The US Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) has awarded a $500,000 contract to the National Academies of Science (NAS) to conduct a study examining intermodal chassis pools and provide recommendations on best practices for their management. The study was mandated by the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022 (OSRA).
Under the agreement, a committee of independent experts will study 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.
As directed by the law, the study will consider whether the models have aligned incentives in ownership, management, repair and provisioning that lead to supply chain efficiency. Additionally, the committee will evaluate the potential for efficiency-enhancing communications, information sharing and knowledge-management practices across chassis pool models.
The committee will use the findings from their research to determine which circumstances and models for provisioning chassis most support an efficiently functioning supply chain and will identify the best practices from each examined model that can further increase efficiency. The committee will identify the conditions necessary to implement each model, including practical obstacles to implementation and their possible solutions.
The committee will be appointed over the next several weeks and the public will be provided with an opportunity to comment on the makeup of the committee.