NACPC

Memphis-grown IMC helps ‘move the needle’ on critical piece of supply chain

It takes time to reinvent the wheels that move boxloads of imported goods that stock the shelves of retailers like Walmart and Target.

If it weren’t for wheeled intermodal chassis, those shipping containers couldn’t move from rail yards to distribution centers, which makes them a hot commodity among specialists in the container hauling, or drayage business, such as Memphis-based IMC Companies.

“In many ways that trucking piece, that first mile, last mile, is so taken for granted. And those wheels are taken for granted,” said Donna Lemm, executive vice president of sales at IMC Companies.

Shortages of quality chassis have been blamed for heaping more stress on already beleaguered truckers, stranding products at intermodal yards for days and jacking up costs for shippers. It’s more of an issue in Memphis than other places because the area is a leading distribution center and home to five intermodal railroad terminals.

A sea change in the industry – ocean shipping companies divesting the chassis business – set off a scramble to control the chassis supply earlier this decade. Before 2010, the chassis and container were considered a single asset provided by the ocean lines.

A dozen firms, including IMC Companies, banded together to create a potential new paradigm: a nonprofit pool for supplying intermodal chassis, known as the North American Chassis Pool Cooperative (NACPC).

IMC chairman Mark George described the fledgling NACPC pool in 2013 as an alternative to letting leasing companies dictate supplies and prices of chassis.

Lemm said, “As leaders in the trucking community, IMC is the largest drayage provider in the United States. We’re trying to provide solutions. That’s why NACPC came together. So far it’s proving to be one of the most certainly viable solutions that’s been presented since this unbundling (of containers and chassis) a few years ago.”

The cooperative initially supplied about 1,300 chassis in the Memphis region, where there were an estimated 20,000 chassis in use at the time, out of a nationwide supply of 500,000.

The nonprofit’s Mid-South Chassis Consolidated Pool, which also serves the Nashville and Huntsville, Alabama markets, has grown to 5,780 chassis. Its primary for-profit competitors in the Memphis market include TRAC Intermodal and Direct ChassisLink Inc. (DCLI).

Safer, lower cost option for moving containers?

Proponents believe the industry’s needs could be better met by wider adoption of a nonprofit model that provides up-to-date equipment with the latest safety features at a 30-40 percent discount compared to for-profit providers.

“We believe our solution is the right solution,” Lemm said. “Is it perfect? No. We certainly have our issues. One of the issues that we’re facing today is that we still have these three pools in Memphis. They’re competing pools. We have an issue today with supply, and because we’re only one of three providers, it’s very difficult for us to provide true solutions to everybody,” Lemm said.

The latest entries were ports of Georgia and South Carolina, which chose NACPC to operate the Southern States Chassis Pool last year.

Port officials said they hoped to increase supply, improve quality and control costs, ultimately boosting capacity to handle growth in containerized freight in the Southeast.

“… These two major ports came together and said, ‘I need one manager, I need accountability. We need chassis when we need them, where we need them,’ ” Lemm said.

The Memphis pool began with a mix of new and used chassis. It has since been standardized with all new or refurbished equipment with radial tires, anti-lock brakes, LED lighting and other safety features. The average chassis in the U.S. is 20 years old, Lemm said.

IMC Chassis Services refurbishes chassis in a shop at its Brooks Road depot west of Memphis International Airport.

Equipment issues hit home for drivers

Safer equipment helps trucking companies attract and retain drivers during a time of increasing competition for personnel.

Lemm recalled riding along with a company driver who was searching for a chassis to pick up a container. “We come across a NACPC chassis and my driver says, ‘You know every time I get a NACPC chassis, it’s like Christmas.’ ”

“I said ‘Why?’ He said ‘Because I’ve got six kids. You know on a hot day in Memphis it’s 100 degrees. I want to be driving one with new tires, I need radial tires, I need anti-lock brakes.’ It was certainly something that hit home. I’m very mindful of the need to have quality chassis on the road,” Lemm said.

In addition to safety concerns, chassis supply affects drivers and their employers in productivity. With strict limits on hours drivers can be behind the wheel, the amount of time they spend looking for a chassis cuts into time available to actually move containers from Point A to Point B.

Chassis supply issues, along with tighter reins on drivers, were blamed last winter for widespread groundings of intermodal containers at yards in Memphis and Chicago.

The national pool owns about 18,000 chassis spread across seven regions, all east of the Rocky Mountains. It hasn’t yet cracked the West Coast market and the busy port of Los Angeles/Long Beach.

Trade conflict pushing volume surge

FedEx Logistics president and chief executive Richard W. Smith said the glut of ocean freight flowing to the Los Angeles area has been pronounced as companies have tried to stay ahead of a trade conflict between the U.S. and China.

The BNSF, Union Pacific and CN railroads, which all operate major intermodal yards in the Memphis area, are major movers of container freight arriving from Asia at Pacific ports.

The surge in freight could portend another logjam at inland intermodal facilities such as Memphis.

“There was an incredibly strong demand into the U.S. ahead of the originally planned January tariff, even though it was rolled back,” Smith told the Memphis World Trade Club on Jan. 22. “We may see that again if the same situation arises in the next couple months.”

Lemm said, “We’ve heard the argument we only have chassis shortages on occasion. ‘It’s a one off.’ The truth of the matter is our industry is pretty cyclical. We believe that these issues of volume not meeting demand, these are systemic challenges.

“The issue today is totally exacerbated by this surge of volume, but our contention is, we’re going into weather, we’re going into Chinese New Year. This isn’t going away,” Lemm said.

“What happens when we have a surge of equipment, a surge of containers as we do right now? We’ve got a lot of imports moving in, to beat, at the time, the tariffs, and you have a finite pool (of chassis),” Lemm said.

“I will tell you with all the best forecasting and communication in the world, it’s very challenging to continue to meet the demand,” she said.

“That’s why we believe if we’re able to have choice, if we’re able to continue to go in with our own chassis, with the emphasis on us as truckers, us as shippers, to be able to control our own destiny. That’s where we’re moving. That’s certainly what we’ve been so vocal about. But in the meantime, we’re moving the needle,” Lemm said.

 

SOURCE: Daily Memphian

The North American Chassis Pool Cooperative - NACPC Premium Chassis

NACPC Remains Committed to At-Cost Chassis Rental Pricing as Competitors Increase Rates

NASHVILLE, TN (July 1, 2016) – The North American Chassis Pool Cooperative (NACPC) has committed to maintaining the most cost-effective chassis rental rates in North America despite competitors raising rates consistently since 2013 as follows:

  • DCLI: $16.12 to $18.50
  • Flexi: $15.30 to $19 SACP/$19.25 MCCP
  • TRAC: $16.39 to $19.50

*Rates sourced from DCLI, Flexi-Van & TRAC Websites as of 6/30/2016

NACPC will maintain at-cost member pricing as follows:

  • MCCP: $14.25
  • COCP: $14.25
  • SACP: $12
  • GCCP: $12

Regarding this decision to maintain at-cost pricing, NACPC President and Chairman Dave Manning states: “Our mission at NACPC is to support motor carriers with an expansive and modernized chassis fleet. This should not come into conflict with our customers’ bottom line – we are here to drive their business and our industry forward and remain committed to doing so with this decision.”

NACPC’s pricing has helped many customers save upwards of $1,000,000 per customer/annually. “Our goal,” says Manning, “Is to invite more customers to learn about NACPC in order to help them positively impact their business’ bottom line. Increased rental rates do not have to slow business down – NACPC is the secret weapon our customers have come to rely on.”

NACPC Takes the Lead In Chassis Innovation: Company Launches Chassis Tracking with Asset Intelligence

NACPC Takes the Lead In Chassis Innovation: Company Launches Chassis Tracking with Asset Intelligence

NACPC, The North American Chassis Pool Cooperative, is quickly becoming an innovation leader within the intermodal industry. NACPC is partnering with Asset Intelligence to deploy its VERIWISE® Chassis fleet management solution on 270 chassis in NACPC’s fleet, allowing their members and users access to heightened performance.  NACPC President, Dave Manning strongly believes this new technology will provide substantial business value.

“Having the ability to track our chassis will allow us to leverage the multitude of information we receive from continual asset tracking,” said Manning. “We envision the future of chassis logistics as heavily relying on this tracking information instead of solely depending on gate activity. As an organization that is dedicated to keeping our assets in a closed loop, this tracking will assist us in this endeavor by helping us quickly locate a chassis should they slip out of the closed loop.”

The VERIWISE® Chassis fleet management solution from Asset Intelligence enables chassis fleet operators to:

  • Improve fleet utilization, including more rapid redeployment of dormant chassis, resulting in increased revenue;
  • Improve cargo turnaround times, from dispatch and pickup to delivery;
  • Improve billing accuracy with reliable data that shows when assets move and when the billing clock starts and stops
  • Decrease time and fuel costs spent searching for chassis by eliminating manual yard checks and enabling the nearest chassis to be utilized;
  • Reduce chassis maintenance costs by performing preventive maintenance based on actual mileage rather than calendar schedules;
  • Improve verification of intermodal container returns.

Matt Harris, Sr. Vice President of Sales for Asset Intelligence, stated: “We are very pleased to have the opportunity to partner with NACPC, a leader in chassis pool management. Our solutions will provide NACPC with critical visibility and fleet status, and we believe will ultimately help them maximize the efficiency and productivity of their chassis pool.”

Mr. Harris added that the ability to track chassis with accurate, real-time information can provide NACPC with an operational advantage. “Our solution gives NACPC visibility into the location and status of their assets, allowing leased chassis to be kept in the proper lanes for their customers.  VERWISE Chassis also provides valuable data and insight to increase asset utilization and ensure chassis fleets are sized appropriately to meet customer demand.  Additionally, tracking improves billing accuracy, giving chassis pool operators the hard data needed to resolve billing disputes, a common industry challenge.  All of these benefits give NACPC an advantage in serving their customers.”

The chassis pool industry is poised to see tremendous growth in the use of tracking technology in coming years. Traditionally, tracking has been primarily used by truckload carriers for their dry van fleets, however the industry is now seeing early adoption on chassis fleets. “NACPC is certainly well ahead of the industry with this trend, and will be able to have a leg up on their competition by realizing the benefits of tracking.  We’re thrilled to partner with an innovative leader in the industry, and continue to prove the value chassis tracking provides to pool operators.”

 

The North American Chassis Pool Cooperative - NACPC Chassis - ATA

NACPC President Dave Manning Appointed to ATA Leadership Position

We’re excited to announce that our President – Dave Manning – has been appointed to 2nd Vice Chairman with the American Trucking Associations! We recently sat down with Manning to discuss this honor and talk about what it means to him.

This is quite the acknowledgement of your commitment to the trucking industry. What excites you about your appointment? 

“It is a tremendous honor to be elected to serve in a leadership capacity at ATA. Not many people have the chance to serve as Chairman of this influential organization and I am humbled that my peers have elected me to serve in this role. Trucking is a people business and in this role I have the opportunity to travel throughout the country speaking to my fellow motor carriers about what ATA is accomplishing on their behalf.  [My wife] Betsy and I have already met a lot of great people and look forward to the many more that we will meet in the coming years. It is also exciting to be a part of the leadership team that will be responsible for selecting and nurturing the transition of a new CEO of ATA.”

It sounds like this type of industry participation – outside of the office – is very fulfilling to you. Tell us: What do you admire most about ATA? How is this organization moving the industry forward?  

“ATA is the voice for our industry at the national level. Without the ATA representing our industry before Congress and the Regulatory Agencies, trucking would have no voice regarding the laws and regulations that impact our industry. I admire the platform from which ATA advocates for our industry. ATA promotes that trucking is safe – reducing fatal accidents by -40% over the last decade. Trucking is essential – handling 70% of the nations tonnage and the sole transportation provider to many communities. And trucking is sustainable (green) – having invested billions of dollars over the last decade effectively turning our trucks into air cleaners.”

What does your path with ATA look like in the future?

“This is my 4th year serving as an officer of ATA. Three years as a Vice Chairman and this year as 2nd Vice Chairman. There are 4 more years of service required. One as 1st Vice Chair, one as Chairman, one as Chair of the Executive Committee and one as Chair of the Nominating Committee. So, as you can see, it is a significant commitment of time – but one that I enjoy deeply given my commitment to this industry.”

The North American Chassis Pool Cooperative - NACPC Chassis - Trucking

Saluting the Nation’s Finest Drivers

One week ago in this space, we focused on how rapidly in-cab technologies and active safety systems are maturing and gaining in popularity. Many of the demonstrations and test drives that we at Transport Topics have the opportunity to participate in are nothing short of remarkable. The long-term economic benefits for truckers are clear, and the overall improvement in highway safety is obvious.

Talking about how these technologies may help transform trucking in the near future is fun. Still, we must remember not to overlook the importance of the men and women that make the industry as strong as it is today.

That is just the purpose an event such as the National Truck Driving Championships serves.

The 78th annual “Super Bowl of Safety” brought 431 of the nation’s top truckers to St. Louis to show off their amazing skills. “I’m still on cloud nine. I thought it was an outside shot to even be in the top five, much less to win,” Grand Champion Ronald Emenheiser said.

Source: Transport Topics

The North American Chassis Pool Cooperative - NACPC Chassis - Trucking

Congress Passes 3-Month Patch to Continue Highway Funding

Highway Funding Extension

The Senate on July 30 approved both a House-passed, three-month extension of funding authority for highway programs and a six-year highway policy designed to reform several trucking regulations. The $8 billion patch passed by 91-4 a day before the Highway Trust Fund was set to expire.

The White House indicated President Obama would sign into law the short-term funding fix agreed to by both chambers.

Once enacted, the patch would mark the third funding extension of the trust fund’s authority in less than a year.

House and Senate Republican leaders celebrated the short-term bill’s passage, noting it would give them additional time to perfect the Senate-passed, six-year transportation measure.

“This multiyear, bipartisan legislation will give states and local governments the ability to plan for and construct critical infrastructure projects,” said Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), chairman of the committee that oversees trucking policy.

Source: Transport Topics

Ohio Valley Premium Pool

North American Chassis Pool Cooperative (NACPC) Launches Premium Chassis Pool in Ohio Valley

NASHVILLE, TN (January 11, 2017) – Following the successful launch of the Southeast and Gulf Premium Pools, NACPC will begin offering premium chassis product in the Ohio Valley starting January 16, 2017.

This new pool, managed by Consolidated Chassis Management (CCM) on behalf of NACPC, will be domiciled at ContainerPort Group, Inc. depots in the Ohio Valley cities of Columbus and Cincinnati. These units are new and come equipped with radial tires, LED lights and auto tire inflation systems.

“This expansion into the Ohio Valley represents NACPC’s commitment to the region and the opportunity for customers to access state-of-the-art intermodal chassis in the market — optimizing their business,” says Richard Mazur, Vice President of Sales, NACPC.

With their superior chassis solution, NACPC is the benchmark for equipment, customer service and fair pricing in the industry. Our fleet of off-dock premium chassis, the newest and safest on the market, is available using our at-cost pricing model. Customers receive quality equipment and pool management (including maintenance). Cooperative membership is open to qualified motor carriers.

NACPC Masthead Dave Manning

NACPC President Dave Manning Appointed to ATA as Chairman

New Position

David Manning, President of the North American Chassis Pool Cooperative (NACPC) will be appointed as Chairman of the American Trucking Associations (ATA) on Wednesday, October 25, 2017 at the ATA’s annual Management Conference & Exhibition (MC&E). Manning will succeed Kevin Burch, President of Jet Express Inc.

“It is a tremendous honor to be elected to serve as Chairman at ATA. Not many people have the chance to serve as Chairman of this influential organization. I am humbled that my peers have elected me to serve in this role,” NACPC President David Manning said.

Management Conference & Expo

During the MC&E taking place from October 21-25 in Orlando, Florida, trucking and intermodal professionals will hear from highly regarded industry leaders and government officials. They will discuss the state of the industry, automation and technology, business strategies and infrastructure funding.

“ATA is the voice for our industry at the national level. Without the ATA representing our industry before Congress and the Regulatory Agencies, trucking would have no voice regarding the laws and regulations that impact our industry. I admire the platform from which ATA advocates for our industry. ATA promotes that trucking is safe – reducing fatal accidents by -40% over the last decade. Trucking is essential – handling 70% of the nation’s tonnage and the sole transportation provider to many communities. And trucking is sustainable (green) – having invested billions of dollars over the last decade effectively turning our trucks into air cleaners.” NACPC President David Manning said.