What is a Chassis Pool?

What is a Chassis Pool?

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A chassis pool is a location where chassis are stored at on-terminal or near-terminal locations across the country (ocean terminals, rail yards, etc.) to support the daily usage of intermodal chassis by motor carriers. There are multiple types of chassis pools in the intermodal industry including competitive pools like the DCLP, third-party operated pools, and gray pools.

Competitive Pool: A chassis pool in which the equipment is owned and/or managed by the same entity. Our Direct ChassisLink Pool (DCLP) is a competitive pool. We have invested and continue to invest in the operational efficiency, safety, and quality of our fleet in order to deliver a great trucker experience through the DCLP. Competitive pools allow IEPs to upgrade chassis, invest in technology, and enhance the user experience. DCLP gives us direct control over the management of our chassis (data intake, repositioning, M&R, etc.) in turn allowing us to provide the best customer service.

Third-Party Operated Pool: Pools of chassis managed by a single entity with the equipment sourced from different parties. Chassis equipment owners, mostly chassis leasing companies and IEPs, contribute assets to a chassis pool. The Pool Manager is responsible for all costs associated with pool operations as well as the billing for chassis usage to motor carriers. Truckers pick up and drop off chassis at specified start/stop locations established by the Pool Manager.

Gray Pool: A pool in which multiple IEPs contribute chassis to a single pool, allowing truckers to use any of the contributed IEPs’ chassis for any move, regardless of the ocean carrier’s container being moved. Traditionally, a single manager runs the pool and each IEP charges its own rates based on their commercial agreements with ocean carriers and motor carriers.

The Pool of Pools: The largest gray chassis pool operating in the U.S. is the Pool of Pools located in Los Angeles/Long Beach. The pool is modeled after a gray pool but instead of one manager running the pool, each IEP manages its own fleet. Three major leasing companies including DCLI contribute chassis to the Pool of Pools.