Shipping Container Chassis in the US: The Legacy of Ocean Carriers

Containerized shipping, which accounts for approximately 60 percent of all world seaborne trade while generating approximately 12 trillion United States (US) dollars in 2017, links trading partners between the water, rail, and air modes (as well as on-time distribution points and retail outlets). Therefore, the international chassis is, in turn, “…the linchpin of today’s international commerce” (Lane, 2015). The University of New Orleans Transportation Institute (UNOTI) will examine the issues surrounding the current state of international chassis utilization in the United States (US). The international chassis system in the US is unique compared to global chassis utilization where the motor carriers, the freight customers, or off-site terminals provide chassis. However, in the US, the divestment of international chassis by ocean carriers, which began in 2009, resulted in three major international chassis leasing companies linked to the foreign carriers being the American shippers’ only options for international chassis leasing in many cases. This situation is compounded by the fact that DCLI is in the process of acquiring the domestic fleet of one of the other two major international chassis lessors, TRAC Intermodal, which is slated to be completed in January of 2018. The extra cost associated with the lack of international chassis lessor competition profits the foreign ocean carrier lines while raising costs for domestic consumers.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Contract to a Performing Organization has not yet been awarded.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $79965
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Department of Transportation

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

    University Transportation Centers Program
    Department of Transportation
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Managing Organizations:

    Maritime Transportation Research and Education Center

    University of Arkansas
    Fayetteville, AR  United States  72701
  • Performing Organizations:

    University of New Orleans Transportation Institute

    368 Milneburg Hall
    2000 Lakeshore Drive
    New Orleans, Louisiana  United States  70148
  • Principal Investigators:

    Stich, Bethany

  • Start Date: 20180301
  • Expected Completion Date: 20191231
  • Actual Completion Date: 20191231
  • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01661874
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Maritime Transportation Research and Education Center
  • Contract Numbers: 69A3551747130
  • Files: UTC, RIP
  • Created Date: Mar 5 2018 3:15PM