Container chassis in the U.S. have been a challenge to manage in the drayage and intermodal ocean transport space even during the best of economic times due to the numerous players and handoffs associated with the equipment.
There is also the ongoing regional logistics and capacity tug of war among chassis providers and users.Mike Wilson, CEO of Consolidated Chassis Management (CCM), a chassis pool management company owned by the Ocean Carrier Equipment Management Association (OCEMA), understands the problems associated with this equipment.
Prior to his executive appointment at CCM, Wilson spent years in charge of Hamburg Süd's U.S. marine and terminal operations, equipment and intermodal, finance and accounting, information technology, human resources, quality management, and administration. He also served as chairman of CCM and the Intermodal Association of North America.
"I don't think anyone would disagree that the evolution of chassis provision has been challenging. Notwithstanding the regional impacts, often the conceptual stances taken in regards to the value of free market dynamics versus overall supply chain fluidity have complicated things," Wilson said.
American Shipper recently caught up with Wilson for a discussion about the future of chassis management in the U.S. He foresees an industry that will streamline operations in the years ahead but must still overcome significant obstacles.
"These differences continue to push the evolution in a way where the provision models will likely find a workable balance in each market," he said. "With that said, the effects of COVID-19 have not had a direct impact on the provision models per se, although the decreased volume has been a catalyst to finding efficiencies in the existing operations."
American Shipper asked Wilson a series of questions about the challenges still facing the U.S. chassis industry.