Port of Long Beach addresses drayage concerns at IAPH

For port authorities worldwide, drayage is an ever-present challenge and cost center.

By ·

Members of the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH) were given an overview of the innovative new developments in shared container chassis last week.

For port authorities worldwide, drayage is an ever-present challenge and cost center.

J. Christopher Lytle, Executive Director Port of Long Beach, was among the speakers on the panel, Development in Trucking Logistics.”

“The question we have in Southern California, and in many other US. Ports is ‘what’s the best most-efficient model for chassis management?’” said Lytle. “Chassis are all alike, but the current ownership system restricts sharing. We’d like to see that changed.”

Lytle noted that Sea-Land, formerly a trucking company, was the first ocean carrier to own chassis. Other players followed, until each carrier had its own fleet.

But this inventory burden created new problems for shipping lines, as they were not able to concentrate on their primary goal: to move freight on the water. To date, there are more than 100,000 chassis at the Port of Long Beach, with 14 container terminals being served by more than 11,000 drayage vehicles. 

“A coalition of stakeholders comprising terminal operators, truckers, railroads, and ocean carriers are trying to address this problem,” said Lytle. “We are all in agreement that this asset-based arrangement is not serving the BCO’s (beneficial cargo owners).”


The solution, he said is the establish a “gray chassis fleet” with 100 percent interoperability…where any chassis works for any transaction.

“This would move chassis storage and upkeep away from the marine terminals, and make a lot more land available for other more productive purposes,” he said. “So far, we getting a lot of valuable input from the chassis community on how to proceed.”
One suggestion, said Lytle, was to create “benchmarking” with existing gray fleets and chassis-leasing companies. As a consequence, the port has issued an RFP for project management services.

“We don’t know yet what kind of skill set will be required for the firm charged with this responsibility,” he said. “But it will certainly require a variety of solutions to solve the problem.”

The questions yet to be addressed include:

*What would a “gray fleet” model for multiple operators look like?
*How would a “gray fleet” be managed, and who would do it?
*Who should own chassis?
*Where should chassis be based?

According to Lytle, many port authorities feel that chassis operations should be moved to centralized yards where they can be both inspected and maintained.

“We are now looking into hiring a facilitator to develop concepts for this,” he said, “and we expect to arrive at a decision by the end of this year.”

Donald B. Snyder is the Director of Trade Development for the Port of Long Beach, told LM in subsequent interview that such a solution would also be “greener.”

“Obviously, there would be fewer truck moves, and that will only contribute to the port’s efforts to have cleaner air,” he said.


About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]

Subscribe to Modern Materials Handling Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Find out what the world’s most innovative companies are doing to improve productivity in their plants and distribution centers.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Article Topics

· All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
Top 20 industrial lift truck suppliers, 2017
The top lift truck suppliers list is changing with industry acquisitions causing a dramatic departure from the norm.
Download Today!
From the August 2017 Modern Materials Handling Issue
For all the advances in lift truck technology and fleet management, operators will always be the heart and soul of a fleet. As manufacturers and equipment purchasers place more value on that piece, the role of the operator extends from design to daily use.
Reader survey: Lift trucks keep on truckin’
Top 20 industrial lift truck suppliers, 2017
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
Warehouse Execution Systems (WES): The Pathway to Same-Day Fulfillment
This webinar explores the processes and technologies enabling same-day, same-hour order fulfillment using intelligent supply chain software.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
Lift truck operators: Drivers of change
For all the advances in lift truck technology and fleet management, operators will always be the...
Top 20 industrial lift truck suppliers, 2017
The top lift truck suppliers list is changing with industry acquisitions causing a dramatic...

Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits: Designed to Last
On Long Island, the country’s premier distributor of wine and spirits turned to shuttle and case...
GE Healthcare System Report: Lean repairs
Self-driving mobile robots improve cycle times and reduce floor space at GE Healthcare’s new...