The new policy will apply to the three areas on June 1, but the company expects to phase out providing chassis throughout the U.S. eventually. According to the JOC, the company says it is more cost efficient for trucking companies and drivers to manage a chassis fleet than for an ocean carrier. The same policy is already in effect in Canada and Europe.
ACL isn't the only major ocean carrier to make changes to its chassis policy recently. Ocean carrier Maersk Line announced it will charge administrative fees of $150 per container ($350 per refrigerated box) for damage-related costs on top of actual repair expenses, effective May 1. Last year, Maersk began charging drayage carriers $11 daily to use its container chassis.
These moves could be related to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's "roadability" rule for intermodal container chassis; the deadline for compliance with the rule has been extended to June 30, 2010.
As a result of this rulemaking, ocean carriers, railroads, chassis pool operators and other Intermodal Equipment Providers will for the first time be subject to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. Specifically, they will be required to establish a systematic inspection, repair, and maintenance program to ensure the safe operating condition of each intermodal container chassis. They also must make sure the chassis are roadable.
A few weeks ago, the Ocean Carrier Equipment Management Association and the Institute of International Container Lessors filed a petition to the FMCSA asking the agency to reconsider the roadability rule, according to reports by Land Line magazine. The two groups want the FMCSA to throw out the reporting requirement on chassis with no known defect or damage, the magazine reports.
Updated 12 p.m. 4/28/2010 to add information about Maersk fees.