The Georgia Ports Authority has extended its five-year agreement with Consolidated Chassis Management’s South Atlantic Chassis Pool, which allows truckers to use any pool chassis at any port or inland depot served by the pool.
The regional pool is one of six universal or “gray” pools operated by CCM, an affiliate of the Ocean Carrier Equipment Management Association, a group of 19 container ship lines. The South Atlantic pool covers ports in Georgia, South Carolina and Florida, in addition to inland locations in Atlanta, Charlotte and Birmingham.
During the last decade, “gray” pools have sprung up to provide chassis at most U.S. ports. A notable exception is the Port of New York and New Jersey, which has been struggling for several years to form a portwide pool that would allow the port’s three competing pools to share chassis.
At Los Angeles and Long Beach, pools operated by the three main leasing companies have formed a “pool of pools” that allows them to share chassis. The goal to make port operations more efficient and reduce the need for truck drivers to make extra stops to exchange chassis between trips for different customers.
CCM’s co-op pools use chassis provided by leasing companies and other contributors, including motor carriers. Chassis may be picked up or dropped off at any location served by a regional pool.
Griff Lynch, the GPA’s executive director, said the South Atlantic pool, formed in 2006, has been successful. "Other ports often have multiple, restricted pools," he said. "In that type of operation, chassis may only be used to serve certain customers, and must be returned to specific locations before work for another customer may begin."
Jon Poelma, CCM’s senior vice president of operations, said the gray pool makes port operations more efficient and consistent. "End customers can negotiate directly with the chassis provider of their choice and then select any chassis on terminal. Such flexibility in choice is difficult elsewhere due to a lack of a single pool serving the region.”
The GPA's agreement with the South Atlantic Chassis Pool includes allocation of space to park chassis on terminal, for the convenience of motor carriers.
The South Atlantic is among the CCM pools where motor carriers in North American Regional Chassis Co-op Pool’s have contributed high-end chassis, with features including radial tires and LED lights, in an effort to improve chassis quality. NACPC has 12 motor carrier members.
This year, NACPC launched “premium pools” at Savannah and at Houston, which is covered by CCM’s Gulf Coast regional pool. NACPC’s premium pools function as pools within pools. They are managed separately from CCM’s regional pools, offer chassis for at-cost rental, and are available only to NACPC members.