Regional Market Outlook on Chassis Providers/Pools in US
Insight for Higher Cost on Chassis with Trucking Company
- Due to structural changes in the chassis leasing market since 2014, trucking companies have become chassis lessors’ primary customers. Compared to ocean carriers, who were the primary providers of chassis before 2014, trucking companies are smaller and have less leverage to negotiate lower prices for chassis leasing
- Structurally, most trucking companies are unable to lease or purchase a critical mass of chassis to provide services to customers. Trucking companies are a greater credit risk for chassis leasing companies, and therefore, generally, rent on a per-diem basis from chassis pools, which are more costlier than long-term leases
Factors to consider when evaluating direct bill versus a trucking company solution: Pros & Cons - Cost saving opportunities
Advantage in Trucking Company Engagement
Cost is a less important factor in deciding the type of supplier to engage. Technical factors (mentioned below) are important in deciding the engagement partner:
- Location – Ensuring the chassis leasing companies nominated serve the ports and major transportation hubs required by the industry
- Chassis availability – Chassis lessors must have the required number and type of chassis in multiple locations
- Chassis condition – Ensuring selected suppliers have established protocols for ensuring chassis are in a good operating condition before being leased out
Disadvantage in Trucking Company Engagement
- During peak season the trucking company can face delay in securing the chassis from a pool due to tight capacities. This factor will influence the price competitiveness of the trucking company
Advantage in Trucking Company Engagement
When a trucking company provides the chassis, the trucker is responsible for chassis repair on a timely basis. The trucking company is also responsible for all maintenance and repair costs to the chassis. Maintenance and repair cost can be saved by the industry if engaged with trucking company
- If the industry leases directly from a chassis lessor, they can have better control over the chassis supply. Large companies have an advantage in the chassis market because of their large fleet size and the number of transportation hubs they serve
- Major chassis suppliers will have higher control of the pricing due to their large market share. the industry could achieve cost saving in direct chassis engagement
Disadvantage in Direct Engagement
- In general, rates increase as lease durations shorten because shorter leases are riskier for major lessor and do not ensure consistent revenue
- Leasing chassis from a pool, which allows the industry to buy based on a per-diem rate, is the most expensive form of chassis leasing on a direct bill basis
- By renting equipment through a chassis pool, however, the industry can facilitate switching between suppliers on a per-trip basis. If the industry is seeking to maximize convenience and minimize switching costs, then they would be advised to rent chassis from pools
Chassis Pricing Dynamics Insight
- Regions with more chassis available to rent typically have lower leasing fees. In general, these regions have better functioning chassis pools because lessees can pick up and return the equipment with minimal investments in time.
- Regions where chassis are in short supply have higher prices. In Los Angeles/Long Beach market cost can reach up to $25 per day, whereas prices in the mid-west are closer to $19-20 per day.
Type of Lease Contract
- Daily rentals from chassis pools have become the most common way to procure chassis service. However, the industry can also opt for operating leases and finance leases, which, compared to chassis pools, are both longer-term rental agreements. Trucking companies and minor lessors are important sources for operating leases and finance leases.
- If chassis were to obtain from international pools, which are located near ports and serve ocean shippers, prices will tend to be on the higher side.
- International pools supply chassis for 20-foot, 40-foot and 45-foot containers. On the other hand, obtaining chassis from domestic pools generally is less expensive as they tend to be located inland near rail hubs, and consequently feature lower prices.
- Domestic pools provide chassis for 48-foot and 53-foot containers. The difference in price is due to the fact that domestic pools typically have a more stable inventory of chassis at any given time. Because domestic pools are less likely to experience chassis shortages.
Total Cost of Ownership
- Total cost of ownership varies based on the type of lease chosen. In general condition, buyers that opt for long-term leases face additional maintenance and repair costs for their chassis. Lease agreements usually split maintenance and repair costs between lessees and lessors, so these costs are minimal.
- Buyers in finance leases can reduce their total costs by reselling their chassis once they acquire ownership at the end of the lease. Used chassis generally sell for $8,000 to $11,000.
- The slow rate of chassis depreciation and the strong market for used chassis are favorable for finance lessees and can help them attain significant cost savings