TRAC, technology provider unveil chassis billing software

Chassis provider TRAC Intermodal and a technology provider have unveiled cloud-based software designed to allow intermodal equipment providers and motor carriers to automate billing and reconcile invoices.

Intermodal Data Hub is a joint venture of TRAC, which with 278,000 active chassis is the largest U.S. intermodal equipment provider, and Gary Chilo, the founder of Blocking and Tackling LLC. The new platform is a cloud-based software as a service (SaaS).

The software applies business rules and software capabilities to reconcile equipment providers’ invoices against billing data imported from the motor carrier’s transportation management systems.

During the last several years, most intermodal chassis have been transferred from container lines, which traditionally provided them as part of a bundled service, to leasing companies that rent or lease them to motor carriers.

This transfer of control has added complexity to billing for equipment providers, which now must deal with hundreds of truckers instead of a handful of container lines, and for motor carriers that must keep up with invoices from multiple chassis providers.

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Source: JOC 

Trucking Groups Take Issue With Port Inspection Program

Reviving a dispute that played a role in the recently settled fight between port operators and longshore workers, two groups representing trucking companies now claim a program under which truck trailers used to haul containers are inspected by the dockworkers’ union violates federal law.

Members of the American Trucking Association’s Intermodal Motor Carriers Conference and the Institute of International Container Lessors, which represents container and companies that own and lease the trailers, called chassis, have sent letters to the Federal Maritime Commission asking that it and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration fix the alleged violations and enforce the law on the inspection and maintenance of the chassis.

The trade groups said the new program was agreed upon under the labor contract between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association that was ratified in May.

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Source: LA Business Journal

West Coast ports still beset by labor problems, unrest

No doubt port shippers and haulers were wishing for summer to be a strife-free season but so far, that hasn’t been the case, at least at beleaguered West Coast ports.

Just last week came work slowdowns at the Port of Oakland concerning what was reported to be “uncertainty surrounding the new labor agreement,” which insiders said meant the part of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union’s (ILWU) contract designating that it’s the union members’ job to maintain and repair chassis.

Trucking stakeholders, including the American Trucking Associations, have reached out to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, complaining that ILWU members “don’t have the legal right,” said Curtis Whalen, executive director of the ATA’s Intermodal Motor Carriers’ Conference.

So Cal Port Truckers: Inspection Program Causing Congestion

The California Trucking Association recently came out against a new chassis equipment inspection process at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, saying they are causing congestion problems, according to a report in the Long Beach Press-Telegram.

The inspections are carried out by members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, who approve chassis and trailers at the port for roadability. This step slows down the process for drivers finding a chassis to carry out cargo, causing truckers to have to wait, according to the CTA.

The trucking association attacked the practice in a statement saying the inspections inefficient and unnecessary. It called for the ILWU and Pacific Maritime Association to work with the trucking community to resolve the issue. The CTA represents more than 200 trucking companies that service ports across California.

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Source: www.TruckingInfo.com

Despite incidents, no announced ILWU chassis inspection policy

Truckers in Northern California Wednesday reported sporadic incidents of mandatory International Longshore and Warehouse Union inspections of trucker-controlled chassis at the Port of Oakland. But the ILWU international headquarters apparently has not yet issued a coastwide mandate on chassis inspections since the new waterfront contract was ratified on Friday.

Truckers in Southern California, which had experienced some delays due to ILWU-enforced inspections over the weekend, reported no such incidents on Wednesday. Truckers in Seattle-Tacoma have reportedly been spared so far. The new contract contains a provision requiring ILWU inspections of all chassis before they exit marine terminals, with trucker-owned (but not leased) chassis being exempt from the requirement.

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Source: www.JOC.com

Harbor Trucking Association has new project to ease port congestion

The Harbor Trucking Association, an industry group, announced Wednesday it is supporting a new venture to reduce congestion around the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

In launching its Trucker Chassis Connection, the association joins other business and government organizations in the harbor area that are seeking to improve the way port truckers get road equipment needed to move freight out of port terminals.

“It’s going to ensure reliability, because we’re going to be using an app, Chassis Finder, to make sure chassis are available,” Harbor Trucking Association executive director Weston LeBar said.

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Source: Long Beach Press Telegram

Pier S to Stay Open for Six More Months

Pier S, which was initially opened to create a temporary space for empty containers, will now be open for another six months due to the unanimous approval of the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners. In addition to the storage of empty containers, the 30-acre lot is also permitted to store loaded cargo and chassis. Terminals as LA-LB ports are in need of the additional space as they work to clear out a backlog of cargo over the next few months.

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Source: www.POLB.com

How Chassis Shortage Contributed to Port Congestion

Drayage drivers often find themselves having to search for hours for the proper chassis in order to carry loads out of the ports. Chassis shortage became a problem after the Great Recession, when ocean carriers stopped offering chassis as a part of their services and began selling them to third-party providers, creating a middleman between drivers and ocean carriers. The gray chassis pool and other initiatives are being set forth to help restore cargo flow.

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Source: Los Angeles Daily News

Pool of Pools to Provide Immediate Relief to Current Congestion

The “pool of pools,” an agreement between Direct ChassisLink Inc. (DCLI), Flexi-Van Leasing Inc. and TRAC Intermodal, will provide trucking companies and terminal operators more flexibility in getting a hold of said chassis. Chassis shortage was a contributing problem to the chronic congestion that has occured at ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. This is another step that the west coast ports are taking to improve the efficiency and the reliability of the West Coast ports. The new chassis supply system is expected to provide immediate relief for congestion.

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Source: Hellenic Shipping News

The Near-Paralysis at the Port is Rippling Through the Economy

Though negotiations between the ILWU and PMA may be finally making progress, it will take months to repair the ripple effects caused by the massive cargo traffic jam. The congestion that has resulted from the the vigorous contract negotiations has caused a ripple effect on the economy as productivity has diminished. West Coast ports have become avoided by shipping companies and railroads are reducing service to the West Coast. Also, companies are losing millions of dollars as their freight is either stuck at the yard, or stuck on a ship waiting to dock.

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Source: The Wall Street Journal