Background

The Federal Maritime Commission has awarded a contract to the National Academies of Science to study intermodal chassis pools and provide recommendations on best practices for their management.

According to the FMC, a NAS committee of independent experts will study the different approaches for supplying the chassis used by motor carriers, railroads, marine terminal operators, and other stakeholders to transport intermodal ocean containers. The committee will examine currently existing chassis pool models and identify the advantages and disadvantages of each. The study will consider whether the models have aligned incentives in ownership, management, repair, and provisioning that lead to supply chain efficiency and will evaluate the potential for efficiency-enhancing communications, information sharing, and knowledge management practices across models.

The FMC states that the findings will be used to determine which circumstances and models for provisioning chassis most support an efficiently functioning supply chain and identify the best practices from each examined model that can further increase efficiency.

The committee will be appointed over the next several weeks and there will be an opportunity for public comment on committee membership.

The study is mandated by the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022; information on this and other actions the FMC has taken to implement his law can be found here.

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