Add Hapaq-Lloyd to the list of major ocean carriers who have stopped providing chassis to harbor truckers.
At the end of 2010, many larger carriers operating in the US had begun to phase out providing chassis on the East coast, with the intention of eliminating the service completely in the entire US by the end of next year. They state that the move is necessary to help reduce operation costs through what has been a tumultuous couple years. This however was and is bad news to many of the smaller drayage companies operating in these US ports, as they do not have the capital to purchase or rent these chassis.
Without the ability to purchase/rent these chassis, the smaller trucking companies that have survived so far are facing an uncertain future as their customers will be seeking out the companies that can provide this service for them. There is hope however, for the remaining smaller companies as Maersk and TRACK Intermodal (formally Seacastle) have announced they will be providing a low cost rental service for $11 a day.
It will be very difficult to tell how long this transition period will last, as there is also a shortage of chassis available for purchase. What is certain is that this will be a huge change for the intermodal industry, with the possibility of more casualties for the smaller trucking operations. But eventually efficiency will be improved in the ports as truckers will no longer have to track down a chassis before they go and pick up a container. We will provide more information as it becomes available; but be warned: privately owned chassis will be a requirement for operation in the ports sooner than later.
Carriers that have already declared the phasing out of chassis: CMA CGM, COSCO, NYK, OOCL.