The strength of a chassis lies in its reliability, durability, and dependability. In a winter where chassis supply has largely been unable to keep up with rising demand, you simply cannot afford chassis problems. Now, as the pressure to deliver is greater than ever before, reliability and dependability have become increasingly important in the chassis world. An unreliable chassis will ultimately hit you where it will hurt you the most—your bottom line.

Why has it become so important to employ a chassis you can rely on? For starters, more import volume has led to congested ports, which has in turn led to a higher demand for chassis. Factor in some inclement weather causing delays at some of major U.S. container ports and a recently-passed ELD mandate that requires trucks to significantly reduce their capacity, and a reliable, dependable chassis is not a luxury—it’s a necessity if you want your business to survive.

  • Import volume growth. Economic expansion in the U.S. has resulted in a 7 percent increase in imports at major container ports in 2017 from 2016, according to World Maritime News. More chassis are needed to haul the additional containers that are coming in, but the demand for more chassis is outpacing the supply. With chassis at a premium, reliability becomes critical.
  • Ports are “under the weather.” Severe weather at ports all along the East Coast has caused delays and even closings in some cases. In early January, Winter Storm Grayson dropped freezing rain and snow at some ports in early January, leading to several closings that lasted a day or two. The weather-related interruptions led to backlogs at those ports, further complicating operations for truck drivers.
  • Going paperless. Starting December 28, 2017, truck drivers were required to record their hours in an electronic logging device (ELD) instead of paper logs. Hours are being recorded more precisely, holding drivers more accountable. All this means higher rates on drayage and a reduction in capacity between 2 and 5 percent. Reduced flexibility means drivers may experience longer wait times and may charge extra fees for the time they’re forced to wait.

It has been a problematic winter for trucking operations due to all the delays and shortages, making the need for a reliable, dependable, durable chassis crucial. When you make a decision about which chassis to use, make sure you use the best.

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