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Intermodal Chassis Glossary: Industry Acronyms and Terms

Use this glossary of terms and acronyms to better understand the language and terminology of the intermodal industry.

3PL
Third-party logistics provider


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


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

Competitive Pool
A proprietary 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

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


Drayage
The transport of goods over short distances

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


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

FMCSA
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


Genset
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


IEP
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

ILWU
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)


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


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

NVOCC
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


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


Pool
Multiple providers contribute their chassis to a pool to share capacity and costs


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


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

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

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

SSL
Steamship Line – see Ocean Carrier (OC)

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


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.

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


UPC
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