NYK Line will quit providing free intermodal chassis in the Northeast region, including the Port of New York and New Jersey, on Nov. 14.
The action is the latest in a series of moves by container ship lines to transfer responsibility for providing chassis to truckers and other equipment users. NYK has already quit providing chassis in several smaller markets.
The shift from ocean-carrier provided chassis began when Maersk Line transferred its chassis to newly formed Direct ChassisLink in 2009. DCLI rents chassis to truckers by the day, a model copied by equipment lessors Trac Intermodal and Flexi-van.
The U.S. is the only major country where ocean carriers routinely provide free chassis, a policy that started in the 1950s when modern container shipping was launched as a domestic service in competition with trucks. In the rest of the world, chassis are provided by truckers, forwarders or shippers.
NYK offered no details on its exit from the chassis market in the Northeast but said it expects the change to reduce costs, provide truckers with more flexibility and reduce congestion and turnaround times at terminals.
“The change is designed to build efficiencies while minimizing the environmental impact of having a large number of chassis that are used intermittently and have to be stored and moved,” the company said in a statement.