Court Rules Over Intermodal Chassis Choice Case
Since August 2020, there has been an ongoing lawsuit between the American Trucking Associations’ Intermodal Motor Carriers Conference (IMCC) and numerous ocean carrier equipment organizations over the required use of specified intermodal chassises rather than truckers any chassis that fits specifications. Recently, a Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) administrative law judge ruled that this practice was unlawful.
The IMCC argued that ocean carriers violated the Shipping Act by requiring carriers to use specific default chassis providers and denying motor carriers the right to select the chassis provider.
“This victory has been a long time coming,” said IMCC Executive Director Jonathan Eisen, “[and is] the first step in putting a stop to the practice of foreign-owned shipping lines forcing American drivers and motor carriers to use specific equipment providers to move goods — which will help reduce supply chain delays and cut costs for carriers and consumers. We are pleased the judge agreed and we look forward to ending these unreasonable and unjust practices permanently.”
According to IMCC, ocean carriers requiring the use of specific chassis providers has cost fleets as much as $1.8 billion over three years. Like a similar case in Rhode Island with toll booths, there will be no repayment for services already rendered.
This verdict will result in lowered friction in getting shipping containers off of boats and enable truckers to work with less costs, motivating them to work harder when there is more profit to be had. This will likely have a reverberating effect on the economy, with supply chain shortages for materials from overseas becoming one step closer to an end, and significantly reduce the chances of a similar port backlog that occurred in Long Beach and Los Angeles at the end of 2021.
It is possible that the coalition of ocean carriers will appeal the case, but for the time being, any intermodal chassis is now allowed at ports.
If your fleet needs its own intermodal chassis to save money on fees from the ocean carriers, there is a company that can help: TopMark Funding. Read on below to learn more about our business equipment funding programs.
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