Intermodal Chassis Glossary: Industry Acronyms and Terms

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Reading Time - 7 mins
Published On - 03.01.23

Intermodal Chassis Glossary: Industry Acronyms and Terms

Reading Time - 7 mins
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Use this glossary of terms and acronyms to better understand the language and terminology of the intermodal industry.



Third-party logistics provider

Beneficial Cargo Owner. A company that owns the freight in a container being imported or exported, e.g., Home Depot, Amazon

Box Rules
Box rules is a billing construct used in multi-contributor chassis pools such as the Pool of Pools (PoP) that operates in the LA/Long Beach market. In a pool that operates under box rules, any container can move on any chassis contributed by one of the participating IEPs. The “box rules” facilitate usage assignment for billing, interchange, and other operational purposes among the IEPs but creates no practical limitations on the ability to interoperably use any chassis with any box.

Carrier Haulage (CH)
FFU street rate billed to ocean carriers

chassis, also referred to as a container chassis or an intermodal chassis, is a wheeled piece of equipment designed to carry containers.

Competitive Pool
A chassis pool that is managed and operated by the asset owner or Intermodal Equipment Provider (IEP). This chassis procurement model is the true model of choice, driving competition and innovation in a free and open market among providers of American-owned chassis. Under this model, customers retain maximum purchasing power as chassis providers compete for their business by providing quality equipment while ensuring inventory availability where customers need chassis the most. E.g. Direct ChassisLink Pool (DCLP).

Container Yard (CY)
An off terminal storage facility for containers often located near the ports

A structural section bolted across the chassis to join the main rails

The transport of goods over short distances

Dry Container
A shipping container used for transporting all types of non-temperature sensitive goods except liquids

Free-for-use (daily use model). Chassis are rented day-to-day at a published rate

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration – the organization responsible for requiring annual chassis inspections

Full-Service Lease
A Full-Service Lease is a fixed volume/term lease in which the IEP is responsible for most costs related to the chassis

Used to power a refrigerated container (reefer) when normal shore power is not available

Gladhand Connector/Gladhand Coupler
An interlocking hose coupling fitted to hoses supplying air from a tractor unit to the trailer

Intermodal Equipment Provider. A company that makes intermodal equipment available for interchange and develops and implements procedures to repair the equipment from damages, defects, or deficiencies. E.g. DCLI, TRAC Intermodal, Flexi-Van

International Longshore and Warehouse Union

Intermodal Freight Transport
The use of truck and rail to transport goods in a container from origin to destination

ISO Container
An international intermodal container that is manufactured to specifications defined by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO)

Vertical steel pin protruding from the bottom of the front of the semi-trailer that serves as coupling point for the tractor

Motor Carrier (trucker). A company that employs truck drivers or contracts with owner-operators to move freight. E.g. Central States, B-H Transfer

Merchant Haulage (MH)
FFU street rate billed to motor carriers

Net Lease
Net Lease is a fixed volume/term lease in which the lessee is responsible for all costs related to the chassis

Non Vessel Operating Common Carrier. Third-party logistics company that organizes shipments for individuals or companies to get goods from the manufacturer or producer to the market, customer, or final point of destination. E.g. Kuehne+Nagle, Expeditors

Ocean Carrier. A company that owns and operates vessels and offers ocean transportation to beneficial cargo owners and NVOCCs e.g. Maersk, COSCO

Multiple providers contribute their chassis to a pool to share capacity and costs. Also referred to as a chassis pool.

Radial Tire
A tire in which the fabric cords that make up the foundation of the tire run at right angles to the circumference of the tire

Reefer Container
Refrigerated container requiring controlled temperature environment for items such as fruits, meats, fish, seafood, dairy, etc.

Repositioning (Repo)
The costs associated with moving a chassis from where it was dropped off to where it is needed

A power unit designed to pull a semi-trailer. Has no carrying capacity by itself.

A trailer without a front axle; also used to refer to a tractor-trailer

A mechanism that allows a tandem axle suspension to move back and forth to adjust the distribution of weight

Steamship Line – see Ocean Carrier (OC)

A location where a gate transaction creates a record that is used to start or end a billable chassis movement

Street Turn
When possession of a chassis is transferred from one motor carrier to another at a place outside of the chassis pool’s start/stop locations. Street turns transfer liability from one motor carrier to another at the time of the exchange. Download our street turn How To guide.

Tandem Axle
Pair of axles and suspension

Tank Chassis
A chassis used for transporting portable bulk liquids. Ideal for constantly shifting loads such as gasoline.

Trucker-owned wheels. Chassis equipment owned and/or leased by a Motor Carrier

Unitary Pool Concept Equipment Provider. A chassis provider is designated as a UPC by an ocean carrier in a pool and receives all revenue associated with that carrier’s moves