Jul 28

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Chassis Shortage & Inability to Return Empties—Why?

2 minute read
Chassis Shortage & Inability to Return Empties—Why? Featured Image

Missed empty return appointments causing a chassis shortage has created disorder in the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

When the empty return appointments were instituted, there were hopes the appointments would ease congestion, forecast volumes and trends, and help facilitate dual transactions. It was all about maximizing productivity at the ports.

We’re Seeing the Opposite

But that simply isn’t the case when terminals and SSLs are operating independently of each other rather than working as a well-oiled machine. At the Ports of LA/LGB, we’re seeing:

  • Lack of collaboration amongst stakeholders, causing turmoil and resulting in truckers getting the bad end of the stick
  • Restrictions on empty returns causing major backlogs and delays at returning centers
  • Shortage of equipment from empties taking up chassis with longer street dwell times
  • Placement of burdens on the truckers and BCOs
  • High percentage of unused empty return appointments

Returning Empties has Never Been Harder

For example: an SSL states a terminal is accepting empties on Tuesday and the driver shows up to their scheduled appointment on time. The terminal tells the driver they are no longer taking empties for the day and there are no empty return appointments available for up to THREE DAYS. Truckers make the decision to block out empty return appointments to avoid missing the return opportunity for a second time. But now about 1/3 of appointments go unused.

See the problem? This will only continue to get worse if nothing changes.

What’s Causing the Chassis Shortage?

With the spike in imports during July and increased dwell times of containers caused by chassis sitting idle at warehouses from congestion and waiting for return appointments, a chassis shortage has ensued. Combine that with approximately 13% of chassis in the current pool needing maintenance, and the perfect storm has created a chassis shortage.

In time, everything will level out as it always does. Until then, email us at letsgetrolling@portxlogistics.com if you need a solution based on the foundation of the best culture, service, and tech in the industry. We’ve got you covered.