Chassis stacked at the APM shipping terminal in the Port of Los Angeles in Los Angeles, California, U.S., on Tuesday, May 7, 2019.Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg


The tight U.S. chassis supply has been a contributing factor in port and rail congestion for more than a year. However, relief is coming, according to Bernard Vaughan, a U.S. chassis executive, who for decades served as the chief lawyer for chassis provider Flexi-Van Leasing.

Vaughn, now principal at Vaughan Advisors, told the New York-New Jersey Port Industry Day that significant additional capacity is coming into the market as multiple manufacturers ramp up new production and refurbishment capacity. “While it’s not going to solve all the problems in this complex chain, there will be a material increase in the number of chassis available,” he noted.

Under-investment in new chassis by leasing companies had been one cause for the shortage. Additionally, a 221% duty imposed on Chinese imports in the spring of 2021 limited new capacity. This resulted in significant stress on the intermodal supply chain.

Vaughan said based on conversations within the chassis market, he estimates new production capacity that has come online is between 50,000 to 90,000 new units per year, with 90,000 being the ultimate extent of capacity and 50,000 being a more realistic number of units that will be produced.

Source: Journal of Commerce