' Intermodal Motor
Carrier Conference. "We are still in a developmental, expansion
stage. The speed of the transition has come down pretty much
to a snail's pace. It's taking a much longer period of time than I
would have hoped. The state of the ocean carrier industry, such
as the Hanjin bankruptcy, didn't help move the issue forward."
Uncertainty also continues, such as the recent sale of
TRAC Intermodal's parent company, Whalen said. At the same
time, he noted progress in working with IEPs in some areas, as
well as seeing the growth of the North American Chassis Pool
Cooperative, or NACPC. Truckers own NACPC chassis that are
deployed in pools.
Equipment Quality Emphasis
Whalen acknowledged that the market is working better in
some ways, such as the increasing amount of equipment with
radial tires and other equipment such as LED lights that are
commonly used in rest of the trucking industry. "There has been
Members of IANA's LED Light Task
Force recently presented results
indicating a 38% cost reduction,
including labor, materials and road
service, in just two years on private
chassis when chassis were equipped
with LED lights vs incandescent.
During that same period with this
chassis with LED lights quadrupled
progress on that front,
to 80%. Another member of the task
which we never would
force experienced a decline of at
have gotten under the
least 55% in the frequency of light
old model,"Whalen said.
"We have to continue to
replacement after installing LED
expand that shift to newer
Dave Manning, president
of motor carrier TCW and an IANA board member, agreed. "The
quality of equipment has to improve," he told Intermodal Insights.
"All the leasing companies understand that this is important, but it
is a huge investment needed to speed up that process so that the
quality of intermodal equipment is equivalent to over-the-road."
Further to this point, the economics of upgrading tire quality
are compelling for all parties, Manning said, because bias ply tires
can fail as much as four times as often as radials, costing wasted
time for truckers without any actual cost savings for IEPs. The
modernized equipment reduces roadside
delays and tire costs and furthers the
overall goal of completing a freight move.
"We as an industry are trying to attract
drivers. Nobody wants to spend three or
four hours on the side of the road waiting
for a tire," Manning said.
Shea said his company has had
success working with marine terminal
operators, ocean carriers and the
shipping community, using steps such as
commitment to radial tires that will be on
approximately 25,000 DCLI chassis by the
initiative, but a commitment to equipment
safety and reduced out-of-service time
associated with roadside repairs for our
motor carrier customers," he said.
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10 Intermodal Insights | March/April 2017
Some struggles continue, including
operational friction between ocean and
motor carriers as chassis sales to IEPs
come with strings attached in the form of
equipment leasing companies' chassis to
deliver to their customers.
Manning said "ocean carriers have
divested the chassis, but not the rules.