The Changing Legal Landscape of Intermodalism – Part 2

This project investigates the ongoing legal challenges surrounding chassis. In 2020, Intermodal Motor Carriers Conference (IMCC) of American Trucking Associations and the Ocean Carriers Equipment Management Association (OCEMA) were involved in negotiations to resolve what IMCC charged were high-priced and inferior quality chassis at many of the nation’s ports. IMCC alleges that OCEMA and 11 international ocean carriers violated the Shipping Act of 1984 by inflating intermodal chassis prices at dozens of ports. IMCC said this has cost the trucking industry $1.8 billion over the past three years. IMCC filed a lawsuit with the Federal Maritime Commission’s (FMC) judicial division. On January 29, 2021, the Federal Maritime Commission judge, Judge Erin Wirth, overseeing the $1.8 billion case rejected OCEMA’s appeal to have the case stayed. Additionally, United States International Trade Commission and the US Chamber of Commerce have ongoing anti-dumping investigations about chassis and subassemblies from China (particularly CMIC). Intellectual MeritChassis are considered the linchpin of the intermodal system. Legal challenges at a variety of federal agencies could fundamentally alter the dynamics of intermodalism and the associated supply chains that rely upon it.