A joint effort by three Southeast Atlantic ports will bring a new intermodal chassis pool model to the region starting in October 2023, helping to deal with the container trade growth in the region.
The Ocean Carrier Equipment Management Association, Georgia Ports Authority, Jacksonville Port Authority, North Carolina State Ports Authority, and Consolidated Chassis Management signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a new South Atlantic Chassis Pool.
The deal finalizes a plan announced in July 2021 to help add intermodal freight capacity at a time when supply chains are dealing with port backups and container shortages.
While the ports and ocean carriers have operated for several years under the SACP 2.0 concept, the next-generation port/carrier effort, dubbed “SACP 3.0,” will introduce new, high-technology intermodal chassis to handle the international container trade to and from major South Atlantic ports and key inland intermodal hubs.
The pool will offer 60,000 chassis to truckers, beneficial cargo owners, ocean carriers and other port users. The SACP will transition from the current multi-contributor chassis pool to a single provider utility type pool. Chassis rates will be made available to pool users through a publicly available tariff. The pool will continue to be owned by a subsidiary of OCEMA and managed by CCM, but subject to forward-looking operating parameters agreed with 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 Jaxport CEO Eric Green. “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 SACP 3.0 is designed to infuse the pool with new-high quality chassis by placing the responsibility for procuring assets with a single provider, CCM, according to a news release, which noted, “the single provider model takes the best qualities of both the current gray pool and proprietary models and combines them to offer a safe, reliable, cost efficient, and scalable premium service.”
The SACP will continue to be the largest fully interoperable chassis pool in the U.S., with more than 75 locations in the states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.
The South Carolina Ports Authority, however, is leaving the regional pool and starting its own. In January, it received its first shipment of chassis for the SC Ports-owned and operated "SMART" chassis fleet. Dorsey Intermodal launched a massive capacity increase following an agreement to supply more than 5,000 new chassis for the South Carolina Ports Authority.