The South Atlantic Chassis Pool serving Jaxport, the GPA and NC Ports is getting a major upgrade, with plans to add 50,000 new chassis.
The Georgia Port Authority (GPA), Jacksonville Port Authority (Jaxport), North Carolina State Ports Authority (NC Ports) and the Ocean Carrier Equipment Management Association (OCEMA), an association of 10 major international container carriers, have signed a Letter of Intent to increase and upgrade the South Atlantic Chassis Pool (SACP). The SCAP covers Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.
“This pool will be a game changer for all stakeholders in the Southeastern US by upgrading the region’s intermodal chassis fleet through the creation of a true industry utility,” said Griff Lynch, executive director of the GPA. “In doing so, we wanted to build on the proven strengths of the SACP by adding upgraded capacity and improved ability to respond to market changes affecting container transport service throughout the Southeastern US.”
The next generation port/carrier effort is being dubbed “SACP 3.0,” and will introduce up to 50,000 new intermodal chassis to container trade to and from major South Atlantic ports (e.g., Jacksonville, Savannah, and Wilmington NC), as well as key inland intermodal hubs (e.g., Atlanta, Birmingham, and Charlotte).
“The three ports were of the view that a new vision was needed for intermodal container chassis in the US. We asked OCEMA and Consolidated Chassis Management (CCM) to join us in this effort. We believe the SACP 3.0 will achieve that vision,” said Brian Clark, Executive Director of NC Ports.
“The current SACP has been the best performing pool in the US during the very challenging cargo surge of the past 15 months,” said Mike Wilson, CEO of CCM. “The SACP 3.0 will take the strengths of the current SACP – interoperability, efficiency, safety, and a best-in-class operating team – and move to the next level with a unique public/private cooperative effort.” Wilson also noted that outreach to key stakeholders, such as regulators, equipment providers, vendors, motor carriers, and rail carriers, will take place in coming weeks.
Jeff Lawrence, Executive Director of OCEMA added, “All stakeholders in the intermodal chain have felt the strain of sustained high volumes over the past 15 months. The Ports have challenged us to work with them to build a true chassis utility that will deliver the most resilient, efficient, and environmentally sound regional chassis fleet this country has ever seen. With the close cooperation of the three major ports and 10 major ocean carriers, we believe that objective is very achievable.”
Planning and implementation of the new pool concept will take place over the next 18 months and will be undertaken in conformity with applicable regulatory requirements. One issue the pool will have to address is the higher price of new chassis after the US Commerce Department and the US International Trade Commission (ITC) impose tariffs of up to 221% on container chassis imported from China recently.