The first of the Pioneer Chassis line was built at the newly expanded CIE Manufacturing Industrial Complex in Emporia, Virginia. - Photo: CIE Manufacturing

The first of the Pioneer Chassis line was built at the newly expanded CIE Manufacturing Industrial Complex in Emporia, Virginia.

Photo: CIE Manufacturing

CIE Manufacturing says it’s ready to produce U.S.-made intermodal container chassis that will help address demand and shortages on both coasts.

Formerly CIMC Intermodal Equipment, CIE began renovation of its facilities on the West Coast and East Coast early this year, creating full production capabilities and implementing extensive employee training.

It recently completed its first intermodal container chassis produced entirely in North America. The first of the Pioneer Chassis line was built at the newly expanded CIE Manufacturing Industrial Complex in Emporia, Virginia. Following a significant additional investment in property and equipment, the CIE Manufacturing Industrial Complex in Virginia now encompasses 43 acres.

CIE’s newly expanded West Coast manufacturing factory at its South Gate, California, headquarters, is scheduled to ramp up production later this month.

The North American Pioneer Chassis line produced in these facilities will be offered with a 5-year, 7-year, or 10-year warranty to meet the specific needs of each customer. 

Beginning with 40- foot and 40/45-foot models, CIE Manufacturing will soon begin expanding production to other models, with the expectation that North American demand for any model of intermodal chassis can be met from production in either location.

Previously, CIMC brought in chassis manufactured by its parent company, China International Marine Containers, in China. Those chassis either arrived whole and were quality inspected here, or arrived in pieces and were assembled in CIMC’s U.S. facilities.

Right now is a crucial time for the intermodal industry, explained Missy Pinksaw, CIE director of corporate marketing, in response to a question from HDT, “The state of intermodal container chassis pools and fleets are coming to a crucial breaking point with the rebound of cargo transportation in the fourth quarter of 2020.  A perfect example of this are the notable chassis shortages at the Port of Los Angeles/Long Beach, where notices are sent out daily to carriers advising them to bring their own chassis, as the level of in-use available chassis is shrinking and causing extensive delays. This can be seen at many other ports as well.”

The North American Pioneer Chassis line produced in the CIE facilities will be offered with a 5-year, 7-year, or 10-year warranty. - Photo: CIE Manufacturing

The North American Pioneer Chassis line produced in the CIE facilities will be offered with a 5-year, 7-year, or 10-year warranty.

Photo: CIE Manufacturing

Chassis pools and fleets are also finding it necessary to start replacing their current aged chassis fleets, Pinksaw said. “This can be seen most noticeably at the Port of Virginia, where they are undergoing a massive chassis fleet renewal.”

With the positioning of chassis production on both the East Coast and West Coast, CIE will be able to address these needs.

“The Emporia facility has evolved into a magnificent complex for chassis manufacturing,” stated Frank Sonzala, president/CEO of CIE Manufacturing, in a news release. “Our plans for this entire manufacturing complex are quite extensive and surely will allow our brand to service the East Coast, North and South efficiently and effectively for many years to come.”

Pinksaw added, “CIEM saw significant interest for the first chassis from our North American line and were proud to have Milestone Leasing and TRAC Intermodal as the first customers for the entire first phase of chassis production in what we call the ‘First Virginia Pioneer Program.’  Moving forward, we will be able to offer chassis to any customer that is best served by the faster lead times and lower transportation costs of the East Coast location.”

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